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Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Creag Meagaidh Circuit


Postby Stretch » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:33 pm

Route description: Creag Meagaidh circuit

Munros included on this walk: Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh), Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair

Date walked: 05/03/2011

Time taken: 7.45 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1080m

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I'd been saving this fine circuit for a nice winter day and with the expectation of 'extensive sunshine' and '90% cloud-free munros' I decided Saturday might bring me the views I had been waiting for. Fingeez sent me a message Friday night saying he wanted to come along so I picked him up in Perth at 6:45 and we sped off up the A9. Upon arriving at the Aberader car park there were plenty of people already there, these would later mostly prove to be climbers getting an early start on their day. At 8:30 we set off up the easy path until reaching the point where the climb up Carn Liath begins. I had been away home the past two weeks for a funeral and the time off the hillside got the better of me on this ascent. It wasn't a difficult climb by no means, but I was huffin and puffin for most of it. Two hours after setting off we reached Carn Liath and the sun had yet to make an appearance.


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Looking back to the car park.jpg


Little hope for a cloud free day.jpg



We wasted little time at the first summit and continued on into the cloud across the plateau on the way to the second munro, Stob Poite Coire Ardair. It was easy going for most of the way, with the exception of one patch where a steep icy bank had to be crossed. Another walker had kicked some steps in and I decided to don the crampons and follow. I gave Ross my microspikes and after kicking the steps in even more he was able to get up the only tricky bit of the day without any fuss. From here there was a bit more ascent until we reached Stob Poite Coire Ardair. At this point we thought the sun would finally come out, and for brief moments we had views toward the Cairngorms in the east, and some brief views of the gullies on Creag Meagaidh. Ice climbers were topping out on the upper section of the gullies, perhaps unaware of the massive cracks in the corniced areas that looked like they could crash to coire below at any moment.

Ross at the only tricky section.jpg


Nearing Stob Poite a'Choire Ardair summit.jpg


Three climbers top out on Creag Meagaidh.jpg


A break in the clouds over Creag Meagaidh.jpg


Cracks in the corniced areas on Creag Meagaidh.jpg


After a short lunch break we headed down to the Window and began our ascent of Creag Meagaidh itself. This wasn't too bad, but the cloud had closed back in and we didn't see a thing from the top. After another short break at the summit we returned to the edge of the cliffs and took pics of the huge cracks on the cornices. Then it was back down to the Window for the descent into the coire. Going down was pretty fun as the snow was soft and easy to walk on. We stopped from time to time to watch the ice climbers on various routes. It's nice to watch, but it's not for me. When we traversed further around we could see skiers coming down a near vertical snow filled gully. Insane! I made a short video of this extreme activity, sorry for the quality, I haven't joined the HD craze yet. Had one of them fallen I'm sure it would be tragic.

Above the Window before ascending Creag Meagaidh.jpg


Me on Creag Meagaidh.jpg


Ross on Creag Meagaidh.jpg


Future avalanche on Creag Meagaidh.jpg


Yikes!.jpg


View from the top of the Window.jpg


Can you spot the ice climber.jpg


Gully for insane skiers.jpg


Insane Skiers.jpg


Lochan Coire Ardair below Creag Meagaidh.jpg


Lochan Coire Ardair.jpg


The walk out.jpg


We took a few moments to watch the skiers and take pics of the magnificent Lochan a'Choire before setting off down the well made track that curves all the way back to the car park. This became somewhat tiring at the end, but I felt that doing this under 8 hours with all my stops on the initial ascent was a solid effort. At the car park the clouds had lifted enough so that anyone at the top would have had the views I'd hoped for. Had we left an hour later in the morning we might have seen this, but overall this was a fine day with much to keep a couple walkers interested along the way. Gotta thank Ross for coming along on this one, we'll see you this weekend in Aviemore.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W2xilVmRpY[/youtube]
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby kevsbald » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:01 pm

Whoa, love that video Stretch - yeehah!
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Graeme D » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:09 pm

Woah, scary - I'm sure I just saw one of those huge cornices move in one of your photos! :lol: Great stuff Stretch (and Ross). Enjoy Aviemore and have a beer or two for me! :(
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Jockstar » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:28 pm

Great pics, Stretch and insane people...sounds like a fun day!! Close call between you and Kinley for the bragging
rights for the photos. Looked awesome but I'll send you the clear pics from the tops when I do this walk in the summer... :lol: :lol:
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby fingeez » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:28 pm

Hey Stretch

Nice report there, was gonna do one similar lol, but i'll just add some pics in here :)
those climbers were def brave coming up under that cornice :shock: and those skiers were on a whole other level of crazy, that slope looked more like a cliff as we watched them haha

Your action shot of me makes that look alot scarier than it was hahaha

Im guessing the pics of us with the cliffs in the background from the summit of Stob Poite Coire Ardair didnt turn out too good with the sunshine behind us?

IMG00416-20110305-1155.jpg
Summit of Stob Poite Coire Ardair appearing through the clouds.


IMG00428-20110305-1420.jpg
Stretch descending the window.


IMG00432-20110305-1437.jpg
Looking back to the line of walkers descending the window.


Thanks once again for the lift, really enjoyed the walk. Will see you at the weekend :)

Ross
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:36 pm

Thats one bum clenching vid there stretch(not for me).

Good to see you back.

Wish I had been with you and fingeez on Saturday.

Looks like you both had a fine day.

Another 3 in the bag also.

Speak to you soon and try and get back out
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby soulminer » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:49 pm

Dangerous cornices, insane skiers and great pics- what more could you ask for a day out 8)
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:09 pm

Cracking stuff Stretch :D . Coire Ardair really is something special and those cornices :shock: .
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Stretch » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:16 am

Thanks for the comments gang. After yesterday's sunshine I'm wondering if those cornices fell?
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Merry-walker » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:49 am

Yikes indeed.... very avalanchey :shock:

Them skiers must have some nerve doing that. Great report, video and pictures :D :D
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby blueyed » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:37 pm

i see you decided to do C.M. Stretch. good choice :) great pics, i guess i'll follow you there ..soon :)
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Paul Webster » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:28 pm

Top drawer report.... those cornices look superb 8)
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Stretch » Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:34 pm

Much thanks Paul. Today, one of the skiers found the video on Youtube and left me a comment saying it was him and his buddies. Insane bunch!
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby malky_c » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:58 pm

I'm guessing Ossian will have been one of the skiiers. He has put up a brief report on Scottishhills, which is worth a look:
http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=155203#155203

In fact all of his reports are worth a look - pretty crazy usually :shock:
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Re: Creag Meagaidh Circuit

Postby Stretch » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:40 pm

malky_c wrote:I'm guessing Ossian will have been one of the skiiers. He has put up a brief report on Scottishhills, which is worth a look:
http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=155203#155203

In fact all of his reports are worth a look - pretty crazy usually :shock:


Dang! That's scarier from their vantage point!
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