The actual route, and what happened

Aonach Mor, Aonach Beag to Tom an Eite

Tuesday 19th
Iain packing at bealach camp site
The bealach camp site at 5.00am.        photo © Mike Daniels

After a miserable, cold night we were up at five am to continue. The tents were frozen solid. so after taking out the poles and pegs we lay on them and then walked on them until we could pack them.

We then set off up the side of the frozen burn with crampons and ice axe. We reached the top to be greeted by snow and a virtual white-out. We turned north to take in Aonach Mor, and after finding the top we turned back south to take in Aonach Beag.

On the way we found some footsteps to follow. After a while we realised that they were ours, and we had been walking in a circle, so out came the compasses, which were a bit flighty, as the needle kept going off in strange directions. We managed to head south towards Aonach Beag. It was now snowing harder and visibility was about twenty yards. As I was wearing snow glasses I led the way, prodding the snow with my ice axe to look for hidden holes or burns. Iain was shouting behind me, "Don't go too far left - that is the edge".

Iain at Steall ruins
Steall Ruin for lunch.      photo © Mike Daniels

Suddenly out of the snow loomed a pile of rocks looking just like a castle from Grimm's Fairy Tales. "The top!", shouts Iain, "Now to find the place where we get down to the Grey Corries".

But when we found it, it was impossible, even with the rope, because of overhanging cornices. Feeling slightly dispirited we carried on south to get off the mountain. It was nice to leave the snow behind and we got down to Steall ruins for lunch in Glen Nevis - about 4 miles from where we had started on Monday (two days ago).

We carried on down Glen Nevis, very tired, to Tom an Eite where we camped.

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