Aonach Eagagh, the finest mountain winter ridge in the UK
On a cold day in March 2014 three friends headed to Glencoe to cross the Aonach Eagagh ridge, widely described as the finest mountain winter ridge in the UK. We had looked for accommodation on Independent Hostels map of Lochaber. We booked in at Glencoe Independent Hostel, 500m from the footpath that ends the ridge so this was perfect. Keith, the owner of the hostel, put the heating on for us so it was cosy and warm when we got their. Keith also gave us some very relevant advice about avalanche risks on the normal descent footpaths.
At 5am on the Saturday we set off up Am Bodach, the Munro that starts the ridge. After a 2 hour march we reached the summit and faced the Aonach Eagagh ridge. The sun had risen and it was a stunning day, the photos are from the start. This year is the heaviest snow for 70 years and it showed. The going was deep and we needed to be careful. The climb is graded as a Scottish Winter grade 2, and we crossed the Aonach Eagagh in 4 hours with only 2 sections where we thought we needed rope protection. It was a fantastic climb and worth every bit of its best in the UK title. I haven’t climbed them all but cannot imagine anything another ridge could offer that this didn’t. Abseiling, ice climbing, narrow snow ridges with hundreds of meters of drops either side, steep soft snowy gullies and 3 Munro’s. A brilliant day and cannot wait to do the Aonach Eagagh Ridge again.