The view towards Ben Lawers

I’m pretty rubbish with dates and names, but 12th January 2008 on Stuc an Lochain is engrained. The adventure started well before we left the car as we made our way up to the dam below Loch an Daimh at the head of Glen Lyon. We were early and the hills were tinged with pink as we forged our way through the soft drifts in Alan’s Discovery, promising a very special day.

The hardest part of the day!

Glen Lyon

A team of 4 geared up and the sun came down the slopes to meet us as we headed off on ski and it stayed with us until it’s dying rays towards the end of this short early season day.

Skinning South from the dam, to skirt the crags before turning West, we climbed the steepening ridge, putting thigh stretching kick turns, to point 887m before crossing the narrow neck to ski the main ridge line surrounded for a thousand miles by snow clad peaks as far as the eye could see.

A steep pull up from the loch

Surely this is the ski tourers dream, travelling through soft snow on a firm base with not another person, track or footprint to be seen.

We reached the summit at 960m around 2pm with a sense of elation in such a setting, feeling like we had won some wonderful prize. Dropped off to the South West, even as the light was imperceptibly starting to go, we swung East to traverse the Southern flanks before descending below Sron Chona Choirein and turning North, with the light now noticeably fading, taking a slowly descending traverse winding through the corrie bowl to cover the distance back to the dam with the minimum of poling.

Such a day can not be replicated, each one is a unique prize, a combination of time and place. In amongst all our mountain adventures, each one wonderful in its own way, we will occasionally win our own unique prize to add to a small collection of our life’s treasures.

Two obvious choices of ascent dependant upon whether the road to the dam is navigable