Visiting climbers Ines Papert and Charly Fritzer visited Ben Nevis with Dave MacLeod on January 28. After weighing up various new route options, they decided to try a new line based on the rarely climbed summer HVS Rolling Stones on the east side of Tower Ridge.
The result was Triple X (VIII,8), which starts with a tricky bulge followed by a bold right-tending traverse (led by Charly) before climbing a thinly iced slab on the second pitch (with Ines in the lead). The route then joined Faith Healer (VIII,7) that was climbed by Iain Small and Ian Parnell last January. MacLeod took the ropes on this shared third pitch, which follows a steep poorly protected corner which Parnell had described as “not a married man’s pitch.”
Conditions have been very good on Ben Nevis over the last few days, but even so, this was a well timed ascent of an icy mixed route that had been on the list of several Nevis regulars.