Western Rib, Aonach Mor
Today i was on Western Rib on the west face of Aonach Mor near Fort William. With Nevis Range and the gondola uplift currently closed, Mark and myself walked from the bottom, a first for me and not too bad really.
With only a light dusting of snow in the corrie for the approach the walk in was easier than expected and we reached the base of the route in a few hours. Still not at the freezing level we decided that Western Rib was the best option in the area being a rocky ridge so that we didn’t rip too much turf on our travels.
Once we gained the base of the ridge the older snow was hard packed and helpful with a very good covering. As we gained height crossing very narrow aretes and steep snow, the base and firmness increased. Overall in current conditions it is an easy grade III but with not much gear, out of the 7 60m pitches we did, we only placed 2-3 runners on each pitch but the snow is very firm and helpful throughout.
We topped out on the summit of Aonach Mor by mid afternoon and had mostly clear sky and good views of the north face of Ben Nevis.