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Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Ben Challum (more or less!!)


Postby 2dalmatians » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:19 pm

Route description: Ben Challum, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Ben Challum

Date walked: 22/04/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 11.5 km

Ascent: 910m

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Does it really matter if you dont actually make it right to the top of the hill?...After today I have changed my mind. It's not a big deal. I mean I was never bothered before about touching the cairn but I did need to get to the top, or else the walk wasnt completed and I had to go back (which I have done several times).

Today I turned back with only about 10-20 minutes walk to go. The weather was fabulous, the hills were stunning covered in patchy snow but I just didnt feel safe walking along the ridge and up the last section after the south summit. I havent used crampons before and I havent any real winter walking experience or skills, and most important of all I have my family who are more important than anything else to me, so why take the risk? I didn't.
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15 minutes away

On the way back down I gave a lot of thought to my decision. Sure I was disappointed intially however I got thinking and realised that for me it's not about getting to the very highest point on the hill. It's about doing something that I enjoy and taking satisfaction from the simple activities involved. The preparation, choosing the hill, packing my bag, the exercise and feeling good about pushing myself. So 5 hours, 11.5k and another great day out in the Highlands is more than enough for me.
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A promising start with clear views from the summits, albeit with ominous grey skies

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Took Daisy today as rubydoo was under the weather. Daisy couldnt believe her luck especially when she saw the baby lambs - chops for tea?!!! We followed the fenceline almost all the way up. Took the other route on the way back. Would suggest the latter is an easier climb?

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clear path going up to the south summit plateau

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The true summit in the distance. Photo taken at the point I turned around - less than 115ft to climb - the climber ahead and her partner made it without problem - well done to both!

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Daisy blends in well!!

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Panorama of Ben Challum summit

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South summit with Ben More Stob Binnein in the back ground

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yours truly!

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Ben More and Stob Binnein

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Last pic of the day - Daisy thinks this is supper! fresh out the packet!



Note:- If I ever do compleat all 283 then I promise I will go back to Ben Challum and touch the cairn :)
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby Fudgie » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:33 pm

You were very sensible in turning round when you didn't feel comfortable. As someone said to me, the hills will always be there. You also got views that I didn't when I went up there :D
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:28 am

I think it is very sensible in turning back when you dont feel comfortable! I have done it twice and even though I have been in worse weather since, at the time I wasnt able to. It is all a learning process and to listen to yourself is always the right way forward...after all you could return another time.
The picture where Ruby blends in is great- just like Where is Wally :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:36 am

In my opinion and with limited Munros bagged I have to agree with you about does it or doesn't it count. The purests will always say you must touch the trig or cairn but I think if you are a couple of hundred feet from the top etc and you turn back for reasons like weather and safety rather than you can't be bothered going the extra distance then why not say you have ticked it off.

I started off the bagging last year and very quickly realised that whilst I enjoy the acheievment of reaching a summit it is more about being in the outdoors for me. I enjoy the planning through the week, making my sandwiches up, packing my bag, heading off at silly o'clock in the morning, the nip in the air and the constant battle with the clag :-)

Each to there own fella. if you feel you have bagged it, you've bagged it :thumbup:
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby ngm1scot » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:22 pm

Well done first of all on the right decision. We've had this discussion about the Buchaille and my view was not to start if it seems unlikely you would finish - too many people have died there in bad conditions. My Buddy's view is lets just go and we can always turn back if it looks bad when we get there but that's a hard decision to take if you're like you were, just a 115feet to go, something inside would rationalise continuing and that you would be "all right". As to finishing the hill, my very limited experience of the Munro's is that the hardest bit is usually the first 2900ft seldom the last 100 so if you've done the hard work, count it as another one towards 283.
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby monty » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:36 pm

Superb photos 2dalmations. Nice walk. Your decision not to go to the true summit was a good safety decision. It was the right decision at the time. The bagger in me tells me you can't claim this as a bagged munro to add to your tally but you had a great walk on a good hill in nice weather. If you are looking at bagging the munros then you will have to revisit this one. However, you do what suits you and enjoy it :D . I have my own challenge set in my mind :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:02 pm

Totally agree with Monty you got to reach the summit before you can claim it's bagged and sorry to disagree with Darren but it's a bit like hiking to basecamp and claiming you've climed Everest :D Good report and good decision to return. It's a nice walk this one so you'll enjoy it twice as much when you return :D
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby martyn » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:00 pm

