Another late winter hoorah and last chance to sample the mountains in winter conditions (think this is the third time I've said this! ;)). The forecast was for winter to descend on the Scottish Mountains again this weekend and once again we couldn't resist a little outing. On the Saturday it had been cold with some snow showers, but from the blogs and cams it seemed not too much snow had fallen, so we thought we might catch a gully in condition or even a ridge somewhere..... However the high wind speeds meant no ridges were likely and one look up into Coire na Tulaich on the first "look and see" showed what looked like very loaded slopes in the gullies! We stopped briefly at Altnafeadh in the driving sleet (it had been raining heavily all the way up he road) and decided D Gully Buttress may be a bit wet and miserable and we didn't fancy walking up in to Coire na Tulaich in these conditions.......
The next stop was at the car park for SCNL. Amazingly the rain had stopped and we could now spy a slither of blue sky out to the west. From here Broad Gully and Forked Gully looked pristine white as if there had been a large dump of snow.... mmmmmm. Having walked up to SCNL numerous times we decided a third "look at see" stop further down the Glen at the Stob Coire na Beith car park. Having never been into Coire na Beitheach, I was keen to head up here for a wander and the plan was to head up to the Corrie and then up slopes to the summit of Stob Coire nam Beith. We eventually left the car around 10 ish? (late for us!) and took to the hillside. The weather was starting to improve with the peaks slowly showing themselves around about:). G was keeping me right and educating me on the hills and climbs round about - some really nice looking routes here- a return is required next winter me thinks :)
We didn't have to progress far up into the Corrie to see how much snow had fallen as it was down to relatively low levels. We were up to our knees in it at some points and this was snow from the previous 12 hours, impressive for April :). However, it was also unstable snow, lots of graupel and whoosing sounds in parts! It was soon apparent that our trip up steep slopes to the summit of SCNB wouldn't be a wise move! The clouds were also still moving quickly and we decided on staying in the Corrie, exploring a little further. A trip up and over to SCNL was discussed but an incoming blizzard and white out made our minds up to head back down into Coire Beitheach.
The blizzard soon abated, and too our surprise the skies turned blue and the views were spectacular:) A perfect cue for some mountain man posing with impressive back drops... Lots of photo practice an a few examples of our piccies below.
A fine afternoon to be in the Scottish Hills - will this be the last winter blast - I think not..........................
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...