Date
Route
Description
22/07/2021
Observatory Ridge
My partner and I are both comfortable multi pitch trad climbing at VS, and have climbed long alpine routes at AD+, however most of our climbing is either in the Lake District or the Alps. Apart from this incident we had an excellent day out climbing Observatory Ridge and descending the CMD arête. Around half way up Observatory Ridge, while moving together after pitching the first four pitches, two very large blocks gave way beneath my feet. The blocks narrowly missed my second climber and fell down into Zero Gully with a lot of loud crashing and rock dust, alarming climbers on the North East Buttress. Thankfully there were no climbers in Zero Gully or at the base of the route at the time. I managed to shout out a warning to those below as the rocks fell. The climbers on North East Buttress called over to make sure we were not injured. The blocks fell as I was stepping up and I already had a hand on the very good holds above, so I did not fall. We had two pieces of gear on the 20m of rope between us so hopefully had I fallen I would have been held.
08/06/2019
The Ring of Steal
I was walking with my daughter and had climbed 3 of the 5 Monroes when we noticed an unforecast storm brewing over Ben Nevis, across the valley. We were obliged to continue walking which unfortunately included 2 more ascents and descents. By this time rain was reasonably heavy but we had waterproofs and walking sticks. Suddenly we were simultaneously struck by lightening, standing approximately 5 metres apart. We were not at the highest point so continuing was needed but hazardous. No further incident occurred. However we learnt the next day of a fatality on a neighbouring Munroe around the same time as our strike [www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lightning-strike-death-scotland-highlands-woman-hiking-glencoe-a8950726.html]
07/04/2018
Ben Nevis via CMD
As keen winter mountain walkers/climbers, my friend and I were making our way across a snowy, ice covered CMD arete when all of a sudden part of the way across the arete, some ice gave away under my footing. I slipped down onto my side and onto my back then immediately started to slide down the arete towards the CIC hut. I got myself into a self arrest position fairly quickly, however, due to my speed and how steep the arete is, my axe just cut through the snow and ice. I thought I wasn't going to stop even though my arest fast and perfect text book. I then started to hit a few exposed rock bouncing off with force until eventually my axe snagged on to some of this exposed rock bringing me to a jolting stop. I'd gone down 25m 83ft before coming to an abrupt stop. I felt bruising where I'd hit my left hip on some rock but otherwise felt ok. After getting my breath I started to climb back up to the ridge where I had left my friend. From there we continued to the summit of Ben Nevis but my left leg and hip started to feel sore and was really slowing me down. Once we were at Ben Nevis summit, I took some pain-relief and anti-inflammatories before setting off on our descent. Once I got to my accommodation I had a proper look at my injured hip to find a huge hematoma on my left hip/thigh and thought I must be the luckiest girl alive to just have that. Until... A couple of weeks later my shoulder and neck started to give me so much pain. Even now, a year later I still get lots of pain in my neck and shoulder as well as some numbness in some of my fingers. I may now be possibly be looking at needing surgery and now wished I'd got myself checked out immediately and properly.