Terra incognita & the Moy Wall
25th February 2016
Beinn a Chaorainn today. Ought to venture more often into this less frequently travelled end of our patch. It is more remote and so a bit of a graunch getting to it but skis helped to ease access.
(Above) Good cover. Great on easterly aspects from circa 400m? The approach to the South ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. This particular route entails a burn crossing at the bottom of the glen. The ice-glazed boulders in the burn were fun to hop between when handicapped by clunky ski-touring boots, a rucsac and skis on your back…..Had even more fun there on the return journey!
(Above) Any aspect with a bit of East on it is choked with old snow above 600m. Cold temperatures maintaining near-surface and mid-pack instability above about 800m. Really varied snow surface conditions in close proximity to ridges from a hard crust on one side through to hard slab and soft surface snow on the other – all within 20m either side of the main N to S ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. Harschiessen (ski crampons) would have been handy at times today.(Above) The light wasn’t great for photography today but there were one or two cloud breaks. A view of the back bowls and corries of Aonach Mor. About 20km away (line of sight).
(Above) The Moy Wall on the long ridge of Creag na Cailliche. The ancient boundary between Lochaber and Badenoch. Built shortly after 1770. Starts at the roadside of the A86 (turns into a fence for a time when it crosses a low lying bog) then works its way up to the summit of Creag Meagaidh. It is less obvious at higher altitudes where the original builders probably ran out of money, materials
and enthusiasm. It’s in remarkably good nick and taller than you might think. R.J McLeod, the civil engineering company responsible for upgrading the A86, did a lot of ‘pro bono’ restoration on it in 1994. It’s a fine piece of work.
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