Category Archives: Scotland

Day 2 : Stob Coire nan Lochan (almost)

With today’s forecast featuring 100mph winds and rain coming in from the North, we drove down to Glencoe hoping to make the most of the day before the conditions got too bad. Rob’s choice of route was to head up to Coire nan Lochan, ¬†between two of the ‘Three Sisters of Glencoe’. This valley lies parallel to the more famous “Hidden Valley” where the MacDonald clan reputedly used to hide rustled Campbell cattle. It’s a long and steep walk-in but with a well maintained path for a good part of the way.

As we reached the corrie proper the rain started to come down, and we put on crampons (and waterproofs) and headed onto the ridge towards the summit. The summit ridge is rocky and awkward to walk while wearing crampons, so we stopped before the summit and headed back into the corrie to look at making snow bollards and ice axe belays. The snow was definitely wetter than yesterday, and the rain and rising temperatures could make things interesting tomorrow.

The rain continued all the way back to the cars (so few photos) and we headed to the Clachaig Inn for Hot Chocolates, beers and an opportunity to dry out a bit before the journey back to Fort William.

I now have five pairs of gloves drying out…

 

 

Winter Skills Day 1, Aonach Mor

The first day of the Winter Skills course with Rob was spent looking at basic axe, boot and crampon skills. We met at Rob’s rented cottage for tea and a look at the weather and avalanche risks before driving over to the Nevis Range ski lifts and taking the Gondola up to get to the snowline quickly. Apart from the dry ski slope all other runs are still closed, but there was a good dusting of fresh snow and a firm base on the leeward eastern slopes.

As the forecast for the rest of the week is for wetter, windier and, generally, more Scottish weather, we seized the opportunity and daggered our way up the steep slope onto the ridge and headed on up to the summit, rewarded with great views of the Ben and Carn Mor Dearg.

After stopping to admire the views and check out the cornices we headed back down towards the gondola

Oh, and if you ever drop your water bottle 30m down a steep snow slope, it’s very handy have a trained Search Dog who’s prepared to act as a retriever… Thanks, Skye.