Lucinda and Jo are on a flying visit to Scotland this weekend with the goal of reaching the summit of Ben Nevis. They wanted something a little more challenging than the mountain track so were hoping to do CMD Arete, however the weather had other ideas. With 50mph winds forecast for the summit we opted for the much more sheltered, but still challenging route up through Coire Leis.
It was a shame to not do the Arete but the route to Coire Leis takes you right along the base of the awe-inspiring cliffs of the North Face of Ben Nevis, and today they were looking particularly moody and imposing. We were perfectly sheltered for the loose and scrambly climb up the back of Coire Leis and it wasn't long until we popped out at the cairn at the end of CMD Arete. Impeccable timing meant we had a quick sandwich with beautiful views over the Aonachs and the Mamores before making the final ascent up the boulders enveloped in cloud, hail and snow. This is the first bit of snow of the autumn so it looks like winter isn't too far away.
Well done to Lucinda and Jo for achieving their goal and embracing pretty much every element Scotland could throw at them!
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.