Day 2 at the Culra bothy, turn right out of the door and head up! Quite a steep 300m+ ascent of grass and heather, no obvious path, to where the slope eases and the summit of Carn Dearg is visible. Headed NW to meet the main ridge line and then up the last 200m climb to the summit.
The ridge towards leading towards Geal-charn and beyond was clearly visible, great views in all directions, from a distance the steep nose leading from the col beyond Diollard Chairn looked quite intimidating.
Geal-charn from summit of Carn Dearg.
Found the easiest going in the new snow was to hug the northern slope/ coire edge and zigzagging between the visible rock/ vegetation that the wind had exposed.
The ‘nose’ leading up to Geal-charn was a lot tamer on closer view, just a zigzag up to avoid any obstacles. The summit plateau was more of an effort, stuck to easier going along the rim of the coire and then onto point 1114m before having to strike out across the 30cm deep snow to the summit cairn. Made tracks again to the NW to pick up the better going along the coire rim and then continued SW down the ridge to the col. No shelter so I dug out the bothy bag and had a break out of the weather for 15-20 mins.
The ridge to Aonach Beag and onwards to Bienn Eibhinn was continually interesting both in terms of terrain and the views of the surrounding mountains.
The northerly wind that had continually strengthened throughout the afternoon and another snow squall made the return from Bienn Eibhinn to the col to Coire a’Charra Bhig a bit ‘uncomfortable’; shell fully battened down, head down into the wind, wonderful…….
The descent and traverse around to the Bealach Dubh track was uninspiringly hard going, traversing the slopes east around the 650-700m contour avoiding the peat bogs in the valley, bog trotting and stream hopping.
Bealach Dubh with stakers path insight
Was glad to eventually join the easier going of the stalkers path, even the 5 km back to the bothy and intermittent sleet showers didn’t dampen the spirits. Eventually got back at the Culra after 8.25 hrs for a brew and an early dram!.
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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.