/ One winter day in Lochaber - what would you do?

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Nacho-Shep on 17 Feb 2013 -
Hey guys,
Heading up to scotland for a couple of days in the week with the good lady, she is outdoorsy so i wont need to use my caveman skills to drag her too much! Going to head to the ice factor for an expensive but friendly winter learning environment and that will leave us with another day left to head into the great outdoors. So the question is like the title, what would you do with one winter day in the area? Were both summer confident and well experienced but I have only had a few winter outings myself - first winter for my girlfriend! Answers to put smiles on faces please as we may well be sleeping in the estate car (neither of us are that tall and valentines day was last week, she got a box of chocolates then and i cant be spoiling her too much)
Milesy - on 17 Feb 2013
The Ice Factor is good fun and a good day but wont really help you outdoors. Might be better if you say what winter experience you have
davy_boy - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep: most things would depend on the weather if its crap then its not much fun being on the mountains. for a bad weather day if you have the car then a run out to mallaig is always worth doing if you take the scenic coastal road. if you get decent weather then creag meagaidh is a good day out and you get some great views as you pass coire ardair on the way up. or theres always ben nevis via the cmd arete but would depend on your abilitys and the conditions underfoot.
Nathan Adam - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy: I thought the Ice Factor was a big help in relation to climbing outside. Especially when you start to get on some steeper stuff and take the techniques learned indoors and apply them outdoors.
Milesy - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nath93:

He isnt looking to climb. He only has limited winter experience and his wife has none.
ivanwindrush - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep:

For minimising legwork and getting you high quickly you could try the Aonach Mor Gondola. To bag the Munro you have a nice line of Ski runs to follow although the very top is flat and featurless requiring confidence in navigation. Some other options at

The Mamores are always a good option from Glen Nevis or Kinlochleven.

When taking the misses out in winter I normally aim for a relatively short day, but also have a few back up plans incase we move too slowly or the weather is dreadful. It is good some times just to practice ice axe and crampon work. Our record for a slow start was making it to the car park by 11 in the morning- That day we did not achieve our primary objective.

Nacho-Shep on 17 Feb 2013 -
In reply to Milesy:
To give a bit more information sorry; were confident summer climbers/mountaineers. I have only seconded several ice routes and solod grade 1 gullies. I mainly ask the question more to time restraints of only having limited time in the area, with there been so much choice in order to narrow the options down from peoples personal opinions. Interested in either ridge walks, gullies or low grade climbs as would be sensible enough to decide which would be a comfortable challenge! As winter is relatively new to us any knowledge/advice wont be frowned upon as it is nice to have another learning option than reading books in the transition from summer to winter. Its definately girlfriend tho - not wife, although that will amuse her!
Lion Bakes on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep:

A trip up Beinn na Gucaig, above Incree always a nice outing. Fine views across mamores and Ben Nevis, plus of the coast. No too high, remote or far for a first winter outing.
Cameron94 on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep: CMD arete on the Ben, the Aonach Eagach, Ledge route on the Ben, the ballachuilish munro's. The list is endless, have a look on Walkhighlands website for walking route ideas and the logbooks on here for info on the mountaineering routes.
Have a good one whatever you get upto
CathS - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep:

If the weather's good, I'd recommend heading to the Mamores and either doing the round of Mullach nan Coirean and Stob Ban, or Sgurr Eilde Beag, Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean.

Both are excellent ridge walks, with interesting terrain and amazing views the latter slightly more challenging with one section of very narrow ridge (about Grade I).

If the weather's good, I'd not bother with the Ice Factor. I'd also not bother with a gondola up Aonach Mor - which is a bit of a boring round lump to walk up.
Nick_Scots on 17 Feb 2013
Buachaille Etive Beag

Easy start, no walk in, good path and gradually steepens. Path can be icy in the mornings. Once you get to the col you can decide to do the longer but wider ridge going left or go right up the narrower ridge. You can do one summit then head back or do one then the other. Great views down Loch Etive and of Ben Cruchan hills.

Djhartley - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep: The way the weather is shaping up this week I would definately bin the idea of going to the ice factor, you could try...
1 - Getting the gondola up Aonach Mor and bagging both Aonach Mor & Aonach Beag this is a great outing with superb views over to the Ben & beyond.
2 - You could start at the NF car park ascend No4 gully out of Coire na Ciste & bag the summit of the Ben then traverse round to Carn Mor Dearg via the arete, great mountaineering day, stunning scenery.
andrew ogilvie - on 17 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep: If you've only got a couple of days in Lochaber, you like mountianeering and the weather turns out nice then don't waste one of your days in the Ice Factor ( no offence meant Ice factor, I love climbing walls)
You'll have a much more memorable day walking up to Carn Mor Dearg or the Aonachs to see the N face of the Ben, and if you start from Glen Nevis you'll get to walk up through the gorge and past the waterfall too ( which would be a nice day if you just stopped there)
Simlarly you could have a great day out up the Lost Valley onto Bidean and back down over Stob Coire and Lochain (and you wouldn't be sorry if you just stopped in the lost valley).

If you're further up the road then Forcan Ridge on The Saddle or the Tourist Route ( don't be fooled by the name ) on Sgurr nan Gillean are superlative mountain days ( though a bit more fall-offable than my other suggestions and a bit of ropework might be needed on either fo these if you're not confident).

I've spent thousands and thousands of hours in climbing walls... but don't just go to the climbing wall.

There's no view from the summit of a climbing wall.
The Ex-Engineer - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Nacho-Shep: Check out the excellent website - it provides excellent descriptions of arguably the 15 best mountaineering routes in the Central Highlands including around 7 or 8 of the routes already recommended by other posters.

- Ballachulish horseshoe
- Ben Starav
- Climber's Col (Aonoch Mor)
- CMD arete (Ben Nevis)
- Creag Meagaidh
- Dorsal arete & Bidean Nan Bian
- East ridge of Beinn A Chaorainn
- East spur of Carn Dearg Meadhonach
- Grey Corries
- Ledge route (Ben Nevis)
- Na Gruagaichean & Binnein Mor
- North face of Ben Nevis
- Stob Ban north ridge & Devil's ridge
- Sron na Lairig
- White corries

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