Jan 29, 2012

Scottish Winter or When the Gully didn't get Vanished

Finally, at the place for true winter climbing and the center of mixed climbing, Scotland!
After some hours driving with small roads, traffic on the wrong side and with a car that someone has had the pure fun of placing all the things in the wrong places. Like the gear box, windscreen adjustment and even the steering wheel. I mean, c'mon, why?!

The country side driving is really beautiful though with its small villages and its houses

 Arriving at Fort Williams the most famous of them all is just around the corner, Big Ben Nevis!
A typical winter day at Ben Nevis, only that today it was visual 

 After making some big plans, which we decided to be quite small with one or two easy climbs on the Douglas Boulder. Easy accessed behind the CIC hut. A full 1 hour walk or 1 1/2 from the North Face parking lot.
Today's first boulder

But as so many times before, planning is one thing. After a first glance on the objective and then talking to some locals my mind started wondering.
The "Vanishing Gully" is supposed to be a great climb but isnt in at the moment...well maybe maybe...!
 A glance up the hill and maybe the man is right, but maybe not. And how hard could it be, a scottish V 5 And it has 3*** so well worth the extra 5 min walk.

Mikael getting ready to feed out some rope

 Time to let the Monsters X's out of the bag and as often they are a bit to keen so 2 meter sent me 3 meters back down the slope, ha! Up again a little more less weight on the X's and we where going.
Great mixed climbing at its best, thin ice, compact rock so not so much pro. Just focus on climbing.
After 50mts of focusing and three good points on the rope I had a perfect belay and could bring Mikael up.

Belay under the vertical steep.

Next pitch had everything, ice, rock, wet dripping water, well water tend to be wet I know, and spinndrift. And I could even put in some good pro on the way.
Three more pitches and we found our selfs under the summit of Ben, on a rock ridge just made for descent
 Mikael Angberg swinging the axes...
The Vanishing Gully V 5 *** is 100 t.r of the Douglas West Gap Gully, look for a small ice fall that gets vertical 200mts of great climbing
Time to get down for a decent cup of coffey and maybe even a beer, and find out some plans for "demain"
With some strong winds gail'ing outside who knows what wind slaps that tomorrow will bring

But who said that Scotland dosnt have any good weather? Just need to keep up with the sun, which always tend to be on the other side...


  1. Vackert tycker tjejerna i La France! Själva gick vi en tur runt Lac Passy idag. Det enda som liknar er trip var vädret, det snöar. Sen blev det ostköp på fromageriet, så vi är också nöjd amed dagen.

    1. Låter lite mera civiliserat mat mässigt i vart fall, dom här scottarna är galna, rökig hamburgare med sylt! Jippie

    2. I envy you a lot. You've had a good climb there, I wish I had the time to go to the highlands, too. It would be great.