Trip report courtesy of Adrian Testa.
As we left the surfaced road and started the last four miles off-road to Glenuaig lodge, we were surrounded by gorgeous mountains and waterfalls, but unfortunately not very much snow. Some time after all phone-signal had disappeared, we arrived at the lodge and got settled in, awaiting the arrival of the rest of the crew. After a few cuppas, and lots of time spent admiring views, everyone had arrived. The beers came out, and we soon began discussing options for the following day, for which it looked like the weather would be the best of the week. Most of us opted for hiking, given the lean snow, but keen as ever (so I hear) Ben opted for a long carry, in the hope of skiing some of the higher snow off the steep north faces.
The following morning, we set out with a few staggered departures, but all with a similar route in mind. Most of us were ski-less, and sure enough the weather was true to the forecast, and we were delighted to see clear blue skies. After summiting the Munros Sgúrr Choinnich and Sgúrr a’ Chaorachain, and the Munro Top Bidean an Eoin Deirg, we had all regrouped again under the sunshine near the summit of Sgúrr Choinnich. By this point, Ben had already skiid a steep line in one of the north facing gullies near Sgúrr Choinnich, some of which were still had relatively thin lines of snow dropping down a couple of hundred metres. After a good chat, we split again, with a few going to finish their summit of Bidean an Eoin Deirg, before Ben took the fast route down on skis. The rest of us descended on foot, before a final boggy section of heather bashing. Needless to say, we were all happy to get the fire going, and have a hot brew when we got back to the lodge.
The next day, we set off in two groups with different goals. A few of us set out to summit Maoile Lunndaidh, whilst the other group were keen to revisit and ski Sgurr a’ Chaorachain. I was in the Maoile Lunndaidh group, and the walk was generally a steep, pathless slog to the summit plateau, worsened by occasional drizzle. After just three and a half hours though, we were back at the lodge making ourselves comfortable and awaiting the return of the skiiers. Their arrival was staggered, with the first arriving just an hour or so after us, and the last returning in the dark by head-torch – Ben had been keen to go back up and ski another run apparently! We were pleased to hear they had some fun runs again on the steeper northerly faces, but had also tried the slightly less steep east side of Sgúrr na Conbhaire.
The next morning, a few of us including myself had to depart. However, despite the deteriorating weather forecast, the remaining gang were still keen to make the most of this fab location, with an ascent of Beinn Tharsuinn, followed by a refreshing dip in the nearby river.
Overall a great trip, and a fab time had by all!