Sunday, 23 August 2015

North Face Surveying

Jenny the geologist about to do an exciting abseil to have a look at some interesting contacts 
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to be involved in this years North Face survey. The North Face survey is a detailed botanical and geological survey of the North Face of Ben Nevis. This opportunity arose through my work with the John Muir Trust who own a fair bit of Ben Nevis. The first part of the survey took place last summer, and a nice little film about it was made by Dave McLeod and can be found here. The third and final part of the survey will take place next summer.

My role, was to work with Mike Pescod and his team to moutaineers to help get the botany and geology experts into the places they wanted to investigate, and help keep them safe.  This involved scrambling or abseiling into some interesting parts of the Ben, places that I would never otherwise would have visited, particularly in summer. It was great being on the Ben with these experts, they pointed out how all the rock told stories, or could say so much about the plants and ecosystems living up there. In summary what I learned was that the geology of the Ben is more complex and less well understood than I had thought, and I can now just about recognise the difference between the rare and common flowers that you get up there. I hope to get the chance to be involved again next summer. 

A starry saxifrage.  I did find some much rarer flowers, but the pictures I took of them did not come out. 

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