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The Magnificent Lawers Seven!

The Magnificent Lawers Seven!

Postby EuanWardrop » Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:11 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Stùc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall a' Choire Lèith, Meall Corranaich, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 26/09/2020

Time taken: 11.5 hours

Distance: 21.2 km

Ascent: 1635m

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I had been looking at these hills for a wee while, after completing most of the Arrochar Alps the next logical step seemed to be the Lawers group. We had had a fantastic day on Meall nan Tarmachan a couple of months ago and got some wonderful views over to Lawers itself so I was hopeful the weather would repeat itself! I had looked for a couple of weeks at this route and whilst I knew it would be a challenge both in length and ascent I was determined to attempt it and hopefully increase our tally for the year.
Lochan at the beginning

I managed to convince Aby and Dad to join in and after a 4.30am :shock: wake up call on Saturday we were off! A much needed pit stop at McDonalds and we arrived at the Lawers Hotel for about 6.45 where we left our car and took Dad's up to the far end of the Loch to the starting point. There was one campervan parked up but I was pretty sure we would be the first heading up this way.
Cooper waiting for us to start

The first summit in view

We started off up the path which was good to begin with with a few soft patches. I think we had been fortunate that there hadn't been much rain recently so the ground was reasonably solid. In dodging a particularly bad area we lost the path slightly but managed to get back to it quick enough. We aimed for the intake and crossed the burn here easily enough. From here the path faded a fair bit but with the first Munro ahead of us and the trusty GPS being checked regularly we stayed on course.

Crossing over the next burn at the base of Meall Coire Leith proper the ground became much steeper and also much boggier! It was slow going up this section but thankfully the bog gave way to firmer ground about 2/3 of the way up. The gradient slackened off and we came to the cairn soon enough. 1/7 down and it was bang on 9.00, I was pretty happy with that time as I had hoped to be finished for around 5pm.
1st Summit

Looking back to Choire Leith

We didn't hang about too long here, though the views were lovely, we quickly pressed on down to the bealach and soon began to climb again. This was a nice steady gradient and quickly got our first views of the true summit of Corranaich. The ground had been slightly boggy after the bealach but quickly solidified as we reached the shoulder of the hill. We were passed here by two ladies with a couple of spaniels who were charging about, Cooper was trying to keep up but he had no chance! :lol: We had a chat and they were also doing the 7 in one go. They moved on and we didn't see them again all day, they did leave us a lovely note on our windscreen which we discovered when we got back. Thank you! A quick stroll and we were up to the summit. 2 down and it was only 10.15, piece of cake! :lol: The wind had picked up slightly at this point so we came off the summit and stopped for about 15 minutes to have a bite to eat. The views to the South and west were excellent!

Beinn Ghlas was the next target and didn't look too far away from where we were! We had to drop down quite steeply here to the bealach but as this would be the lowest we would be until we were coming off the last hill I wasn't too bothered. Though as Dad said its better not to lose any height!! The climb up Ghlas was quite testing, steep and relentless. The wind was also continuing to pick up and this was pushing us into the hill. After what felt like a long climb we arrived at the summit and into the crowds of people coming from the main car park doing Ghlas and Lawers. Once out of the wind it was lovely and we got some great views across to the Tarmachan ridge and also round to Lawers and An Stuc. 3 Down for 11.30, still keeping a good pace I felt.
Lawers in cloud.JPG
Lawers in cloud early on

Summit of Bheinn Ghlas

We set off towards the big one, Lawers, and were immediately buffeted by strong winds coming from the North. Once we got closer to the climb of Lawers itself the wind died a little and we started to ascend. It was very busy now as it was approaching peak time and there was a constant stream of people coming up and down. The path going up was excellent and we took a few breaks as we were starting to get a bit tired now. We eventually reached the top but didn't linger as the wind was really strong and it was a battle to stand up straight! We quickly headed down towards our next objective, An Stuc.

It took a good half hour to drop down into the bealach before An Stuc and we mercifully got out of the wind and had a good break to refuel. I think we were all needing it at this point, the most we had done in a day before was 2! Even dad who is up to 260 has only ever done 5 in one day before. A good pit stop and we headed up the steep face of An Stuc. The path here is good, large steps and a couple of steep parts where hands are required but all easy enough. We reached the top for 2pm, still being buffeted by the very strong wind.

Now came the part both Aby and I had been dreading slightly, the scramble down the East face of An Stuc! To be honest I think we had probably built it up more in our heads than it turned out to be. The path was steep and quite exposed but thankfully we were shielded from the wind. There were 2 bad steps where we had to face into the rock and get guided down slightly but nothing too major. I would say it was on a par with Stuc a Chroin, though I went up that face! We were making sure to take our time coming down. We were passed about halfway down by a group of 4 from RAF mountain rescue. It looked to me that they were running down they were so fast compared to us! :lol:
An Stuc.JPG
We came down there!?

Glad to have passed the worst obstacle we set off for for number 6! Meall Garbh was not too bad, a few false summits and we were still battling the wind most of the way as this was very exposed on the ridge. We were still getting fantastic views in all directions. From An Stuc and Meall Garbh we could get a real sense of how far we had come already and I felt quite proud to have made it so far.

Stuc and lawers.JPG

The descent from Garbh was a struggle for me as my knee got pretty sore, I used the poles but our pace had slowed a great deal by now. I knew Meall Greigh was a bit removed from the rest of the range but it felt a lot further with the pace I was moving at! We finally reached the bealach and had another good break. Refreshed we pushed on to the final summit of the day. A few false summits on Greigh but it was a good steady incline and my leg wasn't anywhere near as sore going uphill. We finally reached the cairn together and took a good moment. A fantastic achievement, I couldn't quite believe we had managed 7 in a day!!
Not easy to get 3 people and a dog in a selfie!

We eventually set off down towards the road, though this was still a good couple of miles away. I was a bit concerned that this was going to be a boggy nightmare but thankfully the going was excellent and as we were walking out into the valley we got some more excellent views up towards Lawers and Lochan Na Cat. The walk through the forest was pleasant and we finally arrived back at the Lawers hotel for about 6.30. A little longer than expected but no matter, though I was a bit disappointed that the Hotel was shut as I was looking forward to a pint at the end of the walk!
Views (2).JPG

Views 3.JPG

We dropped dad back off and made our way home, a takeaway to look forward to! It was a truly incredible day and we were so lucky to have had good weather for it. It was long and we were very stiff the next day but very proud to have achieved this feat!
Lawers sun.JPG

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Re: The Magnificent Lawers Seven!

Postby iangpark » Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:19 am

An excellent effort folks, especially with 3 (4) of you! I think if you've got a car at either end then doing this route NW-SE is definitely the most sensible option. My 'taps aff' version in mid August nearly killed me; looked like you all breezed though :lol:
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Re: The Magnificent Lawers Seven!

Postby cobblergreen » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:19 pm

Another super report with great pictures.
Ben Lawers the last of the Munros above 1200 m , number 10 on height list so mostly downhill for from now on !!!! :D
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Re: The Magnificent Lawers Seven!

Postby Knuttus » Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:42 pm

Wow great report :clap:
I had done this allready in the TGO challange 2016 the same way but after the last one i went to Invervar in the north
It nice for me too the the hills again but no hills for me this year you now why
The you in the hills
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