Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Beinn An Lochain 13 December 2010.

My mate Pat recently treated himself to a new pair of walking boots and he wisely decided to go for a pair that'd take crampons. Pat's fairly new to hillwalking and was keen to have his first bash at walking in winter conditions so we decided to take advantage of the perfect forecast and climb Beinn An Lochain. This is a mountain that is just under 3000 feet but has more character and provides a more airy walk than many better known hills, I've been up it several times but never in winter conditions so was relishing the challenge.
Our objective, lit by the morning sun.
Pat getting ready to leave. It was -5C when we got out the car.
Pat on the first section of the northeast ridge with Loch Restil and the Rest and be Thankful behind.
Me a bit higher up the ridge.
The ridge gets narrower and more airy the higher you get with some nice exposed sections, it's a really great walk.
Pat gets his first taste of ice axe and crampons, looks like he's enjoying it!
Beinn An Lochain's better known neighbours (Ben Ime, Beinn Narnain and The Cobbler).
The final section of ridge. The path winds it's way up through the rocks just to the left of the skyline.
Nearly there!
Me on the summit and.........
Pat on the summit.
Ben Nevis (centre distance) clearly visible around 50 miles to the north.
The view up Glen Kinglas.
All in all a really good day in the hills. There was a lot less snow than I'd expected (even the north facing slopes were stripped) but there was plenty of water ice for Pat to try using crampons and enough snow for me to show him how to do an ice axe arrest and for him to have a few practices. On the way we drove past the head of Loch Long which was frozen right across. It needs to be pretty cold for sea lochs to start freezing!

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