By: Blonde One
The Munro of Aonach Mor is the eighth highest Munro and stands at 1221m, only a tad shorter than its impressive neighbour: Ben Nevis. The climb up to its top was my favourite day out during this trip, although it was by no means the easiest. The climb up was the usual slog over rocky patches, icy patches and fresh snow. The occasional stop for a breather was rewarded by some views that had I got any breath left would have taken it away completely! Ben Nevis was looking amazing over the valley. Kicking steps out of the icy snow with heavy B1 boots with crampons attached was mostly the only way to do it and the leg muscles were getting one of the best workouts they’ve ever had.
The views were intermittently obscured by cloud for most of the climb from 750m to 1000m. The last little bit of climb was one of the most scary walking days I’ve experienced. It seemed like all of a sudden I couldn’t see a thing. There was a complete whiteout and I don’t mind admitting to being unnerved by it. It’s very hard to describe it effectively but basically I didn’t know what was sky, floor, cloud, mountain or edge of mountain. There was nothing to judge perspective by and everything seemed to have disappeared. There was utter silence apart from us 4 walkers and the dog. It felt as though I might have been walking any moment on thin air. The edge could have been one millimetre or one kilometre away!
A few more metres of height gain brought a little break in the whiteout and we felt a little more secure on the final leg to the summit over the best plateau imaginable. The sense of euphoria was strong as we strode (well tried to stride against the sideways wind and snow) across the almost completely flat stretch towards the cairn marking the 1221m top.
The OS online mapping screenshot shows the impressive nature of the plateau and the importance of our accurate navigation in poor visibility!