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Four Munros with one crampon

Four Munros with one crampon


Postby Pointless Parasite » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:20 pm

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Alder), Beinn Eibhinn, Beinn na Lap, Geal-charn (Alder)

Date walked: 24/11/2017

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 29 km

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This was my first trip to the Loch Ossian area and I'd been looking forward to it for months. I was planning on climbing the Easin ridge, but after buying a map of the Alder area in Glasgow on the way up, decided to tackle the three Munros to the North of Ben Alder instead.

Setting off from Loch Ossian Youth Hostel at 8.00:

Image
Loch ossian by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

My route followed the track from Loch Ossian up to the small dam in the Uisige Labhair, then turned North up Meall Glas Choire. I didn't see any other people all day, but did see a huge number of deer. This was part of a heard of around 50:

Image
Deers by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

So far, easy going despite a cold wind and poor visibility. I reached summit of Beinn Eibhinn by around 11.15. The temperature was around -5 with a strong wind, so didn't stay for long :?

ImageP1030053 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Not sure what this is, but probably looking back towards Beinn Eibhinn from the ridge to Aonach Beag:

Image
Beinn Eibhinn by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

It must have been around this time I noticed I had lost the crampon from my right boot :clap: I've no idea how I hadn't noticed earlier. I backtracked for about 10 minutes or so, all the way back to the summit of Beinn Eibhinn, but found nothing. I was planning on retracing my route back to Beinn Eibhinn after climbing Aonach Beag and Geal Charn, so assumed I could have another look later.

Meanwhile, the clouds were clearing as I climbed Aonach Beag.

Aonach Beag cairn:
Image
Aonach Beag cairn by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

I should have turned back here. I was getting tired and hungry, but a combination of frustration and stupid peak bagging mentality pushed me on to the next big Munro, Geal Charn.

Geal Charn from Aonoch Beag:
Image
Geal Charn by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Not entirely sure if this was the summit of Geal Charn or not, though wasn't in the mood to start searching:

Image
Geal Charn cairn by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Back at the bealach between Geal Charn and Aonach Beag, I was still hopeful of retrieving the missing crampon on Beinn Eibhinn, but this was looking increasingly unlikely as my footprints were disappearing after less than 5 minutes. Furthermore, I was starting to get seriously worried about my hands. I'd just bought a pair of new Sealskinz gloves but they were virtually useless in this kind of cold. My hands were more important than the crampon so decided to descend down into Coire a Charra Bhig and get out of the wind. It didn't look too steep and I still had my ice axe.

Looking back towards Geal Charn:

Image
Coire a charra bhig by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Sun starting to come out as the snow gets deeper:
Image
Coire a charra bhig 2 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Ben Alder:
Image
Ben Alder by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Down to the Uisge Labhair and a long long walk back to Loch Ossian:

Image
Uisge Labhair by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Beautiful and warm, but difficult going through deep snow on very uneven, boggy ground.

Image
Uisge Labhair 2 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Eibhinn by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

My route up Beinn Eibhinn, on the left:
Image
Meall glas choire by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Starting to get late:
Image
Uisge Labhair 3 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Uisge Labhair 4 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Back at the youth hostel at about 4.30 pm, just as the snow started to fall heavily 8)

I set off at 8.00 am the next day to climb Beinn na Lap before catching the train at 12.30.

Image
Beinn na Lap by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

There was a howling wind blowing spindrift from the West. The South side of the mountain was sheltered but covered in such deep snow it was even worse than the wind and spindrift.

Image
Beinn na Lap 2 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Iced-over summit cairn:

Image
Beinn na Lap 3 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Rannoch Moor was incredible with the low sun shining over it. Photos can't do it any justice:

Image
Rannoch Moor by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Image
Rannoch Moor 2 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

Back at Corrour station by 12.00:

Image
Corrour station by the pointless parasite, on Flickr

RIP. Note my careless attitude to dealing with the loose straps:

Image
Breithorn 2 by the pointless parasite, on Flickr
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Pointless Parasite
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Re: Four Munros with one crampon

Postby Coop » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:19 pm

Cheers, great report.
I've a few days off in February hopefully. There's a plan coming together.

If it's thawed by then I may find your crampon :D
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Re: Four Munros with one crampon

Postby gaffr » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:44 am

When to use crampons or not? In unconsolidated snow wearing them can be next to useless however when there are patches of old snow interspersed with new stuff it may be tolerable to have them strapped on.... although maybe in some conditions when it would be perhaps possible to walk around the hard stuff ...decisions to make. :)
On Breithorn almost certainly neve all the way from Klein-Matterhorn....I guess that the long potentially 'trippy up' long straps have been trimmed? :)
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Re: Four Munros with one crampon

Postby trederdog 100 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:51 pm

Some classic summit photo's here!
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trederdog 100
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Re: Four Munros with one crampon

Postby Pointless Parasite » Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:08 pm

Coop wrote:Cheers, great report.
I've a few days off in February hopefully. There's a plan coming together.

If it's thawed by then I may find your crampon :D


Ha Ha, thanks. I was more concerned someone would find it and worry that the owner had disappeared over the edge of the corrie :D
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Re: Four Munros with one crampon

Postby Somerled87 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:58 pm

Nice one. I found it pretty rough going up by the burn east of the wee dam east of Loch Ossian and I did it before, not after the 3 hills, and without deep snow to contend with. Hats off to you!

I don't remember there being more than one smallish summit cairn on Geal Charn, on a fairly obvious line of ascent from Aonach Beag.

Sorry you lost your crampon, but glad you still have all your fingertips.
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