For the first day of our Scotland trip no one wanted to have a long day so I was going to go ice climbing on Aonach Mor with Stephen and Simon due to being able to get ski lifts up to circa 900m while the others were going to do a grade I gully on the west face of Aonach Mor, however this plan was changed as when we arrived at the gondola station at 9am the lift was on hold due to the wind being much stronger than forecast.
Due to not wanting to waste the day we headed back to where we were staying to head NW where there was supposed to be better weather, after a quick look at the map we decided to head up Fraoch Bheinn via the South Ridge and Descend down the North. The drive down the side of Loch Arkaig was fantastic but much longer than expected and I have never driven on a road like it, however eventually we did arrive at the end and start walking.
We arrived at the snow line fairly quickly however all the way up the south ridge the snow was fairly soft and there was no need for crampons, I climbed a brief line up one of the rocky outcrops which certainly got the adrenalin flowing without crampons! The wind was pretty strong and become even stronger when we arrived at the summit plateau. After a brief stop on the summit we descended and due to the wind decided to take the easier and shorter North West ridge which was a lovely descent and due to being wind scoured as soon as we arrived at the ridge we needed to put our crampons on.
Once half way down the ridge we contoured along the valley to head back to the car to finish a brilliant first day where we managed to stay just below the cloud base all day and walk somewhere which felt very remote unlike lots of the more popular locations in Scotland. As we started driving back we came across loads of deer so had to stop for some photos before heading back for a roast dinner.