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Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /video

Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /video


Postby napietnowany » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:34 pm

Hi there,

I have chosen to climb on the Ben Nevis through scrambling route called Tower Ridge. As far as I know the hardest scrambling route on the north wall. 5 level on the scrambling scale - the highest. The difficulty of this route is heavily influenced by the last obstacle called here as a Tower Gap.
Here is my little video from there. English subtitles are available. Hopefully are good enough :)

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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby dav2930 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:48 pm

Nice video and a good solo effort there on Tower Ridge. :clap: It was a shame we didn't quite get to see how you got up the other side of the gap! That's certainly at the upper limit of what can reasonably be considered as a 'scramble' - TR is also listed in the climbing guides as a 'Diff'. Observatory Ridge and Northeast Buttress are both harder, but they probably count as climbs rather than scrambles. It's all a bit of a grey area. The north face will be the preserve of winter climbers at this time of year.
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby onsen » Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:25 am

:shock: A little hairy to say the least, glad the weather was fine & the rocks dry....
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby napietnowany » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:49 pm

Of course I totally realise that will be better if rocks will be dry so I choose this day very carefully.
Glad to know that You like it dav2930 :)
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:13 pm

Smashing looking route - I'd been thinking of doing it last year, but on the day i was in Glen Nevis it had been pretty wet and I ended up opting for Castle Ridge. And I even found this quite awkward because of the wet and slimy rock, and the dip of the rock strata - down and out of the faces, generally (and it didn't help that I didn't take the standard route!).

On your video, the rock looks nice - rough and dry; not so usual for a North-ish facing route.

Did you ascend via the Douglas Boulder or via the gulley that leads up to the Douglas Gap? I'm interested to know just how technically difficult the Douglas Boulder is. I plan to do it this year, provided the weather plays ball.
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby Meatball » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:20 pm

Ah...
Memories.

Some good....
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby napietnowany » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:21 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Did you ascend via the Douglas Boulder or via the gulley that leads up to the Douglas Gap? I'm interested to know just how technically difficult the Douglas Boulder is. I plan to do it this year, provided the weather plays ball.


Unfortunately I can't tell You nothing about Douglas Boulder cos I went through Douglas Gap.
I know that You guys know it much better than me but... Weather in Scotland is totally crazy :D And it's better to be there when weather is more quiet :)
I was lucky :)
Attachments
focus to infinity_ben nevis_tower gap.jpg
Right after :)
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby gaffr » Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:44 pm

Hello,
For the Douglas Boulder.... the approach to the gap using the so called SW Ridge is a reasonable route....starts just left of the West Gully. This gets you to the top of the Boulder and with a wee bit of down-climbing gets you to the start of the Ridge at the top of East Gully.
For pleasant climbing in the middle part of the Tower Ridge go a little leftwards of the perhaps the route normally taken.
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:08 pm

napietnowany wrote:
Unfortunately I can't tell You nothing about Douglas Boulder cos I went through Douglas Gap.
I know that You guys know it much better than me but... Weather in Scotland is totally crazy :D And it's better to be there when weather is more quiet :)
I was lucky :)


OK, thanks anyway for the reply, NN. You're certainly right about the unpredictable weather in Scotland... ...but when it's good, isn't it just brilliant???
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:22 pm

gaffr wrote:Hello,
For the Douglas Boulder.... the approach to the gap using the so called SW Ridge is a reasonable route....starts just left of the West Gully. This gets you to the top of the Boulder and with a wee bit of down-climbing gets you to the start of the Ridge at the top of East Gully.
For pleasant climbing in the middle part of the Tower Ridge go a little leftwards of the perhaps the route normally taken.


Thanks for the reply, Gaffr. I was thinking of taking a direct route up the front of the Douglas Boulder to get to the Douglas Gap - ie more or less straight up from the CIC. My main concerns are whether it's slimy, and whether the rock is reasonably sound: I have the vague feeling I've read somewhere that it's heavily fractured in parts. Have you done the direct route up the Douglas Boulder? If so, what was your experience??

And thanks for the advice about going a little leftwards of the normal route on the central part of the ridge, which I'll certainly follow. :thumbup:

I'm now just praying for a longish spell of dry weather in May/June, so I can tackle it (although a 3rd Cuillin Ridge traverse will take priority if the prayed-for dry weather spell is short!!!)
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:43 pm

Great video, I breathed a sigh at the end. Not sure it helped me watching it as I edged side to side in my seat as the camera panned left and right over the drop :lol:
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby gaffr » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:15 pm

Hello...Alteknacker asked about the routes on the DB to link with TR....my only experience in linking was by using the SW Ridge. Probably will in keeping with the grade of the entire route especially so if going solo.
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby DonnyW » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:04 pm

Its well over thirty years since I did it last ..and I know things change .. but if soloing it and the rock gets slippy with rain..as it did once when I was there .. its worth knowing that you can escape on a by pass ledge to the left ..just before the tower and avoids the gap too. From the ledge.. it was an easy scramble to the top of the Ben. Worth trying to find out if the ledge is still intact and its still possible. ?

I always went up the horrible slippery gully on the east to get to the Douglas gap..so cant comment on the other way.. although I was aware of it in those days too.

Wild horses wouldn’t get me up there now.. but I really enjoyed it in my younger days.. and I watched the video with great interest :clap:
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:30 pm

Jeez, great video, but you wouldn't get me up there without a rope these days for lots of money! Maybe 25 years ago...

Having not been anywhere that exposed for a long time, roped or un-roped, I suspect I've lost my head for heights as I could hardly watch without cringing! Makes for a great bit of film.
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Re: Tower Gap - The hardest obstacle in my life (so far) /vi

Postby Sunset tripper » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:01 pm

Brilliant video Napietnowany . Best footage I've seen of Tower Gap. 8)
You should put it in the walk reports Scotland section and link it to Ben Nevis as it will get lost forever in the general discussion forum
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