Thursday, 5 January 2012


East ridges of Beinn a' Chaorainn
Spot the climbers on the East ridge
Looking East to Creag Meagaidh
The Upper East Corrie before the showers and cloud
What a big difference a bit of sun makes, I was beginning to think we we're stuck with cloud and high winds for the rest of the winter! Today we had some excellent sunny spells inbetween short, sharp snow showers. I took the wonderful and under used West Highland Line train to Tulloch and set off from Roughburn (only a short walk from the train station) through the forestry tracks and onto the Eastern side of Beinn a' Chaorainn. I was surprised at the amount of snow still lying on the forestry tracks which are at a lowely 300m. Hard work all the way from here. I was contemplating heading onto Creag Meagaidh but because of so much deep, unconsolidated snow I decided on the beautiful and closer Beinn a' Chaorainn's East ridge. There are  two ridges running down from the summit area, the most well known and popular being the graded climb which finishes right on the highest summit but I chose the one to the south which finishes on the slightly lower 1049m summit. This is only a steepish hillwalk and I would think hardly ever sees any traffic, the beauty is you get cracking views over to the more popular ridge. Today I timed it perfectly for the sun came out just at the right locations, looking across to two party's of climbers heading up. The  snow was hard going and the winds were whipping up spindrift as well as a few snow showers. The plateau has huge cornices. By the time I got to the top the cloud and showers had set in, a quick decent on the West side and the snow was much better, wind scoured and even some neve. I made it back for the 3.38pm train with just a few minutes to spare, well timed! A great day out.

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