Fyffe and Ashworth Climb Major Ben Nevis Winter Route

by Rob Jarvis Knuckleduster VIII,9 The talented and youthful team of Blair Fyffe (UKClimbing.com profile) and Steve Ashworth (mixedmaster.blogspot.com –UKClimbing.com profile) have made a winter ascent of the Ben Nevis HVS 5a, Knuckleduster. Situated on the left side of the steep number 3 Gully Buttress this intimidating line had repelled other strong parties – on one occassion, with serious consequences. Steve and Blair described the climbing as high quality, varied, sustained and HARD!….and gave a tentative grading of VIII,9. Steve commented the climbing on Knuckleduster was certainly harder than Unicorn and much harder than the neighbouring Cornucopia – which he did recently. The short second pitch, 5a in summer, provided the crux with a strenuous rising traverse across a steep wall followed by a hard pull onto the overhung belay. Winter Knuckleduster becomes another fine addition to the recent collection of hard mixed routes on the Ben – and is probably one of the trickiest… More photos at highlandguides.com