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Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch


Postby iainwatson » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:57 pm

Munros included on this walk: Carn Dearg (Corrour), Sgor Gaibhre

Date walked: 30/12/2011

Time taken: 8.2 hours

Distance: 27.2 km

Ascent: 1000m

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The 4am alarm was as un-welcome as ever but the need to get out and bag another couple of Munro's before the year end was enough to drag me from my bed and get in the van to drive up the A9 before turning off for Kinloch
Rannoch and continuing toward Rannoch train station,stopping short at the start of the track that would lead me
into the two Munro's at Corrour,Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre.
The road out to the start point from the A9 was treacherous to say the least with a covering of snow and ice but
i eventaully got there just short of 9am and after parking i realised i had left my gaitors at home-Damn! the
forecast was for heavy snow and i cursed myself for this mistake,then as i zipped up all the pockets on my jacket,
one of the zips burst! (the said RAB jacket will be returned for a refund :-x )
DSC06178.JPG
sunrise from the parking area

DSC06181.JPG
the parking area from the start of the track

Not a great start to the day but i set off anyway and for a change i had decided to take my ipod which up until
now i had been dead against,always preferring the soundtrack that nature provided but i have to say this was
fantastic! I marched up the track at a really good pace with Queens greatest hits 1 blaring in my ears and as per
usual i managed to miss the crossing of the bridge which would have taken me in the direction of Carn Dearg which
i had chosen to summit first and then onto Sgor Gaibhre.
DSC06186.JPG
todays targets,Carn Dearg ridge on the left,Beinn Pharlagain leading to Sgor Gaibhre on the right

DSC06189.JPG
loads of deer roaming this area


No big deal i thought,i'll just reverse the round i had planned,so i continued up the track looking at the low cloud and snow covered hills-what a difference from Bridgeof Orchy a few days ago but un-deterred i followed the track and decided that i would miss out the Corbett and continue into the glen,picking my own path through the deep snow and eventually head up to the bealach between Sgor Gaibhre and Beinn Pharlagain.
DSC06197.JPG
still enjoying the tunes before the ascent

This plan was going really well and i was having such fun,the music of choice had changed to 'A Momentary Lapse Of Reason' by pink floyd-smashing! :D I stopped below the bealach and decided as it was time to start working hard and ascend i would lose the music,this seems to be when things went wrong for me.
I made it up to the ridge just around about the corbett
DSC06199.JPG
lochan Meoigeach (i think)

and after checking the map with my gps reading was sure i knew where i was and where i was to head and set off hoping the rise to the Munro would appear out of the cloud and snow in front of me,WRONG!
As i walked on i was met by the steep craggy looking side of a hill,how could this be? the visibility was about
30ft and for the first time ever walking solo i got worried,all of a sudden i had no idea where i was,what direction
i should be headed and what my next move was.I checked my GPS and i had covered just over 10km-christ i should be on summit at this distance! yet my gps was telling me that the summit of Sgor Gaibhre was 3.4km away???
this was a major WTF? moment for me and after a slightly panic stricken check of the map i decided to plumb in the
co-ordinates of the bealach,i reckoned if i could get there i could then re-plan my day.After a while i reached the
bealach proper and stopped for some coffee and to decide what i should do.
Now with getting lost i had fell even further behind time and the sensible option was to head back to the van by
dropping down into the glen and retracing my steps,option number 2 was to head up to the first Munro,see how much
daylight i had left and plan accordingly.
Rightly or wrongly i headed for the summit and after just over 4hrs and 13.8km i reached Sgor Gaibhre's summit,
thank god! i thought.
DSC06203.JPG
Sgor Gaibhre summit

DSC06202.JPG
stats upon reaching Sgor Gaibhre

The weather wasnt getting any better and the wind chill was bad so i didnt stop long and decided that heading for
bealach between the two Munro's would be my best bet,giving me the option of dropping into the glen or going for
second summit,again my determination/stubborness got the better of me and i headed onward to the second summit which was a real slog due to the depth of the snow and also the fact that i had torn the inside leg of my trousers with my crampons and it was filling up with snow.
DSC06204.JPG
the view from the bealach to Carn Dearg

