Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Saturday, 29 November 2008

Alpine Scotland from Ben Lawers, 29th November 2008

Almost alpine conditions across Scotland today, as myself and the Gunner (Stevie), took a trip up Ben Lawers, see map, our first "proper" winter day out this year. After a testing drive up towards the Lawers Visitor Centre, and some time spent helping a couple of drivers stuck in the snow, we finally set off for Beinn Ghlas. Until we stopped at it's summit, we broke the trail for the (only) eight or so people that followed. From then on, we let another older but sadly fitter chap lead the way! We had hoped to maybe find some grade I/II gullies in Beinn Ghlas's eastern corries to run through some simple ropework. However as there was so much fresh snow around, easily up to three or four feet in some drifts, we decided against it and went for Lawers summit instead.

As the clouds cleared, we got to see the summit of Ben Lawers from the ridge betweeen it and Beinn Ghlas.

The southern buttress's of Ben Lawers covered in fresh snow.

On the final slopes up to the summit with Beinn Ghlas in the backgound and the Tarmachans to the right.

The summit with it's first visitor of the day enjoying his lunch!

Ben Nevis and the CMD covered in snow, and sunshine!

360 view from Ben Lawers summit; snow as far as the eye can see!

Stevie enjoying the afternoon sun on the descent .

Watching the sun set over Stob Binnein and Ben More as we headed back to the visitor centre car park.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Sgor na h-ulaidh, 16th November, 2008

Another fine summer's (?) day in the Highlands, so myself the Colonel, and the Gunner visited Glencoe to bag Sgor na h-ulaidh 994m, the Colonel's 216th munro. There is a small parking area at 121564 (approx) on the A82, about 200m from the landrover track heading south following the Alt na Muidhe and onto Sgor na h-ulaidh. See map.

Ahead of the Highland Cattle lies the route myself and the gunner took; Aonach Dubh a' Ghlinne which after quite a steep climb leads onto a broad rocky ridge. Cameron McNiesh's book says to climb the shoulder, but we took a route up south easterly from the cottages at Gleann-leac-na-muidhe, and then traversed east onto the shoulder, which was still pretty steep and would've been a nightmare in loose wer snow. The Colonel took the more normal route, following the path by the Allt na Muidhe to ascend SE onto the N ridge of Stob an Fhuarain where we met him again!

As we climber higher, we got a great view across the glecn of the Aonach Eagach ridge with a dusting of snow on the pinnacles.

From the top of Stob an Fhuarain at 968m looking across to Sgor na h-Ulaidh. What little snow there was proved to be trickier than it looks. From the bealach between the two. there is a slightly scrambly approach, made harder with verglassed rock and frozen snow! Despite leaving axe and crampons in the car, I used the steps in the central band of snow to reach the summit ridge where you pass what looks like a cracking grade I/II winter gully?
The Colonel on the sumit of Sgor na h-Ulaidh with the Ben in the far distance (?)
Looking back on our route to Stob an Fhuarain, with the Bidean range in the background. Myself in regulation silly hat enjoying a cup of tea on the summit of Sgor na h-Ulaidh.

The Colonel, myself and the Gunner on Stob an Fhuarain, before heading NW down to the Allt na Muidhe and back to the car (and The Clachaig Inn).

From Stob an Fhuarain, looking SE into Glen Etive and Loch Etive.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Creag Mhor, 2nd November, 2009

Well at last the, the summer's day we've been waiting for!
Myself and John (The Colonel), went to Glen Lochay near Killin to "bag" Creag Mhor, 1047m, making his total so far, 215!

After the first false summit comes the real summit and the first real hint of any recognisable path. Various Munro books describe Creag Mhor as having steep, grassy slopes, which it certainly does! Add some unconsolidated wet snow and it becomes hard work. Any "scrambly" options between various small rocky outcrops were no good as there was plenty of ice around. I would imagine early season climber would've been out in force further north if conditions here were anything to go by.

Great views of Ben More and Stob Binnein. As soon as they get more consolidated snow, they will make a great training slog!

John on the summit of Creag Mhor, with Ben Lui in the background.

Enjoying a cup of tea, with Ben Nevis to the right in the far distance (I think?).

360 degree view from the summit.