Log 26 Feb 2012

CRUACH ARDRAIN 26 FEBRUARY 2012
 
Dave Kingswood was the organiser for the day which was planned to provide, if conditions were right, a climb up the classic Y Gully, or at least a local Munro for new members who might value a new Munro.   The Mountain Weather Forecast was for very low cloud all day, intermittent rain and winds building during the day to 50 mph or more, and even with a temperature a few degrees above zero, wind chill could be a strong feature.   Did this put people off?
 
Dave and Fraser met in the car park and waited a reasonable time before setting off to stick to the programme.   The forecast was right about the low cloud, so both carried two axes and crampons, but opted for the ridge above the forest, over Grey Height and Meall Dhamh.   Despite lack of visibility, conditions were calm, and recent mild weather and rain had taken away almost all the snow.   Once above the forest underfoot conditions were good, and the path easy to follow.   What was strange was that once we had reached the dip below the summit cone, the path went off to the right  and hugged the flank of the hill so far that it reached a dip NE of the summit and involved an approach to the cairn heading SW.   This puzzled us, but we lunched at the top in the shelter of the cairn.  (The wind progressively picked up after this).   As we descended we met two young men with a dog, who had also been puzzled by this very obvious route, and then another couple coming up the same way.
 
Lower down the increasing wind had the effect for a time of blowing the clouds away, and we had sunshine and views back towards the summit which seemed to show that the direct route to the summit would have been as straightforward as we were sure we could remember. 
 
Conditions were much better than the forecast, but the rain did pour down after we started the drive home.
 
Time taken was 5 hours 30 minutes.  Estimated distance was 10k, ascent 920m.
Report by Fraser Gold