walkhighlands

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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Meall Chuaich

Meall Chuaich


Postby Team Chisholm » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:41 am

Route description: Meall Chuaich, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: Meall Chuaich

Date walked: 11/12/2011

Time taken: 5.2 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 638m

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Lovely drive up a quiet A9 in sunshine and arrived at just north of Dalwhinnie junction at planned time of 9.30am for meeting with Bog Monster Mike who had travelled from Inverness. Quick chat with local gamekeeper on a quad bike whilst we got ready and then of we slid up the icy track along side the lade. Grouse a plenty on the walk in but no sign of any deer i suspect the gamekeeper and his 270 rifle had made sure they had moved on before our arrival.

Quickly we arrived up at Loch Chuaich and could see Meall Chuaich clearly rising above us dusted in good snow covering with path still pretty visible. Mars and bar and drink all around and off we went upwards on what was wind blown base layer of snow which in the main held us as we slipped around on main ascent.

Hares and grouse all over the place and Bobby (English Springer) got the closest to making contact with his long ambition of catching these long legged white brutes although after a good effort he returned tongue hanging into the snow to re think his strategy for future munro's.

Up onto the ridge and onwards to the summit with walking conditions snowy but good and scenery spectacular looking over the Ben Alder range , some discussion on spring trips took place at this point. Onto a cold top with great views over to Cairngorms and also down Loch to Ben Alder.

Quick lunch and cup of tea before the very quick descent back down and huge hilarity as bog monster managed to go up to his middle in an innocent looking wee crossing.

Good to see Cameron aged 10 knocking off his 26th and first winter Munro and loving it , interest in ice axe raised as we seemed to only group without one , any advice on this area welcome.

A first short post after having used others to plan our first foray into Munro's. :o
Last edited by Team Chisholm on Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Team Chisholm
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Re: Meall Chuaich

Postby spiderwebb » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:39 am

Well done Team Chisholm, conditions pretty much what I experienced last week with Rocket Ron and Tomsie.

Re the axe debate, we had them but not used on this one, although certainly had the snow been harder then I think they would have come out on the descent and reascent we took down the north slope to the Loch and up to the Graham. When its soft its not so necessary. My rule of thumb is that if I took a slip would I stop or would I slide into oblivion, if the latter then axe is needed !

Great pics, I didn't take my dog/s due to the snow, I think they need a trim to lessen the snowballs !! :lol:
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spiderwebb
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Re: Meall Chuaich

Postby Team Chisholm » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:51 am

Spiderwebb

Route back down to loch looks like the better and would have made round trip, have biked through track past loch before. Not sure dog would thank us for leaving him behind and his short coat most likely hoped him although deep snow caused his male parts some red chaffing (nasty place to be chaffed) ice axe comments make complete sense and my only concern is that I am sure my son would axe the dog long before the side of a hill. Can see some training on the when to use and how to use parts.
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Re: Meall Chuaich

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:59 am

Good effort team and some nice photos and well done to the young lad on his first winter Munro. I would advise crampons and ice axe though for winter walking, though i'm not sure if you get boots for a ten year old that can take crampons, possibly spikes could be the answer but i would research that further.
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Re: Meall Chuaich

Postby spiderwebb » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:19 pm

Had the same thoughts when I bought my axe, thinking I'll probably end up stabbing myself with it first, but did a course at Glenmore good few years back.

Got another wants to understand a bit more on axe use, maybe need to find a suitable slope and have a little session some time. Not suggesting I'm an expert, as I think even going on a course will give you the basics and then its a case of finding said slope (one thats steep enough to slide but runs out gently with no hard obstacles in the way) and practice, but having used mine in anger twice (on same trip) some 25 years after the course, trust me you don't forget !!

First two tips from my experience (probably start another debate on this ! :lol: ), axe in the uphill hand and adze (the non pointy end) pointing forward the way your going. :D
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Re: Meall Chuaich

Postby Team Chisholm » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:38 pm

Thanks both and will do some research into crampons for youngsters as sensed whilst yesterday was okay it would not take much more to become pretty dangerous without both even if carried in bag ready to use when needed. Offer of help much appreciated and we will see how we get on practicing one.
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