Last week returning client Chris was out with Jim and Dunc. Chris wanted to build and extend the skills that he learnt with Nathan last year on Beinn Alligin and Beinn Eighe. Where he looked at winter mountaineering techniques and some basic ridge scrambling.
This spring the conditions on the east of Beinn Eighe have once again proved to be reliable so an ‘alpine-like’ traverse of The Black Carls was in order. Never too difficult, short and compact with some exposure this was the perfect route on which to further develop Chris’s experience. On the approach to the ridge we had the opportunity to look at footwork, body position and the use of the axe as a self-belay; all in context to the day. Once on the ridge we were both rewarded with stunning views to Fisherfield, over Loch Maree and further into the Torridon Mountains.
On the traverse Chris and I roped up and simply moved together except for the last tower which we pitched. There were some other folk at Sgurr nan Fhir Dhuibhe who we had a blether about how beautiful the views were. Our descent was then back east into the corrie which gave a lovely retrospective of our route.
The next day Chris and his daughter spent the morning with me at a local Shieldaig crag were we introduced her to abseiling and climbing outdoors for the first time.
With Dunc, Chris enjoyed impeccable spring conditions on the classic traverse of Liathach. With weather conditions like this even the relentlessly steep path up the east end of the mountain felt pleasant and enjoyable as the views opened to reveal the distant mountains of our mini alpine landscape. We gained the ridge and followed it towards Spidean a’ Choire Leith, its final slopes still white and gleaming with spring snow. A quick bite to eat and we were ready to tackle the pinnacles. Chris made light work of the scrambling as we progressed, making the most of all the possible opportunities. All too soon it was over and we were nearing the west end of the ridge and the second summit of Mullach an Rathain. I spent the previous day with Chris and his two daughters at a small outcrop above the main Ardheslaig crag. The girls had done some bouldering before but this was their chance to try some top roping. Both did really well considering the biting cold wind which eventually forced them to climb in their gloves. This was the second trip Chris has had with nineonesix-guiding with fantastic weather, so we hope he’ll come back soon and give us another weekend of perfect weather.
blog by Jim & Dunc
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