West and East

I’ve spent the last four days with Alex and Doug trying to work with the weather rather than against it. We met at the Corran Ferry on Thursday and headed out to Ardnamurchan hoping this would stay under the forecast weather. We climbed the West Flanks of Creag an Airgid and Meall Sanna, both giving good scrambling/easy climbing on rough gabbro buttresses and slabs. We avoided the rain, there was some wet rock but plenty of friction even when wet.

The summit of Creag an Airgid.

The forecast for Friday morning was very wet and windy, so we had a deliberate late start and walked in to the CIC Hut in the afternoon before climbing and descending a soggy East Gully of the Douglas Gap as things started to cool down late afternoon. Friday night saw temperatures drop and some fresh snow. We had a great day on Saturday climbing North Gully, Creag Coire na Ciste, heading over the summit of Ben Nevis and down and along the Carn Mor Dearg Arete.  Bigger gully features that had held snow had firmed up well. Ice was starting to reform above 700m, fresh wind slab was forming on westerly winds.

Doug and Alex on North Gully.

Today we needed a short day and headed east to the Cairngorms to get away from the worst of the weather. We scrambled a couple of the winter lines in Creag na h-Iolaire in summer conditions; I would not recommend this as there is a lot of very loose rock. There were snow/hail showers down to around 600m on a strong westerly, but these were only settling above about 850m.

Pinnacle Ridge, Garbh Bheinn

John, Duncan, Isobel, Roz, Sarah, Tim and I took the Corran Ferry across to Ardgour yesterday (Thursday) and climbed Pinnacle Ridge on Garbh Bheinn. This was part of a Falkirk Community Trust scrambling day.

Tim and Duncan enjoying the ridge

Tim and Duncan enjoying the ridge

The is a great route on good gneiss. It’s at the top end of scrambling with some of the moves on the first steep buttress feeling hard for the Moderate grade it gets in the climbing guidebook.

Jon, Sarah, Isobel and Roz on one of the narrower sections

Jon, Sarah, Isobel and Roz on one of the narrower sections

We had showers on the walk in and up most of the ridge. However, the cloud cleared near the summit and for the walk off down Sron a’Gharbh Choire Bhig giving excellent views out to Eigg and Rum and down to Mull.

Sarah, Roz and Isobel at the top of the ridge

Sarah, Roz and Isobel at the top of the ridge