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Creag Mhor in a Gale

PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:47 pm
by clivew
Started off from Edinburgh a bit later than I had planned and originally was going to climb Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich, checked out the weather forecast on Friday night and it didn't look too good with heavy rain coming in from the West and gusts to 60mph on the hills. As usual the mountain forecast was spot on and the rain started as soon as I stopped for the obligatory bacon roll and coffee at the van at Glen Ogle (which by the way closes for the winter next weekend). By the time I had driven up through Glen Lochay and reached the car park east of Kenknock Farm it was getting on for 10.30.
One of the main reason I wanted to get out was to try out my new boots; I had bought a pair of Miendle Burma Pros and apart from a few trips up into the Pentlands hadn't really given them a good trial.
I hate having to get the waterproofs on from the start of a walk but I had no choice as the rain was coming down steadily. It's a bit of a slog from the car park to the end of the road and then up through the gated road to the start of the hydro track; its an even bigger slog along the hydro track to where you cross the Allt Bad a'Mhaim and eventually start to climb.
By now I realised that this was going to be a single Munro trip as the wind was blowing very strong and the rain was getting heavier so I had a good idea what it would be like higher up. It was hard work walking as the wind and rain were blowing directly into my face so it was hood pulled tightly around my face.
The path which leaves the hydro track at the bridge over the Allt Bad a'Mhain soon peters out as it climbs towards Sron nan Eun and the going was very wet underfoot; I carefully chose a good place to climb up to the ridge as most of the face was very steep and rocky with no obvious route. Once I eventually reached the ridge I soon found a path heading NW towards Creag Mhor. The wind up on the ridge was horrendous, gusting very strong and making it difficult to walk at times. I sheltered in a dip and managed to drink some coffee and eat one of my sandwiches which I was very thankful for.
The final part of the walk to the summit via the Bealach was seriously difficult as the wind was gusting even stronger, I didn't stay on the top more than a couple of seconds before heading back the way I had come. It's not very often I'm glad to get off a summit but today I was. Once I started to head down off the ridge towards the track the wind eased off a bit although the rain didn't it poured down all the way back to the car.
This wasn't the most pleasurable walk I have ever done but I certainly felt a sense of achievement when I eventually got back to the car, and the good news was my feet were the only part of me that remained dry and not a blister in sight.

The River Lochay.jpg

Glen Lochay towards Meall Glas.jpg

Glen Lochay from Sron nan Eun.jpg

Sron nan Eun.jpg