The Ben and CMD from Steall
by LeithySuburbs » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:42 pm
Route description: Ben Nevis by the Càrn Mòr Dearg Arête
Munros included on this walk: Ben Nevis, Càrn Mòr Dearg
Date walked: 25/03/2012
Time taken: 7.8 hours
Distance: 12.8 km
Ascent: 1390m15 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).
I "settled" on the Aonachs as I was a bit late in arriving at the carpark at the end of Glen Nevis and thought this would take about 7 hours.
Anyway, the weather was great as I set off up the Steall Gorge path to the always special Steall Falls and meadows.
At the footbridge just before the ruins I turned north passing some lovely waterfalls to reach the vast open high valley of the Allt Coire Ghiuthsachan.
Surrounded by the Aonachs on the right and Ben Nevis and Carn Mor Dearg on the left, this was an awe inspiring place . The allt was just a trickle and - when I could - I had fun picking my way up the slabby river bed rather than following the damp path.
I kept looking left to the ridge high above and my mind began to start thinking "what a day to do the CMD arete...". At the col between Aonach Mor and CMD, I felt I had enough time to do the bigger two so started up the steep slope to the summit of CMD.
There is a nice narrowing of the ridge on the final pull to the summit.
At the summit, the N face of BN and the arete were silhouetted against the late afternoon sun .
After a short break, I was off along the arete. I can't add much to what has aready been written about it but it was terrific . I stuck pretty religiously to the apex, avoiding the bypass paths where I could. The scrambling was fun and not too exposed with so little breeze.
A final tough climb over boulders brought me to the summit of Britain at about 5:20pm with not a soul in sight (well, apart from 2 guys in the shelter who were staying the night).
I considered descending the tourist path but that would have left a long road walk back to the car. Instead I opted to take the direct route down to the Bealach Cumhann then follow the Allt Garbh back to the Steall Gorge path.
This was a knee punishing descent of 1200m in just 2.7km and I stopped to rest my legs on a couple of occasions. This route would probably not be suitable in wet weather due to some steep parts but I took my time and zig-zagged where necessary.
The final section along the Allt Garbh was attractive and had a few more humps and hollows to help ease the constant gradient. I was happy to be back at the path still in daylight and I sauntered the final 0.6km back to the car. What a day .
PS. I probably wouldn't recommend this laissez faire approach to hillwalking but this is a cracking way to make a circuit of these two giants if you don't mind a long steep descent.
by tomyboy73 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:56 pm
by malky_c » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:13 pm
LeithySuburbs wrote:I probably wouldn't recommend this laissez faire approach to hillwalking
I would. That's half of the fun
Great route. Have been looking at something similar myself, as I fancy that eastern ridge of CMD, but I would probably come down over the SW Carn Dearg and the Waterslide slab, as I haven't been there yet. Keep getting drawn back to the Ledge Route/ CMD arete combination though.
Top day and all the more impressive if you manage to get to the summit when it's practically vacant. Don't think that has ever happened for me.
by yokehead » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:34 pm
by LeithySuburbs » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:34 pm
malky_c wrote:LeithySuburbs wrote:I probably wouldn't recommend this laissez faire approach to hillwalking
I would. That's half of the fun
well, I agree but you know what I mean...
by blueyed » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:36 pm
by tamw51 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:00 pm
by Malckyb » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:53 pm
How tough is it?..I have heard that the pull up to CMD is the worst part,so been working on my fitness and getting some bigger hills done in preparation.
by Jock McJock » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 pm
by rockhopper » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:35 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:37 am
by SusieThePensioner » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:02 am
by ronofcam » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:57 am
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