On Sunday February 10, Tony Stone and Iain Small solved another ‘last great problem’ on Ben Nevis by climbing the three-pitch overhanging corner-line between Fat Boy Slim and Rogue’s Rib on Secondary Tower Ridge.
“In total contrast to the balmy calm of the Gorms the day before, there was a lot of snow being blown around, so we lingered in the Hut for longer than was reasonable for supposedly keen climbers, “ Iain told me. “I thought the route would be on the sheltered side but the wind just turned itself around and blew up the crag instead.
The route was pretty bold and delicate for the first two pitches, and Tony really pushed the comfort levels on the first pitch , even though he appeared consummately in control throughout. (Now I know Simon, why you sometimes just can’t watch when there’s not much gear going in). The final long pitch up the prominent groove should have provided a more relaxing finale for Tony but he was battling a migraine by that point and admitted later that he could barely think straight enough to put the belay together when he got to the top.
Back at the Hut we got some medication so Tony could face the walk down. We reckoned on VIII 7/8 for the route, never really technical, but a lot of delicate bold climbing on a pretty tough day out.”