Carn Mor Dearg, Ben Nevis
& Buachaille Etive Mor

Sat 21st & Sun 22nd October 2017

Weather/Conditions: Often misty on both days, pretty cold and damp (as usual!) on Ben Nevis. Some sunny points on Stob na Broige on the Buachaille. Very autumnal but could have been worse weather!
Distance/Ascent/Time: 2 days
Accompanying: Julieanne, Anna, Nic & Ed

A couple of nice days out on the hills with Julieanne, Anna, Nic & Ed. Plan A was the Carn Mor Dearg Arete to Ben Nevis, suggested because it's an infinitely better way to the summit of Nevis than the 'Pony Track'. I went that way with Julieanne in May and the briefing for this day was 'anything but'! Quite right, too...

The hills were fantastic as always, but as was the case most of the autumn, the mist was in, and we saw only limited views from the Arete. The few views that did break open were spectacular, and I cursed myself for not bringing the SLR along. But we at least saw something.

Ben Nevis was misted in and drizzly - it always seems to be. Descent was via. the Zig Zags, but for the last portion of the day we cut away from the main track and cut a line back across to the North Face car park. This part is so often my favourite, with a couple miles of wild moorland and views opening up to the day's mountains. The team got around these hills quickly and well before darkness, which is handy for October. I've had many CMD days take longer!

Day two was the Buachaille Etive Mor, chosen for being both a stunning hill, and a less of a full-on day. It even had the advantage of a track back to the car, something Nevis doesn't share. As usual the weather wasn't entirely playing ball and we walked into a misty Stob Dearg. Coire na Tulaich was just gushing with water from overnight rains, but in this place of such limited vegetation, the run-off levels can be exaggerated. Ed and I chatted a lot about the Alps here! Stuff for the future...

The summit of Stob Dearg was misty, and we continued onto the next summits. Just off the summit of Stob na Doire, and in the shelter of the wind we stopped for a break. And then lo and behold; the sun came out. The warmth was appreciated - especially at this time a year and with so poor an autumn.

Stob na Broige was another cairn in the mist, and sets Anna up for her 30 mountains of the year. We descended into the Lairig Gartain with rainbows and drizzle playing with the light. An atmospheric way to end a couple excellent days on the hills with a brilliant bunch of folk.

Written: 2017-12-08