Thursday, 2 December 2010

Arctic blast on Beinn Nuis and Beinn Tarsuinn

While the rest of Scotland (and even the UK) has been buried under mountains of snow, we have had just a little dusting here on Arran.  However, we have not been spared the arctic blast from the east that has brought freezing temperatures right down to sea level and got me wearing my woolly hat indoors.

Yesterday Wally, Alec, and Luing the dog took advantage of the frosty weather and parked at the top of the String Road for a quick jaunt over Beinn Nuis and Beinn Tarsuinn.  Normally this approach involves wading through deep bog and "bastard grass" (Molinia caerulea), but on this occasion the bog was frozen solid and the approach was relatively painless.  

Even with the String Road approach- its a fair slog up Beinn Nuis...

Fantastic views of the main face of Beinn Nuis

Wally checking the Nuis chimneys for signs of ice (very little forming as it has been so cold there has been no real seepage). 

Higher up, there was an arctic blast of easterly wind that made going tough (and cold). 

Up on the ridge between Nuis and Tarsuinn the wind blew spindrift in our faces and we regretted leaving the goggles behind. Doh. 

The famous Old Man of Tarsuinn with a beard of rime. 

Descending to the bealach between Tarsuinn and Beinn A Chliabhain. 

From Beinn Tarsuinn we descended rough heathery slopes in to Coire A' Bhradain, to follow an argocat trail back out over the moor to the vehicles at the top of the string.  We hadn't needed crampons all day, but if we get a wee thaw that is forecast this weekend, and some more wet snow, the conditions will settle a bit and I would expect a lot of ice to form.  Fingers crossed!

1 comment:

odysseus62 said...

Great pictures - we normally come to Arran for the week before Christmas and love getting away from all the commercialism - but for family reasons we are missing out this year. Enjoy!