3rd. April, 1984:
My good friend Jon and I ran innumerable mountaineering courses for sixth formers from South East England in the early / mid 1980s, mainly to North Wales (based in the Rhinogs) but also to Scotland. This was our first to Glencoe and, having had a couple of days introducing the students to basic winter skills on the Buachaille and Bidean during the previous two days, we felt that they were ready for the Aonach Eagach. And so it proved... I don't remember a great deal of the ridge except that the conditions were relatively benign with good snow and no ice and, although we roped up the students, they were agile enough and coped with the difficulties easily. I remember that we also repeated the ridge with a different group of students in the following January when there was less snow. Jon and I had a good deal of fun on these trips, staying in a hut somewhere near what is now the youth hostel, normally managing a couple of beers at The Clachaig in the evenings and even managing a memorable day off climbing Clachaig Gully as it melted around us. Like a few of my friends, he's now moved on to less earthly challenges but I often think of him when I'm out in the hills.
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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.