Glen Coe

I’m just back from three fairly wild days based at Lagangarbh with a Falkirk Outdoors Mountaineering and High Tops Trip. On Wednesday Gillian, Linda, Neil and I ascended a soggy Zig-Zags (crampons not required). Whilst Craig, Mike and Wilson traversed Beinn a’Chrulaiste. On Tuesday the mountaineers adjourned to The Ice Factor for some indoor rock and ice climbing, whilst the walkers took in The Pap of Glencoe and Sgorr nam Fiannaidh. Today the mountaineers made up a couple of routes high on the west face of Gearr Aonach including one, which had an interesting tight through route; meanwhile the walkers visited Beinn Bhan above Ballachulish before deciding the weather was unpleasant enough to make for a short day.

The mountaineering team on the Gearr Aonach ridge today with Beinn Fhada behind.

The weather gave significant precipitation on all three days. The freezing level went above the summits on Thursday on a southerly wind and then dropped down to around 600m today with the wind becoming westerly. We only reached circa 700m today, but there was considerable accumulation of fresh wind blown snow at this level. The snow at this height was moist and will firm up with colder temperatures. There are more photos on The ClimbNow Facebook page.

Kintail and Affric

Ivor, Cameron and I spent the last two days in Kintail and Affric. On Tuesday we started from Glen Croe and after walking up the good stalkers path to Bealach an Sgairne climbed A’Ghlas-bheinn and Beinn Fhada (Ben Attow) before descending it’s long East ridge over Sgurr a’Dubh Coire and then out to the excellent, cosy and remote Glen Affric Youth Hostel at Alltbeithe.

Cameron and me with Bheinn Fhada behind. Photo Credit: Ivor McCourt.

Cameron and me with Bheinn Fhada behind. Photo Credit: Ivor McCourt.

After spending the night at the Hostel we headed north and up to An Socach. We returned along the ridge over Stob Coire nan Dearcag and then dropped steeply north to traverse the coire and gain the ridge out to Mullach na Dheiragain. The ridge to this very remote Munro gave excellent walking both out and back before a stiff climb up to Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and an airy section out to it’s West top. From there we dropped down to gain the path back over Bealach an Sgairne to return to our starting point of the previous day.

Cameron and Ivor in less pleasant conditions on Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan.

Cameron and Ivor in less pleasant conditions on Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan.

The reclusive hills in this area are steep sided with long ridges and give superb walking and views. On Tuesday we had clear weather for much of the day and the Skye Cuillin and Torridon hills were prominent in the distance. Wednesday it rained for most of the morning and we were in cloud for large parts of the day, however the ground was still relatively dry underfoot for walking.