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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Meall Ghaordaidh

Meall Ghaordaidh


Postby Driver84 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:53 am

Route description: Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lochay

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Date walked: 26/02/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

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After doing Stuchd an Lochain in January, and upon driving away from Loch an Daimh, we seen the northern rocky outcrops of Meall Ghaordaidh we thought we would investigate this further.
After reading up on it we decided to take the unadventurous route by walking this one from Loch Lochay, parking as described, just west of the bridge from Duncroisk.

With the sun shining and a warmth in the air it was mor elike a beautiful spring day than a winters one. Layers at this point were minimal: T-shirt, but gaiters on. Off we went on our merry way through the gate that leads of the road, and across the field towards the larger gate. The ground here was sodden, half the depth of my foot disappearing already, was this to be a sign of things to come?

I'd love to say something great about this walk up, but it is as described, a dull trudge up what appears to be a never ending peat/bog field. However, the great thing was that the views were starting to open up more and more with every meter of height gained. I kow this is to be expected and is stating the obvious, but the views were going to make this a good one to walk.

With the peat and bogs dealt with a slightly more rockier terrain is met en-route to the base of the final push. This seemed as good a place as any to grab a bite to eat for the final slog. And with great timing too! Not long had the piece box been put away and additional layers added (a 6th sense perhaps?) that the weather, coming from the north, hidden by the summit, turned and we were quickly met with a small blizzard! Wind and snow had arrived as if from no where. It wasnt going to hamper us though, and as quickly as it arrived it had passed, probably only 10mins worth.
About half an hour or so later, and clambering our way through the snowy slopes we hit the summit, to be buffeted by the wind! We werent going to stay here for long: just the usual summit pics at the cairn/trig and the surrounding views.
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Then the descent. Quickest way down? On yer bum in the snow! A hell of a lot quicker and easier, less chance of slipping if you're already down. My controlled slide was greeted with amusement by some fellow walkers who had stopped off on their final push to the summit.
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For the rest of descent, and having made decent time, we went for a wee wonder and were playing about in the snow. Our small sit-mats making a terrible substitute for a sledge.
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Running down through the snow I lost my right leg, right up to the groin, as the snow gave way below me. After controlling the giggles and clearing my eyes from the tears of laughter I managed to climb free before dropping my glove down the same hole! :(

This brought much amusement to the father-in-law but his laughter was short lived. Only 100m on the same thing happened to him, except this time he couldnt free himself. The snow had collapsed and compacted around his leg and he was stuck fast. My gloves were still off as my hands were still wet but I started digging and scooping the snow from around his leg. Soon the ice axe was out as well. The adze being dug around and under the sole of the trapped foot and hauled on in an attempt to free his trapped foot. It must have been 5 mins before he was free and with that we were quick sharp off the snow and back onto 'firmer' ground. And with that it was the same dreary trudge back to the car in much the same way as it had been to the top.


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Driver84
Walker
 
Posts: 90
Munros:45   
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Apr 8, 2010
Location: Rosyth

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