/ best route to access Carn Mor Dearg arete?

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AdCo82 on 06 Nov 2012
When in winter conditions?
Daithi O Murchu - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:

ski lift then along the ridge from un big day out
AdCo82 on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to Daithi O Murchu:

Thanks.....and if not using the lifts?
abcdefg - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:

Well you'd normally go along it either from Ben Nevis, or from Carn Mor Dearg, depending on which way round you're going.
Milesy - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:

Torlundy. Past the upper car park and make a beeline straight left onto the ridge of Carn mor Dearg. Amazing views of the North Face, better than the views walking up to the CIC hut and then having to labour up that slope... shudder.

I done it for the first time 3 years ago when I was venturing into winter graded routes by taking the gondola up as I wanted to cut across Aonach Mor and do the east ridge onto Carn Mor Dearg. I decided against this though and just cut across straight into Carn Mor Dearg and up the ridge. Was a great day out and the sky opened blue right as I hit the arete. A day I wont forget and set the ball rolling into my future winter adventures.

Tom Last - on 06 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:

Lift up, then cut down to do the East Ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach, up to the CMD arete and down the over/off Ben Nevis would be a good day out.

East Ridge was grade I or easy grade II when we did it last year, nice route, very quiet. Didn't continue over the CMD arete as it was late, but you might want a long day out?
John Workman - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:
Best route to access the CMD arête.
My choice would be from the North Face car park at Torlundy, up to the CIC Hut. Then up into Corrie Leis and finally the headwall of that corrie [may require grade 1 climbing]. This puts you at the bealach between Ben Nevis and CMD and at the start of the CMD arête proper. Then up the CMD arête onto CMD.
Great views as you pass under the cliffs of ‘The Ben’, plus as you ascend the arête.
You will meet many others coming the other-way who will ask you in surprise, where you came from. By which they mean how did you reach the ridge, not where were you born.
In reply to An Triubhas: Here's the way from the visitor centre in Glen Nevis (good option if you've no car): http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/?i=47

Otherwise go up from Torlundy, up the Ben track then just after you've passed the tree line make a beeline for Carn Beag Dearg and bob's your uncle.
Jamie B - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to John Workman:

Fine if you just want to tackle the Arete as an end in itself, but I think most people (including the OP?) tend to see it as a route onto the Ben.

I've always turned off the Allt a Mhuillin path at the first opportunity and followed a muddy and indistinct path up the north shoulder of Carn Dearg Beag, them over Carn Derag Medhonach and Carn Mor Dearg. This is a fair bit of graft before you get onto the Arete, but surely preferable to what a lot of folk seem to do; going straight up from around the CIC hut onto the CMD summit. Steep, loose and trackless, sod that.

CurlyStevo - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:
I think you'll get the most out of the day if you either desend or ascend number 4 gully. If you decide on this you'll need to make sure the avalanche conditions are not too high, but it is one of the safer easy gullies on the Ben. If you do this there are benefits either way you go around the CMD from the north face car park and they are equally good but I would either ascend or descend via Jamies B's route.

If you decide to not do number 4 gully (which is often very easy) then I suggest that going Jamies route would be the best and then you have a choice from the half way lochain. Either bog trot back to the north face car park which is often a bit unpleasent or descend to glen nevis and get a taxi from the YHA back to the north face car park.
Joe G - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:

Up Ledge Route and down the CMD Arete is a lovely day out.

It also means that the bouldery slogs to get up to Carn Mor Dearg and from the Arete onto the top of the Ben are done as descents, which is also the case if you climb up No 4 Gully as mentioned above, but Ledge Route is more in fitting with a "Ridgey" day, so I reckon.
CurlyStevo - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to Joe G:
I agree although number 4 gully and CMD arete are closer to winter walking than most grade I's in good conditions (espeicllay if you go up number 4 and down CMD) so a rope shouldn't be needed. Ledge route a novice winter climbing will probably need a rope and may find it a long day by the time they've also done CMD.

