Saturday, 14 March 2015

Amazing Winter Days on Bidean and Mullach...

I've spent the last couple of days with Whittaker who is already a fairly experienced hill walker. He wanted to cover some skills to give him some useful tools to head out in Winter and well as climbing a Munro or two while we were at it.
Yesterday was a rather unusual day 1 of a Winter skills trip but having seen the forecast, we thought we'd aim big and go high! The highest peak in Glencoe, Bidean nam Bian is one of my favourite mountains and armed with sunglasses and sunscreen (rather than the usual goggles and Goretex!) we ascended towards Coire nan Lochan and onto the peak via the West Ridge. The coire was quite busy and it was nice to bump into so many people having a great day.
The connecting ridge between Stob Coire nan Lochan and Bidean had some of the hardest snow ice I've seen, with my not so sharp crampons skidding off the surface in places! We made it safely to the summit to enjoy some outstanding views.

A careful descent was need to get off Bidean safely so it was a bit of a baptism of fire for Whittaker who was fairly new to crampons. Still he did fantastically well and we were back down in the Glen in good time. An absolute gem of a day!

We decided on a slightly easier day today so we headed up to Lundavra and along the North Ridge of Meall a Choarainn. We looked at step kicking, step cutting as well as a bit of ice axe arrest. We also looked at making decisions in Winter with regards to the underfoot conditions and avalanches.
A wander up to Mullach nan Correan saw us bagging our second Munro of the trip. Another stunning day to be out!