Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ben Nevis, The Aonachs and the Grey Corries: Aonach Mor (8) and Aonach Beag (7)

Walk date: 09/07/05
My Munro #'s: 37 and 38

One steep path onto the Aonach ridge!

One lucky woman's 284th Munro! Aonach Mor:

Watch your step around Aonach Beag:

Paul and Andrew walks 2005. 7 hours. We parked at the end of the Glen Nevis road and progressed with easy walking through the forest and along the glen to the Steall ruin. Here, due to ambiguity in my guide book, we crossed the bridge and started ascending our descent route from Aonach Beag instead of starting on the route to its neighbour alongside Allt Coire Giubhsachan. Before too long however, we had realised our mistake and were back on the right path. This right path soon turned out to be very wet indeed, soon coming out onto a hidden glen with a flat bottom of wet grassland and bog. Despite taking care with our routes, both Paul and I had soaked feet within minutes. The cloud on this day was very low, only just above the floor of this glen. Ahead of us disappearing into this misty ceiling we could make out a bunch of hikers and the sight gladdened our hearts, ensuring we were not mad to be out on such a day, or at least that we were not alone in our madness. We caught up with this group at the col between Carn Mor Dearg and the first target of our day. It turned out that one of their party was finishing ALL OF THE MUNROS with Aonach Mor! We wished them luck and moved ahead on nothing more than a bearing as initially no path was visible. One soon turned up however with attractive red earth, and led us onto the surprisingly wide ridge between the two Munros, but not before an impressively steep climb on its twisting route. We arrived at Aonach Mor to meet a second group of hikers who were waiting on their friends that we had passed earlier! They encouraged us to stay and we duly did, to be rewarded with a share in the champagne and whisky celebrations at 1221m! We bid farewell and started discussions as to how we would finsh if we ever got there, hardly noticing the arrival of Aonach Beag. A small spot of bother finding the descent of this hill got us focusing again and before too long we were back below the cloud and finding our ways back to Steall.

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