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observatory ridge ben nevis

observatory ridge ben nevis


Postby mgmt! » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:51 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis

Date walked: 11/08/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Ascent: 450m

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it was milesy,s idea, he wanted to do a mountain route and suggested observatory ridge on ben nevis. so with good weather forcast for saturday the idea was floated at our ( lomond mountaineering club) wednesday cragging and pub night. the take up was good, at an early breakfast in manse barn ( our club hut in onich ) there was harry, eva, richard, danny, milesy, derek and myself. we left the north face car park at 8 15am, its a very steep start through the woods to the upper car park, but then the views open up as we follow the path up the allt a mhuilinn.
P8110002.JPG
the views open up

is was a beautiful morning with the sun shining on the north face, we pass castle ridge and head up toward the cic hut. tower ridge is in view and so too our target of the day observatory ridge.
P8110005.JPG
tower ridge and in the centre going upward, observatory ridge

we pass the cic hut and there are climbers starting up the douglas boulder of tower ridge.
P8110006.JPG
climbers on douglas boulder

there is a team already started and another about to start, so we gear up and group up, im climbing with harry and eva, richard is with danny and milesy is with derek. we are first ready and harry leads the first pitch followed by eva and myself. its busy, as somebody leaves a stance its immedietly taken by the next team.
P8110011.JPG
harry starts up
P8110010.JPG
me belaying harry with milesy and his helmet cam
P8110012.JPG
eva starts up

with us all on the ridge there was good banter even with the teams in front, there was loads of people on tower ridge and a steady stream of ant like people on carn mor dearg heading for the arete. richard and danny were catching us up,
P8110014.JPG
danny, milesy and derek
P8110015.JPG
richard giving it the thumbs up


we pitched the first 3 pitches, it seemed to ease of a bit, we had a quick bite to eat, harry roped up with eva and i
just soloed in front of harry, the views all round were fab,
P8110016.JPG
me at lunch stop
P8110022.JPG
tower ridge with tower gap in centre

as we got higher up the ridge sharpens up and becomes a little more defined,
P8110023.JPG
harry coming up
P8110024.JPG
harry bringing up eva
/attachment]
with harry and eva on a short rope i climbed up and met richard and danny
P8110024.JPG
harry bringing up eva
P8110029.JPG
me at top

we walked ta short distance to the summit cairn and had another bite to eat, ive never seen the summit so busy. all the while the rescue was still taking place on the tower. the views from the summit were breathtaking.
P8110034.JPG
summit vista

so all that was left was the decsent, that long decsent to the north face car park. as we went down we met a girl who had turned her ankle, she said she was ok, then past another guy who was struggling, 10 minutes later we saw the helicopter above again, these guys had a really busy day. me and richard headed back to the hut, we sat on the beach with a well deserved refreshment. harry and eva then arrived and eventually danny, milesey aand derek. so ended a fab day of climbing, good idea milesy.
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P8110028.JPG
richard at the top

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mgmt!
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby mountain thyme » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:03 pm

Well done to you all and especially Eva on her first climb...

Pics are great ... sme views but it looks helluva scary and steep for me :(
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby Bod » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:20 am

Hi mgmt, I very much enjoyed that, and you've got me wondering will I actually consider routes like this one day? Of course I would need to go with experienced friends and pick out good weather days. So tell me, to what extend is a route like this or Tower Ridge climbing? Or scrambling? Friends have attempted to explain to me before, but I guess it is only now I am seriously considering things (I am much more of a scrambler than a climber, though once upon a time did a little). Curved Ridge maybe first? Research for me required, as I only have the Skye scambling guide :lol:
Well done all of you and thanks for posting :D :D :D :clap: :clap:
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby Milesy » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:31 am

There are sections of Observatory Ridge which are definitely climbing in my book, albeit the lower technical end. Although someone who climbs at a much higher grade and/or has a lot more years experience might consider the full thing a scramble. All a bit subjective in that sense. What is not subjective is that although the climbing fairly straightforward, a fall or slip would likely to be very serious. When leading it some of the moves were pretty spicy with a lot of air and exposure at the feet and sides.

When the climbing got much more scrambly there was still a few sections which the ridge narrowed quite a lot and a slip into the gullies at the sides would likely be a drop all the way back down to the bottom. I have less tolerance to risk than my good Michael here and I still led the upper section with rope and placing spartan protection as I went and building belays for my second.

