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Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug

Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:12 pm

Route description: A' Mharconaich and Geal Charn, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: A' Mharconaich, Geal-charn (Drumochter)

Date walked: 04/09/2011

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 735m

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Having suffered from a slight stomach bug for the last few days I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to go hillwalking on Sunday, but on the other side, if I stayed home the symptoms of Munroclimbus crazus would drive me mad so I decided to give it a go.
We picked an easy, short walk in the area of Drumochter - two Munros called A' Mharconaich and Geal Charn. These two hills can be easily combined with two more (Beinn Udlamain and Sgairneach Mhor) plus a Corbett (The Sow of Atholl). But for my health problems, we would have opted for the longer traverse :( Nothing's lost, though, we'll try the remaining ones in winter conditions. If weather allows.
After dodgy Saturday, Sunday looked relatively good and indeed as we started climbing all the cloud dispersed. We spent great 4 hours surrounded by fantastic views :D

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This is a route that anyone can do. It starts at a large car park next to the white buildings of Balsporran Cottages (the west side of the A9):
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As we arrived, mountains looked a wee bit moody:
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We carefully crossed the railway and followed a wide path for about 200m, then crossed a small burn (Allt Beul an Sporain) to pick a muddy path leading to the shoulder of Geal Charn.
Crossing the burn:
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A glance back:
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The path was really boggy in places so to avoid a mud-bath we had to pick our way through the heather :D
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The slopes of Geal Charn aren't very steep and provide an easy climb with some good views developing as one gains height:
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The kingdom of mud :? :?
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Soon we reached the flatter shoulder of the mountain with a high, pointy cairn and a small stone shelter. A short break here to take some photos - and we were on our way again.
The big "sticky-uppy" thing :lol: :lol:
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Me by the stone shelter - the wind wasn't too bad, just about enough to keep midges away.
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To the south, the second Munro of the day, A' Mharconaich, still waiting for us:
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View back towards the distant Cairngorms, with the round shape of Meall Chuaich and blue waters of Loch Cuaich:
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The pano:
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My stomach seemed to have settled down for a time being so I pushed a bit faster - and soon we found ourselves by the summit cairn. One of the easiest Munros, I must admit. Nevertheless, the satisfaction of conquering another "beast" (a tiny one this time :lol: ) always stays the same.
The summit cairn of Geal Charn:
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The top of Geal Charn is a fantastic viewpoint to the very remote area on the other side of Loch Ericht, including a few interesting mountains, among them Ben Alder:
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I was keen on recording everything I could - fantastic material for a movie "Mum, I'm happy in Scotland":
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Honestly, who wouldn't feel happy being surrounded by this?
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Soon I insisted on moving towards the second Munro:
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So inpatient!
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A quick descent to the Coire Fhar col was followed by a short yet steep climb to the ridge of A' Mharconaich. About halw way up we stopped for a while to take some more pics.
Looking down to the glen between the two Munros, with Meall Chuaich peeking out from behind Carn na Caim:
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Loch Pattack and the other Geal Charn:
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Close-up to Ben Alder Lodge (I don't have much money... But oh, If I did... I would buy myself a house like this one... Where I could live... :lol: :lol: )
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The remote area waiting to be explored:
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Geal Charn from A' Mharconaich:
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Once we climbed up to the summit plateau, the very top of the mountain was just a stroll away:
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Here, we took a longer break and simply sat by the summit cairn, enjoying the day. All moody shadows were gone and the gods of weather were smiling at us :) Yeaaah, life is beautiful, even with all its viruses and bacteria :lol: :lol:
Looking down to Drumochter passage:
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Meall Chuaich again:
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Schiehallion to the south:
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Panorama:
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Kevin on the summit:
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The fastest way back is simply to follow the ridge of A' Mharconaich back to Balsporran Cottages:
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Steep and rocky to start with, soon the shoulder path becomes easier. Lower down towards the glen there are a few peat hags and boggy areas to cross, but if you look behind, you'll see what you've just come down from - and it's well worth looking back :lol:
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Finishing the trip with a smile:
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I'm so glad we didn't stay home on Sunday - the best weekend is a walking one :D
There was some cold edge to the wind and the landscape around us is now dressed in red and orange colours - the best evidence of arriving autumn. Well, it wasn't the best summer weather-wise, but I'll certainly miss the long, sunny days... Waiting for the short and sunny white ones. Meow!
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BlackPanther
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Re: Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug

Postby skuk007 » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:22 pm

Nice report and pics, these two look quite tame on their own, with great views with weather like you had.
Only 4 hours to bag a couple, excellent.
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skuk007
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Re: Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug

Postby kevsbald » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Did you send off a poo sample? It's the only way we can tell what you had....
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kevsbald
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Re: Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug

Postby ChrisW » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:59 pm

Good effort on a day when a lot of people would have stayed home feeling 'washed out' - Munroclimbus crazus made me laugh - some beautiful pics too :D
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ChrisW
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Re: Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug

Postby gergaskman » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:55 am

Good report and nice pics. I can't imagine why anyone would do this the other way around because the ridge descent is very enjoyable. It isn't clear to me where the best place is to break off left (north west) across the burn onto the well-engineered track down Allt Coire Fhar - I don't recommend following the west side all the way down.
gergaskman
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Re: Two Drumochter Munros with a stomach bug

Postby simon-b » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:42 pm

That's brave of you, BP, setting off for the mountains with a stomach bug. The walk seems to have turned out OK for you. Sometimes it's nice to do a shorter route anyway, rather than go for as many summits as possible every time.
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simon-b
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