Birthday fun in the snow
by Mountainlove » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:43 am
Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum
Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum
Date walked: 18/10/2011
Time taken: 6 hours2 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Luckily one of my friends volunteered to join me and after 3 weeks of praying to the weather god and keeping every toe and finger crossed the weather looked not too bad on October the 18th.
After heavy downpours during the morning, the sun finally decided to show its face and revealed beautiful snow capped mountains….I am always so excited when I see the first snow and to do the first walk in the snow on my Birthday just seemed perfect.
We set off after 11 am and headed up the slopes…the first layers came off pretty soon, but when the wind picked up and it started to snow (yeeha) I was glad I had my full waterproof gear with me.
A few hundreds yards from the top the wind turned into a gale and the snow was knee deep in places. Using my poles to stable myself in the wind, I was really struggling to keep my balance. The snow/hail felt like a thousand needles on my face and walking through the deep snow was really exhausting. When I reached the top of the first peak the wind showed its real force and I had to lean forward to battle my way to the first cairn (you just have to love that type of weather!!!)
Walking around the side of the mountain brought us outside the wind and we had some food before heading towards the small ridge which connected the 2 mountains. It is probably a really easy ride walk in summer but seeing it in winter was really dramatic …ridge walk in the snow and gale force winds=great fun.
Walking towards the true summit of Ben Challum was another challenge as the snow was so deep...when we got to a steep bit down the first hill, my friend showed me the only 'real way' to get down a hill in the snow...on your bum!
So sitting down on our bums we slid down the hill (hilarious!!!) Obviously it was so much fun, that I had to do the bit quite a few times before my friend managed to drag me away from the spot.
During the last climb up the hill we were battered with gales of snow and strong winds which started as quick as they finished, but reaching the top and taking some summit pictures made the day so worth while.
During the walk down we obviously took every opportunity to slide down the hill and I realized that poles can be used to gain speed (think about skiing sitting down)
Although I think a tin tray will have to come with me the next time I climb a mountain in the show
by Del246 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:48 am
by Mountainlove » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:50 am
by Fudgie » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:02 pm
I've got the gear and I just need to try it out.
by Del246 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:04 pm
by pollyh33 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 12:45 pm
Great report ML!
Yes we ate in the wee wind break area as well. So glad to find it after taking a constant battering on our ascent. And isn't it just fab when the wind decides to give it plenty just as you're crossing the narrowest part of the ridge!
by Mountainlove » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:10 pm
Working on a sunny day is just cruel in my opinion! You will love hillwalking in the snow...very
different from summer but so much fun! I cant wait to get out again! Just waiting for the '@x%* rain to stop
@Del246...you were so lucky with the weather!!!
@ Polly: many thanks Lol yes staggering around like a drunk person and falling around in the snow...
I am glad there werent any other people
by BlackPanther » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:48 pm
Mountainlove wrote:Some people go for a meal on their Birthday, but that wasn’t my preferred activity for the day…instead I had made my mind up to take the day off and to go hillwalking (cant think about a better way to celebrate)
I did the same for my birthday last November, went climbing in Glen Shiel. I had the best birthday gift: the breathtaking panorama of Five Sisters dressed in white I wonder on which mountain I'll celebrate this year (it depends on my second half, I'll let him surprise me).
Great report - I have been waiting for the first snow, probably like most of hillwalkers. Are we going to have another very white winter?...
by Mountainlove » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:32 pm
@ BlackPanther: Great to know that others like to celebrate the same way Hope you will be lucky with the weather this year as well!!Lol at the moment I am just hoping for the rain to stop!!!
by JOHNGG » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:09 pm
Unfortunately as I sit here at my desk reading this report and wondering where I put my ice axe in anticipation of a weekend walking in fresh snow, a quick check of the BBC weather brings me back to earth - rain on Saturday and Sunday Oh well .
Glad you had a nice birthday walk and got out when you did.
by Gavin99 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:57 pm
by Mountainlove » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:49 pm
bag Regarding the ice axe...I keep mine in the boot of my car...brings a smile on my face everytime I see
it and confuses non hill walking friends
@ Gavin....a perfect selfmade cinnamon,nut and apple cake was up on the hill...it had to be!!!
by lomondwalkers » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:55 pm
by tomyboy73 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:25 pm