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The Glen Lyon 4 - Mixed Conditions !!!

The Glen Lyon 4 - Mixed Conditions !!!

Postby TheMuzzr » Tue Nov 29, 2022 5:05 pm

Route description: Càrn Gorm, Meall Garbh, Càrn Mairg & Creag Mhòr

Munros included on this walk: Càrn Gorm, Càrn Mairg, Creag Mhòr (Meall na Aighean), Meall Garbh (Càrn Mairg)

Date walked: 16/11/2022

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1029m

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My Brother and I decided to tackle the GlenLyon 4, the MWIS weather report showed moderate wind speeds at the summit, so we decided to give it a go and see how we went, below is my account of the day.

We left home when it was dark, with the intention of getting to Inverar just after first light in order to get as much time on the hill (taking reduced winter daylight hours).

We had read a few reports about grumpy Estate management, and decided It would be best to skip the small carpark( if it was even open) and made the decision to park in the layby further down the road.

There was only 1 other car at the Layby when we arrived, and after getting our boots on and a quick check of the route, we headed down the road, It didn't take long to get to the gate at the start of the walk, and we headed up through the wooded area, we followed the sign posts which had been erected by the estate and had decided to walk in a clockwise direction.

We were soon on the climb to Carn Gorm, we stopped halfway between leaving the edge of the woodland and the summit to take in the views back down into the Glen, looking back to the direction we had just come from the sun was starting to break over the top of An Stuc which we could see in the distance . The contrast in colours between the brown heather, the green from the forest, the rising sun and the cloud lying low in the glen made us feel very privileged to be there in that moment.
(We made a video of our walk where you can see this for yourselves which i will ink a the end of the report).

I would say that the first 5 km of the ascent to Carn Gorm was tough on the legs, however this gave us plenty of excuses so stop to "take in the view" which became my code word for needing a breather !!!

After a while the cloud started to move up the hill toward us, it became a bit of a race to try and get to the summit before it caught up with us .......... we didn't win this race !!!!! And by the time we got to the summit, we were fully clagged in, there was a moderate wind and ice on the ground !!! The flip side was that there was a perfect brocken spectre cast onto the cloud !!!!!!!
We took shelter behind the Cairn, but after a few pictures decided it was time to move on (our fingers were starting to freeze !)
On the way to the next Munro(Meall Garbh) I found a waterproof Jacket on the ground (a good condition Montane). I remember thinking how grateful I was that I hadn't mislaid mine, as without it, the wind would have chilled me to the bone. Anyway, the jacket went into the rucksack, with the intention of posting our find on walkhighlands. (Or maybe to find someone freezing further round the ridge!!!).

We were by this time fully clagged in !! The amazing views (which we knew were there) were staying hidden from us (and would stay that way all the way round to the last munro !!!)behind the curtain of cloud which was drifting in and out, giving us brief, tantalising glimpses of what lay behind !!!!!! Before long, we arrived at Meall Garbh and were grateful to get some respite from the wind behind the stone wind shelter (just past the summit cairn) where we stopped for some lunch.

Keen to get moving again after recharging with hot food we pushed on up to Carn Mairg, then dropped down through a steepish/tricky boulder section. As we lost height, the valley below opened up, giving us the breath taking views that had been hidden from us higher up, this ended up as a mixed blessing as it averted our eyes away from the boggy ground underfoot !!!!

We were soon on the ascent, and again into cloud on the way up to Meal nan Aighean (or Creag Mhor dependant on map). As we approached the Cairn, we were encouraged on by the call of the Ptarmigan !! and were lucky enough a large Covey, all calling away to us as we passed by!!

After bagging this final Munro we descended down the ridge, with the Visibility improving with each step !!!!! The light was starting to leave us, and although we were both carrying head torches, we didn't need them until we arrived back at the van.

We left the hill between the 2 small Cairns (path markers) and back onto the track to the gate entry into the forest area, as we arrived at the large swing gate, we were approached by a stressed out looking lad, who asked us if we had seen a girl up on the hill running !!! I asked him which way she had gone and did she have a head torch/ appropriate kit ? (I hadn't wanted to stay long on Carn Gorm earlier in the day and I had ALL the kit !!!) He wasn't sure .. but said the reason why they had travelled all the way from Edinburgh was to try and find her jacket which she had lost 2 days prior !!!!!!!! We asked him to describe the jacket ..... A blue/purple Montane waterproof !! His face when we produced her jacket from our rucksack was a picture !!!! Anyway .. it was getting dark, it was cold, we made sure he knew how to contact mountain rescue, and what to tell them before we left him !!

The walk total distance by the time we arrived back at the van was 21km and total time taken around 7.5hrs although we stopped a lot for taking pictures and breathers (our total moving time was around 5.5).

To end this report, in case you are wondering. We were contacted by the girl "Iona" who's jacket we had found to say thanks, and that she had got back safely !!

If anyone would like to see the video of our walk : https://youtu.be/orqVOa-By-s
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Joined: Oct 13, 2022

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