When Jim asked me if I would guide Alan Fraser on Ben Aden , I thought great, I can kayak in along Loch Quioch, meet Alan at the west side of the mountain , traverse the mountain, drop Alan off where I’d met him, then Kayak out, easy all in a day. Fortunately I decided to leave the night before, feeling slightly anxious on the drive down at the size of the waves on Loch Ness, a bit bigger than the forecasted 10mph easterly should be picking up. The eastern end of Loch was relatively flat, however that soon changed and by the time I was half way down the loch it was no better than Loch Ness.
The next morning was beautiful, sun shining and enough wind to make you believe that midges didn’t exist. After a 5k trek I met Alan at our rendezvous, we looked at the rocky west ridge, the top section had a couple of rock buttresses which looked much more imposing than they did on Bing! My only source of information for this way up the mountain as the guide book suggested the East Ridge. I reassuringly told Alan that we were bound to find a way through. Getting onto the ridge was the most difficult part chest deep bracken and difficult steep pathless terrain. Once on the ridge the going, although pathless, was easier and we managed to take advantage of the odd deer track. The upper section proved to be easier than it looked and we soon spotted a narrow grass rake diagonally splitting the upper crag, after this, another 20 minutes brought us to the summit.
The views from this remote Corbett were fantastic and all the more rewarding due to the effort to get here. We continued down the East Ridge and dropped down just beside the beach at Lochan nam Breac, a beautiful spot. I got Alan back to almost where I had picked him up then went back to Loch Quioch for the kayak out, which thankfully was not quite as bouncy as on the way in.
Many thanks to Alan for suggesting such a remote hill, which was just as much an adventure for me as it was for him.
blog by Dunc Maclennan, nineonesix-guiding