Beinn Eighe Badger Slayers

Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin from Sail Mhor

 Having done only a handful of routes and perhaps too many stormy walking days this season I was particularly keen that we make the most of the weather window and avoid a day's swimming. The north wests' best coire was certainly a good place to start. I vividly remember walking around Beinn Eighe in my first year with the Lairig Club. It was mid-december and a cold night in the tent was followed by a dark trudge in lashing rain, sleet and eventually thigh deep snow. A downpour of graupel and close proximity lighting had our hair on ends and it was with heavy legs that we arrived at the car later that day with only a long walk to our names. Regardless, the dramatic appearance of the dark knuckles making up the triple buttresses set against a toiling sky and streaming snow is one that i will not forget .

Tom 'The Grit Whisperer' Shaw - in quintessensial British garb!

 With the new-age Lairig team and following a similar night of wind and lashing rain it was with  heavy packs but a springy step that Tom and I made the long (and sunny) walk into Coire Mhic Fhearchair.

The aptly named 'Broad Terrace'

The East Buttress is a full on mountaineering day. Beginning with a traverse of the aptly named broad terrace, it takes a fairly direct line of mixed chimneys, steps and the odd thrutchy corner to arrive easily atop the wide plateau.

David Riley seconding the first pitch.

The climbing itself is secondary to the grand position attained on the buttress crest. Often incessant snow showers came in from midday, but perched comfortably on a ledge in relative comfort i enjoyed the situation after the tremendous bout of bad weather. From my seated belay and the company of a club bar I wondered at the staggered chimneys of East Central Wall  and the streaming gully below. On Central Buttress i spotted a lonely stoic raven,  noisily guarding its perch. Further north the familiar couple  of Baosbheinn and Beinn an Eoin huddled together amidst the heather. Any storm sought frustration had vanished and i was reminded of what i love about winter climbing.

Tom almost at the end of the difficulties

Erratic behaviour in the form of selfies - likely prompted by summit fever

Myself and Callum, gaining inspiration for a hill walk before the most important event of the sunday.

The title is perhaps the only intriguing reading in this blog and i should highlight now that a large badger was neccesarily slain on the A95 on saturday evening. I have a picture of the old boy but he was in an understandably poor state and would not have wished for a feature on my blog. On our return journey we did however manage to slash the tyre and now consider the balance firmly restored!

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