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Stepping up! Advice sought.

Stepping up! Advice sought.


Postby meangarry » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Hi folks,
Myself and two friends are planning to climb Ben Nevis on the 28th of this month. After the spell of good weather I began to get adventurous and look at the carn mor dearg arete route, however the weather we've had recently is sowing the seeds of doubt. I have very little scrambling experience although I feel comfortable enough that given good conditions I would try it. Both my pals have less experience than me although we are all fairly fit in and our mid twenties. We could take the mountain track route although I'd rather do the ben justice. We don't have ice axes or crampons and we haven't climbed any munros yet.

Any advice will be heeded as I don't want to be the plonker getting rescued off a ledge, plus its only a month before one of thier weddings! :?
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby laconic surf » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:01 pm

There are better people than me to give you this advice but my own twopennys' worth would be only to go via CMD with someone who has done it before or at least has decent munro experience. When I go up the Ben it will be via the CMD, as you say I think this really is doing it justice, which is why I won't be attempting it just yet. There are plenty of other munros that are exciting that are also probably safer for the inexperienced or if you do want to conquer the Ben now, go up the pony track. At the end of the day if you hit snow, clag or both are all 3 of you going to cope? Only you guys know the answer to this.

Good luck in whatever you decide :D
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby Gythral » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:15 pm

laconic surf wrote: At the end of the day if you hit snow, clag or both are all 3 of you going to cope? Only you guys know the answer to this.

Good luck in whatever you decide :D


This is the key...

If the temperature rises a bit and there's no snow, I'd say go for it, making sure that you have the route planned and can navigate around it if the cloud does come down...
This was my first route in Scotland and I really enjoyed it!
However I did end the day asking 'Why Scots graded walks as scrambles?", (I didnt stow my pair of treking poles) having a number of years scambling experience at that point, and some rock climbing on trad. routes in North Wales, but in Winter conditions it is a different prospect!
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby SMRussell » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:18 pm

Like Iaconic surf says I know there are others with bags more experience than me but for what its worth;

I currently have my eye on this also (in fact it caught by eye months and months ago) however I at least have 57 Munros ticked off (only 226 left to go :lol: ) including a few minor scrambles and while the route looks awesome I would NOT take it lightly. Do something which has an element of fun and provides a memorable intro to munro bagging. I'm going to suggest these two - An Caisteal and Beinn a'Chroin (http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/lochlomond/an-caisteal.shtml). There have very small sections of fun scrambling and the walk up AC is quite long but not continually steep so it eases you in. The views are lovely if you get them.

Carn mor dearg arete ain't going anywhere fast so I'd recommend that you be sensible and work up to the ridges and scrambles.

Happy bagging!
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby IamAJMiller » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:30 pm

I'm not going to say you should go or not go but here is a pic of the ridge on Sunday. Not great resolution but I think it's clear that there's still a lot of snow about at the mo. I don't think I'd be going on it without packing my crampons anyway. Be safe whatever you decide
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P1020467.JPG
Ben Nevis and CMD - 15/4/12
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby meangarry » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:53 pm

Thanks for the sound advice folks.

That recent pic was all I needed really :crazy: , the carn mor dearg arete will have to be done another time it seems. If only there was some sort of buddy scheme for first forays into winter walking. :think:

Looks like we'll give the mountain track a bash. I'll be sure to write a nice report whatever happens!
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby pigeon » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:13 pm

Here's another pic from sunday of the ben and cmd
057.JPG
Still a lot of snow and read in the paper today that there had been another load yesterday.Why not wait a few weeks see how it pans out,it's a far better route than the tourist track.It's tough yes but a lot of the scrambling can be by-passed and it's not as exposed as you might think.The hardest part was the steep grassy climb from the CIC hut to Carn mor dearg
051.JPG
my mate ryan on the steep grassy slopes from the hut
Do yourself a favour and wait till a day with a good forecast and go for it 8)
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby Milesy » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:33 pm

meangarry wrote:Thanks for the sound advice folks.

That recent pic was all I needed really :crazy: , the carn mor dearg arete will have to be done another time it seems. If only there was some sort of buddy scheme for first forays into winter walking. :think:

Looks like we'll give the mountain track a bash. I'll be sure to write a nice report whatever happens!


There is a good chance you will need crampons for the pony track as well. There is good snow cover up on the ben just now.
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby meangarry » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:55 pm

Hmm, bother. None of us have them. Might have to pick a whole different mountain.
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby Milesy » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:00 am

The Ben being the highest is the last to let its guard down slightly. Everything can change in a little as a few days though. Best to couple of days in advance before deciding :D
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby yokehead » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:49 pm

Check out this blog. Gary is regularly on the Ben and surroundings, including today. Plenty of snow about, I just knew this would happen after I went back south! :sick:
http://www.tarmachan.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby tambrown » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:14 pm

Going up Ben Nevis next week (Tuesday 08th May), just wondering what the snow situation is like. We are all novice and doing a charity walk. Any info would be appreciated.
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby electricfly » Tue May 01, 2012 1:10 am

tambrown wrote:Going up Ben Nevis next week (Tuesday 08th May), just wondering what the snow situation is like. We are all novice and doing a charity walk. Any info would be appreciated.


Snow situation is still pretty much full on, crampons and ice axe required, probably both CMD Arete route and the Pony Track.

Here's a pic I took yesterday, Sun 29th Apr. zoomed in. Worth noting that it rained (snowed at altitude) all night Sunday night from 2am til around 8am so there's even more of the white stuff up there again! :shock:

Image
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby tambrown » Tue May 01, 2012 8:31 am

electricfly wrote:
tambrown wrote:Going up Ben Nevis next week (Tuesday 08th May), just wondering what the snow situation is like. We are all novice and doing a charity walk. Any info would be appreciated.


Snow situation is still pretty much full on, crampons and ice axe required, probably both CMD Arete route and the Pony Track.

Here's a pic I took yesterday, Sun 29th Apr. zoomed in. Worth noting that it rained (snowed at altitude) all night Sunday night from 2am til around 8am so there's even more of the white stuff up there again! :shock:

Image


Thanks for the info, I was expecting this might be the case, we will only be using the Pony track as some of the guys have never even been walking in the snow, I will keep an eye on the forecasts between now and then before we make a decision. Might be only some of us go up if crampons etc. will be required. Thanks again for the info.
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Re: Stepping up! Advice sought.

Postby Border Reiver » Tue May 01, 2012 9:35 am

I've been up The Ben pony track when the snow level was similar to this and although the snow near the Red Burn was soft and safe enough to walk on with a little care, a few hundred feet higher up it was hard and icy and I wouldn't have been able to stay on my feet without crampons. My advice would be to take ice axe and crampons if you've got them and know how to use them, but know your limitations and turn back if you're starting to feel uneasy.
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