We headed out in excellent conditions, with the sun poking through the cloud as we made our way across the wet ground and up to the snow line. We made the summit of Sgiath Chuil under a clear blue skit and stunning views towards Ben More and Stob Binnean. However, we could see clouds forming on the hills around us and as we started the descending traverse into the low bealach between the two hills, the cloud was already beginning to close in around the summits.
Conditions deteriorated rapidly as we made our way up the eastern side of Beinn Cheathach and, having opted to ‘cut the corner’ to get onto the north west ridge, we found ourselves struggling to pick out a safe route on slopes that contained extensive pockets of windslab. A nasty little cornice was the final straw and we retreated down and north onto safer ground. The wind had picked up by the time we made the ridge, picking up the fresh snow and throwing it into our faces as we checked each other’s nav and worked our way onto the summit of Meall Glas.
Darkness fell as we made our way down off the summit, and we navigated back to the car with the aid of head torches. We were slightly alarmed to see flashing blue lights on the road by the car as we made our way down the last few hundred metres of hill track, but our concern was unfounded as it turned out to be 2 of the local police from Crianlarich checking to see if we needed any assistance in the dark.
Just missing the Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum seems to have become a bit of a tradition for me these days, and I maintained the tradition as I dropped Keith off to catch his bus, making it into Tyndrum while the staff were still wiping up the last of the tables! Despite this final disappointment, we’d had an excellent day out, getting a chance to practice some important hill skills in testing conditions.