Observatory ridge

Its been a while since the last time that I properly got out with other things getting in the way.  So with an invite to go up Observatory Ridge on Ben Nevis, a day off was quickly demanded and off we went.  After meeting up with Craig, Craig and James we all made our way towards the CIC hut with the weather getting better the higher we got.

The rock was dry all the way and it was a case of follow the crampon scratches all the way up.  Myself and James swung leads on the start of the ridge, completing the trickier sections in 4 pitches, with the crux coming on pitch 2 between the 2 old pegs.  After the 4 pitches of good climbing the ground became slightly more broken so we decided to move together for the rest of the 300 meters left and move quicker, placing runners where needed between us.  The ridge continued with interest all the way to the summit, aided with great views across to Tower Ridge, Ledge Route and across to the North East Buttress and behind the CMD arête, which saw a few ascents today.

After topping out in the cloud a few meters from the summit of Ben Nevis we quickly sorted kit and started to make our way down the main Pony Track.  We quickly broke off though towards Cairn Dearg (red peak) and started our way down Ledge route and back to the CIC hut.

A very good day, 8 hours car to car, 3 hours up the ridge.  At the hut we thought we spied Craig x2 near the top and we wish them well.  I hope it wont be too long before I’m back up on the North Face.

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