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Finally bagged the one that got away!

Finally bagged the one that got away!


Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:16 am

Route description: Beinn a'Ghlo

Munros included on this walk: Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Carn Liath (Beinn a'Ghlo), Carn nan Gabhar

Date walked: 14/07/2011

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 23 km

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My first encounter with Beinn a' Ghlo was when ten of us tackled it on the exceptionally wintry May weekend of 1997. We came at it from Glen Tilt, a route I remember as pathless through deep heather on steep slopes and hard going in the horizontal sleet and snow storm one doesn't tend to expect in May! :shock: We almost made it to the cairn on Carn Liath... but not quite. The winds were so strong on the ridge one of the slightly built girls with an over-sized rucksack was blown clean off her feet which led to a mini panic attack and signs of hypothermia :o . Although we were so close to the cairn the right thing to do was get her to lower ground without delay. She couldn't walk so we carried her pack and put the two heaviest guys (one being a rugby prop) on either side to each take an arm and walk her off the ridge. Once lower down she recovered fine and was very grateful to us for moving her down quickly. But for me it left unfinished business with that hill. :?

Next attempt was in August 1999 when we took the more usual approach from Loch Moraig. It was a special occasion to celebrate my son's return from 6 months in Thailand and a friend leaving for a year in China. NIne of us set out but very quickly one dropped out because her new boots were hurting and she spent the rest of the day reading in the car. :( After the previous abortive attempt I was determined to make it this time :wtf: and wasn't going to offer to go back with her! We successfully negotiated the eroded path, reached Carn Liath's summit cairn and were soon on our way along the ridge. The wind was again very strong on the ridge but it was easy walking down to the col and then up to the Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain summit. But at that point the vote was to return, coming off via the west ridge and head for Pitlochry for a meal, so we never reached Carn nan Gabhar.

The chance never came to finish Beinn a' Ghlo until August 2010 when I planned to do it again with gizmogirl but deer stalking was going to be a problem on the day so we did another hill instead. Then finally this July I persuaded Anthony it was time he got Beinn a' Ghlo under his belt.

We left the car at the parking area at the south end of Glen Fender just before the gate and headed in along the track past Loch Moraig. It was a beautiful morning. :D

Loch Moraig
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I wasn't taking any chances on Carn nan Gabhar this time and suggested we reverse the Walkhighlands route and head for the far one first. Anthony was happy to do it this way although we later agreed that going up the eroded path would have been preferable to coming down it!

Carn Liath's eroded scar of a path and our planned route of descent
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We turned left off the track heading for Glen Girnaig just before it swung south east and headed north east on a path which was boggy in places but mostly dry.

Heading for the V to the left of the pointed hill, Airgiod Bheinn, a top of Carn nan Gabhar
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Some have written of this route as being tedious but on a morning like this with the climb ahead I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated seeing the hills from this angle.

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Once into the V the climbing up to the col started and by this time with no breeze it was warm.

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Looking back down the path towards the less seen side of Carn Liath
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View north to Cairngorms
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It was a steady pull but easy walking to the top of Carn nan Gabhar past the big cairn which isn't the summit (where a bird was nesting among the stones - not the most private place I'd have thought. I didn't see it but from another walker's description wondered if it was a dotterel)) to the big cairn that is the summit. Unlike my two previous visits to these hills there was very little wind and I was feeling the heat in my newly acquired Paramo trousers (vastly reduced in Tizo sale which seemed like a good idea at the time to avoid hassle of putting waterproofs on and off). But today I'd have been happier in shorts and was glad of the venting zips! :oops:

Summit cairn of Carn nan Gabhar
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Descent of Carn nan Gabhar with ridge of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain (which apparently means "height of the corrie of round blisters" - who thinks of these names? :lol: ) ahead on the right. The ridge to the left leads to the steep descent off Airgiod Bheinn.
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Looking back to Carn nan Gabhar from lower slopes of BCCB
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Carn Liath ridge ahead
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Final climb to BCCB summit
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Anthony at BCCB summit cairn
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View north from BCCB summit
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Carn nan Gabhar
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Zoom to hills around Glenshee
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Snaking ridge of Carn Liath
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Looking into Glen Tilt
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The path down to the col between BCCB and Carn Liath is eroded in places
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At the col there is a choice - path to left going off the hill avoiding going over Carn Liath (path up which at this point is worn by many boots into patches of scree)
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Looking back at path down BCCB
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Nearing the point of the wind incident that caused us to abort climb in 1997
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Anthony collects trig points so here he is at his trig point with Loch Moraig below
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Carn Liath summit cairn from trig point
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The final descent was steep on loose gravel causing a few unplanned sit downs. :shock: That's when we saw the wisdom of doing it the way WH suggests - although it suited me to do the third one first to make sure I got it this time! :D
Last edited by dogplodder on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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dogplodder
 
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Re: Finally bagged the one that got away!

Postby monty » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:22 am

Nice walk Dogplodder.
Well you eventually managed to back the three :lol: Looks like the sun is shining as well. I must admit the walk out going clockwise is a pain but walking in your full of the joys of spring so you dont notice it so much :lol: Lovely photos. :D
monty
 

Re: Finally bagged the one that got away!

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:31 am

monty wrote:Nice walk Dogplodder.
I must admit the walk out going clockwise is a pain but walking in your full of the joys of spring so you dont notice it so much :lol: :D


Absolutely! :D
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Re: Finally bagged the one that got away!

Postby jonny616 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:04 pm

Well done on finaly bagging the third one.

great to read as i am planing to do these next month. I see you mentioned had to abandon for stalking reasons. I guess i'll need to check hill phones before i do this walk.

Regards

Jonny
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Re: Finally bagged the one that got away!

Postby dogplodder » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:51 pm

Hi Jonny

You could still do the three munros when stalking's on but you're restricted to the path over the tops which we thought would be a bit much both ways.

But for a strong fit chap like yourself that would be no problem! :lol:
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Re: Finally bagged the one that got away!

Postby soulminer » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:11 am

Congrats on completing the 'triple', nice day for it too :)
A wise buy from Tiso, you might be have been too warm on the day, but you will love them in the winter :lol: I swear by them,even though my ones are the older- and heavier,pair :lol:
Cheers.
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