Out original plan was Backdoor Route, but we decided against it due to the approach slopes. A basic avalanche test on a block failed very easily about 30cm down. That block then separated itself while sliding, with a layer at 10cm also. We decided that heading towards Raeburns was a bad plan, so we sprinted between boulders to the bottom of Western Slant on West Buttress, a Grade III that skirts the right hand side of Black Spout Buttress. This gave us 5 full pitches, followed by a 10m scramble to the top. The front hit as Richard was seconding the fourth pitch, and he then led on up the last full pitch in quite rough conditions. It was like someone was pointing a very large snow cannon up the cliff, and made things a little on the difficult side!
Once we got ourselves over the top and ready to move, it was a complete whiteout. It's not often we have to resort to map and compass, but it was blowing a hoolie, and we couldn't see where we were putting our feet. We navigated to Cac Carn Mor without falling into Black Spout or Crumbling Crannie which was a relief, and we decided that it was not worth taking a chance on dodging the various gullies that cut into the cliff, so it was plan B: down by Glas Allt Sheil. This has always been a back up plan if conditions were such that we were concerned about stepping off a cornice (there's no cliffs to fall off, but it's a longer way back to the car), and it's worth pointing out that it is the first time either of us have ever made the decision to do this, so it gives you an indication of how rough it was. Once a bit lower, the wind eased a bit, and the snow eventually turned to rain, so we eventually arrived back at the car a bit more tired than planned and a little on the damp side, but quite happy to have had a 'full' day out (with no incidents!).