Ben Nevis - in tribute to Marshall & Smith

Took a walk up Ben Nevis to take a few photos and scope out the conditions. The settled weather has left the Ben looking good but a lot of classic ice doesn't seem to be there in quantity (eg. Orion Face, the Curtain, Megaroute X etc) needing maybe more snow to freeze thaw - it's probably been just too cold for that. The CIC cascades were in good nick and touching down however and I saw a party on good ice on Boomer's Requiem, and abouyt 3 parties in Point Five. Most classic gullies look good and full of firm neve and in fast nick. Of course, it's Marshall Smith week, with Dave MacLeod and the Hotaches crew out filming on Minus 3 gully. If you don't know what this means, it's the 50th anniversary of Robin Smith's and Jimmy Marshall's remarkable week on the Ben step-cutting their way to now-famous classics. Here's the list of what they got up to 50 years ago without front-points and sans drop-head axes:

The Great Chimney (IV,5) 6th February 1960
Minus Three Gully (IV,5) 7th February 1960
Smith's Route (V,5) 8th February 1960
Observatory Buttress (V,4) 9th February 1960
Point Five Gully (V,5) 10th February 1960
Piggot's Route (V,6) 12th February 1960
Orion Direct (V,5) 13th February 1960

Jimmy Marshall and Dave MacLeod will be speaking about this special week at theFortwilliam Mountain Film Festival on Sunday 14th feb.

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