Day two of a 2 day expedition with Ian M from the Glenrothes Hillwalkers Club. Having spent the night in a microlodge at the Blackwater Hostel we got an early start with the aim of walking as many as possible of the 4 Eastern Mamores - Sgurr Eilde Mor, Binnein Beag, Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean. Unfortunately the weather was not as good as we had hoped with low cloud and drizzle. As we could not see the hills and therefore the state of the snow above the usual route we stuck to the shore of Loch Eilde Mor and then turned North to get to Coire An Lochain. The lochan was covered in a deep layer of snow, and we could see evidence of avalanches on Sgurr Eilde Beag. From the coire we climbed the South ridge of Sgurr Eilde Mor following a faint path, which frequently disappeared beneath patches of snow.
On reaching the summit it was obvious that getting down and across to Binnein Beag was far too risky due to the cornices on Sgurr Eilde Mor above the route we would take, the depth of snow in the bottom of the coire, and the large avalanche and unstable snow above the path up to the bealach between Binnein Beag and Binnein Mor.
Reluctantly we were forced to settle for only one summit and retraced our steps back down following a similar route, albeit slightly faster due to some great snow slides!
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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.