Sgairneach Mhor

John and I were out today with a Falkirk Outdoors Mountaineering Team of John, Kim, Linda, Olesya, Roddy and Sara. It was programmed for a route in Glen Coe, but conditions and forecasts meant we headed for Sgairneach Mhor near Drumochter instead. There are a number of small crags and gullies in Coire Creagach, most of which have been climbed by Davy Virdee and pals and we gambled that this coire would have held snow and the turf would be frozen.

Sara, Linda and John S on a variation to Lost Chock Gully.

This worked well with us climbing the Grade II Burn’s Supper before taking in the summit. We then descended Easy Gully with lowers/abs off a snow bollard to pass the steep collapsed cornice. Then John and team climbed Lost Chock Gully (Grade III) and my team climbed a variation to the right at Grade III. Additionally, Kenny hitched a ride in the bus and headed out for an enjoyable hill day.

Summit photo.

There was old snow from the bottom of the coire. This had generally refrozen well, but there was the odd soft spot. The cornices had collapsed during the thaw, which meant gully top outs were steep, but on firm refrozen snow. Turf was well frozen except where it was taking drainage. Ice was forming in the coire. There was ice from the road up this morning. It snowed lightly, but steadily on a mostly south-easterly wind for much of the day with snow settling at road level as we left and accumulating in sheltered locations higher up.