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Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley


Postby Frogwell » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:52 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgritheall

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Eaglaise

Date walked: 15/11/2011

Distance: 19 km

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The plan had been to recreate Kinley's one off each shelf walk on the Glenelg peninsula, backwards, with a high camp. I don't know why I bother with plans, I don't think I've ever managed to stick to one in my life. Not even this plan, and as plans go, it was pretty simple, but no, I messed it up, at least twice.

No, three times.

I set off from home, late, but actually managed to make reasonably good time up North. I did get stuck behind a few pieces of traffic which insisted on dawdling long at a snails pace until they saw a decent overtaking straight at which point they would give it some welly. I parked up at the side of the road by Balvraird farm sometime just before 1pm and was on my way 15 minutes later. The first part of the walk is easy going farm track, which is good because soon enough a right turn over an Indiana Jones-esque bridge takes you onto boggy bogland with tufty heather. There is an approximation of a stalkers path navigating this bogland, but I think it had been designed specifically to highlight just how boggy the ground it.

After a mile or so the printout of Kinley's route told me I should turn left and follow the rather nice looking ridge up to Beinn na h-Eaglaise. I hummed and hawed for a bit, trying to work out how long it would take me to get up the top of Beinn na h-Eaglaise and back to the Bealach (my intended camp spot for the night). I also remembered Kinleys report mentioning how steep the ascent (or descent this direction) up (down) Beinn na h-Eaglaise was, so I thought I'd be sensible this time and just walk along the glen and up to Bealach Arnasdail. I hate sensibleness - it's a bloody stupid invention. The whole time I trudged through the muddy, boggy tufty bog in the shadow of Sgritheall I could see the lovely sunshine bathing the ridge high above me to the left. I imagine that as well as sunshine it also benefited from a nice, substantial ground surface. It wasn't even as if I was afforded any shelter from the wind as the katabatic winds off the high ground was glazing my eyeballs.

I reached Bealach Arnasdail with an hour or so to spare as well, so I would have had plenty of time to get up to the ridge anyway. I dumped my rucksack at the Bealach beside the Lochan and took myself up to the top of Beinn na h-Eaglaise. Twenty minutes of crazy steepness later and I got myself to the top. I'm not sure I'd actually have enjoyed that descent with a full camping rucksack on to be honest, so perhaps it's just as well I didn't follow the ridge up. At least that's what I'm going to tell myself. Fantastic views from the top, but I didn't have a great deal of time to linger as I didn't want to do that descent in the dark, so back down the Bealach and choose one of the several fine flat tent pitches. The wind was averaging 10mph, gusting to 20, so I wanted somewhere with a bit of shelter, which of course is pretty impossible at height as the wind just gets everywhere anyway.

After I pitched the tent I made myself a cup of tea and doodled about in the fading light until it was dinner time. A bag of shepless pie later and I'm remembering the downside to winter camping - the nights are long. This time though I'd made sure my little MP4 player was fully charged and kept warm so the batteries didn't die, so I got to watch the Michael Mcintyre Roadshow for a while. That killed almost 90 minutes, but it was still too early to try sleeping. I amused myself by annoying the passing deer for a while. Normally I suspect my camp spot would be a fairly busy road for the deer, but with my tent plonked right in the middle they were having to make their way along the steep, scree covered ground above me to get from one side of the hill to the other. I'd wait till they got most of the way across and they shout and clap my hands, causing them to fall and fumble as they made an undignified retreat. That wasted almost an hour before they gave up and hurled abuse at me from afar. The moon was up by this point so I walked about in the moonlight for a while longer, trying to lamp deer with my head torch when I could get close enough. That didn't really work to be honest.

Eventually I'd managed to kill enough time to be sufficiently tired to try sleeping. Of course by this time the wind had picked up to a steady 20mph gusting 30, so getting to sleep was a little on the tricky side - not helped by the kazoo playing mountain chickens it's got to be said. I had brought the extra Tarptent poles with me this time which actually make the Scarp particularly solid in the wind, so I managed to drift off at what must have been about midnight. I had set my alarm for 5:30 to give myself plenty of time to have breakfast, break camp and get to some higher ground before sunrise. Four times I messed my plan up then, I didn't wake up till 7am. I was going to hurry and pack things up to get to a decent vantage spot for the morning photography, but as it turned out the sky was totally cloudless, which while is all nice and good and whatnot, actually makes for dull photography as the sun just disappears into the sky, so I figured there was no hurry and I didn't bother with any sunrise photos.

I was packed an on my way by 9am. The climb from the Bealach up Sgritheall is steep. By steep I mean steep. Really steep. Really Really steep. The scree didn't make things much more fun either. The relatively short distance to the top took me about an hour, but it was worth it as the views from the top were fantastic and the walk the summit was a nice wide ridge/plateau. A casual stroll to the summit revealed a trig point snapped in two. How the hell did a woman manage to get a car up there to reverse into that?! Amazing.

I ambled about the top for a short while trying to identify the various villages littered about. Inkeeping my usual success at this game, a later check with maps and google revealed I got them almost entirely wrong again.

Aware that being November the days are only half an hour long I threw my pack on and headed East to follow the ridge down to Bealach na h-Oidhche before climbing up Beinn a' Chapuill. That was the plan anyway, but half way down the ridge I stopped and had myself some lunch (I'd ever remembered to pack my macaroni pie better so it didn't get destroyed by the various other bits and pieces in the rucksack top pocket) and surveyed the route ahead. My sensible head kicked in again and told me that I'd be unlikely to make it up Beinn a' Chapuill and back to the car before dark so I turned right and walked down the Glen from Bealach na h-Oidhche.

