I have just got back from another brilliant day out winter mountaineering in Scotland. Having left Torridon on Saturday and spent the last two days sat in Kyle of Lochalsh it was great to be out again. Our target was to climb the Saddle via the Forcan ridge and then climb Sgurr na Sgine before descending via another ridge.
The weather in the morning was dry and bright with the tops just below the cloud base, the walk in was a slog but was quickly over and was made better due to the fantastic views we had. Once we got to the snow line our progress slowed due to plenty of soft wet snow, however we finally arrived at the start of the ridge.
As we ascended the Forcan Ridge the snow kept improving and there was some great neve at higher altitudes, the ridge was good fun however never challenging. I was surprised to find a fixed rope at the abseil half way along the ridge, I made use of this as a handline and downclimbed which was fun before Andrew abseiled down after me. Unfortunately we we were climbing the ridge the cloud came in and didn’t rise again until we were off the Saddle.
We got to the summit 4hrs after having left the car and sat and had lunch in the hope that the cloud might lift, however after an extended break we decided to get the compass out and descend. Once we got to the col Andrew decided that he was going to descend due to his knee, but was happy to do this alone as it was easy route finding. Due to this I headed up Sgurr na Sgine on my own to complete the day out.
I did question my sanity continuing as the weather was getting worse and worse, when I left Andrew it was snowing. However, I am very glad I did as the views I got from the summit of Sgurr na Sgine were fantastic as the cloud base lifted for about an hour.
As I was ascending the final ridge the wind was starting to pick up as forecast and I was glad to be nearing the end of the walk, however the descent was horrible and ended up with very wet feet due to descending a bog to a very full river with covered stepping stones.