Contrary to WH advice and because I prefer a circuit to going up and back the same way, I opted for the lower path above Coire Laire. I set off from the N end of An Dubh Lochan. After about a km in, I met a barbed wire fence which seemed endless, so I crossed it to quickly find a path up onto Creag Fhinaclach and beyond the hydro pillars.
Approaching the butress like ridge of Meall Cian Dearg (MCD), I felt pleased to have opted to skirt it. Cloud was low so, Loch Trieg was only visible in glimpses and Chno Dearg was almost completely obscured. As I plodded on the sky began to clear, but the 'Easains' remained hidden behind MCD but the views across the Coire Lair helped compensate. The path was clear but boggy and eroded. It was like a shallow trench at times. After 2-3 km I entered the Coire Easain Beag and headed steeply up boggy tussock, then even steeper scree, to the beallach at Carn Dearg.
From here Mheadhoin looked steep and Easain like a wall, so I left my pack at a small cairn to heade up the latter. Without the pack I made the summit quite easily and - better still the sky cleared greatly to give some fine views.
Retrieving my pack, I gained the summit of Mheadhoin surprisingly quickly to enjoy a grand ridge walk, followed by an uncomfortably steep and descent down the NE ridge of MCD. As the path seemed to be taking me too far to the NE, I headed off due N to rejoin the start path at the hydro pillars and head back to the car.
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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.