Monday, May 07, 2012

146-147. Aonach Mor (8), Aonach Beag (7). 06/06/2012

Having found a room for the four of us in a B&B in Ballachulish, the hills of Lochaber were at our mercy. We chose Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag, partly because they weren't too far inland where the weather was due to be worse and partly because they're nice and big.

The top of Glen Nevis is a really nice spot and was attracting the 'crowds' on that particular day. We soon left them behind though, gawping at the Falls of Steall and began the ascent of the glen to the west of the plateau containing Aornach Mor and Aonach Beag. We were glad here for the fact it hadn't rained too much - the ground looked like the sort that would boggify easily.

The final 400m of ascent was steeply up the side of the plateau, on top of which we found a snowy alpine environment quite different from our previous day. From here the going was easy over the hard snow to Aonach Mor. Then we headed south to Aonach Beag, which ironically (for those fluent in Gaelic) is 13m taller than Aonach Mor. Throughout our time on the plateau, Ben Nevis and the CMD Arete were ever-present to the west. The descent from Aonach Beag would definitely have been tricky in lesser visibility, since a fairly precise SW bearing from the top is required to avoid crags to the west and a very steep slope to the east. There were a few light flurries of snow, but on the whole we had no problem and were soon enjoying the delights of the Water of Nevis once more on our way back to the car.

The Falls of Steall, with the Mamores behind

Aonach Beag from the summit of Aonach Mor

The ever-present Nevis

A crag as we come down from the plateau, with Carn Mor Dearg in the background


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