On the 14th of March Mehmet guided a team of 4 up Ben Macdui.
Below are some words from Mehmet Karatay.
Chris, Christopher, Stuart and Tony are friends from Leeds. Chris wanted to introduce his friends to the delights of Scottish winter walking and to test his own boots and crampons out for an ascent of the Matterhorn later in the year.
When booking with West Coast Mountain Guides they chose to go up Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second-highest point and a remote-feeling peak on the Cairngorm plateau. It has acres of the big open spaces that the Cairngorms specialise in.
The reality of Scottish winter meant that we didn’t have much chance of getting to the summit today, with 40mph headwinds forecast and the readings from the Cairngorm summit weather station coming in higher. The group were keen to have a go though. We ventured out with open minds and with a number of contingency plans inbuilt into our day.
On our way up Lurcher’s ridge, the group learned a variety of winter skills, had an excellent view of a couple of mountain hares, and generally got a bit battered by the winds. When adventuring in the mountains, especially in winter, good-quality open communication within the group is essential. We managed to establish this early on so when the time came, the decision to turn around was an easy one. There was some thought of trying to loop through the northern corries but the temptation of a hot drink in the Cairngorm Mountain cafe won us over.
The day was full of smiles, despite the challenging conditions, and everyone was satisfied with what we achieved.