Sunny days and starry nights.
After a busy couple of weeks and a few days off with an excellent weather forecast, a couple of solo trips were long overdue. First up was a couple of days out in one of my favourite parts of Scotland for walking and some hills I'd never done before in Glenfinnan. A bike is very handy here and cuts out a few kilometres of walking on a tarmac road to get to Corryhully bothy. Leaving my bike at the bothy I carried on up the glen to skirt around the back of Streap to find a more wintery north ridge onto the summit. The lower section was a slippery, grassy scramble but the rest of the way on snow to the summit and the ridge off the south west side were fantastic, despite the cloud coming in on the descent.
After having the bothy to myself (and an overly friendly mouse) I woke up to clear blue skies and got an early start on the Glenfinnan Horseshoe. Winter was just about hanging in there on Sgurr nan Coireachan but the rest of the route was patches of snow going soft in the sun. It's an excellent route, well worth doing in summer or winter but a bike is definitely recommended, especially if you're going to do it without a night in the bothy.
Trip number two was to another range of mountains I'm ashamed to say I'd never visited before - the Grey Corries. These lie just to the east of Ben Nevis and are a long chain of mountains with numerous summits and sharp ridges. The calm clear weather was set to continue so it was perfect for a two day traverse, starting at the eastern end with Stob Coire Gaibhre and finishing on Aonach Mor.
The plan for the traverse was to get as far as possible on the first day, hopefully leaving myself a nice, easy second day. A long but brilliant day got me to the bealach between Sgurr Choinnich Beag and Stob Coire Bhealaich. With such stunning weather forecast for the two days I hadn't seen the point in carrying a tent so found a nice person-sized ledge tucked behind a little crag out the wind just asking to be bivvied on.
The sun went down, the temperature barely dropped, and all the stars came out for a perfect night on the ridge. I woke up above the clouds and with the sun just coming up on another crystal clear day. The snow hadn't frozen at all overnight so I was grateful for the early start as the steep slushy snow on the ridge onto Stob Coire Bhealaich was only going to get slushier in the sun. From there it was a very slow amble over Aonach Beag and Aonach Mor, mainly because I didn't want it to end. After not seeing a single person for nearly two days it just goes to show that you don't have to travel far at all to find some wilderness and you don't always have to be hanging off the end of a rope to have an incredible adventure!
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Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.