Monday, 12 February 2018

Maol Chean-dearg

Walk Summary
Epic day to claim our first Munro of the year in full on winter conditions. 
Looking back at Beinn Alligin beyond Loch Torridon
on way up Maol Chean-dearg
Two hour walk in from Annat before start of three hour ascent up NW shoulder and easterly approach to summit, including snow climb and icy scramble up crag half way up then lots of ice axe work and finally crampons to gain the summit. Ideas of tagging on Graham - Beinn na h-Eaglaise abandoned with decision to descend down SW ridge to avoid craggy descent back the way we came and pick up path we were familiar with from route taken up/down An Ruadh-stac last week.
Arguably a mistake, as could not find path so was an absolute slog through knee deep snow and sometimes waist deep drifts. Usually funny to see your mate struggling in the snow but when you are waist deep in a snow filled river gully and see your mate up to his chest in snow it becomes less than amusing. At this point he crawled/swam to the grassy edge and I resorted to rolling.
With blizzard on ascent mixed in with lots of spin drift, thought we had braved all that winter conditions could throw at us, made so much sweeter by topping out on the summit to the only sunshine of the day.
Walk out seemed so much harder partly due to not finding time to eat lunch until 4:30pm, tired from days exertions and finally retracing steps along path that was clear of deep snow on walk in was now covered in drifts and lashed with high winds and spin drift almost until we saw Loch Torridon below about one hour from vehicle.
Been up a Munro in Winter before but not in full on winter conditions.
Always wanted to find out what it would be like. Now I know. But not recommended under any circumstances alone.
What a great experience and adventure to share with Jon Glew.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 12 February 2018
Walkers - Steve Smith, Jon Glew

Accommodation - Anancaun Holiday Cottage
Start Point - Layby on eastbound side of A896 west of Annat (NG 89323 54417)
Start Time - 08:44
Finish Point Layby on eastbound side of A896 west of Annat (NG 89323 54417)
Finish Time- 18:36
Total Duration - 9hrs 52mins 
Overall Average pace - 1.14mph
Total Distance Walked - 11.23 miles
Total Height Ascended - 1166.02metres

Peaks visited
Munro (282)

Maol Chean-dearg (72)
Munro Top (227)
Murdo (443)
Maol Chean-dearg (91)
Corbett (221)
Corbett Top  (455)
Corbett Top of Munro (???)
Corbett Top of Corbett (???)
Graham (219)
Graham Top (777)
Graham Top of Munro (???)
Graham Top of Corbett (???)
Graham Top of Graham (???)
Marilyn (1218S - 1556E,W&S))
Maol Chean-dearg (178S - 449E,W&S)
Hump (2168S - 2976E,W&S)
Maol Chean-dearg (212S - 558E,W&S)
Highland Five (776)
Simm (2188S - 2528E,W &S)
Maol Chean-dearg (193S - 520E,W&S)
Historic County Tops (49E - 93E,W&S)
S: Scotland. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

Other walks on this trip
28th Hail Storm Hill
29th Winter Hill, Billinge & Fair Snape Fell
30th Lake District Marilyns on way to Newtonmore
31st Creag Bheag & Cruban BheagFebruary
01st Meall nan Eagan & Creag na Doire Duibhe
02nd Carn an Fhreiceadain
03rd Ord Ban
04th Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine & Sgurr Dubh
05th Seana Mheallan
06th Lake District Marilyns on way to Newtonmore
08th An Ruadh-stac
09th Carn Breac & Beinn na Feusaige
11th Ben Shieldaig & An Staonach
12th Maol Chean-dearg
13th An Sgurr & Bad a' Chreamha

GPX can be downloaded from
More Photographs
First site of Maol Chean-dearg after1¾ walking from Annat
Click on photograph to view slide-show