I spent the weekend working for Hebridean Pursuits with a great bunch of guys on a winter mountaineering course. We climbed Stob Coire nan Lochan via the hidden valley on Friday, made the best of a poor forecast on Saturday with a tour of the Douglas gullies on a very quiet Ben Nevis and then yesterday we had a great day on Sron na Laraig. There has been plenty of fresh snow over the last couple of days and the snowline has crept down the hillside over night.
Whilst I was out with the guys, Hannah, Dave and Julie were on the Ben with a group of 24 from Falmouth and Exeter university. There plan was to do the three peaks but unfortunately one of their minibus' broke down on the way here, so it just turned into a Ben Nevis weekend for them. They did a great job and were up and down in 7 1/2 hours, which is very respectable for a winter ascent, especially seeing as most had not been out in winter before.
A murky West gully
The final slopes on Sron na Laraig
A successful team on the summit of Ben Nevis. photo: David Buckett.