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A great weekend in Glen Shee

A great weekend in Glen Shee


Postby Steve B » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:49 pm

Date walked: 02/03/2012

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This is a late post of a walking weekend last week.

The weather decided the direction I would head and the recent reports showing little snow laying in Glen Shee confirmed it. I wanted to try the 6 Munros to the east of Glen Shee and the possibility of a lighter rucksack (without axe and crampons etc) would make it easier.
I set off from Glasgow at 06:00 and was debating all the way there where to start the walk and leave the car. The sunrise was quite dramtic and whetted the appetite for the day to come. The drive up through the glen from Blairgowrie up to the Ski Centre was fantastic, even saw a Red Squirrel up in a tree.

I finally decided to start walking at the Seann Spittal Bridge as if I decided to bail out from Glas Moal after 4 it would be a short drop to the Ski Centre and downhill to the car.
At 08:30 I started on the path over a lovely old stone bridge and along the Allt a' Gharbh Choire leading to the start of the pull up to the summit.
1 - The bridge at the start and Carn an Truic.JPG

There were lots of Mountain Hares, some very white and others starting to show signs of changing back to a better disguise.
Towards the top there was a light covering of fresh snow and the wind was picking up. The path was lost a few times going across the rocky terrain but eventually I came to the summit in about an hour, it was shrouded in cloud although it lifted now and again to provide a clue to the next direction. A change to the soft shell made it more comfortable.
2 - Summit of Carn an Truic.JPG

Leaving the top I headed for the other cairn on the summit plateau and took a bearing so I could get to a point towards Cairn of Claise where I could change course towards Tolmount in case the cloud became thick again . The compass was behaving very oddly and trying to send me North West. :? A sizeable bubble had appeared in it and this was causing it to stick etc. As I could see the 2 cairns I decided to go with my instinct and quickly found a track of sorts in the way I expected. This is not usually something I would do, trusting the compass 99% of the time but I just knew something was not right.
I made good time around the edge of the glen to the left and avoiding the snow that was left as much as possible and had an enjoyable yomp across to Tolmount. There were Hares all over the place to keep me company.
3 - Looking back towards Carn an Truic from the slopes of Tolmount.JPG

The wind was less strong, being in the lee of the hills, but an icy blast was felt on the top of Tolmount.
4 - Summit of Tolmount with Tom Buidhe and Glen Clova.JPG

The next objective could be seen and seemed remarkably close so without hanging about, apart from summit cairn shot, it was off to Tom Buidhe. The going was fairly easy as although the snow was sparse the ground was still quite hard. I was up the this summit in no time and enjoyed the view across to Driesh and Mayar, more than I was able to do when I was on them.
5 - The view to Cairn of Claise from slope of Tolmount.JPG

6 - From Tom Buidhe across to Tolmount.JPG

I then headed due west and up the steepening slope of Cairn of Claise. More snow was remaining but presented no problems. I was amused by the Hares not knowing whether to stay still on the snow or run away when approached.
7 - Hares.JPG

8 - Across Ca Whims to Tom Buidhe.JPG

The first folks I had seen so far were seen descending and a distant wave saw us off to our respective goals.
The top of Cairn of Claise was reached at around 12:30 which was within my window to confirm that I would head for the next 2 summits. I sheltered from the wind to have some lunch and a brew and with renewed energy set off to Glas Moal.
9 - Cairn of Claise to Glas Moal.JPG

Walking in the constant wind from the west made the going more difficult than it had been for the first half of the day. There were a lot more people along the path mostly coming in the opposite direction, one guy had a crazy little dog that seemed to be full of energy running around me and back several times, how far it covered that day I would have been surprising I think.

I was greeted by a couple of black Labradors as I approached the summit of Glas Moal but was assured by the owner that it was only because they thought I may have food for them.
10 - Summit of Glas Moal with friendly dog and owner.JPG

Had a chat for a while with the group at the top and one of them kindly offered to take a photo. I would usually set up a small tripod for the summit shots but the wind was too strong for that.
11 - To proove I was there.JPG

Headed off down easy slopes towards the wall that points the way along the ridge to Creag Leacach.
12 - From the wall along the ridge to Creag Leacach.JPG

A few ups and downs in the ridge eventually leads to the summit cairn.
13 - Summit of Creag Leacach.JPG

I was debating here whether to head down to the road here or reverse the ridge, skirt around Glas Moal and head to the Ski Centre. The idea of walking uphill to the Ski Centre along the road put me off the first option so headed back along the ridge as the clouds coming from the west got darker and the leading edge of rain could be seen.
14 - Looking back to Glas Moal.JPG

By the time I started heading down amongst the ski paraphenalia I was getting a good soaking but the jacket was holding up well and it would be pointless wasting time with overtrousers on top of wet gear anyway. It was a bit of a drudge down to the road and the rain got heavier as I walked along the road back to the car.
A small herd of Red Deer brightened up what was a slog at this point.
I was getting my boots off at around 16:00 and happy that I had achieved a 6 munro day.

On the Sunday with the weather being poor I decided to walk the 3 the the west of Glen Shee. The first summit Carn Aosda was gained in 30 minutes and was covered in cloud. I was temporarily geographically challenged heading over to Carn a' Gheoidh but the GPS and compass (spare being used) recovered the situation and the summit was gained with no view. I headed to the second cairn on the summit plateau and the GPS suggested that it was slightly higher than the one with the shelter. Does anybody know for sure?
The Cairnwell was probably better shrouded in cloud an uglier state of affairs I hope never to see in the hills again.
15 - Carn Aosda.JPG

16 - Carn a' Geoidh.JPG

17 - The Cairnwell - possibly the ugliest summit in Scotland.JPG

It did not seem worth posting this separately.

4 hours saw that trip completed and after a hot chocolate in the cafe it was a happy comper setting off on the road back to Glasgow with a 9 Munro weekend under the belt. :D
Steve B
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 278
Munros:238   Corbetts:7
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Re: A great weekend in Glen Shee

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:31 pm

Might not have been the best of weather but, a pretty good haul of munros for the weekend :D
Enjoyed reading your report and seeing the photos :thumbup:
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SusieThePensioner
 
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Re: A great weekend in Glen Shee

Postby Steve B » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:08 pm

Susie,
Thanks for the comment. :)
For some reason the titles for the pictures do not seem to have appeared in the post. I hope they are obvious enough.
Steve B
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 278
Munros:238   Corbetts:7
Hewitts:53
Wainwrights:26   Islands:9
Joined: Oct 25, 2010
Location: Glasgow

Re: A great weekend in Glen Shee

Postby quoman » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:53 pm

Thats A cracking weekend 9 munros shame about the weather thou you done it the right way back to Glas Moal

that walk up the road would have been a killer :lol:
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quoman
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