Feb. 2014, Scottish hardman Dave Macleod has mad the first winter ascent of Orient Express on Ben Nevis.
Macleod returned to Europe in February after an extended stay in Patagonia. Scotland is having one of its snowiest years on record.
MacLeod wrote on his blog, “The ramps were well covered in snow, and I thought the recent freeze-thaws at this altitude might turn them into some useful ice. So yesterday, I returned with Adam Hughes to see if I could get any higher. I regained my highpoint after an hour or so and could see a couple of blobs of cruddy neve well out left of the top bulge. Over the course of a good number of forays, I stretched up and tried to reach the ice blob, but it was just too far. The best I could get was a highly dubious stick just below it. After a bit of working up to it, I committed to swapping hands on the bad stick and reached the ice blob above, which did rip through a bit as I rocked over onto the bulge. Too late, I was either going up, or off. Thankfully the peckers were not tested today and we continued up lovely ice on the ramps to the top.”
For more new from Scotland, visit Scottish Winter here.
For more from MacLeod, visit his blog here.