|From Len Lui towards Ben Cruachan|
After a wet and windy night things hadn't improved by Monday morning. The wind blew horizontal sheets of rain up the valley from Crianlarich. Still I decided to get the first train to Bridge of Orchy and climb Ben Dorian. Snow was now lying to 400mtrs so I emerged from the train with every layer of clothes already on. The route starts from the station and follows the Allt Coire an Dothaidh into the corrie. While the weather was bad I was comfy in all the clothes and the further I got into the the corrie the more shelter was provided. The cloud was up at around 800mtrs. All was going well until I reached the bealach. Here I experienced the full fury of the wind and though I managed to get up to the 800mtr mark, by now further progress was proving impossible as I was being literally being blown backwards. I was also being blinded by spindrift which constantly covered my goggles. I therefore decided to turn back and retreated back to the train station. I then followed the West Highland Way back to Tyndrum and after a good shower and fresh clothes felt happy with the day and thoroughly invigorated.
|The view east from Beinn Challuim|
A quick return to the valley floor and I got the 14.30 train into Fort William.
|Frank behind the CIC hut|
The climbing before the first tower
|Climbing the first tower|
|After the Great Tower|
|Well happy on Ben Nevis summit|
Ever upward we made good progress and faithfully following the crest of the ridge we arrived under the great tower and the infamous eastern traverse. This was quite easy but we were not sure where to start the climb to the top of the great tower. We continued too far and climbed instead into the tower gap. This was seriously exposed and had some vertical steps. The rock and our axes were sticky from the cold.After the gap all the real difficulties were over and we continued easily to the summit. The day was glorious and Frank enjoyed his first time on top of Britain in sunshine with alpine views. After a well earned lunch we returned to the car and headed to town to quietly celebrate.
The long journey home began the following morning. The weather was once again wet and stormy and we were very happy to have done Tower Ridge in such perfect conditions the previous day. All in all a good trip and I am already looking forward to the next time.