Saturday 12th April
I wanted to do the Loch Treig circuit as I call it and with the amount of snow on the hill I thought it a good one to test the ground as there aren't any exposed ridges or very steep ascents or descents. Setting off at 7.30am from Fersit we started up Stob Sgriodain. The snow line was about 600m and at the top was quite hard and a bit icy. The views were magnificent though.
Abandoning timing as we were obviously going to be slow we continued onto Chno Dearg and then descended into the valley with the snow making the descent much nicer than normal!.
Lunch was taken in the normal place by the stream. Strangely all the rivers were very low and we did the river crossing without getting our feet wet. There is the normal steep slog up the heathery hillside then a trog up the ridge upto Bein na Lap which was slow going in the snow.
Bein na Lap Cairn
Descending to the bridge and track in the valley went smoothly too.In the valley the sun was shining and it was hot running along the bottom.
Stob Coire Easian and Stob A'Coire Mhead from the bottom of Loch Treig
At the Shooting Lodge we had a decision to make about whether to follow the valley up to meet the RR or ascend Stob Coire Easian from the lodge. As time was getting on (1.30pm) and the weather seemed to be coming in we decided on the direct route.
Summit of Stob Coire Easian
Mark Harvey - crampon man ! Although he showed us a clean pair of spikes on the descent off !
Then we just had Stob A'Coire Mhead and the long descent back to Loch Treig. We got to the top in cloud but it was a complete whiteout as we descended off with me on compass and Ian Winterburn on GPS. As we dropped the cloud suddenly lifted and we all looked back up the way we had just come down.
John Rowe - thumbs up! Mark Harvey's unique head ventilation !
John saying " No sane man would want to go up there"
Back at the hostel we met up with Rob who had decided on tackling Ben Nevis and the Aonachs - but with crampons and ice axe. We all had tales to tell over a few pints and tea at Nevis Inn.
Sunday 13th April
Ian, John, Mark and Roy were heading home so only wanted a short day - I wanted to try out the Mamores and recce the finish so we headed up Glen Nevis with the plan of ascending passed An Steall waterfalls and contouring below An Gearanach to reach to col before Stob Coire A'Chairn.
The going was very slow with soft slushy snow. Ian, John and Roy decided to head back while Ian and I continued on. Once on the ridge it was nice and the clouds were nice and high giving us very good views.
Summit of Stob Coire A'Chairn and looking back towards An Gearanach
Looking across at Am Bodach we could see where walkers had been up and so continued on and followed their footprints up. The top part of the ascent was very steep and quite tricky and we were glad to reach the top.
The top - looking back down and looking up.
Along the ridge to Sgoran Iubhair the sun came out and we stopped to take pictures and have food before tackling Stob Ban.
On Stob Ban the weather came in and we had a series of snow showers and no view from the top! Along the edge towards Mullach Nan Coirean though the sun once again broke through.
We descended off into the forest and I'm glad of an extra recce of that ! Ben Nevis (almost clear) and Ian !
Monday 14th April
Ian had a couple of Munroes he wanted to do from Ballaculish however after two hours we weren't making very good progress having thrashed around in a forest for an hour and with wanting to get home early (to check cows and see Charlie and carol - who had also had an eventful weekend looking after the farm) we decided to descend and get home.
On coming back through the forest we saw these deer - the white blob is another deer bottom.