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The Tarmachan Ridge - First Solo Munro

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:12 pm
by SouthernUplandKing

After planning a night and day away with my two mates for a few weeks, it finally came together this weekend. I finished work at 10am and we left the Lowlands at around 12.30pm that afternoon.

We left the grey skies and as we passed Hamilton, Glasgow and eventually Stirling there was nothing but blue skies, fluffy white clouds and lots of that yellow stuff. We hit Callander and everything changed.

Dark shades of grey and black came into view, and the tourist's were running for cover from the pea sized raindrops. Things didn't look promising !

Ohh well, we had came this far so we pushed onto Killin where the original plan had been too travel upto Lawers, grab a bit and leave the car there and then trek upto Lochan Nan Cat where we could get a spot of fishing. Darryl and Alistair are not walkers or climbers, they were strictly there for the fishing. As every walker know's though, things never seem to go too plan.

We went for a walk in Killin and took a few photo's at the Falls, somehwere I hadn't been out on for around 5 years. After a quick rethink I remembered the Loch up where the Tarmachan was ! Lochaine Na Lagirige was a fine area of water and ran directly alongside one of the most famous ridges in the Southern Highlands. Anyway we went up, saw a guy fishing and caught a few nice trout. All good and well knowing the lads would have a chance at a trout or two the next day we found a suitable camp spot and headed back down the minor road and headed for the Lawers hotel and some grub (venison burger is recommended)

When we got back, no one was fishing and we got out the camping gear. Not even they could be failed to be impressed by the Tarmachans mighty ridges and crag faces. Now this is typical of how fast scottish weather changes. White skies soon turned to stinging rain that clings to everything and a wind simmilar to that which funnels through a Col. But no, it didn't start instantley, my two man erected no problem and was just fine. Darryls and Alistairs had never been out its bag, and when the wind came through they gave up trying to put the fly sheet on it. Plan B, "Nath, take doon yer tent and wee'l go back tae that campsite we seen" Aye, fine and dandy lads, rain still pelting down I knew my inner pitch first would get soaking.

Down to Cruachan farm and we got ourselves a pitch. Have too nag though that we were singled out as trouble making teenagers by the woman at the reception. "Nae rowdiness noo lads, and nae drinking, this is a quiet camp and there loats ae bairns aboot" Funny that, when we went to try and sleep at around 11.30pm that people were still singing and dancing without as much as a complaint. Other than this the campsite is great and give cracking views of Beinn Ghlas.

Anyway, back to the next day, up at 8am and off at half 9. I didn't know at this point I would be traversing the Tarmachan, I didn't have the same nerves about going solo as I had on White Coomb two weeks previous, and I would be over 200m higher. Anyways, the weather looked good and I can handle the rain so I made the decision to just go for it and travel as fast as I could round it.

Half way up and the rain started lashing down, waterproof trousers on and away again. Got to Creag An Lochain after around 40 minutes and just continued on. Came below the main ridge itself and stopped for a few energy tablet, a gel and a handful of nuts, slug of water was welcomed also. Took a look at the Harvey Map which I had stole from old Bob and saw that I was just under kilometer away. Pushed on hard for the summit and was rather happy when I reached the Cairn where a lad was kind enough to take my picture for me. I hadn't seen another soul on the way up and then saw about 15 people on they're way up. I felt a bit sorry for them coming up the "tourist" route. Im no fan of major paths on any hills. Rain stopped and I took off my sweaty over layers and the cold breeze was welcomed.

I had planned to do both the top along the ridge also but it would have threw me off another 40 minutes or so and the weather looked like it was closing in (it didn't until long after I would have been out and back) The top's actually look the finest peaks of the ridge.

I followed the main path down and it hurt my feet a little with so many sharp steps and rock edges and was happy to finally see the dirt track, followed this out too the road and then back upto the dam wall where the two lads were fishing away as happy as pigs in s**t ! Ali finished the day with 6 and Darryl 2. Me ? I lost one and caught a stickleback in the net, I should stick to the bagging :lol:

First solo munro ascent over, and Im really happy with my progress and its all good training for my charity event :)

Re: The Tarmachan Ridge - First Solo Munro

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:41 pm
by Stretch
Congrats on your first solo trip! Can't beat a bit of fishing and a day on the hills, even if the weather isn't that great.

Re: The Tarmachan Ridge - First Solo Munro

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:46 pm
by SouthernUplandKing
Stretch wrote:Congrats on your first solo trip! Can't beat a bit of fishing and a day on the hills, even if the weather isn't that great.

Cheers mate, was a cracking two day trip and the weather was tolerable :D