Our blog - Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, Jun'17

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis

11 June 2017
A guided day, hiking and scrambling up Ben Nevis's famed Tower Ridge route.

What do you do once you've bagged the Munros ? Corbetts, Hewitts, or perhaps Grahams ? Perhaps on your way around the Munros you've been awe-struck by the grandeur of Skye's Cuillin or been delighted by the rocky spine of the Aonach Eagach - it's for these folk that we pondered their next step. And Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis seemed the natural progression. I've been on this a couple of years ago and suprised in more than one way - to the keen scrambler or climber, it's not too difficult, but the route finding is very tricky and some of the terrain is exceptionally loose.

So this was our first guided trip and it was being led by Al Halewood. Al is an old hand on this route having led it countless times. He's also local to the area and one of the most respected guides in the country ! Here's his tale...

It's a popular cliché to say that "there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing", but today the weather was bad. But in the shelter of Ben Nevis's North Face, perhaps not as bad as it might have been. On the previous day we were watching the forecast carefully as it changed from showers, to heavy rain, gales and thunder, then back to showers and eventually settle on heavy rain and gales. But it did look like morning wasn't going to be too bad and the wind direction suggested shelter on the way up.

I was leading Helen, Johnston and Will up the ridge and being accompanied by trainee MIA Mehmet to get some practice on his shortroping. The day was wet and a bit grey, it was also a tad chilly. Water got in at our wrists and ran down our sleeves... and our group loved it !

Johnston kept throwing compliments at my advice on the way up but that may just have been because I was holding the rope he was attached to, Will's face getting up the 'will' to make the step at Tower Gap was one of deep concentration and Helen was a hero at the back end of our two ropes where it can feel a little lonely but I could always see a smile. Well done for zipping up the man and woman suits today and getting on with it. I enjoyed it too and we didn't feel the wind until the way down.

Challenging conditions accepted and route completed. Enjoy the afterglow guys :-)

More photos by Al are here on Flickr.

Johnston also took some pics and they're here also on Flickr.

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