Today I was out with Mick and Paul who wanted to experience the classic Tower Ridge (IV 3). After the glorious weather earlier in the week the weather forecast was looking decidedly un-promising with the freezing level well above the summits and gusts of 80mph. We persevered telling ourselves we'd just have a look and it all came good for us with a very quick ascent in relatively benign conditions.
The walk in was enlivened by trying to persuade a group that No 4 Gully wasn't a good option for the day. They'd failed to look at a mountain weather and or avalanche forecast and were completely oblivious to the danger of the huge cornices / seracs that have been causing some huge avalanches in the recent warm conditions.
Tower Ridge is still well plastered in soft wet snow with helpful chewy ice on the various tricky steps. Against a constant barrage of noise from falling ice in Observatory Gully we soon arrived at Great Tower and the infamous Eastern Traverse. This is still pretty much banked out but today gave us the added bonus of a good shower of icy water from above. I opted for the extension to the traverse which proved easier than the steep moves staright up. The narrow snow arete to Tower Gap was climbed a cheval and cruddy ice on the exit meant that today this was the crux. We topped out in 4 hours to be met by a constant stream of walkers, many in jeans and trainers, making their way to the summit seemingly oblivious to the cornices!