It's that time of year again when Autumn weather can very easily slip into Winter weather. A change in air airmass positioning vastly influences temperatures on the mountains. Today the temperatures on the high mountains were below freezing. I am over in the West next few days. Today it was Ledge Route. The finest Grade 1 scramble in the British Isles.
A lovely chilly morning with low cloud at Torlundy. Once out of the tree line from the North Face carpark it was clear. Down in Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe there was a lingering layer of cloud. Quite beautiful. The Ben was almost clear and a fine morning to be out with zero wind.
The walk up beside the Allt a' Mhuillin to the CIC Hut is always a stunning, beautiful and easy walk before the fun on steep ground begins. The clouds behaved themselves and some cracking views. The only folk around were two runners coming back down on the path. It seemed like I had the entire North Face of the Ben to myself!
From below, Ledge Route looks difficult. It is, in fact, very easy and not rock climbing! It weaves it's way up throught the massive rock buttresses around Carn Dearg. Hence its name, Ledge. I just got to the narrow ridge section when the first snow shower arrived. Visability was still good and the views out to the NW were stunning with the cloud layer still sitting in the Great Glen.
It was very atmospheric and great to see and feel snow falling. I was carrying axe and crampons as well as wearing my winter boots but no winter gear required, will be a different story tomorrow I would think. Snow forecast tomorrow and low temperatures. But for now it was just pretty snow!
I had reached the top by 11am, quick descent down the Pony Track and the sun popped out for an hour. Sitting in the sunshine having lunch and it was lovely. Another heavy shower with hail at 500m came in on the walk down to the NF carpark. More snow to come. Bring it on!