As I trudged through the bog in the shade I tried my best to ignore the glorious sunshine basking the ridge of Beinn a' Chapuill far above. After following a series of stalkers and stalkees paths I reached the point where my path met up with the bottom of the ridge leading up Beinn a' Chapuill. There was still and hour and a half of daylight left, plenty of time to have made it up Beinn a' Chapuill.

I guess the moral of the story is that sensibleness has no place on the hills. Wreckless stupidity wins every time. Apart from when it doesn't of course. Most of the time though.

A few piccies from the walk below. I discovered one downside to this route at this time of year - the views are fantastic, but the low sun is in the direction of the best views. That, along with the substantial macaroni pie greased fingerprint on the lens made this not the best photography excursion ever.

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Last edited by Frogwell on Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Fudgie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:11 am

The dreaded mark on the lens. I've had a few potentially good shots ruined through my own carelessness.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby RuthMac » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:40 am

Had me laughing from the start! :lol: :lol: Lovely photos too! :clap:
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby ronofcam » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:30 pm

Frogwell, what sort of gear do you use? Your pictures are always A1!
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby rockhopper » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Very entertaining and great photos as usual despite your misgivings :thumbup: I now have a rather strange picture of you running around with the deer in the dark :lol:

Not sure I'd be brave enough to make a comment like that on the reasons for the broken trig point :lol:
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Alastair S » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:10 pm

A most excellent report again Mr Frogwell :clap:

If its any consolation I couldn't spot any evidence of macaroni grease on the photos - no doubt you spent hours in Photoshop getting them to the required standard :lol: And as for cloudless skies not be conducive to photography - well maybe but you've got to record the occurrence just to show it can happen in Scotland.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:54 pm

Oh Mr Frogwell you were doing so well for two paragraphs at least...and then you decide that your p****d off/on bettles need a bit of company, so you add deer and women onto the list of creatures who will exact revenge on you one day :evil:

Needless to say I laughed all the way through this :lol:

Very, very entertaining :clap: Thank you.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby tamw51 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:11 pm

Frogwell wrote:A casual stroll to the summit revealed a trig point snapped in two. How the hell did a woman manage to get a car up there to reverse into that?! Amazing.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

quality report made me laugh a few times!crackin pics! :D
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Ladylou2 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:20 pm

Brilliant report - chuckled most of the way through it :lol: Can't say i have been up that hill in my car :? Great photos.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Graeme D » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:55 pm

Quality photography and mountain ranting! :lol: These macaroni pies seem to be all the rage at the moment going by the number of reports that they have featured in recently. :shock:
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby kinley » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:32 pm

A group of excellent photos as usual. First one excels for me. 8)

You clearly are a photographer with boots. :D 8) (unlike us hillwalkers with cameras :lol: )

I still don't much fancy that descent from Eaglaise to Bealach Arnisdale, particularly on damp grass. Doable but potentially a bit nervy.

Sgritheall's one I'd like to summit camp on :D

Cheers - a great report. I couldn't see your macaroni mark. 8)
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Frogwell » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:05 pm

Thanks for all the comments :)


ronofcam wrote:Frogwell, what sort of gear do you use? Your pictures are always A1!

I've got a Nikon D90 and all but two of the above pics also had circular polariser and ND grad filters on.

rockhopper wrote:Not sure I'd be brave enough to make a comment like that on the reasons for the broken trig point :lol:

I might avoid the meetups for a year or two :)

Alastair S wrote:A most excellent report again Mr Frogwell :clap:

If its any consolation I couldn't spot any evidence of macaroni grease on the photos - no doubt you spent hours in Photoshop getting them to the required standard :lol: And as for cloudless skies not be conducive to photography - well maybe but you've got to record the occurrence just to show it can happen in Scotland.

Out of all the pictures I took after lunch, I've only used pictures that had featureless blue sky in the top third of the picture as it didn't show up so much. The pictures that had hills filling most of the frame had a big fuzzy blur in the middle. The second to last picture you can see it blurry at the top, but it's hidden by the fact it's whited out too. The past picture was taken after I got back to the car and noticed the grease on the lens (well, it was on the filter actually)

pollyh33 wrote:Oh Mr Frogwell you were doing so well for two paragraphs at least...and then you decide that your p****d off/on bettles need a bit of company, so you add deer and women onto the list of creatures who will exact revenge on you one day :evil:

Needless to say I laughed all the way through this :lol:

Very, very entertaining :clap: Thank you.

As I was drifting off to sleep that night I did wonder if the deer were going to eat my tent while I slept.

kinley wrote:A group of excellent photos as usual. First one excels for me. 8)

You clearly are a photographer with boots. :D 8) (unlike us hillwalkers with cameras :lol: )

I still don't much fancy that descent from Eaglaise to Bealach Arnisdale, particularly on damp grass. Doable but potentially a bit nervy.

Sgritheall's one I'd like to summit camp on :D

Cheers - a great report. I couldn't see your macaroni mark. 8)

Glad you like the first picture. I wasn't going to include it actually, I only threw it in at the last minute as evidence that I was up there the night before :) The scene itself was far more spectacular and the photo seems to have sort of flattened it.

I really wish I'd known about the flat space between hills 830 and 906 actually, it would have been perfect for camping. Bit further for running water right enough, but there was standing pools which would have been filtered and/or boiled.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Paula Hubens » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:29 pm

MMM, can we have some more sir please? :D
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby mrssanta » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:57 pm

I really enjoyed this one. only tried macaroni pie for the first time last month funnily enough, and found it very tasty. Much tastier than it looks.
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Re: Not quite following backwards in the footsteps of Kinley

Postby Gable Gable End » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:41 am

Witty report and looks like a great overnighter!
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