walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

aonach eagach, a winter traversse

aonach eagach, a winter traversse


Postby mgmt! » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:09 am

Route description: Aonach Eagach

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

Date walked: 18/12/2011

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 6 km

Ascent: 914m

31 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

my original plan was for some winter climbing in stob coie nan lochan with some members of the lomond mountaineering club. we met at the car park at 9 30, burly and ben were climbing the day before and said most of the routes were banked out ! climbing talk for too much snow. so harry suggested the aonach eagach ? too right i said this has been on my to do list for a number of years. me being the least experienced of the group became rope boy, that means i get to lug the rope up :( .
PC180017.JPG
half moon above stob coire nan lochan
there seemed to be some people in front of us as there was fresh footprints, a joy that someone else has broke the trail.
PC180019.JPG
view west down glencoe

the sun was out views all around were spectacular as we continued up steeply towards am bodach.
PC180020.JPG
sun out on the ascent

this is a really steep start to any walk and i was glad to see the final approach to am bodach
PC180021.JPG
final approach

we stopped at the top to don crampons, helmets and harnesses, a single technical axe was the weapons of choice. we start walking westward towards the start of the ridge, sun still out and excitement building.
PC180023.JPG
1st look along the ridge

the going was good, soft snow and the way ahead marked out by the people who were ahead of us, but we hadnt seen them yet. it wasnt long before we came to our first akward bit, a difficult down climb, but a sling had been left in situe, so we abseiled down, i felt we were now getting into it.
PC180026.JPG
1st abseil
PC180027.JPG
im really enjoying this

we continued along toward meall dearg we could see a front heading our way
PC180029.JPG
grey skies

harry was leading the way, he is very experieced and no slouch speed wise either, he seems to glide up rock and ice with ease
PC180031.JPG
harry leading the way

it wasnt long before we reached the summit of the first munro of the day meall dearg
PC180032.JPG
final approach to meall dearg

after meall dearg, things start to really hot up, lots of ascents and descents and of coarse the pinnicles, to make matters worse the clag came down and we had a few snow showers to contend with.
PC180033.JPG
hotting up
PC180035.JPG
clagging up

the ridge now becomes well definned, in some places no more then a few feet wide, and maybe the clag hid some of the exposure on either side.
PC180036.JPG
dont look ( or fall ) down

it was around here we met the couple who were in front, a man and wife couple from kinlochleven, we overtook them and broke the trail for them, wasnt long before the next tricky section, the pinnicles .ben is a rock climber and asked we get the rope out again, so out came the rope as we tackle a few tricky steps.
PC180037.JPG
tricky section

it seemed now to be quite challenging, the soft snow giving way and ice axe placements few and far between. downclimbing was especially difficult and another abseil was set up.
PC180038.JPG
another abseil

it was now full on, narrowing ridges, soft snow, steep climbs and harry like a mountain goat, makes it look so easy. the next bit was pure squeeky bum material, a difficult downclimb to a snow ledge a foot wide with a 10 metre steep ascent up soft snow and rock. i solo,ed it behind harry, ben and the lady ( who ha caught us up ) wanted the safety of the rope back up.
PC180039.JPG
squeeky bum bit

but it just kept coming, another pinniclem another ascent
PC180040.JPG
how do we get up that ?

harry kept taking about a little arete he remembered, ah here it is he says as he dances over it, the rest of us taking care of feet placements and more slowly.
PC180041.JPG
harry on the aret
PC180042.JPG
ben and burly on the arete

that was the hard stuff over and we soon reached stob coire leith, the snow was extremly deep here but we new the end was in sight, although we couldnt see it. we stopped at the coll before the final rise to sgorr nam fiannaidh for a drink. 200 odd metres of ascent later and we were on the summit.
PC180044.JPG
one contented chappie at the end
PC180045.JPG
ben and burly aproaching the summit
PC180046.JPG
the four summiteers

we descended straight of the summit in a southerly direction, taking care in the steep snow, there were enough rocks visable through the snow but care was needed as the slopes were very steep. in no time we were back at the car, just a tad over 7 hours, really good considering the conditions. it was one of my best days in the hills, the aonach eagach holds a special place for me, it reminds me of a friend i once walked and climbed with in glencoe, who sadly died in glencoe. i thought about him lots today, he probably brought the clag and snow showers in for me, he wouldnt have wanted it to be too easy!!

for jed
Attachments

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by mgmt! on Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
mgmt!
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 540
Joined: Oct 18, 2010

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby rockhopper » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:18 am

Sweaty palms just reading that - epic stuff and absolutely no way would I ever try anything like it ! :D Certainly a fitting way to remember your friend.
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6623
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby dooterbang » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:20 am

People on this site think i'm mad but thers no way i would do that :shock:

Was scared just reading and looking at the photos.

