Sunday, 18 March 2012

Oh look a moustache

Saturday was looking promising for the return of winter conditons so Joanna, Ondrej Mandalu and left on friday night for Ben Nevis. We were kindly given some floor space at Liam Ingram and Fergus Cuthill's flat in Torlundy.
After a 5am wake up we were heading up to the ben. This was really very early for this time of year but we had big plans. Liam was to climb with Ondrej. They intended to do the big 4 ridge in a day, those being; Castle Ridge (III), Tower Ridge (IV,3), Oberveratory Ridge (V,4) and North East Buttress (IV 4). Joanna and I were intending to climb Sioux Wall (VIII, 8). I thought this might be in as it is quite high up and sits back a little so should hold snow well on holds.
Once at the CIC hut I could tell that sioux wall was very unlikely to be "in", but we decided to go up into the Number 3 gully area anyway for a look. We were going to go "Euli Steck" style on number 3 gully, this means moving really quickly on easy terrain, but Joanna was struggling to front point, as she had a blister on her heel. After abit of thought we decided it was best to head back down to Fort William and go for a walk.
After a quick coffee we drove down Glen Nevis to Steall Hut Falls. On the walk along the path we saw lots of interesting rocks. I noticed that the rock type changed along the walkin bettween metamorphic rocks, with lots of kinks and deformation, to more uniform igneous looking rocks. There were also alot of rocks with shiny tints to them, no it wasn't water. I suspect that this was a sheety silicate of some sort, possibly muscovite. There were also a few quartz inclusion, inculding this intersting looking one.

We kept on walking along the gorge which leads from Glen Nevis to the Steall Hut falls. After the gorge the valley open up to a nice meandering river, with big rocky banks, and a large flood plain. The falls sit at the other side.
We found lots of nice rocks around the river. The following one looks like it could have really big feldspar crystals which have been altered on the outside giving it them the two-tone texture. It is more likely that they are infact small lithic fragments, as they would be very large for single minerals. 
 There were also some nice, large scale, features higher up in the glen. The rocks to the left of the falls showed some nice bedding and on the oposite side of the glen there was a large fold. It is not a very big picture so I shall describe it. One limb of the fold runs from almost vertically up to the top of the obvious ridge and then bend to the right on the summit behind this.
Liam and Ondrej only managed to climb one ridge, Observatory ridge, although Ondrej did go onto solo Tower Ridge, while Liam went back.

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