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aonach eagach, a winter traversse
by 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: 914m31 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).
the sun was out views all around were spectacular as we continued up steeply towards am bodach.
this is a really steep start to any walk and i was glad to see the final approach to am bodach
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.
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.
we continued along toward meall dearg we could see a front heading our way
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
it wasnt long before we reached the summit of the first munro of the day 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
but it just kept coming, another pinniclem another ascent
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.
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.
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!!
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- Joined: Oct 18, 2010
by rockhopper » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:18 am
by dooterbang » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:20 am
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
by HighlandSC » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:29 am
by Bod » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:47 am
by Cameron94 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:31 am
- Posts: 126
- Joined: Apr 22, 2011
by SMRussell » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:39 am
Really great stuff
by foggieclimber » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:01 am
- Posts: 1041
- Joined: Aug 9, 2009
by MarilynMunro » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:48 am
Thanks for posting
by Mountainlove » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:21 am
But I guess I need to learn a few more skills before hand!
by daveh » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:31 am
by Fudgie » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:34 am
by gammy leg walker » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:01 pm
by NickyRannoch » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:56 pm
by brpro26 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:32 pm
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.