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Saturday, 31 May 2014

The 2014 Challenge, day 5: Down (but not out) to Kinlochleven (5)

Having regained the summit of Meall a' Chaorainn, I considered briefly the possibility of descending the South / South East ridge, rather than the North ridge. The upper reaches of this ridge looked eminently viable; and it would save me a lot of distance, and maybe allow me to reascend and perhaps take in Am Bodach, Stob Coire a' Chairn and Na Gruagaichean before descending into Kinlochleven. However, the contour spacing in the lower reaches of this ridge looked no less dense than that on the South West ridge of hill 917; and the risk therefore was great. I knew nothing about these lower slopes. What should I expect there? On the other hand, I knew exactly what to expect on the North ridge of Meall a' Chaorainn, because that was the way I had come up the day before.

I opted for safety and certainty, and turned North. The picture shows the North ridge, as seen from above, as I began my descent. The inversion appeared to be lingering over Lochs Lochy and Arkaig; but Loch Eil now appeared to be free of cloud.

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