/ 1st scottish winter weekend
can go to aviemore or fort william
The CMD arete isn't technically any harder than Striding Edge, though of course it's a much bigger day out. On a good day, it's a great trip, but navigating safely off the top of the Ben in poor weather is quite challenging.
As Mark says, not technically harder but over 5000ft of ascent involved assuming you go via Carn Mor Dearg.
The CMD is a wonderful day out especially if you get the weather. The devils ridge on the Mamores is perhaps a little more spicy. A traverse of the Aonachs completes a great few days.
You don't have to do the whole ascent onto the Ben. IF avalanche conditions are safe in Coire Leis then you can go up the Allt a Mhuillin and ascend where the abseil posts used to be or to the right below the brenva face (IF avalanche conditions are OK) and gain the top of the arÍte from there, cross the arÍte and then go onto CM Dearg itself. A much shorter day.
This is easier than descending Coire Leis. There was an avalanche accident here this year already and it can be a v steep ascent at the top of the coire with a lot of care needed. If you're confident and have good visibility you can access the arÍte early from the Coire floor in a number of places.
I don't know what conditions were like when you did Striding Edge, but I'd say that the CMD is a significant step up in terms of length, exposure, commitment and objective hazard, however you go about it.
ive done the cmd in summer with a night bivvy on the ben
I'm surprised at the replies on here. In my opinion The CMD is a much different prospect than Striding Edge. It's not hard just harder!!!
Striding Edge is like a bus lane compared to CMD and the exposure is much much less.
The actual arete is piss easy compared to Striding and Sharp Edge in Winter as it's mainly a walk. Actually getting to it is much harder mind.
The CMD was a full-on route last weekend! There was much more snow and neve than I have ever seen, and some serious cornices off what had blown into a very pronounced arÍte. I have not seen it as Alpine and enjoyable, but that presumes sure-footedness in crampons, and good axe work.
I would not recommend it unless you have winter experience for a good few weeks yet.....and then there is navigating off the top too of course, (where we had to assist a Polish fellow off, as he was fazed by the white-out).
Once in condition it's a skoosh though!
did the cmd arete on tuesday - as johnny notes it was pretty exciting for a grade 1! much harder than striding edge and sharp edge in any condition i have ever done them in. great fun, but very narrow and heavily corniced in places requiring some nimble foot and axe work
Erm... don't you mean the other way round!!!
Nope. I found the arete part of the CMD arete easier than Sharp Edge and Striding Edge.
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