VIDEO: Jimmy Marshall, King of the Ben
Dave MacLeod and Andy Turner have repeated the infamous week back in 1960 during which Jimmy Marshall and Robin Smith rampaged across Ben Nevis, leaving behind them a string of now absolute classic routes.
The routes (all first ascents except Point 5, which was a second ascent) that were climbed by Marshall and Smith were:
- The Great Chimney (IV,5) 6th February 1960
- Minus Three Gully (IV,5) 7th February 1960
- Smith's Route (V,5) 8th February 1960
- Observatory Buttress (V,4) 9th February 1960
- Point Five Gully (V,5) 10th February 1960
- Piggot's Route (V,6) 12th February 1960
- Orion Direct (V,5) 13th February 1960
Paul Diffley of Hotaches Productions filmed MacLeod and Turner as they enjoyed a gruelling week up on the Ben based in the CIC hut:
"I was filming the close up angle from rope and cameraman Guy Heaton was filming the long shots. It was funny to see Guy walking out of the CIC hut with a one of the hut chairs strapped to his pack!" Paul commented.
"I climbed over the cornice onto the summit plateau with my calf muscles burning to be greeted by bright sunshine and the most wonderful views of the highlands in winter."
The pair of top winter climbers also tried their hand at step cutting, using old ice axes, but the highlight for Paul Diffley was Point 5 Gully - see photo on the right.
"I think the day we filmed Point Five Gully was the best day's filming I've ever had. The Ben was in lovely condition and the light was beautiful.
I climbed over the cornice onto the summit plateau with my calf muscles burning to be greeted by bright sunshine and the most wonderful views of the highlands in winter. The combination of the adrenalin and endorphins from the climb, combined with the magnificent views and the knowledge that I'd just shot some really nice footage gave me a high that lasted all night.
I am planning on producing a full length film of the week combined with interviews from Jimmy Marshal and other climbers active at the time. This will be released in autumn 2010. Working Title, 'A Week On The Ben'."