UPDATE July 2015: Ken and Hannah are now running Scottish walking, mountaineering and climbing courses for West Coast Mountain Guides.
Today I was out with Trish, James & Mike, who are up for a couple of days of winter mountaineering. Yesterday and overnight, we had far more snow, and down to lower levels than expected, so we made use of the lifts at Aonach Mor to then gain the West Face. Immediately on leaving the top station, we were wading through waist deeps snow, but fortunately there was enough exposed ground to allow us to make steady progress round to the Summit Ribs. I wouldn’t say it was easy breaking trail though!
We did notice a number of cracks propagating as we made our way up to Golden Oldy, suggesting that the avalanche hazard was a bit higher than the ‘low on westerly aspects at all heights’ forecasted. There had also clearly been a significant amount of cross-loading taking place, as the gullies were quite full, and there were cornices present on the ridge.
The route itself was again buried, but the trio enjoyed it and we made good progress to the summit of Aonach Mor.