Ledge Route was on my winter ticklist so I was pretty chuffed when Alan Kimber from West Coast Mountain Guides suggested on the Saturday that it would be a likely route for Sunday. The weather was great all weekend long and after a great Saturday on Stob Dearg we arrived at the car park around 0900 ready for the walk upto the CIC Hut. We would have been a bit earlier had I not been late to Alan’s place (I forgot my water, what a numpty). We made good time and geared up at the hut. We then proceeded to the bottom of the route, not lingering in number 5 gully and roped up on the bottom of the pitch just out of the gully. I led with Alan soloing ahead and placing gear. The first two pitches were dispatched easily and once we’d gained the ridge proper we began to move together over the much easier ground leading to the top of Ben Nevis. I did find that I was a bit faster than Wendy and Kesia when moving together, leading to a few points when I had to wait mid move for the two ladies. I ought to have been a better and less grumpy gentleman. We didn’t summit as we topped out about 1400 and faced with a couple of hours walk back to the car we decided to head back down straight away. We were treated to another stunning sunset while we walked off and back down to the car. Eventually arriving back at the car as the sun was just disappearing. Below is a photo from the route, by Alan.
Alan was kind enough to lend me his Paramo Velez Light smock which I found to be a rather good jacket and has made it’s way firmly onto my list of kit to buy. It was nice and warm with great venting. I think it’ll go well with a pair of Aspira Salopettes for general winter climbing. Thanks to Alan for great course and for Wendy and Kesia for putting up with my endless pulling on the rope. More pictures can be found on Alan’s blog.