The weather had been cold and clear for a couple of days after New Year. So we had our fingers crossed that this would continue for our first day meet of the year. And it did. Five members and two guests from Highland Hillwalkers Club met up at Maryburgh and headed off to Achnashellach Station on clear, dry roads.
The walk in underneath Fuar Tholl – pictured below – and Beinn Liath Mhor towards the bealach with the prow of Sgor Ruadh looming ahead lifted our spirits although the effect of spirits from New Year may have reduced our performance a little. At the Coire Lair bealach, Michael and Ewen decided to wander back, dedicating the day to photography.
Robin, Nell and Arthur with our guests – Janet and Laura – donned crampons and headed up the rocky North West ridge of Sgorr Ruadh. The older snow was topped by a thin layer of fresh windslab. Because of that we avoided the slightly exposed section of the path and had fun on a short corner choked with snow. At least I enjoyed it.
Pleased with ourselves, we headed off from the summit – shown below – down easy slopes to Loch a Bhealaich Mhoir. The half a kilometre from the loch to the head of the path at Bhealaich Mhoir seemed to be the longest half kilometre in Scotland. Then we realised that we had not stopped since the Coire Lair bealach.
Refreshed and reinvigorated, we wandered down the path in the gloaming to pick up the main Coire Lair path. Seeing ice on the path was a problem in the fading light. We reluctantly lit up torches and descended, each in our own five metre pool of light, each with our own thoughts about a very enjoyable day.
Then we went to the pub.