Ben Nevis

The weather was still being awesome and we planned another big weekend, up to the Ben as big as it gets. Again Liam and Rachel did all the planning, I only had to be in the right place at the right time. I picked Liam up in Penrith and we met Rachel and Matt in the North Face car park after 6 hours and 350 miles of driving. We camped in the car park on Friday night, but had thankfully booked into the CIC hut for Saturday – no tent to carry!

After Scafell the walk in felt fine. We dropped the bags at the hut and headed up to Creag Ddu, the amount of rock was incredible,  it felt really alpine: large snow fields and mountain flowers.

The Big Bad Ben in the evening light.

The crag was busy, we got in the smallest queue – Bullroar, supposedly a 4 star HVS. 70m of traversing provides equal fun for both the leader and the second. Masses of exposure provided by huge roofs below hanging slabs. Got lost due to an awful guidebook description but met up with Matt and Liam as they topped out on The Bat.

The Bullroar.

Abseiled down Titans Wall. Ropes got stuck and Rachel climbed up a pile of loose blocks to free it. Another 60m abseil, struggled with 120m of rope stretch and twisted ropes – nightmare.

In the hut Liam cooked some tasty Chirizo Pasta and we relaxed in the ‘Alpen Glow’.

Chillin with the Sunset.

The following day we got up early. Liam and Matt had to wait for the awesome looking  Torro, Rachel and I got straight on the other 4 star HVS – Centurion. I linked the first two pitches – a full 50m pitch of 5a climbing. An awesome pitch, very sustained and with big holds and good gear. The climbing became slightly easy for two pitches but remained high quality. Arrived at the penultimate pitch and the final challenge of the route. Watched Liam and matt climbing up below us. Rachel led a devious line through the capping overlaps, space walking on hanging slabs. I managed to retrieve an insitu nut and then lead the final pitch to finish off an amazing route. We waited for Liam and Matt before descending.

Team.

Grabbed the packs from the CIC hut and boiled on the walk out. An excellent weekend climbing, good food, good company and awesome routes.

Scotland is that you?

The weather looks like it is turning, hopefully the sun will return soon as it has already made this summer amazing. It has made the transition from full time bum to weekend warrior much easier. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to afford all the petrol without having a job! And I doubt we would have explored the amazing climbing of Scotland if Rachel hadn’t got a job in Glasgow. I’m glad we were enlightened by Scotlands epic rock, the journey up isn’t too bad and the adventure is definitely worth the effort. Rachel finished work in Glasgow in September but I’m we will be back!

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