For the final day of our winter mountaineering course Huw and I took the boys up onto Ben Nevis day via Ledge Route (II). It had been snowing heavily since the early hours of the morning and we were super pleased to see the snow line down below the CIC hut by the end of the day. Ledge Route was awkward at the start, scratching up slabs covered in powder, but soon improved as we hit the ridge itself. It was knee deep in places and we saw Number 5 gully avalanche at the top as we climbed. That made our choice of descent an easy one – choosing to avoid Number 4 gully and head down the Zig Zags instead. It felt great to be out in proper winter conditions after yesterdays visit to the Ice Factor and from the look of the forecast this is the start of a good cold period that will allow conditions to build nicely.

The bottom of Number 5 gully – no base the this level
Coming off the ledge to head towards the ridge
Questing up the new snow
Huw, John and Luke on the crest
Goggles weather navigating off the summit
John, Huw, Luke and Nick on the Zig Zags