Deep Winter Play 5th December
Winter continues with avengence here; after working with us this summer Scott Kirkhope enthusiastically travelled up from Fort Bill for his first taste of the Cuillin in winter on Wednesday. We were joined by my long term winter partner Icky and shared the BMC hut with Annie, Tom & Gemma.
Yellow moonlight tinted the snow as we set off up Coire an Eich but the joy was rudely interupted by a fierce blizzard that lasted well over an hour.It finally passed through just as we reached the summit of Sgurr na Banachdaich.
I had had ambitions on a new climb in Coruisk but so much fresh snow was going to make things very hard & remove any pleasure. It was a day to enjoy the amazing light & views so we headed off southward with the sun warming us nicely.
Flanks were covered in powder snow on top of an icy crust; luckily our boots broke through this crust and kept us feeling safe without crampons or ropes.The crest was the best choice with no drifts and a good cushion filling in the gaps and we made good speed to bealach na Banachdaich. The others appeared on the West Ridge of Dearg ahead of us so it was an easy choice to head up and meet up.
The mornings blizzard had produced a carpet of soft snow to cushion the footpath right back to the hut in the evening light and the compulsory glorious vista out across the Minch to Rum & Canna.