Each to their own but, personally, I struggle to see the point of climbing a hill and "bagging" its summit just so I could tick a box on a list (....that should encourage debate!).
I do most of my mountain-walking on my own on Skye, especially in and around the Cuillin(s), where my rule of thumb is 'don't go up what you can't safely reverse' so I think your call was absolutely right for you. "Safely" also depends on confidence and whether one feels 'on form' on the day as well as on the more objective stuff about weather, daylight, gear etc. Two Saturdays ago I comfortably reached the Cuillin Ridge above Coir a Grunndha on my own but then backed off from continuing to Sgurr nan Eag when the snow showers got heavier and more persistent than were forecast or I was expecting. If I'd troubled to carry my crampons, I might have pressed on but I couldn't, even with hindsight, say so with any certainty.
The previous weekend, with two more experienced friends, I had quite happily (and very carefully!) down-climbed from the south top of Bla Bheinn to the bealach en route to the north (Munro) top down a snow-filled and fairly iced-up gully.
If you are into "bagging", I'm not sure you should claim a summit unless you have actually stood on it. Put it another way, you will have another opportunity to have a great day on Ben Challum.
....did Munro complete the Munros if he did not climb the In Pinn on Sgurr Dearg?
Discuss.
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby DarrenJeffrey » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:08 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Totally agree with Monty you got to reach the summit before you can claim it's bagged and sorry to disagree with Darren but it's a bit like hiking to basecamp and claiming you've climed Everest :D Good report and good decision to return. It's a nice walk this one so you'll enjoy it twice as much when you return :D


I understand why some would think that you have to be on the summit to have bagged that hill, the logic is there but I think that if your not far off and turn round for safety reasons then if you feel you've done enough to feel you can tick that one off then no one can argue with that.

Again it is each to their own.

What would happen if you hit the top of the hill but couldn't see the cairn or trig for thick clag, should we fumble around in the hope we accidentally touch it so we can say that hill is "truly" bagged?
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby rickp » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:50 pm

Struggling to come to terms with the logic behind bagging a munro without reaching the summit. I totally agree with 2dalmations and his decision not to go on.He quite rightly assessed the situation rather than plod on without a second thought.
I also agree with people that want to walk in the countryside and soak up everything it has to offer.
I with many others though set out to reach summits and also enjoy the countryside,but if i do not reach that summit i would return another day to do so,i certainly would not claim it because of a "that will do" attitude.
That said,well done on your attempt 2dalmations and you,ll get it next time i,m sure.
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby 2dalmatians » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:42 pm

I guess this is an interesting debate and thanks to all for the comments. To me it seems to be mainly about personal achievement and what constitutes disappointment for each person. I am highly competitive in most things I do. I always want to win but not at all costs ie I dont cheat and I don't take unnecessary risks. Disappointment for me yesterday would have been 5 hours walking in the hills without a view of Ben More, Stob Binnein, or the other incredible hills in that area. Sure I would have been satisfied with the day out and the exercise but still disappointed none the less. Yesterday I had the cake but just not the cherry on top, and I don't really like cherries any way :D

However in saying that I usually eat them anyway so I will probably be back at some point if nothing else I will be able to look Monty and Johnny C in the eye when I claim I have bagged this one! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby jimandandrea » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:39 pm

At least you had a grand day out. We went up Challum in thick clag and never saw a thing. So thanks for sharing your fantastic views. :D
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby ScottishLeaf » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:43 pm

Whether you reached the summit or not is not important, the fact is you went out; got some exercise; enjoyed your day with your Dalmation; had fun and returned home safely. Therefore the right choice was definately made.
(You got 9/10ths of the way there, for me you could count it... but only just! :lol: )

Like the last picture the best, it almost looks like you've cut two different pictures together... a nice countryside image... then a whopping great mountain randomly thrown in!
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby Frigate » Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:15 am

Sensible call, the hill will be there for a few millennia yet. We too quit on the lower summit in February 2011 after battling through heavy rain for the first couple of hundred meters which then turned to snow. The most part of the way was deep fresh snow and white out conditions, wet and cold at the 1st top, about face and go to the pub.
Went back in Dec 2011, even more snow on the hill, but a beautiful clear cold day. Felt like a really good achievement until somebody ran past us on snow shoes on the final ridge. Some good photos on the WR by Huck Finn.
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Re: Ben Challum (more or less!!)

Postby Del246 » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:14 pm

Good report and pics again. You done the right thing in turning round. If you dont feel comfortable you should turn round, as you say why take risks espescially when you have a family waiting at home. I did this one a few moths ago in thick snow but I was with a friend so felt ok continuing to the summit. In the last year I have turned round 3 times myself ! To add to the debate I dont see how you can claim to of completed a hill if you dont stand on the summit. I would never dream of trying to claim one of the hills I turned round on and they will always be there for me to return to ! I dont know if I will ever complete the round as some hills at this stage look out my comfort zone but that might change as I gain more experience. But then I dont really care as I just enjoy "getting out" on the hills. In relation to the other comment regarding Munro. He did not climb the In Pinn and listed it as a subsidiary top. Also I dont think he completed the round of Munros and was a few short. If im wrong I apologise !!
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