Aonach Eagach and Sgorr Dearg

Photos by Aarne Ranta

April 29 to May 1, 2006.

Aonach Eagach ("the notched ridge") is one of the most well-known walks in Scotland. It involves some interesting non-technical scrambling in superb surroundings. I made the traverse in the normal direction, from Am Bodach in the east to Sgorr nam Fiannaidh in the west. Since the weather was fine, I could not resist the idea to bivouac on the ridge. This way I saw a most beautiful sunset from Meall Dearg, and a glimpse of the whole ridge before the weather turned from a bright, frosty midnight to a morning of thick mist. In the mist, the ridge was ghastly, only revealing one pinnacle at a time, and giving the feeling that they never end. The rocks being humid, and the rugsack containing all bivouac gear, the steps perhaps required more care than under optimal conditions. But I never felt I had to take risks - I just had to stop now and then to study the route and plan a few steps ahead. The clear path and crampon marks on rocks made orientation easy.

Sgorr Dearg the next day was a recreational trip, in a weather oscillating between sunshine and white-out in show storm. The north-east ridge should be a good place to try out some scrambling, before proceeding to places like Aonach Eagach.

This was my first real hillwalk in Scotland, and I really like the varying terrain and friendly atmosphere. Thanks, all you fellow walkers whom I met on the hills and in the valley!

You can click on the pictures to make them bigger. The jpg file size is around 1M.

Picture 1: Heavy traffic on A82 down Glen Coe.

Picture 2: View of the Three Sisters from the slopes of Am Bodach.

Picture 3: The Chancellor and Lake Achtriochtan.

Picture 4: The sudden drop west of Am Bodach.

Picture 5: The sudden drop left behind.

Picture 6: Sunset from Meall Dearg.

Picture 7: Way to Stob Coire Leith, with the "crazy pinnacles".

Picture 8: After a night under stars, a misty morning on Meall Deargh.

Picture 9: One of the first pinnacles.

Picture 10: Sudden drop before the next pinnacle.

Picture 11: The ridge is never more narrow than this.

Picture 12: The mist only permits seeing one pinnacle at a time.

Picture 13: Heading for the chimney.

Picture 14: Crampon marks on the chimney rock.

Picture 15: Finally the last pinnacle?

Picture 16: The ridge to Sgorr nam Fiannaidh.

Picture 17: Glen Coe village and Loch Leven.

Picture 18: Next day: above Ballachulish.

Picture 19: The north-east ridge of Sgorr Bhan.

Picture 20: Looking down the north-east ridge, with new snow.

Picture 21: The summit of Sgorr Dearg.

Picture 22: The south-east ridge of Sgorr Dearg.

Picture 23: Glen Coe village.

Picture 24: The North ridge of Sgorr Dearg.

Picture 25: Quick wash and change of clothes.

Picture 26: A pint of Three Sisters' ale at the Laroch bar.

Picture 27: Haggis, Tatties, and Neeps.

Picture 28: Farewell to the Aggy Ridge.

See also: photos from Mont Blanc, photos from Didnojiehkki, photos from Jotunheimen. photos from Lyngen,