Starting the climb at 7am, the skies were clear and there was a few inches of snow on the ground. As we walked up through the forest, we could see blowing snow causing whiteout conditions just below the summit of An Cabar. The forecast was for 50mph+ winds and windchill of -15C at the top.
As we worked our way out of the forrest, the sun was still shining and we crossed the frozen river and onto the mountain. Being the first there of the day, we had to create our own path through virgin snow, and this made it a slow going process, especially as the snow got deeper.
After a stop at the boulder, we walked across and started to ascent up to An Cabar. The winds got higher, the snow got deeper, and we were getting closer and closer to the clouds. Taking out time as we climbed up through the snow, we eventually entered the cloud line. Strong winds meant snow blowing into our faces, and we followed the line of the ridge up to the summit.
At the top of An Cabar, the small cairn gave us a welcomed reprieve from the howling winds and allowed us some time to get ready for the trek along the plateau to the summit of Ben Wyvis. Visibility was extremely poor, only a few metres, and our water had frozen. It would have been easy to get lost along this trek, but with as long as you concentrate, it's not too difficult. Standing was becoming a problem in the strong wind, and we couldn't even see the outline of the sun through the blowing snow, but eventually we stood on the summit.
Unfortunately, we couldn't see anything, and the bitterly cold temperatures meant we only stood there for five minutes (it was showing -16C windchill at this point). Trekking back along, we decided to start the descent before An Cabar to try to escape the clouds and blowing snow sooner. This paid off and we were treated with a fantastic view across the highlands as we walked horizontally across and back down the side of An Cabar, following our tracks back to the car park.
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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.