We looked out of the top station., snow blowing heavily, a very Scottish start. We put on our goggles, peered into the whiteness in front of us made our way west to the viewpoint, then slightly south to drop off the South side of Aonach Mor. Several hours of walking later got us to the valley below Golden Oldie. I can't explain the drudgery of walking through a Scottish snow shower for hours on end. Plodding along a seemingly endless valley towards a vague start point of a classic winter test-piece climb.
Sam had given us some words of advice, they went something along the line of "its a long route that often catches people out, take two 60m ropes so that you can escape the route if you need to and a full climbing rack". At the bottom of the rib of rock we geared up. The starting ground looked fairy easy so rather than tying into the ropes James shoved his in his bag and I threw mine over my shoulders and dangled it down the sides of my bag. The plan was to rope up when the ground became more tricky.
We climbed up. It got steeper, but not difficult. We climbed onto a slab, the course was strait up, but the middle looked awkward but it went. A few tricky big steps saw us on to the platform above the rock. A few more moves and we were on a narrow ridge. A few more moves and we were off it. We carried on up some easy ground expecting the difficulties to begin at any moment.
To our shock we found ourselves on the summit plateau of Aonach Mor! Apparently we had just soloed up the whole route! We turned East and headed back through the blizzard towards the gondola. We walked on a bearing to find the top of the ski centre and found ourselves back at the gondola station just as they were announcing the last lift down due to bad weather.