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Farewell to the White Mounth

Farewell to the White Mounth


Postby ChrisW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:28 pm

Munros included on this walk: Broad Cairn, Cairn Bannoch, Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor

Date walked: 26/10/2011

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 29.3 km

Ascent: 1428m

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Having been in the flatlands of Lincolnshire for the past week I was keen to get out there in the hills on my return, unfortunately the weather had other ideas. Hurricanes on Monday, Rain on Tuesday but.....something struck me on Wednesday morning that changed things. Someone on breakfast TV mentioned the clocks going back, I realised that I had just a few days left if I was to tackle the White Mounth Circuit. (I'm heading out to Calgary on Saturday house hunting, the days will be shorter when I return) I checked MWIS and it looked to be OK enough to have a go, so flask made, bags packed and away to the car park at Lock Muick.

By the time I got walking it was 10.30. I calculated (somehow) that the journey was 16.5 miles I average 2mph including stops so though I had just enough time to get back to the car park before dark...... I had miscalculated :wtf:

Starting out along the Loch side path the cloud still hid the Munros from view
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The deer were well up the hills out of the way today, perhaps the number of people around put them off a little, but later they would be down in the glen as always and I hoped to see them up close then
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The loch looked as beautiful as always even with the looming clouds, I will miss this place when I have completed the move to Calgary
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at the waterfall where Black Burn pours down toward the loch the noise was thunderous as it crashed below the wooden bridge

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it is then a steep zig zag climb up the corrie until reaching the overlook where the royal hunting lodge can be seen nestled in Glas allt shiel

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I am soon ascending Broad Cairn and remembering the first time I climbed this hill and the incredible view from here, today the view is still there but very different

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even zooming in does little toward making an interesting picture today
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as I huff and puff my way to the summit I see two guys tucked in out of the breeze behind the cairn, I grabbed the evidence shot before settling down for a cup of tea and a bite to eat
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It was then that I realised the sandwiches I had prepared were still in the house on the kitchen worktop :-x as I watched the two guys head out toward Cairn Bannoch I considered turning back, but then remembered my 'emergency pocket' in the rucksack where I keep tracker bars etc......... two trackers and a kit kat, it will have to do.

I had a quick bite and set off again for Cairn Bannoch which is a nice gentle wander from Broad Cairn and in no time I am there, but the temperature has dipped considerably on that short journey
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still smiling and enjoying the day..... I see the two guys again but they are starting out for Carn an t-Sagairt Mor

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I can't help but think there must be some beautiful views down to the right but the cloud has lowered again putting a lid on Carn a Choire Bhoidheach which I am sure is over there somewhere
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I set off again behind the two guys who are staying about the same distance from me throughout.......or am I staying the same distance from them :think: they can just be seen in the centre right of this shot heading toward Carn an t-Sagairt Mor
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As I begin my ascent of Carn an t-Sagairt Mor I look back toward Broad Cairn and Cairn Bannoch as the cloud lifts again
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it is now just possible to see Carn a Choire Bhoidheach on the left (though not the summit) Dubh Loch in the centre and Broad Cairn and Cairn Bannoch on the right, I wish I 'd had the fitness to attempt this in the summer :(

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as I reach the summit, random sunshine arrives and lifts my spirits, though my energy levels are now very low and I can feel cold much more than I should...the lack of food is beginning to tell on me I think.

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to the North-East even Lochnagar is visible, if only for a very short time

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so another summit reached and a little sunshine to cheer the day
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the two guys are here again and this time we have a good long natter about life in general, turns out that both of them go skiing in a small town west of Calgary every year. It seems almost surreal to be standing on the top of a mountain in Scotland discussing mountains in Canada that I will be standing on in just a couple of months now. We discuss everything from post accident ligament damage to life in another country, before they tell me they walked in from Glen Esk and needed to turn around and walk out that way now (but were thinking of taking in Tolmount on the way back) :shock: we had a short discussion about head torches before they were on their way again.
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I realised now that I was going to be pushing it to get Lochnagar in and still be down in daylight, I set off with greater urgency for Carn a Choire Bhoidheach. It's only 2k away but it felt like much more, the final ascent in particular left me wondering about my fitness, I made a few calculations and realised that I had already covered about 12 miles (I hadn't been over 13 since my leg op) and still had 5 or 6 miles to go.
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With the light changing to the evening glow, energy at an all time low and still a way to go before I'm down safe I grabbed the evidence shot, scrapped any remaining thoughts of Lochnagar and headed for the fastest descent route, the Glas Allt path.

