The wind was blowing cold from the East, and was initially gusting to 60mph on the Saturday. That meant our plan to camp in the high coire was shelved, as to haul our necessarily heavy packs across the narrow steep path in such conditions would have been difficult at best, and possibly dangerous. Also the coire itself would have been a maelstrom. We therefore elected to camp at 410m, and spent the late afternoon on boot use, axe use and step cutting etc.
Sunday saw us make our way into the snow-laden coire, and we made an ascent of Sgurr Eilde More at 1010m. It is normally a straightforward bouldery walk, but with the vicious and perishing cross wind, it was quite exciting. We kept to the rocks to minimise the effect of any slip, and the heavily rimed rock and hard neve made for very enjoyable climbing. The summit yielded fabulous views, and the team were really rewarded for their efforts to achieve their first Munro. On the descent we practiced more skills before dropping down to our warm sleeping bags and a wee dram to celebrate the summit.
Sunday night got colder, but the wind finally dropped, and Monday dawned bright and cloudless. After two very full days, we opted to spend the day practicing navigation, as we worked our way down towards Kinlochleven. In the Spring-like sunshine, we set up a rope in the woods and practiced the skills needed for ascending and descending fixed lines as our final session.
A very full three days, where we went to bed early due to darkness and cold, but rose early as a consequence and filled the days completely. The guys are planning an ascent of Elbrus and Aconcagua, and given that high-altitude mountaineering is 60% attitude, 30% skill and 10% fitness, I am absolutely confident that Kate and Chris will succeed in their objectives, as their attitude is faultless!!
Thanks for sharing a great three days.