After a couple of false summits i trudged onto the freezing summint of Carn Dearg,tired,cold and in dire need of a
rest but it was far too cold to stop and it was also 2:25pm,i had possibly an hour and a half to reach the track as i
didnt want to still be on the hill when darkness fell,a summit pic and vid was taken and i set off along the ridge
DSC06206.JPG
Carn Dearg summit

DSC06207.JPG
Carn Dearg stats


which was torture,no path to follow,numerous drops into waist deep snow and also a fair few falls,i wasnt enjoying
this but needed to try and travel as fast as possible.
Eventually as i neared the end of the ridge and with daylight failing i spotted the river that runs down the glen and opted to head down toward it,the hillside was fairly steep but i really wanted to get to it knowing it would lead me to the track to the van.
just as i reached the side of the river i stopped and guzzled down four cups of coffee and had a snack to
keep me going,then followed what seemed to be a path along the river and eventually onto the track,by this time it was completely dark and i walked back out by the light of my headtorch eventually reaching the van 8hrs 15mins after leaving it.
DSC06212.JPG
end of day stats

I know i made a good few mistakes on this walk,some that may have comprimised my safety so if anyone wants to have a 'go at me' feel free,i'll take it on the chin but i learned a lot from this walk and have since checked the map to
see where i went wrong and i'll certainly not make the same mistakes again,
i also think a winter safety course is in order if i plan to walk solo in the depths of winter again.
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:41 am

Another wild day on the hills you Munro masochist, as for the mistakes i think we have all been there when the weather gets bad.Well done on continueing and getting the job done :D ps i've seen that van before somewhere on my travels
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby jstalker66621 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:02 am

Great report Ian and well done on a hard day...it's a bummer when you arrive and realise that you have forgotten some essential piece of kit!! :oops:
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby kevsbald » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:05 am

Don't know why anyone would have a go at you, Iain. You made a couple of navigational mistakes but took stock, didn't panic and re-assessed. Home in one piece and lessons learned. A day of retrospective satisfaction - well done matey and you must be looking at your 200th next year if not more?
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby pigeon » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:15 am

Balls of steel :lol:
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby rockhopper » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:46 pm

You're still off your rocker but well done on managing this walk in such conditions...jacket zip burst, torn trousers, no gaiters... but a great taste in music ! Interesting route - I've been planning to cover these two but possibly in an overnight loop from Corrour Station and going round Loch Ossian - cheers and happy new year :D
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby gammy leg walker » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:10 pm

Interesting route - I've been planning to cover these two but possibly in an overnight loop from Corrour Station and going round Loch Ossian - cheers and happy new year :D[/quote]

1st of another well done Iain,like most I think your mad but you keep proving us wrong.Like Kev has just said, why should people have a go at you,a couple of mistakes,took stock,re-assesed,and got back safe,show me someone who hasnt done this,and you show me someone who tells porkys.

Anyway "rockhopper" re your route,have been looking at a slight adjustment to this one.Park at Rannoch Station,get train to Corrour Station,climb Beinn na Lap,drop down north Loch Ossian,climb Sgor Gaibhre then Carn Dearg,if time is still ok head back to Corrour & train back to Rannoch,if time is against,follow Iain"s route back to Rannoch an car.

