BLOG: Ben Nevis Mixed Action by Kevin Avery

Happiness is a 300 mile drive…

Kev Avery and Adam Lincoln happy to be enjoying awesome views on Ben Nevis after topping out on Darth Vader, 29/1/2011 (Copyright Adam Lincoln)

Weekends are a mission, a mission up North usually to Ben Nevis or the Cairngorms. If I’m lucky the Lakes will be in nick and then we get the luxury of a shorter drive but since the Christmas bout of Arctic weather it’s been pretty disappointing in that neck of the woods and Scotland it has had to be. Monday at work and I’m more tired than I was on Friday, at the end of my working week, but that’s probably because the weekend goes something like this:

Friday 3 pm: finish work and drive 300+miles

Saturday 4.30am: get up and walk for 3 hours, climb all day, walk out.

Sunday: repeat the above or ski (harder than climbing but more of a lie in!), long drive home, sleep

During the week I’m teaching, catching up on sleep, training and…getting psyched for the weekend! The last couple of weekends have followed this pattern, In fact since the end of December I’ve spent only one weekend at home! It’s 100% worth it though. In his latest blog post, CGR UK co-editor, Dave Sarkar asks the question: “Does climbing make you happy..?”

So to answer Dave’s question here are a few images from the last couple of trips to the Ben, I’ll let you make your own mind up!

Chris Reid, leading steep ground on Sioux Wall VIII 8, Ben Nevis 22/1/2011 (Photo Kev Avery)

Kev Avery belayed by Chris Reid on Sioux Wall VIII 8, Ben Nevis (Copyright Victoria Crookes). The mixed climbs around Number 3 Gully have been in superb condition over the last couple of weeks. All of the classics have had ascents and the hard additions of Apache VIII 9 and To Those Who Wait IX 9, have both had second ascents. Standards are most definitely on the up.

An unknown climber enjoys Winter Chimney, V 5 on Ben Nevis, 29/1/2011 (Photo Kev Avery)

Kev Avery leading pitch 2 of the Ben Nevis classic, Darth Vader VII 8, climbed with Adam Lincoln on 29/1/2011 (Copyright Adam Lincoln)

Kev Avery about to enter the chimney proper near the end of pitch 2 on Darth Vader, VII 8, Ben Nevis (Copyright Adam Lincoln)

Kev Avery leading the crux pitch 3 of Darth Vader, VII 8 on Ben Nevis (Copyright Bob Wightman)

Winter Conditions and Weather Links

Climbing Kit

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