Walking off The Ben - Mike W
23rd to 25th February 2018 - Aite Cruinnichidh, Roybridge
The meet saw a return to the Aite Cruinnichidh hostel near Roybridge and with a late flurry of bookings on the Monday, I knew the forecast must be looking good and so it turned out!
Saturday got off to a very early start with the climbers heading off to various routes on Ben Nevis - Ned & David B (Number Two Gully), Keith & Duncan (Central Gully), Mike & Fiona (The Curtain & Ledge Route), Marcus & Tim (Tower Ridge) and Alison, Kenny & Fiona M (Number Four Gully Buttress). Alan R and Anne climbed Ben Nevis via the Carn Mor Dearg Arete with fantastic views in the sunshine but strong gusts of wind blowing across the arete.
Turned out to be the silly season on Ben Nevis with members meeting quite a number of people with no ice axes or crampons. Ned pawned one of his ice axes for £80 to a guy who came rushing into the hostel later on to return the ice axe saying that Ned had saved his life!
Claire H and Chris R did a traverse of the Grey Corries with crampons going on straight away while they were still on the forestry track near the wee minister. Fiona C and Tony had the windiest conditions of the day on the first of the Easains. Allan, Gillian and Kate took advantage of the Glen Roy road being clear of ice and headed for the two Carn Dearg Corbetts at the head of the glen.
Sunday was bright and clear again but much less windy and there was more of a relaxed start to the day. There was a mass assault on the East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn with Alison & Kenny, Alan R, Fiona & Mike, David B, Claire H, Chris R, Tim and Marcus being rewarded by exquisite views from the summit. It was tshirt weather walking up through the forestry tracks, and everyone was in their sunnies! The day was rounded off nicely by a trip to the Pottery for tea and cake en route home.
Duncan and Keith headed off to Aonach Mor for more climbing and Tony joined Gillian, Allan and Kate for their third Carn Dearg Corbett of the weekend in Glen Roy. Allan, Gillian and Kate carried on down the ridge to the Graham Leana Mhor with amazing views across to the Grey Corries.