PS any thoughts on this would be most welcome,thanks in advance .........glw.
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:18 pm

Good report Iain life is for learning and mistakes is easy made. I managed to get lost trying to reach my bathroom from the bedroom in the wee hours of the New Years Day and that is only 1 mtre between doors ! .....appears i was scratching about in the clothes cupboard and ready to bless the contents so to speak :lol:

It grand you got out and as for criticism no not from me... as we say in Ghaidhlig

Mas math leat do mholadh faigh bàs, mas math leat do chàineadh pòs.
"If you want to be praised die, if you want to be criticised marry"

Happy New Year and safe and plentiful walking for 2012

btw I ve seen your van somewhere been in Sunart recently ?
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby Gable Gable End » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:28 pm

Heavy Day Iain but good to see you take stock, get your bearings and stick at it!!

r.e the loop from Corrour; I did this earlier in Summer and made a few navigational errors..... :lol:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=13005
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby mgmt! » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:08 pm

nice good honest report ian, highlighting how different winter walking can be, youve learned from your errors and thats what you take from this outing. i think the softness of the snow is what made the walk so hard, if there had been a few freeze thaws to firm it up it wouldnt be so energy sapping, solo walking in winter can be more of a risk, that coupled with dogged determination can be a recipe for disaster, but it also gives us days we will never forget,
top effort well done
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby Redrock » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:07 pm

Sounds like an epic day, Iain! But you handled it well and came home safe! :D No criticism from me here - I've been in that place of finding I wasn't where I thought I was! The main thing is keeping calm - finding where you are and then getting back on track! You did it - and bagged a couple of Munros to boot! :lol: Great stuff! 8)
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby yokehead » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:25 pm

This is an excellent report; sorry but I really enjoyed your agonies! :lol: Well done for persevering and getting it all sorted out in the end. 8) I reckon anyone who hasn't had a less than perfect day is the poorer. It's your type of day that gives such valuable experience, and you were always in control of the situation. A day you'll remember I'm sure, great job! :D
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby iainwatson » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:59 pm

cheers all,i guess asking for people to have a go was a bit over the top but for the period where i was lost i felt i needed a good slapping for getting myself in such a situation,it wasnt pleasant to find i wasnt where i expected to be.

Johnny Corbett wrote:Another wild day on the hills you Munro masochist, as for the mistakes i think we have all been there when the weather gets bad.Well done on continueing and getting the job done :D ps i've seen that van before somewhere on my travels

hope it wasnt tailgating you on the A9 at some point :lol:

kevsbald wrote:Don't know why anyone would have a go at you, Iain. You made a couple of navigational mistakes but took stock, didn't panic and re-assessed. Home in one piece and lessons learned. A day of retrospective satisfaction - well done matey and you must be looking at your 200th next year if not more?


my count will reduce this year,prob down to 4 odd a month so hopefully will reach 200 by the end of the year

rockhopper wrote:You're still off your rocker but well done on managing this walk in such conditions...jacket zip burst, torn trousers, no gaiters... but a great taste in music ! Interesting route - I've been planning to cover these two but possibly in an overnight loop from Corrour Station and going round Loch Ossian - cheers and happy new year :D

i think it would be a great walk round the three on a long summers day 8)

Collaciotach wrote:Good report Iain life is for learning and mistakes is easy made. I managed to get lost trying to reach my bathroom from the bedroom in the wee hours of the New Years Day and that is only 1 mtre between doors ! .....appears i was scratching about in the clothes cupboard and ready to bless the contents so to speak :lol:

It grand you got out and as for criticism no not from me... as we say in Ghaidhlig

Mas math leat do mholadh faigh bàs, mas math leat do chàineadh pòs.
"If you want to be praised die, if you want to be criticised marry"

Happy New Year and safe and plentiful walking for 2012

btw I ve seen your van somewhere been in Sunart recently ?

not sure where sunart is,lol but i've been out a lot recently and the van is fairly noticable

yokehead wrote:This is an excellent report; sorry but I really enjoyed your agonies! :lol: Well done for persevering and getting it all sorted out in the end. 8) I reckon anyone who hasn't had a less than perfect day is the poorer. It's your type of day that gives such valuable experience, and you were always in control of the situation. A day you'll remember I'm sure, great job! :D

this day will never be forgotten! :lol:
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:07 pm

I've just realised where i'd seen your van before...in your walk report for Beinn Bhuidhe :?
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Re: Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre from Rannoch

Postby iainwatson » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:10 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:I've just realised where i'd seen your van before...in your walk report for Beinn Bhuidhe :?


:lol:
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