I was back out with Ben today, working for Moran Mountain. After Ben’s success of yesterday, and with strong easterly winds due, we decided to seek a bit of shelter in Coire nan Lochan, which is quite well enclosed by the summit and adjoining ridges. From the road, with low cloud obscuring the views high up, it was hard to make out how wintry things were, and with steady drizzle and not particularly cold temperatures in the valley, neither of us were expecting things to be so white on gaining the corrie floor.
I don’t think I’ve seen the crags of Stob Coire nan Lochan so white before. We didn’t get close enough to examine the rocks, more about that later, but it seemed to be from wet snow blown in on fresh SE winds. The snow had started to consolidate nicely, and although there is far less snow than usual for this time of year, it did feel like a winter wonderland up there, and completely unexpected too.
Whilst gearing up to head up Broad Gully, Ben voiced that he wasn’t feeling on top of his game today, so despite some encouragement, and hints that he might be keen to continue and give it a go, we decided to leave it for another time. In order to still make the most of the day, we traversed across to the broad ridge of Gearr Aonach (translation: the short ridge), and made a descent of the zig-zags (not wintry at all), which Ben enjoyed. The snow line was at about 750m.
The long term forecasts are looking very promising, with some overdue snow coming in tonight and again early next week. Plenty of light wind days in the pipeline too, brilliant!