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Photographer's Note

Last March two friends and I drove to the North West of Scotland to go winter climbing.

I hadn't ever gone climbing in Scotland before and I was in for a treat. The North face of Ben Nevis, Britain and Scotland's highest mountain, is world renowned as a winter climbing venue sporting many near alpine size routes of terrific interest and quality.

As we walked into the base of the North face I asked Tim and Duncan what they wanted to climb. We better do Point 5 they said in unison. At that juncture I had no idea of the history of the route, I hadn't twigged quite what we were in for. We climbed 700m of ice and snow onto the summit plateau of Ben Nevis to be greeted by an amazing view of swirling mist and arctic like conditions. This is Tim standing on the summit after the long climb, behind him there is a climber just finishing a route and beyond them small dots can be seen finishing up the last few meters of Tower Ridge - the longest and probably most famous route in Britain.

I was overweight, unfit and unprepared for the day we had and after 13 hours out on the hill we finally reached the car and I was a broken mess. I don't think I could have taken one more step.

The next day the other two went out to climb some more but in my sorry state I stayed behind in Fort William and looked at the books in the bookshop. Here I found Cold Climbs a classic book of it's genre. It shows the classic winter climbs in the UK and details the grand history and tradition of the heroes of the past. I turned to the page that showed the route that we had done the previous day. Open mouthed it started to dawn on me that the route we had done was called Point 5 and exactly what that meant. The book described it as the most famous ice climb in the world. It was steeped in mountaineering history and during the fifties had repelled the worlds best and nearly killed a few of them too. It was the most coveted prize of all when it came to Scottish climbing and I had climbed it the day before! Of course it helps to have two dependable friends and modern equipment. But perhaps it was better not to know what I was climbing until after I had climbed it. Or I would have run away screaming!

Ina, Vicky, chicken, bettyprieto, rtome, Silversnow has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Richard SG (escher1) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 5 N: 240] (1268)
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