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Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)


Postby frsrgrdn2 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:01 pm

Route description: Aonach Eagach

Munros included on this walk: Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach), Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)

Date walked: 21/10/2020

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 13.9 km

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This is a honest report for Munro Baggers only. This route is abject terror. It is incredibly dangerous from beginning to end. Bag both Munros separately without the 'scrambling' DO NOT attempt the Aonach Eagagh ridge unless your an accomplished climber / free climber. We made the mistake of trying this today 21st October in the rain :( , reached the pinnacles and had to back out as the moves were extreme. We retraced our steps up and down CLIFFS , 'chimneys' , ledges with 100 foot drops or even more as we were in the clouds and could not see the end of many drops. On our knees in many parts, sliding down on our posteriors , having to pass our down our rucksacks and using our rucksacks to pull each other up trickier parts. To cut a long story short, if your just want to bag the two Munros do them separately and take the NO scrambling (rock climbing) route. Unless you want to star in your own Cliffhanger film and are Sylvester Stallone. Be safe it is not worth it !
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby prog99 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:04 pm

We made the mistake of trying this today 21st October in the rain

Well there you go, return in the dry. The rest of your post is full of sweeping generalisations that wouldn't be out of place in the Daily Mail.
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby hull1270 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:48 pm

Please do not be put off from doing this super route by this sensationalist and biased report. Done in good weather the Aonach Eagach ridge is a grade 2 scramble so do-able for any reasonably competent scrambler.
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby Colin1951 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:44 pm

AE is as pointed out by hull1270, a grade 2 scramble. I think that means that some folk might be reassured by the use of a rope. Personally, I’ve always found it exposed but not technical.If you jump off it’ll be very sore, but pay attention to where you put your hands and feet and the reward is fantastic.
So don’t be put off, wait for a dry day (it’s definitely easier in the dry!) and better still go with someone who’s done it before. Enjoy it better next time!
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby JimboJim » Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:06 pm

If you started east to west, made it to the pinnacles, then returned over Am Bodach, I think you did amazingly well, especially daring to do it at this time of year, in the wet!
As someone who gets pretty nervous near the airy stuff, I know where you are coming from, but it sounds like you might just needed a bit better planning, experience, or guide to give you more confidence. On another day, another ridge you might wonder what the fuss is.
Keep at it!
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby Moriarty » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:41 pm

Reinforces the fact that walkers/scramblers/climbers need to find their own comfort zone to guide their route choices.

Too often people ask on social media/forums if they will be able to do something and are met with lots of encouragement to "go for it" from people who know nothing of them.

Conversely, your strong warning that only "accomplished climber / free climber"s should tackle it isn't accurate or helpful - this was your experience, many other hillwalkers have had a completely different experience of the route.

Full marks for trying. Full marks for safely retreating. Full marks for reporting that experience. Work to be done on the generalisation of a personal experience. :wink:
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby Skyelines » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:07 pm

Years ago when I climbed a bit we had a single word to convey what we thought of a particular route that we found a little harder than expected, or a bit more exposed than expected or maybe a little bit scary.

It was always "interesting" and everyone knew that we were on the edge of our comfort zone.
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby Royster23 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:10 am

prog99 wrote:
We made the mistake of trying this today 21st October in the rain

Well there you go, return in the dry. The rest of your post is full of sweeping generalisations that wouldn't be out of place in the Daily Mail.

Seems quite an honest report of someones experience of a very dangerous place, even when care is taken!
Yes, its a very different experience when rocks are wet, which is why this report should be considered before tackling this ridge! Not to be messed about with when you want to "bag a munro", which i think is the guys point!
I must confess i have not tackled the ridge, but i will not! I have seen enough footage of others traversing the ridge to know, it is not for me . I will take the advice and do both munros from either end and leave the ridge for the accomplished, the nutters, and readers of the Guardian!
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby dav2930 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:24 pm

Royster23 wrote:
prog99 wrote:
We made the mistake of trying this today 21st October in the rain

Well there you go, return in the dry. The rest of your post is full of sweeping generalisations that wouldn't be out of place in the Daily Mail.

Seems quite an honest report of someones experience of a very dangerous place, even when care is taken!
Yes, its a very different experience when rocks are wet, which is why this report should be considered before tackling this ridge! Not to be messed about with when you want to "bag a munro", which i think is the guys point!
I must confess i have not tackled the ridge, but i will not! I have seen enough footage of others traversing the ridge to know, it is not for me . I will take the advice and do both munros from either end and leave the ridge for the accomplished, the nutters, and readers of the Guardian!

