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Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?


Postby notanotherunicorn » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:18 pm

I am looking for some advice about munros in late October or very early November.

We are heading up to Scotland for a road trip in the october half term with the children. We want to go up just one munro as we probably won't have the chance to come back and do it again for some time. They have done snowdon, cader idris and smaller hills before but mostly in the summer, this is their first visit to Scotland in fact! It seems we are in for a mild autumn but we are not able to predict what the conditions are likely to be up the top of a munro on any given day, very very cold I imagine?

We are looking for somewhere that has:
A path that is not likely to lead to children falling to their deaths off drops, no serious scrambling or being easy to wander into gullies etc. Less likely to have serious amounts of snow and ice that time of year (wishful thinking?). Munros that are the least dangerous in snow and high winds should the weather change suddenly at least!
Interesting views and some variation to keep the kids going during the climb and interest at the bottom with scenic woods/lochs etc, not just a monotonous slog. We want somewhere that feels a bit fairy tale ideally.
Not too long, 10 hours would be too extreme for small legs, but not too steep either.
Not especially busy because we will have our dog with us and don't want to bother other walkers that aren't keen on dogs. plus it feels more like an adventure when it isn't teaming with other people.

On that note would it be best to buy dog shoes and a snow jacket for the dog at this time of year? It's a smooth haired Hungarian Vizsla that feels the cold!

This user has been banned as they have posted from several different accounts each used only once, with queries that contradict each other. Suspected trolling.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby WalkWithWallace » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:59 am

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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby mmill » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:35 am

A good combination of adventure and one of the most straight forward munros is to hop on the train to corrour and walk up beinn na Lap. As with others very weather dependant being a remote location.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby NickyRannoch » Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:49 am

Depends where you are going to be.

Good options around Glen Shee and Angus but long drives on slow roads if you aren't already nearby.

The chances of snow being established at that time of year are vanishingly small but the chances of it being cold enough to snow or wet grass turning to ice are possible. Today summit temps are 5 degrees but in 6 weeks time every chance they are sub zero (or might be 10 degrees) with even a wee bit of wind the wind chill drops that right down.

You won't be doing 10 hours anyway because of the light. At Schiehallion on 31st October sunrise is 0730 and sunset 1630

Not to put you off but just to give you the full picture.

The other side of the coin is I have done Jan 1st walks with double figure summit temperatures.

Enjoy your walk but be prepared to turn round if needs be.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby simon-b » Wed Sep 22, 2021 11:59 am

Good advice given already about choices. Nicky's point about daylight hours is worth emphasising, the mountains in Wales you've climbed have considerably longer daylight in autumn/winter than the Highlands do.

I assume your dog is well behaved and under control on walks, in which case it shouldn't be an issue for other hillwalkers. What is important is to ensure your dog is strictly under control around livestock and wildlife, including birds. I have seen otherwise good natured, well behaved dogs disturbing ptarmigans, which is something to take care to avoid. Other than that, your dog and the children should have a great time, conditions permitting. I hope you get a good day for it, enjoy!
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby AHillTooFar » Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:58 pm

Mount Keen via Glen Tanar as mentioned in the 10 easier munros is a good choice. Glen Tanar is a nice place that can be quite busy near the car park but is a nice walk.

Personally I would ignore the word Munro altogether as it might rule out some nice walks. Merrick down in the Galloway region is a nice walk and has the Glen Trool area as well to explore. Loch Enoch down the East slope is a nice place as well although perhaps not with a nice enough path.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby LobeyD » Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:27 pm

Tarmachan would be my recommendation. Lovely area generally. Car Park is at 400m and it's one of the smaller Munros, so arguably the easiest, plus a clear path. If it is a nice day and everyone is feeling fit you can extend your walk along the ridge after the summit, which is probably the best bit of the hill. There is a 'bad step' on the ridge but it is quite far along and can be bypassed easily, or be the point you turn around. The crowds head for Lawers opposite, so while you will likely meet some folk it shouldn't be mobbed in October.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby jmarkb » Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:54 pm

Probably best to have a range of options in mind, so you can make best use of a good weather day close to wherever you happen to be. A few other ones, many of which are often done as part of a longer walk, but are fairly straightforward and easy on their own: Stuchd an Lochain, Stob a' Choire Odhair, A' Mharconaich, Càrn Ghluasaid, Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin).

As mentioned above, there are plenty of smaller hills which are rewarding and suitable for a shortish day. Make sure you start early enough, and that the kids have plenty of warm layers, waterproofs, hats and gloves. A coat for the dog is probably a good idea too.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby jmarkb » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:00 pm

LobeyD wrote: There is a 'bad step' on the ridge but it is quite far along and can be bypassed easily


The bypass path is not very obvious when approaching from above (i.e. going anticlockwise). If you find yourself at the steep scrambly section, go back uphill for 20-30m and look for a faint path heading off to the north (left looking up). Erosion has made scramble more unpleasant in recent years and is well worth avoiding - I have seen folk in various states of unhappiness on it on all the last few occasions I've been there.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby Giant Stoneater » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:46 pm

mmill wrote:A good combination of adventure and one of the most straight forward munros is to hop on the train to corrour and walk up beinn na Lap. As with others very weather dependant being a remote location.


