by Mick Ryan Ed Thatcher on Point Five, Ben Nevis With the winter weather picking up there are lots of weather and conditions reports down the Winter Climbing forums at UKClimbing.com and it makes sense to keep your eye on them. If you are out on the hill with pointy things on your boots and strapped (or leashless) to your hands please consider posting a trip report at the Winter Climbing forums. This just in from Dan Bailey (author of the recent and very popular Aonach Eagach feature, click here to read it) who was up on Ben Nevis yesterday (Wednesday 7th February) “Conditions very good if you go up high. By no means all routes are in,but some certainly are. Pretty much all the snow on the mountain is bomberneve, and a reasonable amount of ice around too, but not on the lowerroutes. A pal did Smith´s Route a couple of days ago and said it´s good. We wereon Comb Gully yesterday which was in perfect neve nick from top to bottom, first time placements every time; I doubt any of the screws were that secure, but you´d have to have been trying hard to actually come off!The usual easy gullies looked to be getting many ascents/descents;Raeburn´s Easy Route looked very good (and popular); several teams moving well on Tower Ridge; Ledge Route definitely worthwhile; plenty of folk heading further up from the hut towards Indicator Wall and some perhaps toLittle Brenva – In the present condition I´d say both of these would be an excellent bet. Weather yesterday was stunning – hardly a breath of windon the route, cold in the shade but still comfortable to belay, bright sunshine, clear blue sky and views to Rum and Skye. I´ve not checked a weather forecast, but I´d say that if (big IF?) itholds OK up north it´d be worth dropping everything. That might all havechanged by now though!” Thanks Dan. Dan has another feature about a classic Scottish winter route up at UKClimbing.com next week. Also check this thread out started by Rob Jarvis that also includes first hand reports of Ben Nevis conditions.