In so far as it describes someone's personal experience of AE, it is indeed an honest report, and the OP is to be commended for that. But the report doesn't confine itself to describing a personal experience. It asserts almost authoritarian judgements about how other people should regard the ridge. The OP might benefit from reflection on whether or not he/she is in a position of authority on this matter.

Anyone who entertains the idea of tackling the AE traverse should be aware that it's classified as a grade 2 scramble (in summer conditions). They would therefore do well to consider what previous experience they have of grade 2 scrambles (or indeed of grade 1 scrambles). The grading system for scrambles is there to give people an idea of what to expect. If someone has very little experience of graded scrambling then perhaps they should ask themselves whether it is sensible to tackle a grade 2 scramble in poor conditions in October. If they do so and find themselves outside their comfort zone, perhaps a little self-criticism regarding judgement skills would be more appropriate and helpful than to condemn the route itself as being unjustifiably dangerous for all but "accomplished climbers". Such a judgement is inaccurate and misleading to others, as is your own assertion that the AE ridge is "a very dangerous place, even when care is taken". The relevant care would include ensuring you have previous experience of grade 2 (or at least grade 1) scrambling, and that the conditions are compatible with your level of experience.
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby Royster23 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:22 am

OK Cheif, for one I think I'll stand by my point and the authors point of the orignal post. He is trying to make it clear that in wet conditions, he found it terrifying! And he's previously bagged 70 munros in all conditions. I think that is a vital bit of information to conflict most walk reports of this ridge, which in my opinion, underestimate its difficulty. Walkthehighlands is the name, for some people, grade whatever scrambling is not the game, its bagging munros. So for the novice and less educated than your good self, these walks need to be documented from different views on how they they found it. This surely gives the next novice an idea of what they could be facing, which is Not a walk in the highlands! And hopefully not a rescue helicopter. Curved ridge on Beuchaille Etive Mor is not adopted by walkthehighlands for obvious reasons, Aonach Eagach is not much less of a risk, No??
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby Bonzo » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:47 am

I've done the Aonach Eagach on three occasions - twice in dry conditions and once after a heavy shower that left the rock in a horrible greasy state. I can safely say that the experience when the rock was greasy was far worse than when in the dry.

Interestingly I was the only person on the ridge when I walked in the wet which probably didn't help matters.
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Re: Aonach Eagach E-West defeated by Pinnacles (pure FEAR)

Postby dav2930 » Tue Oct 27, 2020 11:05 am

Royster23 wrote:OK Cheif, for one I think I'll stand by my point and the authors point of the orignal post. He is trying to make it clear that in wet conditions, he found it terrifying! And he's previously bagged 70 munros in all conditions. I think that is a vital bit of information to conflict most walk reports of this ridge, which in my opinion, underestimate its difficulty. Walkthehighlands is the name, for some people, grade whatever scrambling is not the game, its bagging munros. So for the novice and less educated than your good self, these walks need to be documented from different views on how they they found it. This surely gives the next novice an idea of what they could be facing, which is Not a walk in the highlands! And hopefully not a rescue helicopter. Curved ridge on Beuchaille Etive Mor is not adopted by walkthehighlands for obvious reasons, Aonach Eagach is not much less of a risk, No??


Yes, the OP has succeeded in making it clear that, in the conditions, he found it terrifying. That is commendable honesty, and as you say, there is value in hearing personal views of how people find a particular route in particular conditions. But does that personal perspective justify a categorical judgement that no ordinary Munro Bagger should attempt the AE ridge even in favourable conditions? The question that remains unanswered is whether the poster would have completed the traverse with some enjoyment and a sense of achievement in dry, summer conditions. The fact that he got as far as he did suggests to me that he may well have done. Giving orders to other Munro baggers like "DO NOT attempt the Aonach [Eagach] unless you are an accomplished climber / free climber" is uncalled for, when what are really at issue are the conditions / time of year in which the traverse was attempted and the judgement / experience / skill levels of the poster himself.

Bear in mind that in hill walking as well as other mountaineering activities, the participant is responsible for his/her own decisions, actions and judgement. The Walkhighlands site caters for people who aspire to compleat the Munros, as well as those who are content with gentler walks at lower levels. To compleat the Munros means bagging all the Munros including those in the Cuillin of Skye, some of which are more difficult, exposed and potentially dangerous than anything on the AE traverse. Hence, many ordinary Munro Baggers who are not accomplished climbers may justifiably consider the AE traverse to be good and sensible practice for the more demanding challenges they'll have to face in the Cuillin in order to achieve completion.
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