12 February. Sgurr a’ Mhadaidh by the Upper Rake (Grade I)
Temperatures rose rapidly today after a cold morning making for a misty approach to eventually find the freezing level at 900m just as we hit the crest. Crampons had been needed from half-way up the amphitheatre for a mixed pitch in the rock band and on the neve above. Some unusual sculptures remain in the old snow I climbed back in November (see Gaugers gully report) but it is really just left in patches now. The crest to the summit of Mhadaidh made up for any impatience for excitement as Rich, Tom & James got their first taste of Cuillin exposure. It probably took us 50 minutes to reach the summit, a section which is less than 10 minutes in dry summer conditions. Icy groves lead to a narrow crest, an 8m vertical downclimb, some slabby traversing, another groove and finally the summit where the guys announced it was their first Munro.
The narrow rib between the 3rd & 4th tops of Sgurr a’ Mhadaidh.
The Glen Brittle side was clear of mist and views out to Rum & Canna showed that the sun was coming. The drift of snow would have let us walk out of An Dorus onto Ghreadaidh (instead of the usual 6m step) but will have to wait for another day.
Looking across the Thuilm Ridge of Mhadaidh into Coire na Creiche below.