Heavy snow had fallen all morning but the forecast was for this to clear to blue skies by the afternoon so I headed up the A9 hoping the gritters had been out. Luckily they had and they had done a great job as the snow was lying thick at the side of the road. Leaving my wife with the decent car (i.e. the one with winter tyres) so she could get about back home, I had a rather non wintry rear wheel drive car with summer tyres! Due to this I decided not to risk getting stuck in the Balsporran cottage car park and pulled in about a km west at a layby that had been cleared.
The snow shoes were on from the start as the snow was about 20cm deep as soon as I left the car. I crossed the rail line and then the river and crossed what would have been a bog with the snow shoes on. Headed for A’Mharaconaich I quickly reached is NW ridge and started heading up. As I had started late (about 2 pm) I only had a few hours of daylight and was keen to get up and down before darkness (and the next weather front) got me!
The going was helped greatly by the snow shoes and I was soon battling a gale as I reached a flat area before the final pull. The ice axe came out here and the snowshoes were off as I battled up the final slope to the summit. The winds were blowing a mesmerising spindrift across the surface and it made for some spectacle. The sun was dropping now and the shadows lengthening so I didn’t linger. A hefty snow storm had engulfed Ben Alder behind me so I was off like a shot and soon descending the way I had come up!
A grand few hours on the hill and the snow shoes got another outing
Ben Alder by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
Snowshoeing at Drumochter by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
drift s snow by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
drumocter under a snowy blanket by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
Drumochter Munro by Scotland's Mountains, on Flickr
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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.