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When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!


Postby agrubb » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:14 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall nan Caorach, Meall Reamhar

Date walked: 18/12/2011

Time taken: 5 hours

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After hearing tales from our friend SMRussell about their experience of poor weather up a munro the day before, reading other walk reports, and the gale force gusts forecast, we (me and fellow WH member EwaMH) opted for some lower level walking this weekend. Meall nan Caorach and Meall Reamhar, our first Grahams, were our picks!

We started our walk from the village hall in Amulree. We were the only ones there and had to manoeuvre the car over a dodgy ice covered entrance to the carpark. Looking West we got a nice view of a hill we weren't able to identify (can anyone help?) it looked awesome and did consider going over there but then we remembered why we opted for Grahams in the first place!
1 An Awesome view west to a hill we can't figure out the name of.JPG


The walk started by going back along the road towards a landrover track on the left. This was a nice wee ice free stroll which we would later appreciate a lot!
2 A Walk back along the road.JPG


Once the landrover track was reached we continued along its icy paths taking in the views opening up behind us as we went . An absence of crampons meant that we actually spent more time wading through the heather (and sometimes deep snow) next to the track as it was sheet ice for the majority of it!
3 Along the landrover track.JPG
4  A view to the west...to Lawers.JPG


Finally reaching the base of Meall nan Caorach we began our ascent with ice axes in hand just in case. Evidently we picked a relatively steep section to climb, but we were keen to stick on this route as this was only our second winter walk in the snow and it meant we could get a bit more experience in fairly safe surroundings.
5 At the base of Meall nan Caorach.JPG


As we continued up some lovely views started opening up and soon forgot that we weren't actually that high!
6 Ascending Meall nan Caorach.JPG
7 Looking over to Graham no 2 Meall Reamhar.JPG


Once on the summit views in every direction were stunning! Any dissapointment with not ticking a munro box faded immediately. The good thing with these two hills being the biggest in the immediate area was that we weren't left the feeling of wanting to climb something bigger that was towering over us and mocking us as we went!
8 Me on the Summit.JPG
9 Ewa on the Summit.JPG
10 Schiehallion.JPG
11 Towards the Cairngorms.JPG


Conveniently a line of fence posts basically joins the two summits of the day up and this was the route we chose to ascend Meall Reamhar. As we did the clouds came in and gave us a day of two halves (and pictures that look like we were out on two separate days).
12 At the base of Meall Reamhar.JPG
13 A change in the clouds.JPG
14 Ascending Meall Reamhar.JPG
15 Mountain Hare.JPG


Towards the summit we began to lose our lower legs in the snow and the slope began to steepen which required some all fours and ice axe action to keep going (hence no photos of this) but good fun nevertheless!! Soon we reached the summit and while there were no longer crisp blue skies the clouds were quite dramatic and atmospheric!
16 Ewa at the Summit.JPG
17 Towards Cairngorms.JPG


We then decended back towards the landrover track while practising our self arresting and general sliding about skills on the way :D

When back on the (now even icier) track the sun decided to greet us again although a few snow flakes did fall.
18 On the home straight.JPG

As mentioned previously, finshing the walk on the solid ground of the road (usually not the best way to end a walk) was actually a relief after the ice of the track.

This was a really great wee walk as we got everything we wanted from it: more experience in the snow, fantastic views, physical challenge and aching legs that told us we worked hard! :lol: Highly recommended - in snow at least!
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:52 pm

i enjoyed that nice report :)
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby agrubb » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:55 pm

Thanks Collaciotach :D
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby SMRussell » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:02 pm

I'm very pleased to see you breaking your forum silence! I hope to see a posting from Ewa in the not too distant future.

Ace first report. Really like the "A change in the clouds" photo :D

I've eyed these two before during one of my attempts to get RTMcB interested in the smaller hills - not much luck so far! But hopefully when he cracks we can pick your brains further on the best route.

Nice one.
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby SMRussell » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:17 pm

The hill looks like it might be Meal Dearg another Graham north of Loch Freuchie...
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby Graeme D » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:45 pm

I believe the hill is Meall nam Fuaran, across Glen Lochan from the Graham Beinn na Gainimh. The east facing crags are quite distinctive.
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby agrubb » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:30 pm

Graeme, thanks for that, think you have hit the nail on the head!

Sian, thanks for the comments. They were good ones to do and really easy to navigate given that they are right next to each other! Beinn na Gainimh might be another good Graham to do to get views of said Meall nam Fuaran.
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby Redrock » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:22 am

I enjoyed your report and it looks like you had a cracking day - despite a dodgy forecast! It's great when the weather beats the forecast! :lol:
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby kevsbald » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:36 am

Nice wee report - ain't done these yet (as so many others) but will lock this one away.
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby dooterbang » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:07 am

Just proves you dont have to do the "bigger hills" to have a great time.

Nice 1st report and some great photos.
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Re: When the forecast looks dubious head for the Grahams!

Postby agrubb » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:21 pm

kevsbald wrote:Nice wee report - ain't done these yet (as so many others) but will lock this one away.

Thanks kevsbald. Yep it was a nice wee area that I had never been too before..parts of it felt like a mini west coast.

Redrock wrote:I enjoyed your report and it looks like you had a cracking day - despite a dodgy forecast! It's great when the weather beats the forecast! :lol:

Too right...although I'm wanting to get out in the next couple of days but I'm not sure I want to chance the weather triumphing over the forecast this time!

dooterbang wrote:Just proves you dont have to do the "bigger hills" to have a great time.
Nice 1st report and some great photos.

Cheers, it certainly does and is just as well, I'm starting to run out of bigger hills closer to home.
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