Building up to the ridge.
We parked up in front of the 3 sisters to get ready – they weren’t interested so we drove on to Aonach Eagach ! Paul dropped us off as he was mountain biking that day and wasn’t interested in “The Ridge”, and promised to pick us up later at the other end. Nice chap!
Larking around on the ridge.
I took some video as luckily I’d decided to take the camcorder along, using the zoom to turn a thin grey line way down in the valley into a road. We gradually made our way along the ridge, taking care on a couple of slabs which slope off to thin air and 2000 feet of “oh shit I’m going to die”. In the dry the tricky parts of the ridge seemed to be less troublesome than parts of Crib Goch on Snowdon, or Bristly Ridge on Tryfan. This is not to belittle the dangers at all, we were well aware of the risks involved and wet or windy (or both) weather would have transformed an enjoyable scramble into a buttock – clenching experience. My personal feelings are, if the weather’s good, you’re reasonably fit and have no fear for heights; this ridge should be top of your wish list.
As we walked along the ridge I kept pausing to admire the scenery, to try and take it all in. Thank God for video and photography. We paused for lunch on one of the ridge’s tops, Sgorr nam Fianniadh and I did a 360 degree shot of the view – Ben Nevis, The Mamores, The Grey Corries, Rannoch Moor, Schiehallion, Buachaille Etive Mor, Bidean nam Bian, Beinn a Bheithir – just how good does it get? Well you could be looking at it from the cockpit of a jet fighter. The RAF were doing some low level manoeuvres and we were fortunate enough to be in a saddle in the ridge when one banked and flew over us – it felt like we could touch the wings it was so close.
Thankfully there were no “incidents” with our bunch but a group of older people we crossed paths with seemed to be having fun. They were all roped and one person, who really didn’t want to be there, was holding things up a bit. Like I said, you don’t wanna be scared of heights.
Climbing the Pap and loosing John.
Nothing much else happened, apart from loosing John, going down a bit, waiting a bit, deciding John MUST be in the pub, going down a bit more, spotting a sheep, the sheep turning into John, John turning into an annoyed John, and finally ….. ah the pub.
It was a top day. The scenery was the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying and can only be described as breathtaking. I’ve done the ridge now. I’ve done scarier scrambles but I don’t underestimate it at all. We all had PERFECT conditions and nobody slipped, twisted an ankle, got hit by a falling rock, sneezed at the wrong time, or did any of the hundred and one things that can turn a day into a nightmare.
Would’ve liked to have been in that jet though.