Following a fun festive period, during which I, along with many, many others, probably ate too much, Han and I battled with the torrential rain, and arrived back in Fort William yesterday. Fortunately, the temperature cooled down overnight (it was a balmy 50C on Aonach Mor yesterday), and the rain finally eased off at 8:12am this morning, just as I was making my way out to meet Jason and Kay, for day one of a two day winter mountaineering weekend, for Ryan Glass Mountaineering.
With considerable avalanche risk on all the leeward slopes above 900m, and with the windward slopes having been hit hard by warm, wet air, it made sense to choose a ridge, so we ventured east to Beinn a’Chaorainn (Peak of the Rowan Tree), and it’s grade I/II East Ridge, and it was great! The lower sections of the ridge were largely snow free, but from about 850m up, we donned crampons and encountered some reasonable snow (bit soft in places, but firming up as the freezing level dropped throughout the day). After a quick photo on the summit, we looked at navigational techniques required to safely reach the southern summit (don’t walk in a straight line on a single bearing!), before descending the southern ridge, being rewarded with great views up and down Loch Laggan and made it back to the car with the last slither of daylight.