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  • Writer's pictureDavid Buckett

Observatory Ridge, Ben Nevis

With a dry day forecast, Observatory ridge on Ben Nevis was the ridge to go for.

You really need the rock to be dry on this ridge as there are quite a few slabby footholds that do require a bit of friction in the lower sections. Graded as VDiff, the same as Tower Ridge, it has more climbing on it. With 4 long pitches to start it was good to get above them and start making progress. The ridge is 500m long so you cant really hang around. From the top of the pitches you are at roughly the same height as the CMD arete around 900m, with the route topping out near the summit of Ben Nevis that meant about 400m still to go.

We changed into mountaineering mode with the rope to cover ground quicker and tackled the relentless bouldery steps and steeper corners on the upper section in short pitches with quick to find belays.

Finally on the summit plateaux after 4 hours on the ridge we were rewarded with great views to the isles of Skye and Rum before a descent down Corie Leis saw us back at the CIC hut.

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