Myself, Lorna and Mke, from Abacus Mountaineering had a top day on the V-Diff, Observatory Ridge on Ben Nevis today. The route is over 420 metres long mixed with sections of scrambling and a few pitches where we were glad of a belay. We had intended to do the North East Buttress, but it was far too windy, so we chose this route as it was more sheltered.
There are a couple of places where you have to think about how you're going to get up some sections, but they all proved not too bad in the end.
The top section of Tower Gully and the last section of Tower Ridge to it's right.
One of only two teams we saw on Tower Ridge today.
High up on the ridge and moving together.
Another little tricky move around and over the snow before regaining the ridge.
Looking straight across to Tower Ridge and the Eastern Traverse cutting from right to left and the fallen block section where the first snmall patch of snow lies on the travrerse.
Yet another little tricky move as we get closer to the final scrambly summit blocks.
One last five metre stretch on spring snow to top out above the ridge a few metres away from the crowds.
Looking back at the busy summit as we made our way to the Red Burn area.
Still plenty of folk on the tourist path as we skirted around the gully tops before striking off for the Red Burn. It's a shame that most visitors to the summit of the Ben don't see any of this yet they are only a hundred metres away!
One final view of the summit before heading off to the halfway lochan and onto the North Face car park. Another brilliant day and made better by our stay in the excellent Braeburn Guest House at Badabrie near Corpach - Fort William.
Also see more pics from Mike's Flickr page at: