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Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg


Postby Coutts94 » Sun Jan 10, 2021 7:03 pm

Munros included on this walk: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 02/01/2021

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 600m

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(So before I begin, this walk was on the 2nd January, before the travel restrictions began and it is in my local tier area - so no rules were broken)

I had seen previous reports of people doing Maol Chean Dearg a week before, the route looked great and there was a bit of snow so I had planned to do it just after the new year.

The forecast for the day was amazing, the best I had seen in a while! No wind, and clear skies - perfect!

So I set off in the dark, greeted with probably the weirdest snowman ever (see attached video) :lol:

Some stunning sights on the way in -

E548266E-E7D4-4E43-966A-440ABE213CE0.jpeg
Sunrise



352DAA45-0045-4E24-9706-CAEF8C8CCFC0.jpeg
Bridge sunrise


And before I knew it I was at the Coulag Bothy - it looked amazing.

C26303FF-9FD4-442B-A11F-65B9BD64D542.jpeg
Coulag Bothy


I then made my way towards to Munro, the walk in wasn't too far, then made a sharp left up a zig zag path.

This is where it got tough, the snow was knee deep a lot of the time and there were deep holes to watch for.. but on the positive side the view behind was awesome.

Sgorr Rhuadh was shimmering behind as the sun was rising

BEDC4EDD-9618-4B7B-9F81-E38A94FDC72F.jpeg
Sgorr Rhuadh


373A9886-2CAB-4CC7-B2C1-639839922467.jpeg
Sunrise


This is where it got a little much, the snow was powdery and it was taking a lot of energy to move through it. With that the faces on the approach to the Beallach got steep, and I thought the risk was too great to continue.

79C7CCC0-2F53-4B7F-8974-B6F347EF8D8F.jpeg
The route


As a solo walker, I wasnt willing to take any risks, so I had to abandon my attempt. This was a hard one to take with the weather being amazing, but the mountain will always be there. I was excited to see the views from the top, to see Liathach, but it wasn’t supposed to be. Safety is always the priority.

3976EA12-2F7F-43D7-AD44-95699D7D8D56.jpeg
An Ruadh Stac


I took my time on the way back, admiring the views, and even got a look around Coulag Bothy. This was still an amazing day out, and I will definitely be back in summer to do Maol Chean Dearg and An Ruadh Stac.

It was taught me a bit about walking in snow, and what my limits are. I was prepared with all the gear and knowledge, but wasn't aware how difficult this would be. I had a winter skills course booked for the start of January - but Covid put an end to that. :(

Here is a video of the day out if anyone is interested:

Coutts94
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Re: Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Postby scottnairn » Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:09 pm

Without someone to break trail first, every step becomes that much more laborious. Was very fortunate to have steps to follow up a winter Munro before lockdown hit again - it would have been less fondly remembered a day out, had those tracks not been etched in place to follow!!

Especially solo, a wise move to not over-exert yourself but it still looked like a hell of a way to spend a day :clap: there's always next time!

All the best,

Scott
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Re: Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Postby JCowie » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:01 pm

I was up the glen a bit at Moruisg on the same day. Was knee deep pretty much all the way up, extreme slog! Conditions were amazing until I got to the top and then visibility dropped to about 100 m!
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Re: Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:21 pm

You're not the only one to abandon the hill due to heavy snow on the in recent days. We had to turn back from an easy Graham (Meall Dubh near Loch Broom) about 200m before the summit cairn. The white stuff was over knee-deep and it by the time we reached the summit plateau, we were exhausted, even though it was easier to break trail for the two of us. It was on the 3rd of January. I expect there is even more snow up there now! :D
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Re: Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Postby Coutts94 » Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:52 am

scottnairn wrote:Without someone to break trail first, every step becomes that much more laborious. Was very fortunate to have steps to follow up a winter Munro before lockdown hit again - it would have been less fondly remembered a day out, had those tracks not been etched in place to follow!!

Especially solo, a wise move to not over-exert yourself but it still looked like a hell of a way to spend a day :clap: there's always next time!

All the best,

Scott


Yes definitely difficult to break trail, but still an amazing day out! Will be back there in summer no doubt!

JCowie wrote:I was up the glen a bit at Moruisg on the same day. Was knee deep pretty much all the way up, extreme slog! Conditions were amazing until I got to the top and then visibility dropped to about 100 m!


I did think about doing Moruisg that day but for some reason changed my mine, unlucky with the visibility! I actually stopped on the way home to take pictures of Moruisg,was nice and clear later in the day

BlackPanther wrote:You're not the only one to abandon the hill due to heavy snow on the in recent days. We had to turn back from an easy Graham (Meall Dubh near Loch Broom) about 200m before the summit cairn. The white stuff was over knee-deep and it by the time we reached the summit plateau, we were exhausted, even though it was easier to break trail for the two of us. It was on the 3rd of January. I expect there is even more snow up there now! :D


Its crazy how difficult an easier hill can become with a dump of snow, can be a real slog! As I found out too :lol:
Coutts94
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Re: Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Postby arjh » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:58 pm

Top quality video, some really great light for the drone footage. I have subscribed and will watch your other videos later! :clap:

And fair enough for calling it a day, postholing isn't much fun the first few times. Eventually you'll enjoy this 'type 2 fun' as well, maybe...
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Re: Attempt at Maol Chean-Dearg

Postby Coutts94 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 2:25 pm

arjh wrote:Top quality video, some really great light for the drone footage. I have subscribed and will watch your other videos later! :clap:

And fair enough for calling it a day, postholing isn't much fun the first few times. Eventually you'll enjoy this 'type 2 fun' as well, maybe...


Thanks for watching!

I haven't been out since that day because of all the lockdown stuff, but faced with the challenge now I think I would carry on :lol: Realized you have got to make the most of it!
Coutts94
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Posts: 72
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