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I found myself hurrying along the path trying to beat the light which was fading fast, the final section of the path down beside the falls and finally to the royal lodge are very poor on a good dry day. On a dark, wet night they are risky, I pressed hard and reached the loch side without incident, but absolutely worn out. I sat beside the loch in the darkness and had a drink and a final tracker bar before wandering the lochside path in total darkness, I didn't use the head torch as the path is a flat track and my eyes were soon accustomed to the dark. The rain fell in squalls and the deer bellowed across the glen as I walked the last 3 miles looking at the lights in the visitor centre guiding me back to the car park.

I finally reached the car almost 9 hours after setting off, exhausted but happy. On arrival home a hot shower and good grub left me perfectly tired.

That may well have been my last look over Loch Muick, when I return from Canada in a couple of weeks we will have just 4 weeks left in Scotland......Maybe I could get a few more hills in.... It would be nice to have a final ascent of Lochnagar by way of goodbye :wink:
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ChrisW
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:43 pm

Hi Chris :D
Another great report to add to your collection. It looks like you had decent weather out there, despite the cloud. I haven't done these hills yet but my time will come :lol: :lol: It makes me jealous a wee bit as we now only have weekends for walking (pre-christmas rush has started!) and forecast for sat/sun is awful. Just not fair... :(
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby malky_c » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:11 pm

Great pics as ever. Shame to see that you're off :( . Make sure you keep us filled in with some Canadian reports though :) . Did a little bit of walking on Vancouver Island once. Really only nibbled the edge of one of the less wild areas of the country, but I'd love to go back for more 8)
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby Stretch » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:28 pm

Leaving the hills behind will be the hardest part of my move back home to the US in just over 3 weeks so I know how you feel - except for that being my native land :lol: You've given us some fabulous reports since you started posting, so hopefully you'll help me add to the Outside Scotland page once we are both over the pond.

Any thoughts on the 'last walk'?
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby ndhudson » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:59 pm

Ah Chris, it's a bitter-sweet tale you tell. But you do tell it well! Gale was hootin' for ya when it looked as though you were going to be walking in the dark (he loves hiking at night!). :D Sounds likes you've got your walkin' legs back on, great effort! :clap: Good luck with the house hunting in Calgary.
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby Alastair S » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:01 pm

Lovely report & photos (as ever) Chris. But I'm sure your Canadian reports will keep us just as entertained :D
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby Johnny Corbett » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:08 pm

Another impressive report Chris and four Munros, well done. I'll have to change my biased ways and start reading the Outside Scotland reports now that yourself and Stretch will be leaving us soon :D
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby ChrisW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:45 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Hi Chris :D
Another great report to add to your collection. It looks like you had decent weather out there, despite the cloud. I haven't done these hills yet but my time will come :lol: :lol: It makes me jealous a wee bit as we now only have weekends for walking (pre-christmas rush has started!) and forecast for sat/sun is awful. Just not fair... :(

Thanks BP, I got lucky with the weather, there was a lot of rain around but I only caught a few light showers :D

malky_c wrote:Great pics as ever. Shame to see that you're off :( . Make sure you keep us filled in with some Canadian reports though :) . Did a little bit of walking on Vancouver Island once. Really only nibbled the edge of one of the less wild areas of the country, but I'd love to go back for more 8)

Thanks Malky, once I get settled I'll post some Rocky Mountain wonder and get folks interested in a WH North America meet up :wink:

Stretch wrote:Leaving the hills behind will be the hardest part of my move back home to the US in just over 3 weeks so I know how you feel - except for that being my native land :lol: You've given us some fabulous reports since you started posting, so hopefully you'll help me add to the Outside Scotland page once we are both over the pond.
Any thoughts on the 'last walk'?


Thanks Stretch, I'd hoped to make your farewell walk but held off on committing cos I knew the house hunt was coming, so at least I don't have to withdraw now...I hope you have a fantastic day though and just for once could Gammy leave the clag at home :lol: I hope to be joining you in the 'Outside Scotland' section early next year. With Highland SC and his lovely wife, ND and Gale, you and I there's almost enough of us for a WH North America meet up!!
As for the last hill, if I get a good day and time allows, I would love to repeat my Lochnagar hike :D

ndhudson wrote:Ah Chris, it's a bitter-sweet tale you tell. But you do tell it well! Gale was hootin' for ya when it looked as though you were going to be walking in the dark (he loves hiking at night!). :D Sounds likes you've got your walkin' legs back on, great effort! :clap: Good luck with the house hunting in Calgary.


