After the cold and wet of Chile, it's nice to be back in the ... cold and wet of the UK. There's still a lot of snow in Scotland so on Saturday a friend and I headed up to the West Highlands with ice axes, crampons and a 50mm lens looking for a fun way up the Munro, Stob Gabhar.
The Aonach Eagach ('Notched Ridge') is not as long or as serious as its namesake in Glen Coe. But if you add on a wintry scramble up a crag to reach it, coupled with lots of snow and spindrift flying about, it makes for an entertaining day out without the need for ropes or a helmet (though I'd have preferred the latter on a steep, icy step near the top of the crag).
Crossing the roof-top shaped ridge of the Aonach Eagach was easy and fun, though we both felt it passed a bit too quickly. Up top, it was typical Scottish white-out conditions and careful navigation was required so we didn't walk over a cornice. Rather than descend the usual way off the mountain, we decided to continue north and traverse it, visiting some tops on the way. The desire for the tops soon faded as we trudged in a milk bottle white atmosphere through deep snow with steep cliffs either side and we made the decision to descend not long after.
It was my fourth ascent of Stob Gabhar, Davy's third. We realised all of them have been up different routes.