Myself and two others tackled this hill from the Glen Nevis side as a single as my colleagues had already completed Stob Ban, Stob Choire Claurigh and Stob Coire an Laoigh from Spean Bridge. I still have these to do.
It was a nice crisp sunny winters day with plenty of snow and ice up top and was the perfect opportunity for me to try out my new Black Diamond crampons which Santa kindly left for me under our tree!
We set off from the car park and walked along one of my favourite area's, the Nevis Gorge. I am always blown away with this approach and enjoy the view and the noise of the water when in full flow.
There was another group of four (five if you include their dog) who left the car park about half an hour before us. We could see them away in the distance as we were approaching Sgurr Choinnich Beag. I managed to get the top of Sgurr Choinnich Beag about ten mins or so before my two walking buddies so took the opportunity for a quick cup of coffee and a piece. There was a lot of cloud about now in and out of the sun and I saw a broken spectre for the first time!
I could also hear a helicopter very nearby. It seemed to be circling us although we could not see for the cloud. For about five or ten mins it seemed to be all around us then there was a break in the cloud and you could see something happening the short distance away over on the ridge at Sgurr Choinnich Mor. We thought at first it must have been a training exercise but then when we were descending down to the col to begin our final push for the summit, we spotted only three people and a dog descending from the summit.
Our paths crossed and it turned out it was the lad who fell 1000 ft down the ridge and went on recently to summit Mount Everest! (a quick google search reminded me his name was Adam Potter). It was two couples and a dog that had been out and his partner was obviously still is a state of shock as I guess they all were.
It was very slippy underfoot with fresh snow on top of the harder iced stuff and I was glad we all decided to put our crampons on coming down the to the col.
Undeterred, we made our way up to the top and headed back down again, following our tracks back to the col then made our way back to the path in Glen Nevis and back to the car park.
Every now and again something happens that reminds you how dangerous the hills can be especially during the winter months and no matter how prepared you are it just takes a split second for something to happen.
(Glad to hear the lad made a speedy recovery and successfully completed Everst. What an achievement!)
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.