Compression Crack (V,5), Ben Nevis

Rob and me were keen to take advantage of the good conditions and short-walk of the general Carn Dearg / Castle Ridge area. Compression Crack was clearly in condition and so we headed for this. Boomer's Requiem also looked good today.

Compression Crack provided a couple of quality ice pitches. I led the excellent first pitch. Rob continued up the easy ice on the second pitch, before I traversed right to beneath the steep ice corner. Rob had the pleasure to lead this superb pitch. It proved to deceptively steep and unrelenting. It looked from the ground as though there would be an opportunity for rest at half height but this proved not to be the case. The ice was of snowy consistency making axes placements effortless but ice screw protection marginal. Certainly top-end grade V. Only the traverse in the middle of the route stops this from being a three star route in my opinion.

Now above the difficulties we bashed up the easy slopes and then descended down the West flank of Ben Nevis. Another excellent day.

Boomer's Requiem (left) & Compression Crack (right)
Me climbing the steep first pitch
The iced corner on the final pitch
Rob climbing the superb final pitch


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