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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Easter in Drumochter (12)

Just before the summit cairn, I met another snow field. This one, however, was level and posed no hazard, so I did not bother with the snow spikes as I made my way to the snowed-in summit cairn of Sgairneach Mor, my first Munro of the day and fourth of the expedition. I then retreated to the grass and sat in the sun for a bit, before descending south and continuing on to Meallan Buidhe. As I descended I saw a pair of ptarmigan ... but as is their way, they defied photography!

At first it looked as though there would be a snow-free route through the col and onto the north east ridge of Meallan Buidhe; but I encountered some snow in the dead ground that had to be crossed. It was relatively flat, however, and posed no problem; and once I was safely across there was no more snow to be dealt with.

Meallan Buidhe is a pleasant enough little hill. Too low to be a Munro and insufficient renascent to be a Corbett, with a rounded grassy top where I sat and sunned myself for a while before starting the descent over Ceann Gorm to Dalnaspidal Lodge.

Or at least ... that was the plan. However, after crossing one, none-too-difficult snowfield I came to another, much larger, much more menacing snowfield which wrapped its way round to the north facing slopes and which I was NOT prepared to attempt to cross, spikes or no spikes. To cross that was winter walking; and I lacked the skills or the equipment to attempt it. And so I was left with only one alternative: to attempt an oblique descent of the steep slopes above Loch Garry. Not ideal ... but necessary.

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