The whole country seemed to have forecasts for heavy snow, apart from the small part of north west Scotland around Torridon. Despite the lack of a forecast for snow, the forecast did remain bitterly cold with temperatures of -10 being forecast on the summits, with easterly winds which were gusting up to 50mph and a “feels like” temperature of -30 according to the Met Office.

Due to this we developed the plan to walk around to the back of Beinn Alligin and climb the atmospheric looking Deep South Gully as the descent off the back is quick, which should have limited our exposure to the strong winds.

We made quick progress around to the back of Beinn Alligin, and despite forgetting the guidebook, easily identified the gully. There was bomber neve all the way up the gully, which extended down to the valley floor. This enabled us to make rapid progress up the gully, which was fantastic. It was very atmospheric inside the deep sided valley, which combined with the snow quality made for a very enjoyable climb.

We were surprised when we got to the top to find that it wasn’t too windy, so we decided to head over and do the traverse of Beinn Alligin. We powered across the route without stopping to keep warm, but it wasn’t too bad as somehow we were mostly sheltered from the wind. When we weren’t the wind was brutal!

The descent gully was very much in the wind, and combined with the reduction in effort on the descent meant that it was very very cold! We made quick progress on the descent and were back in the car in under five hours.

In the entrance to Deep South Gully

Icy crux to Deep South Gully

Looking back down the atmospheric Deep South Gully

Topping out of Deep South Gully

Looking forward over the final horn

Jon and James on the final horn

Jon and James descending from the final horn

On the slog up to the first Munro

Stunning views from the top of Sgùrr Mòr

Looking towards Skye

Looking over towards Liathach

Approaching Tom na Gruagaich

James and Jon on Tom na Gruagaich

Descending from Tom na Gruagaich

Stunning views over Liathach and Loch Torridon