Thanks ND, it's all happening now....Utah 2012 I reckon :lol: I loved the 3 miles in absolute darkness beside the loch with the Stags bellowing, I'm with Gale on that. The legs are still working today so I reckon I can call them fixed :D

Alastair S wrote:by Alastair S » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:01 pm
Lovely report & photos (as ever) Chris. But I'm sure your Canadian reports will keep us just as entertained

Thanks Alastair, I'll have to get used to the Canadian winter first :shock:

Johnny Corbett wrote:Another impressive report Chris and four Munros, well done. I'll have to change my biased ways and start reading the Outside Scotland reports now that yourself and Stretch will be leaving us soon :D

Thanks JC, had done Broad Cairn once before so only counted 3 yesterday :( a lot of effort for 3 :lol: , start watching 'Outside Scotland' Stretch and I are going to have people longing for a North American adventure :D
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby kev_russ » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:21 pm

stunning report and pics yet again chris :thumbup:
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby kinley » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:54 pm

Nice results from a rather mixed day....as we'd expect from you. 8)

CW wrote:Someone on breakfast TV mentioned the clocks going back, I realised that I had just a few days left if I was to tackle the White Mounth Circuit.


I'm looking forward to it - come December and a walk like this with good tracks is a gem - start 2 hours before dawn with the headtorch and you can be at 3000ft watching the sunrise. I love that. 8)

Canadian Rockies are a decent second best I suppose. :lol: ;)
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby ChrisW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:08 pm

kev_russ wrote:stunning report and pics yet again chris :thumbup:

Thanks Kev_Russ, my longest walk, my shortest report :wtf: not sure why :?

kinley wrote:Nice results from a rather mixed day....as we'd expect from you. 8)
CW wrote:Someone on breakfast TV mentioned the clocks going back, I realised that I had just a few days left if I was to tackle the White Mounth Circuit.

I'm looking forward to it - come December and a walk like this with good tracks is a gem - start 2 hours before dawn with the headtorch and you can be at 3000ft watching the sunrise. I love that. 8)
Canadian Rockies are a decent second best I suppose. :lol: ;)


Thanks Kinley, strange sort of day for photo's but I think everyone's seen this circuit a few times now anyway.

Starting before dawn is a great idea which I have never really thought about, often work out to be walking out in the dark but never thought of walking in :roll: that could be very useful in the short winter days in the Rockies......though obviously it will always feel like second best now :lol:
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby gaffr » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:15 pm

I'm being a bit naughty Mr.K. :lol:
6 pass route camp 085.JPG
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby kinley » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:20 pm

ChrisW wrote:often work out to be walking out in the dark but never thought of walking in :roll: that could be very useful in the short winter days in the Rockies......though obviously it will always feel like second best now :lol:


I always try to use the dark for walking in. If you get to a difficulty doing that you can just stop - it's only going to get lighter.

Quite a lot of walks have track approaches which are ideal for covering in the dark.

I'll keep an eye on the "Fictional Hills" section for so-called "hills outside Scotland" later in the year then. :lol: ;)

I don't believe a word of it! ;)
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby gary » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:38 pm

Well done ChrisW, Great report and fantastic pics as usual.
Good to hear you got the other three done before you went :thumbup:
Hope you manage Lochnangar before you go and good luck for when you get to Canada :wave:
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Re: Farewell to the White Mounth

Postby ChrisW » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:55 pm

gaffr wrote:I'm being a bit naughty Mr.K. :lol:
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :lol:

kinley wrote:I always try to use the dark for walking in. If you get to a difficulty doing that you can just stop - it's only going to get lighter.
Quite a lot of walks have track approaches which are ideal for covering in the dark.
I'll keep an eye on the "Fictional Hills" section for so-called "hills outside Scotland" later in the year then. :lol: ;)
I don't believe a word of it! ;)

I can't believe I never considered it Kinley, its one of those "so obvious you don't see it" things :lol: I'm heading down to Lincolnshire for family xmas before the big move (December 29th), will try to get a walk in the Rockies by January 29th (assuming its not -40 :shock: ) Maybe I should post it in the Scotland walks section.....ahem....by mistake :lol:

gary wrote:Well done ChrisW, Great report and fantastic pics as usual.
Good to hear you got the other three done before you went :thumbup:
Hope you manage Lochnangar before you go and good luck for when you get to Canada :wave:

Thanks Gary, it would have been wrong to leave those 3 red blobs in the middle of the blue ones on my Munro map :lol:
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