Set out with Clive, with whom I'd reached the summit of Puist Coire Ardair (3496') on 27.02.1981 by way of Raeburn's Gully (Grade II winter climb) but running out of time and daylight for safely reaching the summit of Craig Meaghaigh, we descended by way of Great Gully (Grade I). Neither of us had been back since. Unfinished business then.
Today turned out to be a very long day, undertaken in very favourable weather conditions. The main problem was that my knee, operated on only four weeks earlier (cartilage), wasn't really ready for the task. We set out from Aberarder rather later than our usual starts and approached The Window from Coire Ardair. From there it was straightforward but further than anticipated to the summit of Craig Meagaidgh 1130m (3700'). At the time the return over Stob Poite Coire Ardair 1054m (3460) seemed preferable to descending from The Window. We then followed the ridge over Stob Poite Coire Ardair (east top) (3441), Sron Garbh Choire (3250') to Carn Liath 1006m (3298') and Meall an-t-Snaaim (3180') before descending back down to Aberader. The path proved difficult to find from above, although, once on it, easy enough to follow and much more obvious to pick up from below.
A late return, more than compensated for by the sight of two male Black Grouse seen picking up grit from the side of the road at dusk.
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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.