A quick conditions update from a pair of returning walkers and we were ready to set off shortly before sunset. With heavily scoured southern facing slopes and an emergency shelter packed we set off up towards Glenlochsie Lodge ruins upon where we entered the snow line and onto the southern slopes of Glas Tulaichean.
After some difficult navigation in largely featureless whiteout conditions and a strengthening wind we approached the top and with some quite tricky aiming off and hand railing of cliff tops we hit the summit marker at 8.30pm without issue, admittedly to our slight surprise.
Already poor summit conditions continued to deteriorate as we searched for a suitable spot to construct our home for the night. A rapid search led us down to an easily angled scarp slope just off the summit plateau, about 1000m, and with some probing we commence construction about 9.30pm.
After two physical hours of construction, in what can only be described as annoyingly 'sticky' snow, our snow hole was now liveable.
With dinner done by around midnight, unfortunately a restful nights sleep was not to be on the cards. With gales filling the door of our accommodation with snow at an alarming rate of over 30cm per hour, we decided to clear it every half an hour throughout the night, taking turns to suit up and brave the elements, gradually extending the work cycles up to an hour.
After a pretty sleepless night, whiteout conditions greeting us in the light; a slow start to the day ensued and ambitions for Beinn Lutharn Mhor were quickly abandoned. With gale force winds and little visibility and constant snow/rain a very physical and mentally challenging day was guaranteed. Goggles on from morning til night, we battled some of the most sustained and most aggressive weather I have encountered in the mountains, regularly getting thrown around by the wind.
Heading down from our snow hole near Glas Tuilaichean's summit to the North and heading towards Carn an Righ through knee deep snow and howling winds, with physically draining and painstakingly slow progress. we eventually summited the peak and returned via Loch nan Eun and into Gleann Taitneach before darkens fell once more and a two hour walk out into the driving rain. The boggy ground, generally atrocious conditions an end of the day in sight and a rapidly approaching overdue time conspired to a lack of caring about wet feet when the many fords were encountered and a quick and wet approach was taken getting helping to get us back to the car by about 5.30pm. The following two hill days we had originally planned were quickly abandoned in favour of a more restful weekend!