Great stuff MGMT.

You should have gave MT a call as shes choking to do these :D
User avatar
dooterbang
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1828
Munros:262   Corbetts:58
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:10   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Isle of Skye from Feb 2019 (Originally Glasgow)

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby HighlandSC » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:29 am

Fantastic 8) Would love to give that a shot one day but no way I'd attempt it just now!
User avatar
HighlandSC
 
Posts: 2180
Munros:33   Corbetts:4
Grahams:2   
Sub 2000:14   
Islands:8
Joined: Jul 12, 2009
Location: USA (formerly Inverness)

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby Bod » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 am

Great report and well done! Something to aspire to, perhaps!? Sounds like you all made a great team with a good balance of experience :)
User avatar
Bod
Walker
 
Posts: 1527
Munros:282   Corbetts:51
Grahams:30   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:42   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:24
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby Cameron94 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:31 am

That looked like an awesome day out! :D
Cameron94
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Apr 22, 2011

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby SMRussell » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:39 am

That blew my mind! Looks like heart thumping excitement. I would have LOVED to be out there with you. I'm a tad on the inexperienced side for such antics at the moment - for shame - but this report has really inspired me to keep getting out into the hills and pick up new skills!

Really great stuff :D
User avatar
SMRussell
 
Posts: 514
Munros:159   Corbetts:10
Grahams:5   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:105
Wainwrights:81   Islands:8
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby foggieclimber » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:01 am

Superb stuff done in pretty-good time.
foggieclimber
 
Posts: 1041
Joined: Aug 9, 2009

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby MarilynMunro » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:48 am

Jaw dropping stuff, something I'll happily experience from the safety of my sofa :lol: Go Ape was enough for me.
Thanks for posting
User avatar
MarilynMunro
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 307
Munros:43   Corbetts:3
Grahams:3   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Jun 18, 2011
Location: West Lothian

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:21 am

BRILLIANT!!! I so want to do that in the snow!!! Really enjoyed the pictures!! Its good to see what it is like...even though some of them left me with a feeling of OMG! Obviously I am already started thinking if I could do that solo in winter :D
But I guess I need to learn a few more skills before hand! :?
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1253
Munros:62   Corbetts:25
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:3   
Islands:9
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby daveh » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:31 am

Great report and having done the AE in winter i do remember some of the more interesting moments.I went with a few experienced guys too and that made a big difference although i felt i slowed them down at times.Well done and whenever i drive on the glen good to look up and say i have done that 8)
daveh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 95
Munros:72   Corbetts:29
Grahams:13   Donalds:16
Joined: Nov 12, 2011
Location: Arrochar Alps

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby Fudgie » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:34 am

I'm thinking about braving that in the summer never mind in weather like that. Well done.
User avatar
Fudgie
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 997
Munros:100   Corbetts:20
Grahams:3   Donalds:7
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: Port Glasgow

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:01 pm

Brilliant MGMT,takes a big pair of b***s to do this under winter conditions. :clap: :clap:
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3346
Munros:262   Corbetts:7
Grahams:4   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region
Walk wish-list

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby NickyRannoch » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:56 pm

Thats is , in equal measure, one of the most amazing and most horrifying reports have seen. I'm sitting here shaking and feeling sick on your behalf :lol:

fantastic report
User avatar
NickyRannoch
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1478
Munros:172   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:8   
Islands:16
Joined: Aug 21, 2009
Location: Carse of Gowrie, Perthshire

Re: aonach eagach, a winter traversse

Postby brpro26 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:32 pm

Great report. I'm still sitting here making buttons.
That's the way to do it with experienced guys and all tooled up.
How were the other 2 you met geared up for the conditions.
A fitting tribute to your friend...well done.
User avatar
brpro26
 
Posts: 437
Munros:212   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:9   
Joined: Jun 13, 2009
Location: Glenrothes

31 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 52 guests