The avalanche risk was high, there had been a lot of fresh snow. I decided to be clever. Lizzy had joined James and I for a winter climb. The classic east ridge of Bein a'Choraim looked like it might go despite the awful weather warnings.
We parked up in the lay by and stepped out of the BBV into over a foot of snow. (This should have been the first sign of disaster). It was a late start, but the walk starts on a track through the forrest and it was a blue sky day, perfect. We wound our way through trees that were heavy laden with snow commenting on the picturesqueness of the woods. We came to the river, we managed a possibly dodgy river crossing, and scrambled up the bank onto the Land Rover track that was to be our "motorway of a path" through the rest of the woods to the open hillside behind and our ridge line.
To our dismay we found the track was full of snow. Knee to waste deep powder snow! We broke trail for 3h 30min! Taking it in turn we would smash a trench through the snow until we were shattered, then drop to the back and let some one else take a go.
At 2:15pm we were finally out of the woods! We got a brief glimpse of our ridge line, plastered with snow, no, loaded with snow, before the cloud swirled round us and hid the ridge from view. Our hearts sank as our weather window vanished before our eyes. With good weather we could have risked the dodgy terrain and snow, as we would have been able to look at what was above us and decide on our safety. With ought the visibility the risk was unjustifiable.
Our hearts heavy, our bodies tired, we turned around and retraced our steps. It took us another soul destroying 2h 45min to plod back to the van. It was a slow torturous days walking. The company was good though. We had a dismal coffee in a pub just down the road before parting ways with Lizzy.