I found it pretty tough going leading every pitch from the bottom to the summit (a good 400m) and was well knackered by the time I reached the top. My body is still sore from the effort and my first mountain day since the winter.

Great day though :)
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby daveg » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:30 pm

What a fantastic day out, I'd have been there in a flash...could have done with a couple more of those in the last 2 months when I was back in the UK. Great outing and good idea that man. Daily blue skies are welcome again in Kuwait but it's hot enough outside to cook yer puddins.
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby daveg » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:34 pm

...forgot to say...the usual super reporting and piccies Michael and much appreciated from a dusty desert.
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby mgmt! » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:48 pm

Bod wrote:Hi mgmt, I very much enjoyed that, and you've got me wondering will I actually consider routes like this one day? Of course I would need to go with experienced friends and pick out good weather days. So tell me, to what extend is a route like this or Tower Ridge climbing? Or scrambling? Friends have attempted to explain to me before, but I guess it is only now I am seriously considering things (I am much more of a scrambler than a climber, though once upon a time did a little). Curved Ridge maybe first? Research for me required, as I only have the Skye scambling guide :lol:
Well done all of you and thanks for posting :D :D :D :clap: :clap:


hi bod, what do you mean one day ? im sure you are more than capable now. the difference between climbing and scrambling is a bit of a grey area and hard to explain, as milesy says ( and i dont take risks ) its what you are comfortable to ascend without a rope. some people are more comfortable than others as is the same with say navigating in poor visability, its knowing your limits. both observatory and tower ridge have sections of technical climbing, as does curved ridge, so knowing how to place protection, set up belays and use a rope are needed for you and your party,s safety. i too did a little scrambling years ago and loved it, 18 months ago i joined the lomond mountaineering club, mainly for winter walking, but in no time i was snow and ice climbing and now doing low grade rock climbing and scrambling. so i would say go join your local club, and im sure you,ll be on those skye ridges in no time.
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:56 pm

Nice report.

I've still to do any climbing on the Ben, so a touch envious :mrgreen:
Good to see promotion of good Clubs too :)
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby mgmt! » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:57 pm

daveg wrote:What a fantastic day out, I'd have been there in a flash...could have done with a couple more of those in the last 2 months when I was back in the UK. Great outing and good idea that man. Daily blue skies are welcome again in Kuwait but it's hot enough outside to cook yer puddins.

awrite daveg, sods law we got a good weekend weather wise when you are stuck in the dessert !! to really rub it in it was good last week, i got myself the perfect t shirt tan on a walk with james. dont worry though im looking at something big in september for when you return. stay off the puddins.
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby mgmt! » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:11 pm

foggieclimber wrote:Nice report.

I've still to do any climbing on the Ben, so a touch envious :mrgreen:
Good to see promotion of good Clubs too :)

cheers foggie, thats only my second summer route on the ben, done lots more winter routes, and really enjoyed doing this ridge in perfect conditions. im sure you will be up there soon. and yes climbing clubs are a fantastic way to learn and get out in the hills, all i would say is its not a one sided thing, you only get out what you are prepared to put in.
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby monty » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:29 pm

excellent photos Mgmt. Looks exhilarating :D
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby Bod » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:05 pm

Thanks mgmt and milesy for your advice, very much appreciated, cheers :)
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:15 pm

Great stuff Michael and the rest of the team. We stopped off on our way home at the Onich hut to catch up but you guys were still out having fun :D
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby Scotjamie » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:26 pm

Regret in one sense that I have no head for climbing, though more than happy now with glen and easier hill walking. But I really enjoy reading well written and well illustrated reports like this. Well done all.
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Re: observatory ridge ben nevis

Postby mgmt! » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:03 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Great stuff Michael and the rest of the team. We stopped off on our way home at the Onich hut to catch up but you guys were still out having fun :D

yes i head from a certain thyme traveller you stopped off at the hut, sorry we missed you, im trying to look at something interesting for september so will speak to you soon regards date to suit.
Scotjamie wrote:Regret in one sense that I have no head for climbing, though more than happy now with glen and easier hill walking. But I really enjoy reading well written and well illustrated reports like this. Well done all.

thanks scotjamie, never been complemented for my literally skills before, thanks
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