Today i was working on Ben Nevis again, this time with Enrico, Izzy, Vlad and his wife Liubov. Enrico is originally from Russia but lives near Birmingham and his Russian friends Vlad and Liubov were visiting.
After a late start we set off up the hill, making steady progress and really soaking up the stunning conditions. We had some really good discussions about the mountain and Scotland in general, as well as chats about history, sport and current affairs. We started to slow a bit after the aluminium bridges, and Izzy started to struggle with her knees,but persevered up to the red burn. Here we stopped for some lunch and a good drink and took some nice pictures of the views.
We set off again, but it was clear we were not going to make the top quickly. The team seemed determined however, and i was keen to see them succeed so we pressed on, sharing a few laughs with other folk in the mountain. Between corners 5 and 6 we stopped to don crampons and unsheath our axes as we prepared to continue in a direct line up and onto the summit plateaux. There were loads of folk not using crampons, but i deemed it to be the best choice given group experience and ability, and it paid off as we moved much quicker than many others on the snow. The snow cover at present is pretty much constant from corner 6 onwards, with Islands visible and usable if required up until the stone ring above corner 8.
We continued to make steady progress, and reached the summit not a moment too soon a Izzy was close to breaking point.
Another busy but successful summit, we enjoyed a second lunch and a chat about the fragile environment, picked up some other people's rubbish as well as our own, and began our way back down. We kept to the snow all the way down to corner 2 which proved exciting and saved some time. After this it was just a steady old plod back to the visitor centre. Four tired but satisfied clients who put in a sterling effort and made the round trip in just over 9 hours. Well done guys!!
Today i was working for seren ventures.