The only problem is with young children there is no bale out option if there happens to be a problem with the train, which has happened in the past.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby denfinella » Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:10 pm

It's really difficult to predict what the weather will be like in late October - you could get anything from pleasant temperatures with light winds and sunshine, to driving rain, icy terrain or a little fresh snow on the summits. Statistically, it's the wettest time of year, and high winds and fog are also likely. Having said that, if you're here for more than a few days there's a good chance that at least one of the days should be OK.

If there's good weather with no lying snow or ice, I think I would go for something like Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas (2 for the price of 1), Mount Keen or Schiehallion. They all have a reasonable path, except for the top part of Schiehallion which is very rocky.

As others have said, it's worth remembering that there are lots of equally worthwhile, smaller hills which aren't high enough to be Munros, such as Ben A'an, Ben Ledi, Ben Vrackie, Arthur's Seat, Creag Bheag near Newtonmore, Ben Rinnes, Bennachie... (you haven't said which part of Scotland you'll be visiting - these are dotted all around).

jmarkb wrote:
LobeyD wrote: There is a 'bad step' on the ridge but it is quite far along and can be bypassed easily


The bypass path is not very obvious when approaching from above (i.e. going anticlockwise). If you find yourself at the steep scrambly section, go back uphill for 20-30m and look for a faint path heading off to the north (left looking up). Erosion has made scramble more unpleasant in recent years and is well worth avoiding - I have seen folk in various states of unhappiness on it on all the last few occasions I've been there.


I agree with this - the bypass for the "bad step" on the Tarmachan Ridge is not obvious from above. Its northwesterly aspect also makes it prone to ice following rain and a cold night (certainly possible in late October). We did the ridge on a sunny day in mid April. Despite there being no ice anywhere else on the ridge, this section had a coating of clear ice which made it quite a challenge - the sun hadn't got onto it even by lunchtime.

Once safely negotiated, we looked back and saw the much easier bypass path... :lol:
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby Alex W » Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:22 pm

I'd look seriously at Ben Vrackie. It's a proper mountain. It might be a few feet shy of 3000, but it sits majestically at the head of a glen and has a wonderful outlook down the plain towards Perth. It's a very easy path at the bottom, but with increasing height you get good views. Then the summit assault is rocky with a mountainous feel, but still very straightforward and safe. I've seen all shapes and sizes of dogs up there. When you are back down the Moulin Inn is dog and child friendly and even has good home brewed beer (not so much beer miles as beer yards).

It's still a serious hill, so all the usual caveats about weather and clothing apply. It's a cracking day out.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby simon-b » Wed Sep 22, 2021 5:17 pm

Alex W wrote:I'd look seriously at Ben Vrackie. It's a proper mountain. It might be a few feet shy of 3000, but it sits majestically at the head of a glen and has a wonderful outlook down the plain towards Perth. It's a very easy path at the bottom, but with increasing height you get good views. Then the summit assault is rocky with a mountainous feel, but still very straightforward and safe. I've seen all shapes and sizes of dogs up there. When you are back down the Moulin Inn is dog and child friendly and even has good home brewed beer (not so much beer miles as beer yards).

It's still a serious hill, so all the usual caveats about weather and clothing apply. It's a cracking day out.

Seconded. I found this gave a better mountain day than some of the easier Munros. Plus the Pitlochry area is relatively easy to get to, and very attractive with autumn colours.
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:42 am

“Interesting views and some variation to keep the kids going during the climb and interest at the bottom with scenic woods/lochs etc, not just a monotonous slog. We want somewhere that feels a bit fairy tale ideally.”

I think this is vital with children. It needs to feel like a little adventure. With mine, we did Cnicht, Catbells, Snowdon, Moel Siabod and Rhinog Fach, and then Tryfan and the Glyders (separately) when they were a bit older - all of these hills offer that sense of exploration and discovery. We did go up the Tarmachan too, but the thing they mainly remember about that one was finding a semi decomposed sheep. Great excitement and fascination.

On that basis, I would suggest Ben Narnain or Beinn Ime via the Cobbler path, with variety and new things to see all the way, but without venturing near the Cobbler’s cliffs.

Tim
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Re: Easiest and safest munros in late october with children?

Postby rodderss » Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:45 am

A good option if near Braemar would be Carn an t-Sagairt Mor from Loch Callater.

A nice easy walk in to the beautiful loch callater (with Bothy and toilets) a good path from there to the summit of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor which has a lot of plane wreckage near the summit.
If time on side and feeling fit Cairn Bannoch is a very easy walk to add a second munro

That’s a enjoyable walk , with plenty interest
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