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Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast


Postby Ranger » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:26 am

Route description: Glen Strathfarrar Munros circuit

Munros included on this walk: Carn nan Gobhar (Strathfarrar), Sgurr a'Choire Ghlais, Sgurr Fhuar-thuill, Sgurr na Ruaidhe

Date walked: 15/01/2012

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 1600m

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90% chance of cloud free Munros for the Northwest Highlands (copyright MWIS). Not 60. Not 70. Not 80. But NINETY. Being someone who picks and chooses the good days for my walks, I thought this was sufficient assurance it would be worth the long journey. MWIS are trustworthy, arent they? :D

So 4.15am alarm. 5am leaving Aberdeen. We start walking at 8.30am. It soon becomes clear that forecast was somewhat wide of the mark :shock: :? :(

I'd done the eastern 3, but not the western one. My pal had done the western two, but not the eastern two. So we had motivation beyond simple appreciation of the scenery. Luckily!

The way the sun teased us, appearing faintly through the cloud layer on the summits, and the regular appearance of overhead blue sky, hinting constantly at that stunning cloud inversion a couple of 100m's above, made it all the more irritating. :crazy:

So convinced was I that conditions would improve, I didn't bother reaching for my camera when - on Carn nan Gabhar - Sgurr Choire a'Ghlas appeared fleetingly bathed in sunshine above a cloud sea. Little did I know it would disappear and not appear again!

One thing is for sure, I will return in sunshine. Another set of hills for that list of shame :? :lol:

P1150017.JPG
Heading up to Ruaidhe.
P1150019.JPG
Paw prints. Not sure what.....
P1150021.JPG
The best picture of the day within the first hour. Sgurr na Lapaich I think.
P1150022.JPG
Sgurr na Muice with sunshine. Collectors item today.
P1150025.JPG
Summit of Ruaidhe. Sun, teasing us.
P1150029.JPG
Our only distant view. Looking north. The Corbett Carn Chuinneag (sic) I think.
P1150030.JPG
Whiteout. Almost.
P1150033.JPG
2nd Munro, Carn nan Gabhar. From here we fleetingly saw Ghlais above the inversion, raising hopes for when we'd reach it.
P1150038.JPG
Summit of Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais. Where was our expected inversion, seen from Gabhar?!!!! Probably my angriest Munro! :D
P1150043.JPG
A wee scrambly step on the ridge to the last Munro
P1150047.JPG
Finally out of the mist, the snow patches made for a quick descent. The sun long gone.
P1150051.JPG
A better view of the crags of Sgurr na Muice reflected in the waters below. Oh for sunshine to turn the lights on!
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:40 pm

Looks completely differant to when i did this round in the summer. Theres a wee Graham you could have added on but 10hours is a long enough day at this time of year :)
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby gary » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:30 pm

Nice report Ranger, the forecast was a lot better than it turned out right enough
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby Ranger » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:43 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Looks completely differant to when i did this round in the summer. Theres a wee Graham you could have added on but 10hours is a long enough day at this time of year :)

The original plan was to include it at the end of the day - sunset from the top over Loch Monar perhaps :( :? :lol:

We'd have been on it in semi-darkness, descending snowy/icy steep stuff. Nah, one to leave for the return trip in glorious sunshine 8)
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby monty » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:56 pm

Great set of photos ranger. Shame about the clag but you didn't do badly :D
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby Ranger » Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:59 am

gary wrote:Nice report Ranger, the forecast was a lot better than it turned out right enough

Now my fury has receded :lol: , I can understand its not an easy job - but wheeling out the 90% stuff when there was clearly going to be a cloud sheet in play, wasn't good.

Made me even more keen to get back out there on the next good day and right the wrong so to speak 8) :D
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby dooterbang » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:43 am

What team do you support by the way :lol:

Shame about the crap weather - think thers only been 2 or 3 days of decent views the last few months.

I was down the lakes Saturday and it was sunshine and blue skies all day long :D

Better luck next time.
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby kevsbald » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:34 am

Your title doesn't do it justice - looked a good day out.
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby Phil the Hill » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:51 pm

90% chance of cloud free means there's a 10% chance you'll get clouds on the summits, which is not all that unlikely. You were just unlucky.

Good effort in winter. I'm looking forward to doing these myself, but will probably save them for summer.
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby Ranger » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:20 pm

Phil the Hill wrote:90% chance of cloud free means there's a 10% chance you'll get clouds on the summits, which is not all that unlikely. You were just unlucky.

Good effort in winter. I'm looking forward to doing these myself, but will probably save them for summer.

I'd advise doing them before the "gatekeeper" resumes for the Summer - might be march or something.

Rather than having a 9 til 5 deadline set on the hills, which just seems immoral to me, the MCofS give you a padlock code and you have the whole day. On a previous occason I climbed them with my good lady, we only managed 3, got back down 20 minutes late, and were spoken to like naughty children by the 'gatekeeper'. Not good.

The hills also come alive in winter and were perfectly easy with no real scrambling anywhere.
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:31 pm

Aye, I think we've all had days like that :? . I had a "greater than 90%" day a few months ago not far from where you were.
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby Redrock » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:13 pm

I'm sure there is a disclaimer on all these forecasts - but like you I take 90% chance of cloud free as meaning "probably will be cloud free!" :D I had a similar day of disappointment on the following Monday. Still, it looks like you had a great day out on the hills - and maybe the anger at MWIS kept you warm! :lol:
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Re: Strathfarrar, 4 Munros, 1 inept MWIS forecast

Postby grantrobertson » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:47 pm

Looked like stratus - low(ish) cloud - coming and going, more than anything dealing out rain or snow. Made for a frustrating time, no doubt, but this kind of cloud cover can form or dissipate in a flash and is devilishly difficult to forecast.

Given it was the middle of January, it didn't appear too bad a day to climb these remote and wonderful mountains!
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