To the OP: Don't underestimate CMD if you do the full ridge to Cairn Beag Dearg it adds a lot to the day. Expect it to take around 5 hours back to the car from the summit of the Ben if you descend CMD (it would take around 2.5 hours anyway back to the north face car park if you just went down number 4 gully which is the quickist way )
Joe G - on 07 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Very true, and a good point, although from the OP's profile he shouldnae have a problem with Ledge Route.
Kevin Rutherford on 08 Nov 2012 - host81-147-141-157.range81-147.btcentralplus.com
In reply to An Triubhas: Have done a similar route to the following(which involved skiing and soloing on the Ben), memorable day out. Taking 8am gondola, from the restaurant contour west,drop down and pick up the Allt Daim in the Glen, follow this up to the col on a faint path, below the west face of Aonach Mor. Ascend east ridge to the summit of CMD, easy but exposed ridge finishes right on the summit.(easier than CMD arete and more efficient than trudging up the normal way) Follow CMD to summit of the Ben. You get 2 mountaineering ridges for the price of one with a bit of uplift. Not too sure about descending No4? big day with tired legs? Finish in Glen Nevis or work your way back around to top allt na mhuilinn/guides car park and chance hitching a lift down to the ski car park.
In reply to Ecosse Mountains: A slightly harder variation on your start would be the gondola, then east ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach at about winter II or low end summer scramble (easy for the grade in either season, but a remote setting), then on to CMD and the CMD Arete onto the Ben. Descend to Allt a Mhuilinn (either via the zigzags, the Red Burn or No.4 if safe) and from the forest edge it's really not too far to walk back to the ski centre (in the dark, inevitably - but on easy forestry tracks)
Kevin Rutherford on 08 Nov 2012 - host81-147-141-157.range81-147.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com: Not done that ridge but looks good as well. I think (but could be wrong?) final slopes could be a problem, big cornices in that area?
bob-e - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas: Up Ledge Route, then on to top of the Ben, and down around CMD arete. Hard to beat.
CurlyStevo - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to bob-e:
I think though you'd have to be pretty much soloing ledge route to make it doable (not saying that's unreasonable in good nick). If you pitched ledge route it could be a long day by the time you've done CMD too.
Tom Last - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to Ecosse Mountains:

Hi Kevin.

Hope you're doing well.

The East ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach was free of cornices when I did it last season, but with big, big cornices away to the left (south) above the big bowl between there and the col. Top of the ridge is easy, broad and convex, didn't look like cornices would generally be a problem, but never say never!
seanjc - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas: As some have said, the route in through Glen Nevis is a lovely day out! Quieter and far less footpath boredom
bob-e - on 08 Nov 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: a long day would be had pitching all of ledge route anyway, and considering a lot of it is little more than a narrow hillwalk (like the cmd arete) why would you anyway. moving together on a short rope is the way apart from possibly the ramp out of no5 gully. thats how I've always done it anyway.
CurlyStevo - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to bob-e:
Yeah well I've done it moving together but we prefered a longer rope as there was only one section when a decent runner couldn't be placed between us (and I was climbing with some one less experienced). In less consolidated but deep snow conditions it can be quite a bit more full on.
In reply to Ecosse Mountains: Yes it's an excellent ridge, a bit off the beaten track. Re. cornices: I've not had a problem, though they can obviously be pretty big along the corrie edges to either side. Never say never, but I'd think generally not.
Jim Fraser - on 09 Nov 2012
In reply to An Triubhas:

Allt a Mhuillinn, veer left (under snow, check avalanche forecast and pick most-scoured route if necessary) and straight up the ridge for one of the greatest views in Scotland as you parallel the north face of the BenN. Then down onto the arete, hoping the winds don't get you (at times when the wind is funneling up there it gets serious and you need to be careful). Turn right up the big tedious slope toward the BenN summit making sure you pay attention to the nav (easy to wander too far left) and you're on top of our little world but having seen and felt much more than all the other punters you meet there. Red Burn, half-way lochan, Allt a'Mhuillinn, remembering most accidents happen on descent. Great day out.

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