It was touch and go today whether we would manage to get round the CMD Arete. The wind was forecast to be about 40mph from the SW with stronger gusts and showers of snow on the tops. However there was also mention of a lull in the weather in the late morning. So Mike, Dianne, Chris and I took a gamble with every intention of turning back from Carn Mor Dearg if it was too wild. Walking up from the Allt a'Mhuilinn was already blustery and on the flank of Carn Beag Dearg it was really quite windy but it stayed mostly dry for us on the walk up.
The CMD Arete is a very narrow ridge with long slopes down both sides. It would not be fun in strong winds and with wet snow being blown onto us at the same time, making us lose strength and accuracy of foot and hand placements, it would be a poor decision. Thankfully for us the calmer weather seemed to come at just the right time. We did get a blast of hail as we were on Carn Mor Dearg but it had been quite calm before that and it was calm again afterwards. So I've already had the first face blast of hail of the coming autumn and winter! There will be many more I'm sure.
Going round the CMD Arete was fine. There was a little wind at times and it was wet but mostly it was quite alright. The view appeared momentarily every now and then too, just enough to give us an idea of the scale of what we were doing. On the summit of Ben Nevis the view was, predictably, of the insiude of the cloud and it stayed that way until we got down to 900m on the Pony Track. We had some heavy bursts of rain on the way down too so Dianne, Chris and Mike all did brilliantly well. Not only did we climb Ben Nevis the hard way but it was in some quite testing weather as well!
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.