walkhighlands

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Now you see it, now you don't...

Now you see it, now you don't...


Postby Fudgie » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:55 pm

Route description: Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lochay

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Date walked: 27/11/2011

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 9 km

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Like everyone else, the weather forecast held a deep sense of foreboding for me but knowing that I would be at a looses end today, I was determined to get out there and try something. After consultation with my friend Derek, we settled on Meall Ghaordaidh as it seemed straightforward enough with the weather throwing us a bit of a challenge. We were away from the car just before ten o'clock having watched a couple head up five minutes in front of us.

No sooner were we out the car than the rain started and the great visibility we had began to vanish and the weather started to close in around us. As we reached the cairn that signals the point to leave the track, the conditions began to improve and we could see the couple further up so we headed in the same direction as them. Eventually we got on to a relatively flat bit and at this point the snow and wind returned with a vengeance and I was grateful to have packed my ski mask as looking ahead was very difficult without it.

As we were navigating the peat hags the weather changed again with the wind disappearing and the clouds opening up to give us a great view in every direction. We could see over to Ben Vorlich & Stuc a' Chroin which we climbed two weeks ago as well as having a fantastic view of Beinn nan Eachan and others. We could see the summit of Meall Ghaordaidh but for a period it never seemed to get any closer and it was a bit disheartening as we felt that we weren't getting anywhere.

Yet again,the weather changed for the worse and it was back to ski mask, hood up and gloves on as we continued to plod towards the final ascent. As we were about 200ft from the summit the conditions changed for the better and we could enjoy the last few steps. About 50ft from the summit we could hear the wind roaring over it and the freshly laid snow was being picked up off the mountain and blown straight into us. This was nothing though to the wind that greeted us as we arrived at the summit.

Neither of us could look up and it was a struggle to walk the last 5 feet to the trig point. I've never known wind like it and despite standing a couple of feet apart, we could hardly hear each other and we couldn't enjoy the view due to the ferocity of the wind. Very briefly it lessened it's power and we could enjoy a view further North and we decided to get off the summit and have some food further down. We very fortunate to have clear skies at the top as withing 5 minutes of descending the weather changed for the umpteenth time and the snow and howling wind returned.

This continued for about fifteen minutes until we dropped down a good bit and found a large boulder to sit behind and enjoy some well earned lunch. We watched the snow being driven across the hill in front of us and just as we decided to brave it and head down,it stopped and the sun came out. We were then treated to the longest spell of good weather of the day as we headed back to the car withing only the last ten minutes being done in the rain.

I really enjoyed this one as some of the views were fantastic and it was a good way to shake off the Magners I had inhaled the night before. The weather wasn't as bad as we had feared and we were able to enjoy the scenery around us.

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Fudgie
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Re: Now you see it, now you don't...

Postby iainwatson » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:05 pm

well done on getting out and 'enjoying' the winter weather :lol:

the wind at the weekend was certainly the strongest i've ever walked in,will need to invest in a ski mask like yourself as when the wind picks up the dusting of snow it feels like millions of needles hitting your face :thumbdown:
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iainwatson
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Re: Now you see it, now you don't...

Postby Fudgie » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:27 pm

iainwatson wrote:well done on getting out and 'enjoying' the winter weather :lol:

the wind at the weekend was certainly the strongest i've ever walked in,will need to invest in a ski mask like yourself as when the wind picks up the dusting of snow it feels like millions of needles hitting your face :thumbdown:


I never bothered taking any pictures when the weather turned bad as there was no way my hands were coming out of those gloves :D

As for the ski mask, I inherited a lot of stuff from my late father and yesterday was the first time I had worn it. It certainly made a difference.
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Fudgie
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Posts: 994
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Grahams:3   Donalds:7
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: Port Glasgow

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