Tuesday, April 30, 2013

White Mounth Traverse

Another ski tour on Lochnagar last Saturday for John and Ann. We got dropped off in Glen Muick and skied over to Invercauld. Got the skis on much lower down than we thought and had a good ski up on the healthy dusting of fresh from the night before. Some of the upper slopes had suffered from wind and sun, but it was still good touring cover. We went over onto Carn a Choire Bhoidheach and down by the side of The Stuic. Really nice snow on the descent, quite a lot of powder in places. We got down to within 10 mins of the pony shed, then packed out.
Threading a route up

Lochnagar from Cuidhe Crom

Across the Mounth

Going down...

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Well the Winter That Keeps On Giving gave another superb day's ski touring on Lochnagar on Saturday. An early (ish) start got us to Glen Muick by 8.30 where we were greeted by the unexpected sight of veteran AMC member Denis wandering around the almost empty car park. Turned out that in addition to the official club meet to Dundonnell this weekend there was also an outing of the Camper Van Section, who we generally asleep in the upper car park. 
We headed out on the normal route and for the first time saw an avalanche warning for the path around the loch! Skis went on just after the woods and the ascent to the bealach between Little Pap and Cuidhe Crom was straightforward with just a dusting of fresh on a firm base. Even the normally boulders slope above that was easy as everying high up was plastered. It really wasn't like skiing in Scotland - blue sky, warm sun and fantastic snow.
Starting the ascent
Looking SW from Cuidhe Crom

Lochnagar (R) and The Stuic (L)
Top of Black Spout left branch
Around on the summit we met another AMC-er, Austin, who was enthusiastically snow-shooing about the place. After a leisurely lunch it was fun time. First a cracking descent down towards Glas Allt Sheil, stopping as the glen flattened out. Then skins back on and up to join our ascent route N of Little Pap. Another great descent right down through the woods and with a bit of creative heather-hopping back to the bridge over the River Muick. Only down side was I forgot the camera so these shots are from the phone.
Skining back up towards Little Pap

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Easter

Not being organised enough to get away on the Thursday we were restricted to doing something further east on Friday. The choice was a Cairngorm ski tour that started well in clear sunny conditions but the cloud rolled in as we got to the plateau. Not fancying a navigational test we bailed on the plan to go th Macdui and stuck to the round of the Northern Corries. Great descent off Cairn Lochan but the snow in Lurchers was a bit slabby.
On the way up Cairngorm
Cornices on Cairn Lochan

Ann carving a nice set of teles

We then headed west to camp at Roy Bridge in a chilly -6. Saturday was stunning and we headed off west to the edge of Knoydart for Spidean Mialach and Gleouraich above Loch Quoich. Great day out with fantastic views.

Spidean Mialach
Gleouraich from Spidean Mialach
Another similarly chilly night in the tent got us to Sunday and a big day out; The Ben by the CMD arete. The slog up Carn Mor Dearg wasn't too bad and the arete was almost easier than in summer – just a snowy knife edge about the width of two feet for the most part. The consequnces of a slip would have been worse than summer though, with pretty hard snow on both sides, a fact happily ignored by the woman we met wandering along in a pair of yak trax and no axe!

North Face of The Ben

Heading off onto the CMD arete

On the arete

The final night was a balmy -2 and we were fortified by a fine bar supper. On Monday we fancied something a bit easier so went for the half day of the Corbett of Beinn Bhan south of Loch Arkaig. Not all that interesting in itself but a cracking viewpoint.
Cold and windy on Beinn Bhan