I have been getting over a cold and my pals were going climbing so I was going to take it easy but the forecast was looking good over in the North West. Climbing was out but I had to get out! I fancied a walk up North that was where the weather was. It is about 2 hours away depending on the state of the roads and as the temperatures were pretty low I left in daylight to ensure they were gritted. Passing my nearest local Munro Ben Wyvis it was plastered in snow and a Hang Glider landed nearby he looked like he came from Ben Wyvis summit. The drive was wonderful with the hills looking incredible and a few cars parked in the usual lay byes! Two pals Rachel and Jenny car was parked in the layby when I passed they were Munro bagging on Am Faochagach one of the Beinn Dearg outliers and were away early, Keen lassies.
I was hoping to have a walk into An Teallach into the Glas Tholl Coire depending on how I felt and was soon on the A 832 which was a bit snowy but the views made up for it and with the snow tyres and care it was a lovely drive. There were plenty of deer about and the cold air and open moor and snowy mountains cars made this a great journey. I saw one car on the road.
I was soon heading down into Dundonnel and stopped at the Sheneval Track. I had a good look at the broken cliff on the way into Dundonnell and bits of ice were forming, Fain Falls was starting slowly to form with a bit of ice at the top. The views of An Teallach were incredible, it was plastered with snow and with the dark sky it looked Alpine. The track to start the day in was very icy, rock hard and it was easy walking after I crossed the river there were two other cars in my layby when I left, they were up early. It was icy in places and you have to take care when on your own and there is a Quartzite escarpment that I always enjoy walking along giving great views into the two big corries that make this mountain special. It is a grand way up and on the frozen ground easy walking, every bit another view. The hills open up all the way all snow covered and not a soul in sight.
I wander along and then dropped down through the craggy ground taking care and crossed the river again and pulled slowly up into the Coire. The snow was deeper here and hard work but the views compensated for it. What a place to be on a day like this. I could catch views of the ridge and the pinnacles many a great day spent on this mountain and a few wild visits into this Corrie climbing with pals.
I still had not seen anyone only a few deer at the beginning watching me but I was no threat and they continued scraping for food it must be hard for them when the snow and the cold days come but there was little wind and grand views. It was a good plod into the Corrie and this wild place was so beautiful.
Near the entrance of the Corrie I picked up some fresh footprints going into the Corrie it made it easier for me to follow them and the views of the gullies and cliffs got nearer every step. I few memories of past days and after the route you still have the ridge to cope with any climb here is an adventure but what a setting. It is a big wild place and the main feature is on the South side of the Corrie is the bold buttress of major rib with minor rib to the right and the clean line of the Alley. There are plenty of climbs in this Corrie and it is a joy to be here and see these great snowy cliffs a the ridge above.
I could see three climbers on a route called Major Rib a 300 metre grade 3/4 climb they were working there way up the climb, they would finish in the dark. It is a big route nearly 1000 feet and interesting at the top and then the fun begins getting off the ridge!
I watched them from my viewpoint and thought of the fun they would have, the snow was pretty soft and I hoped it would be better for them higher up, oh to be young and fit. I could see them moving slowly up and they looked so tiny in comparison of this great cliff.I had some tea and a good look at the cliffs then headed home as I did not fancy driving in the dark on the tricky roads.
I enjoyed the walk off following my path and that of the climbers, there was no wind just incredible light and a heavy sky at times but no wind. All the effort of going up into the Corrie was well worth it and the views of the Fannichs and Bein Dearg hills and Fisherfield were stupendous and this is winter in God’s country. I took care as again it was icy on the slabs but soon made it back to the car and the icy Sheneval path.
A quick change but I kept my boots on in case the road was tricky and I had to get out. It was an easy drive back the roads were fine and the hills still looking great, no summits but a lovely place to be and I saw only these three climbers. I stopped in to see some friends for a cup of tea at Black Bridge then home. Inverness was busy but I was soon home feeling tired and happy but a lovely day in a place I love. No summits just peace, wildness,beauty and my own company and pace bliss. Every day is appreciated by me and having a winters day away from the crowds is great tonic.