Late April 2014, the north face of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is loaded with snow and the gullies soften as the days grow longer. The CIC hut made for an ideal base to explore the slopes around Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg.
It's a long walk up from the road, especially carrying food and gear for a long weekend's skiing. We didn't have much energy left but nevertheless, made our way to summit of Carn Mor Dearg in the mist and picked our way back down before retiring for supper.
The bravehearts decided it would be fun to jump the snow bridge across the burn (the Allt a Mhuillin) outside the CIC. Not for me though, the thought of making a mistake, plunging under the snow and drowning in the churning icy water below was too much !
The cornice was simply too big to ski off. Thankfully, some of my pals are quite handy with ropes and a snow bollard helped secure our entry over the cornice onto the steep scarp below.
Some muppet from Moffat ;-) The chalky snow was grippy enough but the exposure in the gullys on skis is much more intimidating than when climbing up them with axe and crampons. Jamie's entry tracks are above me - he's not such a pussy as I am !
Craig making his way along the ridge of Carn Mor Dearg. Ben Nevis behind and the couloirs we'd skied the day before. We'd climbed and skied the west face of CMD in the mist on the evening we arrived but In the sunshine a couple of days later we skied several lines off the steeper east face of CMD, and each of them was lush.
I love this view of the Ben. To the left of the summit is the upper Coire Leis, to the right is Observatory Gully which we skied a year earlier, and the backdrop is the Ring of Steall.