This describes the full Ridge Traverse, and is a grand entry into the realms of the high ridges. Great in summer and to be savoured in winter. There area as many descriptions showing either the clockwise or anti clockwise route. Most winter climbers prefer the anti clockwise route, owing to it being easier to ascend the sandstone terraces of the horns, plus it being easier to descend Coire nan Loagh path.
Park in the car park on the left just over the bridge crossing the Abhainn Coire Nobuil. Follow the easy angled well trod path for 2 km up the right of this outflow until you reach the footbridge on your left. Follow this and the steepening path up towards the horns taking care to take the path to the left. After a few hundred meters the path becomes vague but is cairned at most forks. You are after trending left towards the ridge, and not taking the path that trends right passing under the horns and along past Beinn Dearg.
In summer is it possible to follow the worn trail marks, but in winter under snow you must navigate your way up the line of least resistance, scrambling the many sandstone steps. A sustained section, but nowhere difficult.
Once over a shoulder the path eases somewhat until you approach the first horn. If required, there is a good path skirting the south western side, thus avoiding the horns direct.
Taking the horns direct, the scramble is straight forward to the first horns top, but in winter take care on the descent. A chimney down - crux of traverse - just to the left of the ridge is taken to gain the col between the first and second horns. Take the second and third horn by the line of least resistance with some descent deviations to the left before dropping down into the col between the horns and the ascent up to Sgurr Mhor. Take the steep ascent left of the ridge, until finally topping out at 986m.
The descent first heads south before heading west to skirt the head of the impressing gap of Eag Dhubh, the scene of a massive post glacial rockfall some 4,000 years ago. Pass a minor top as you head ever more south the take the path past the occasional rock step to the summit of Tom na Gruagaich 922m.
South again to find the path down Coire nan Loagh returning to your start point. In winter and spring the Coire can contain a large snow patch that can offer a glissade descent.
βeta:Windy, moody, and utterly compelling! Done anti-clockwise. Crampons put on for descent of the third horn. No idea where we were going really - downclimbed some sketchy stuff. The Horns were a plan B for an incomplete Deep South Gully. Amazing day!
Show beta βeta:Windy, moody, and utterly compelling! Done anti-clockwise. Crampons put on for descent of the third horn. No idea where we were going really - downclimbed some sketchy stuff. The Horns were a plan B for an incomplete Deep South Gully. Amazing day!
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