We might have set off with a plan but the mountain has dictated the terms for most of the day. The idea was an east-west traverse of Liathach’s fine and famous Pinnacles but our beeline to the starting Munro of Spidean a Choire Leith was rendered unwise by deep snow and falling ice. Instead we worked our way into the col a good deal further east near the lesser top of Bidean Toll a Mhuic. Having burst through the cloud on the ascent Rob, Oli, Russ and me enjoyed a glorious (although ultimately unplanned) crossing of Stob a Choire Liath Mhor and on to the original objective of Spidean a Choire Leith, which is incidentally Liathach’s highest point. Although much easier than on the approaches the snow was still hard going. Flic-flacking cornices created a wonderful series of ‘S’ shaped scoops along the crest of the ridge. Fascinating to look at but quite slow going to walk through. Ideas of The Pinnacles abandoned and now in near nothing visibility we descended the way we’d intended to arrive, down into Coire Liath Mhor to re-join our tracks of the morning beside the the burn of Allt an Doire Ghairbh. A brilliant circuit on the mountain and never mind that it wasn’t the one that we’d set out to do.

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