What an absolutely cracking day to be out in the mountains!! William and a few of his friends are over from Ireland and they could not have picked a better day for CMD Arete. The fresh snow has made everything look wonderful and wintry, but it's all very soft and coverage is pretty thin in most places. However it is enough to make progress a little bit tricky on uneven ground but we made nice steady progress to the summit of Carn Mor Dearg. As we came up just before the summit we were greeted with a spectacular cloud inversion away to the south with only a few of the highest tops peeking through.
Crampons would have been more of a trip hazard than of any assistance on the arete in the soft snow, but there is still enough coverage for it to feel relatively straightforward. The final ascent of the snow covered boulder field was a little awkward but reaching a quiet, cloud free summit and with spectacular 360 degree views, including out to the Isle of Skye, it didn't matter at all.
There is enough snow to make the descent of most of the zig zags nice and quick but lower down it gets very icy, so take care if you're planning on heading up there. There is plenty of snow and cold temperatures on the forecast for the next few days so fingers crossed this is winter here to stay!
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.