the round of bruach na frithe
Mon, Dec 29, 2008
With a Scandinavian high in charge of the weather and a sky full of stars the night before, Dawn fancied a day on the hill and so did I, to blow away the festive cobwebs. With no snow and hard night frosts we thought we’d go up Fionn Choire and see how far we’d get on Bruach na Frithe as Dawn doesn’t have crampons for her bendy boots and her plastics are ancient and uncomfortable. Being bouldery high in the coire, I thought we’d get quite far as there was no snow to speak of, so we left the house around 8:30 and were walking by 9am, heading up the very icy path to the Bealach a’Mhaim.
Easy going on hard frozen ground saw us up in the coire around 11am having nibbles and picking out a route to the summit of Bruach na Frithe. The coire headwall still held steep snow fields which were iron hard and too steep for Dawn without crampons, so I picked out a route on the right that joined up frozen scree lines with small snow patches between, up which I cut steps to link the scree and so we reached the sun on the ridge, having been in cold shadow all morning.
Not a drop of snow on the main ridge and warm sunhine with little or no wind. What a superb day. The north facing coires all held steep snow as hard as steel and on the way up I had superb cramponning, trying out the new boots and crampons. The La Sportivas made it feel like walking up a staircase and I was like a kid in a playground, heading up the steepest snow I could find!
We met friends on the summit we’d first met back in September at the MCofS bash and who were up in the north of the island for new year. It’s a small world indeed! and we all headed down the north west ridge back to the Bealach a’Mhaim in warm sunshine and ice free rocks.
A blether back at the bealach and we parted company, they to their cottage up north and us back down into the shadows along the All Dearg Mor. The sunset that night on the way home was stunning and gave a fitting end to a fantastic day.
You can see all the pics here.