“The essence is that we had a wonderful day and a chance to try out our crampons and ice axes.” So spoke Linda when I showed her my first sift of photos and those who don’t want to read more can stop now!
It was the sort of day you daren’t dream for, and even though the car thermometer registered minus 6° as we passed through Glen Cluanie the air was dry and the day remained virtually windless. Having parked in the lower car park at the Devil's Elbow the plod up the valley and then up the slopes of Meall Gorm to the saddle between it and the SW outlier of Creag Leacach was quite tough.
Above the saddle the snow was firmer, and in some places icy, justifying crampons which greatly helped progress up the steep shoulder to the 943m rocky top ½ km SW of the main summit.
The views all round were superb,
..and after a short break we crossed to the main summit, posing for the obligatory photo!
The high level traverse north to Glas Maol was delightful, with firm snow beneath us, bright skies and no wind above us and distant views all around. A backward look revealed a large cornice over Sron Riabhach.
At the cairn above Batach Beag the intrepids opted to stop and remove crampons.
before the final trek across the white featureless plateau of Glas Maol where a fellow traveller took the next obligatory photo at the summit cairn.
We moved a little east to overlook the vast Caenlochan Glen for our lunch noting various distant dots in the shape of cross country skiers.
The descent from Glas Maol to Meall Odhar was surprisingly steep, necessitating the re-donning of crampons, and extraction of ice axes.
As we approached the skiing areas we avoided the snow manicured pistes which really weren’t that busy, but we were happy to turn south to descend the Leacann Dubh shoulder
.....where we had a final stop before the final descent to the cars.