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Compleating the Corbetts with Shroedinger's Cat

Compleating the Corbetts with Shroedinger's Cat


Postby Sgurr » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:35 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Buidhe Bheinn, Cruach Innse, Sgùrr Innse

Date walked: 14/08/2010

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What? Cruach Innse and Sgurr Innse
When? August 14th 2010
How? Mostly via the SMC Corbett Book route
Weather? Warm, overcast, high clouds. No wind.
Distance? 12.4 kilometres Ascent? Approx 3015
Time taken? Approx 7 hours 10 minutes including 2 lunches
Who? Sgurr and R.
Tick count? Six

I meant to have completed my Corbett round days before this, but Aunty sitting had lengthened in Aunty sorting, followed by a week in Strontian, so it was only on our return that we decided to have a go at the Innses. R. had done them 14 years previously when he had refused to tramp up the tourist path of Ben Nevis again and accompany me on a fund-raiser. I had advertised myself thus “I intend to climb Ben Nevis. The averagely fit hill-walker does it in 3 hours 40 minutes. I walk the hills a lot and am 57. Times for ascent only. " I then sold off completion times ranging from one hour (no takers) to the longest estimate which was nine hours forty minutes. The winner got a quarter of the takings, something like sixty pounds. As a result, I did Ben Nevis, but not Cruach Innse and Sgurr Innse.
We managed to get an early night: previous nights in Strontian had been disturbed by staying up to watch for the pine marten. The first couple of nights I had put out a crust, and a hard-boiled egg, and though they had disappeared in the morning there was no proof as to who had had them. Then I read further back in the visitors' book, and not only discovered that Kinley and Hazel had stayed the previous September (A curt “Out walking every day”)but that it was pointless feeling guilty about corrupting the pine martens, they had been corrupted generations back, and what they liked was bread and jam. So I had put out jam sandwiches, and one duly appeared in broad daylight to lick the jam off the bread, so there was no need to wait up any more.
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Next day we caught the ferry
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And drove up the rough track behind Spean Bridge to the site of the old railway where we had previously left our car to do the Grey Corries.
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We set off up the track, and soon saw someone coming towards us, he looked rather strange and scary

When we got nearer we realised he was a carved statue. A stone statue of “the wee minister”(The Reverend John Macintosh) had stood on this site until being destroyed in the seventies. He was supposed to bring good luck to climbers and walkers, and a new one had been provided by the Great Glen Tourism Marketing Group. Though I can't help feeling he might have the opposite effect from that intended, as tourists dumped their rucksacks and ran off screaming.
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We walked on until the path reached a corner,
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We set off up the side of Cruach Innse. The ascent slowed us down enough for the midges to get at us.
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We trudged on up through a carpet of blueberries
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And finally reached the summit two hours after setting out.
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We stopped for an early lunch
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Last time R. had done the Innses, he had dropped me off at the bottom of the Ben first. I had climbed the path as quickly as I could, determined to match his time when he had climbed it as his first Scottish Mountain at the age of twenty six. He thought it had been three hours. As the summit had approached, I almost burst into a run when I realised that I might crack it, and flagged down the first summiteers to confirm that the time would make my ascent two hours, fifty nine minutes. Then I realised why I had done it so speedily….I had forgotten my lunch. A kind person gave me a mini pork pie from the packet he had carried up, which is the one and only time such an item has appeared on my lunch menu. Later R. told me that his time was only “round about” three hours, he could well have done it in two hours fifty nine minutes as well.
The forecast had the clouds above the summits, but hadn't reckoned for the hills around here
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The Corbett book at this stage advises walking south west for 500 metres and then going south. This must surely be a mistake, since doing so would land you at the top of cliffs. We soon realised this, and corrected our course to nearer a direct approach towards Sgurr Innse

Luckily a path took us all the way down the steep ridge
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Sgurr Innse is smaller that Cruach Innse. Below, R looking back. He thought he had identified an eagle, which I missed :(
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Even so, we did not manage the book time of an hour from one to the other, but took nearer an hour and a half.
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Below, R. is almost there
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Below Compleation at last.
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I kept on posing
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A new way to beat the midges to your drink.
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Looking around
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There is some question as to whether I should also have done Bhuide Bheinn to have compleated, but since I have done Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais (which Andrew Dawson counts as the relative hill in his “Relative Hills of Britain”) I may haveI compleated on Sgurr Innse… Which is where Schroediger’s cat comes into it.
In simple terms, Schrödinger stated that if you place a cat and something that could kill the cat (a radioactive atom) in a box and sealed it, you would not know if the cat was dead or alive until you opened the box, so that until the box was opened, the cat was (in a sense) both "dead and alive".
I had both compleated and not compleated, since I would not know until they re-measured Buidhe Beinn if I had or not.
Just to make sure, R. and I climbed Buidhe Beinn the following day.

We descended to the col and thence to the track.
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I felt sorry for the wee minister standing there amongst the midges, but not sorry enough to deprive R. of his midge-net for long.
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We stayed the night in Spean Bridge, where the only B & B we could find with a room vacant was the Old Smiddy, which insists you dine there if you book in, so after R had removed four ticks from me and two from himself, about the usual ratio, we even had a celebration dinner.
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What? Buidhe Bheinn
When? August 15th 2010
How? The SMC Corbett book route
Weather? Brilliant sun, a few clouds, just enough wind to keep the midges off.
Distance? 11 km Ascent? 3106 feet
Time taken? Far too long,
Who? Sgurr and R.

After “compleating” on Sgurr Innse the previous day, I still felt I needed to climb Buidhe Beinn on the “belt and braces” principle. Although I had done Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais, what when the double headers along this ridge were resurveyed, and Buidhe Bheinn found to be higher?* Any way, why waste a glorious day by driving home. So we set off from Spean Bridge and turned left down the road to Loch Quoich. The notice outside Tomdoun Hotel said “Dinner is now being served”
Someone along this road collects hub caps.
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A view of Sgurr na Ciche and Ben Aden looking very different from when we last saw them close up
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Towards the end of the road, we could see our objective
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We parked in the carpark for overnighters, but only paid a pound, since we certainly didn’t anticipate taking that long.

We crossed the river and set off towards the lodge, beyond it taking the Arnisdale track
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The track rises steeply alongside some pylons
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Looking back
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Just beyond the summit , we took the stalkers track to the north.

This would have taken us easily and painlessly to the shoulder, had not we been so tired after a week’s walking.
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It was just too tempting to keep looking back .
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We finally got to see the 879 metre top,
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Another climb saw us up there. Just below it we met another couple who only had seven hills to go to compleat the Corbetts. And there is the ridge to Buidhe Bheinn
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R coming up
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The summit to the 879 metre top
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And looking North East
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The ridge was varied and interesting
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We made the top in about four hours :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Looking around from the top, starting at the north, then the north east and rotating around
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R looks whacked. I’ve only ever seen him so tired before with altitude sickness.
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A zoomed shot to the North East. Probably Sgurr na Sgine and The Saddle
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Back down again towards the lochan we skirted on the way up
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A final view of Loch Hourn, glittering in the sunlight
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"Don't write that it took us so long" said Realsquiz, "Just say we made the best of a lovely day!" And so we did.

On the way home at around 8 pm, the notice outside the Tomdoun Hotel said "Lunch is now being served" Obviously something happens to the concept of time along this road.

* Bhuidh Beinn was later resurveyed and found to be higher so "belt and braces" was a good idea.
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Sgurr
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Re: Compleating the Corbetts with Shroedinger's Cat

Postby canofirnbru » Mon Jan 30, 2023 9:53 am

Great report and photos!
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canofirnbru
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