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Beinn an Dothaidh

Beinn an Dothaidh


Postby xpfloyd » Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:27 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn an Dothaidh

Date walked: 04/02/2012

Time taken: 3.5 hours

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On Saturday morning myself and gman27 headed up to Bridge of Orchy to attempt Beinn an Dothaidh & Beinn Dorain. At 8am we were parked at the train station and on our way. The weather looked like it wasnt going to be to bad with only light rain and snow on the way up. The route is well worn and fairly straight forward up between the two mountains. It gets a bit steeper on the approach to the bealach and with the thick snow and patches of ice the ice axe was required.

When we got to the bealach the weather started taking a turn for the worse with the snow getting heavier. Fairly quickly we couldnt tell the difference between the snow on the ground and the sky. It was like walking blind, by far the worst whiteout I have ever been in. Initially we were following the GPS through the whiteout and this got us to within about 100m distance from the summit when the battery low warning came up and it switched off. (Note to self - Bring spare batteries next time!!). We continued in the direction we had been travelling for a short time onto what felt like the summit ridge due to the crazy winds that we were now in but we couldnt find the summit cairn. Walking about the ridge effectively blind trying to locate it wasnt an option so we decided the safest thing to do would be to retrace our footsteps and head back. Just as we were heading off we spotted some footprints in the snow from someone elses visit. We decided to follow these steps for a minute or two and see if they led to the top and that we would turn back if we lost the footprints. Thankfully after about 10m we found the summit cairn. We quickly took 2 pics bracing ourselves in the wind and made a sharp exit.

The route back to the bealach wasnt quite as straightforward as we had hoped. Our footprints in the thick snow were already filling in and in places were gone. With a bit of compass work now that we knew where we were on the map again we headed back towards the the bealach. Although im confident in my navigation skills when its clear I was way out my comfort zone in these conditions. The bealach was a welcome sight when it appeared again.

We decided very easily that Beinn Dorain would have to wait for another time as there was no way we were attempting it in these conditions.

Sorry for the lack of pics.

IMG_0087.JPG
Me lying down to avoid the wind

IMG_0086.JPG
Sorry gman thought you were looking at the camera when I took this
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xpfloyd
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby mrssanta » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:30 pm

must have been a great feeling when the footprints led you to the cairn. well done!
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby Gman27 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:45 pm

HaHa great picture of me trying to keep my face out the wind I didn't even know you were taking it.
I swear the day when i can actually see something on a summit will come even if i have to wait till july!
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby xpfloyd » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:47 pm

Haha, I couldn't really see anything when I was taking it, just a blob on the camera screen
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby PeteR » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:50 pm

Great effort to persist and find the summit cairn, but wandering around blind would definitely not have been a good idea. The summit of this one is a real hazard in mist and clag, so you did really well to find the other prints and also to get down safe :D
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby xpfloyd » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:01 pm

PeteR wrote:Great effort to persist and find the summit cairn, but wandering around blind would definitely not have been a good idea. The summit of this one is a real hazard in mist and clag, so you did really well to find the other prints and also to get down safe :D


Yeah, walking off the edge would not have been cool so we had all but gave this one up. Just a stroke of luck that we were so close to it when we seen the other tracks.

Forgot to mention in my report but the GPS is showing half power today. Must have been something to do with the cold that it was acting like they were flat.
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby quoman » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:34 pm

You made the right choice doing the one i must carry about a ton of batterys :lol: :lol: camera- GPS
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:55 pm

Oh no that doesn't sound too braw!!!

I still have this hill to do and I was thinking of heading up for a wee solo walk quite soon. However after reading your report I'll leave it until springtime- too scary just now!!! :( :(
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby xpfloyd » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:57 pm

Don't let me put you off, I did pick a bad day for it. On a clearer day this one would be quite easy in the grand scheme
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby Fudgie » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:13 pm

We ended up with zero visibility on it last week after doing Beinn Dorain first and we were relieved to reach the summit. You did well getting there in those conditions though.
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby ChrisW » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:29 am

Great tale XP, must have been wicked up there - you might only have got 2 pics but they are pretty cool and really capture the conditions :D
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Re: Beinn an Dothaidh

Postby skuk007 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:16 pm

Nice one XP, I did this on a relatively clear day and still nearly missed the real summit :oops: so you did well in those conditions.

Not that I would go walking in the snow but I'm sure my navigation skills would be put to the test also if I was every caught in really thick clag. Not a nice feeling when you know your comfort zone is leaving you. I still try to occasionally use the map and compass even on the clearest of summer days.
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