The light was just beginning to creep in from the surrounding hilliside as we got out of the car and changed into our boots. For the first time this year I had my winter mountain boots on as the woman in the outdoor shop in Killin said that part of the route we'd need our crampons and ice axe so out came the good old faithful Mammut monolith GTX's. After missing breakfast we had an empire biscuit to initially sustain us and then it was on with gloves and hats and we were ready for the off.
It wasnt long before the sun was streaming over the hills and the sky was bluer than blue. This was turning out to be a spectacular day and if the weather held we were in for a superb walk. Ben Lawers behind us was basking in the morning sunlight and looking spectacular.
At the first plateau the path took us up and over a false summit and there before us was a clear path almost vertical up through the snow gully. Ice axes would definately be required (just incase of a slip) and we could see the other 2 groups of people ahead of us making their way up the steep gully, they looked like little ants.
On our way there the 360 degree views were immense. We could see right over to Ben Nevis and the CMD route was clearly visible. In another direction Ben More was prominent and everywhere you looked was mounds and mounds of white peaks.
The trickiest bit of the ridge was the downward scramble at the end which luckily we didnt have to attempt as there was a downward bypass route to the right. Looking back up at the scrambly bit it was just downward sheets of rock and ice and not something that I would like to have attempted either upwards or downwards.....perhaps in the summer though!
So on to the next and last peak of the day. Again it wasnt anything tickable but still an integral part of the ridge so off we went. The snow was quite deep here in some parts and the upward climb onto the summit area was a complete delight. Ice axes still in hand aided us through the deep white stuff and as our heads peeked above the rock onto the summit area the wind just took your breath away. Wonderful day!