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Bespoke day on CMD arete

13 May 2016
What glorious weather to be hiking up by Ben Nevis ! Emma was leading a bespoke 1:1 on the Carn Mor Dearg arete and here's her tale...

photo 1 It was an absolutely stunning May day on the Carn Mor Dearg Arete. The walk in was pleasantly warm with amazing views towards the partially snow-covered North Face of Ben Nevis. A long, warm climb onto the ridge was made less arduous by the ever expanding panorama with some very large collapsing cornices visible on the final slope to the top of Carn Mor Dearg, 1223m providing a somewhat Alpine feel to the day. It was a summit to savour, and on a day as good as this, one of the best, if not the best, viewpoint in the Highlands.

photo 2 The excellent visibility allowed us to identify peaks from Schiehallion, to the Rough Bounds of Knoydart and beyond. However, it was the North Face of Ben Nevis to which our eyes were repeatedly drawn, the contrast of the dark cliffs against the snow filled gullies was magnetic. Our route ahead took us on an enjoyable and energetic scramble along the crest of the Carn Mor Dearg Arete, or CMD, as it is also known. We had the entire ridge to ourselves and savoured the setting. Afterall, there are not many days a year when it is possible to bask in sunshine on the CMD!

photo 1 We chose to descend into the head of Glen Nevis on a wild, unfrequented route south towards Meall Cumhann. Our only company was that of red deer tracks on the ground as we lost altitude. The steepness of the descent was tough on our knees, but the mountain scenery, with particularly fine views of the Mamores, more than compensated for the challenging terrain. Our route took us past the ever impressive Steall Falls before following the dramatic Nevis Gorge footpath back to the road, completing a rare traverse of the mountain.

More photos by Emma are here on Flickr.



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