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Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:17 am
by fipriestley
Met up with Spiderwebb and Scoob999 for this one, finishing off the Drumochter set for me :)

Mist moved around as we began the climb, causing the views behind to come and go as we headed up the path to the quarry .
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Once we branched off to Carn na Caim the mist stayed down until the final descent off A' Bhuidheanach Bheag. The hills were relatively gentle climbs but featureless and at times with no visibility. No wind at all today so it was quite a strange, disorienting feeling when ground and sky merged to make a white bubble :?

Spider and Scoob each had a GPS, map and compass.. so I decided I didn't need to take out my map and compass too - these alone wouldn't have helped in these conditions anyway.
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Checking navigation in whiteout

Still en route to the first summit, we slowed down as we neared a potential cornice. Glad of the boys' experience here as I'm not sure I would have picked up on the warning signs and might just have walked right off there! Instead of taking the fairly short but very steep descent here we walked around to miss it. On the way back we could see this cornice more clearly, and Spider climbed straight up it :o
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camera ready in case this became an action shot!
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headed around the cornice, into whiteout
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view of cornice on the way back down

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patterns in ice, nearing a cairn - not far to go now!
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first summit begins to appear on the faint horizon


Moving on to the second summit there were plenty of footprints - didn't pass all that many people though and saw just one hare on the final descent.
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Hare today gone tomorrow :D
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summit must be this way!


Came down from A' Bhuidheanach Bheag rather than retracing steps back to the quarry, having cleverly placed a car at each end of our route :) Descent was fairly steep and it took some time for the senses to return to normal once we could see further ahead - what first appeared to be a gully off to the side was really a closer hillside, and when we could see the A9 again it initially looked like there was a big dip then climb up to reach the road when this was actually just a steep descent all the way finishing with a slight flat :?

Given the lack of features on these hills I'm glad I was there in these conditions - had a good laugh today too :D

Re: Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:27 am
by scoob999
Good report again FI
I really enjoyed yesterday, it was a good laugh :D I went back and done Meall Chuaich today
There was blue skies all around, except at Drumochter :( nevermind :lol:

Re: Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:38 am
by pollyh33
Great report Fi and a very useful one too. :D

I have still to go back to A' Bhuidheanach Bheag and was thinking of heading straight up from the road rather than go past the quarry again. Good to know that it is a viable option, although perhaps a steep one :(

Cheers

P X

Re: Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:33 am
by fipriestley
scoob999 wrote: I went back and done Meall Chuaich today

Well done! Glad you got there even if it wasn't the best weather - I found the blue skies in Angus :D

pollyh33 wrote:I have still to go back to A' Bhuidheanach Bheag and was thinking of heading straight up from the road rather than go past the quarry again. Good to know that it is a viable option, although perhaps a steep one :(

Hi Polly, we passed 3 people on skis near the top of this hill - they'd come up this way! :shock:

Re: Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:21 pm
by quoman
Good report again Fi
shame about the views :( i had a cracking day yesterday up glenshee.

Re: Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:33 pm
by AlisonFox66
rather similar views to the ones we got near Langholm on Saturday :D

Re: Whiteout at Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:59 pm
by monty
Good report. Well done in the conditions. Its always disorienting in the clag but that takes the biscuit :D