Monday, 5 February 2018

The problem with Scotland... that its too good! So I know I'm repeating myself but again I wasn't sure what to do this last weekend as I had offers to winter climb with Shaw and Kelly, rock climb at Reiff (too early season for me I'm afraid), paint, ski or go for a remote munro.

A nice problem to have I guess.... I was certain I would ski.... but then the latest weather suggested that the far North was the sunniest spot and I haven't been able to get the ridge I'd spotted with Tom and Sheddy out of my mind.

The dramatic ridge and Seana Bhraigh to its right

So I packed my van and set the alarm for 5.30am thinking I'd go for Seana Bhraigh one of the more remote Ullapool munro's. Its a really interesting area and again for the second time in 2 weeks coaxed the van up the rough track from Oykel Bridge. From the parking out came the mt bike for the long ride up the valley and I quickly passed the school house bothy I stayed in last weekend.

At this point I changed the plan as the ridge looked uncertain
I'd slightly underestimated this ride and it took 2 hours with the river crossings, taking pictures and carrying the reasonably heavy rucksack. As I got closer to the ridge I started to think that soloing the North Ridge of Creag an Duine may be silly as I was on my own and from this perspective it looked quite steep at the top. I wondered if I could get boxed in on the top rocks...

ditch the bike

In the end I abandoned my bike before the last river crossing that goes to Magoo's and Loch a Choire Mhoir and set off up the North ridge of Seana Bhraig. This actually proved a great option and was a lovely walk.
Oh.... the ridge isn't actually steep! :-) 
It paralleled the other ridge which provided great views for the whole day, and I then realised that actually it wasn't steep and I could (should) have just gone for it. Och well.

Seana Bhraig - the final section (ahead) was lovely
Beautiful untracked snow lead me up Seana Bhraig and had plenty of interest with cornices, steep neve and lots of ptarmigan. I even scoped out some possible new winter route potential (need to ask Martin Hind about this area - he'll know).

the top
I lingered on the summit before returning to the bike and the cycle out, which was now mainly down hill and very welcome. A great day, but to be honest with today's weather I think that any option in Scotland would have been great. Can't wait to return to Magoo's bothy and climb the ridge.. but maybe I'll leave it a few weeks before my return...

The school house bothy (again)

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