Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Munros: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 02/01/2021

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 8km

Ascent: 600m

(So before I begin, this walk was on the 2nd January, before the travel restrictions began and it is in my local tier area - so no rules were broken)

I had seen previous reports of people doing Maol Chean Dearg a week before, the route looked great and there was a bit of snow so I had planned to do it just after the new year.

The forecast for the day was amazing, the best I had seen in a while! No wind, and clear skies - perfect!

So I set off in the dark, greeted with probably the weirdest snowman ever (see attached video) :lol:

Some stunning sights on the way in -


Bridge sunrise

And before I knew it I was at the Coulag Bothy - it looked amazing.

Coulag Bothy

I then made my way towards to Munro, the walk in wasn't too far, then made a sharp left up a zig zag path.

This is where it got tough, the snow was knee deep a lot of the time and there were deep holes to watch for.. but on the positive side the view behind was awesome.

Sgorr Rhuadh was shimmering behind as the sun was rising

Sgorr Rhuadh


This is where it got a little much, the snow was powdery and it was taking a lot of energy to move through it. With that the faces on the approach to the Beallach got steep, and I thought the risk was too great to continue.

The route

As a solo walker, I wasnt willing to take any risks, so I had to abandon my attempt. This was a hard one to take with the weather being amazing, but the mountain will always be there. I was excited to see the views from the top, to see Liathach, but it wasn’t supposed to be. Safety is always the priority.

An Ruadh Stac

I took my time on the way back, admiring the views, and even got a look around Coulag Bothy. This was still an amazing day out, and I will definitely be back in summer to do Maol Chean Dearg and An Ruadh Stac.

It was taught me a bit about walking in snow, and what my limits are. I was prepared with all the gear and knowledge, but wasn't aware how difficult this would be. I had a winter skills course booked for the start of January - but Covid put an end to that. :(

Here is a video of the day out if anyone is interested:

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Comments: 5

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Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Ben Wyvis
Place: Aviemore
Gear: Rab Alpine jacket

Munros: 40
Grahams: 1

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Trips: 1
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 600m
Munros: 1


Trips: 15
Distance: 270 km
Ascent: 12395m
Munros: 34

Joined: Mar 22, 2020
Last visited: Jan 23, 2021
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