walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up


Postby Mountainlove » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:03 pm

Route description: Stob Ban (Mamores) and Mullach nan Coirean

Munros included on this walk: Mullach nan Coirean, Stob Ban (Mamores)

Date walked: 28/04/2012

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 13.3 km

Ascent: 1733m

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


I can be quite spontaneous when it comes to decisions, but while being glued on a rock, in snowy conditions, without an iceaxe and crampons, with deep drops to either side of me, I decided it was a crap idea to think I could do the 10 Mamores in the snow...in one day.

The idea was in my had since the previous year, when I gave them a try and had to return home after having done 8 of them. At the time darkness was approaching and I did not had a headtorch…so the decision was wise, but annoyed me ever since.

I had packed my bags to wild camp in Glen Etive. A moth prior , Marco the lucky bugger found a stags antler and when I was told by my dad about it (he is a hunter) he told me that stags loose them once a year and always loose them in pairs close to each other (something to do with being unbalanced with only one) and them shaking their heads until they loose the other one. Since he told me I was keen to get back and search for the matching pair. It was worth a try anyway!
Following the deer tracks in Glen Etive, I did indeed managed to find the second one. But looking at it it looked bigger, which made me think it must be another one (with another matching one to be found) So after 1h I had indeed found 3 pair and was more than please with myself. :D :D :D

I settled for the night and my alarm woke me at 4am. :shock: :shock: :shock:
Getting up at 4 am at any time is horrible enough, but with with subzero temperatures outside it is even worse. :shock: Cuddled up in my nice and warm sleeping bag it took me ages until I finally convinced myself to step into the night. Opening the tent I realized that the outside tent was frozen and the facecloth I left outside to dry, was frozen solid. :shock: :shock: :shock:

I took it to have a quick wash in the burn 8) :shock: 8) …as females like to be clean smelling! 8) On second thoughts I wish I would have stayed smelly and unwashed as within 5 seconds my fingers were numb and I was cursing like a trooper :lol: :lol: But at least I was fully awake by that time.. Running back to the tent, blowing on my fingers to defrost them, I got dressed and walked up to the car to have breakfast. Putting on the heating to defrost the windows I was questioning my sanity. :shock: :?

Packing my things together, I was ready to leave 45min later and drove to Glen Nevis the starting point. I arrived there an hour later and by the time I had packed my bag and got organized it was 6am…a good time to start the day :D

DSC00538.JPG
On the way to the Mamores...at around 5:30am

DSC00541.JPG
The start of the path half way up the forest


The first Munro is Mullach nan Coirean and taking my time, I was up there 2h after setting off. Looking ahead the Mamores looked magnificent, but I also realized that during the previous evening heavy snow, the hills were covered in a lot of snow.

DSC00550.JPG
me with Glen Coe in the background

DSC00552.JPG
The Aonach Eagach from the back


I left the top and continued the ridge which would lead me up Stob Ban.The ridge which was frozen solid was easy to walk along, but the absent up Stob Ban was a lot harder as the new soft snow slowed down my progress, as I had to watch my footing in the snow. Even though I was making sure I wasn’t rushing the start, I became aware that I was too slow, as it took me already 4h to cover 2 Munros. :(

DSC00560.JPG
The Mamores


Being a bit annoyed with myself I continued to Sgurr a'Mhaim, the walk to the wee loch was pretty easy and I made good progress. :D

DSC00558.JPG
Looking ahead

DSC00571.JPG
wee loch


Even though I realized that I had done the Devils Ridge before, I somehow managed to forget how steep it is. Saying that in summer it is really not a problem, but as I was the first one to walk it since the new snow had fallen, I had to be really careful, as a slip would have been pretty dangerous. The first part of the devils ridge is pretty easy if you don’t think about the steep drops on either side, but the second part involves some scrambling.
As I love a scramble I did not opted to walk around it, but decided to walk over it. After all what can possible go wrong?! Pulling myself up snow and ice covered rocks, was fun until I came to a point when I got stuck. I had been holding onto my poles in one hand (putting them away was too obvious) and while I held them in one hand, holding on to the rock with the other, I just managed, until I was on top of a big rock and the stupid things became an obstacle. Having concentrated too much at what was straight in front of me, the poles and not the route the problem suddenly was, that ahead of me was nothing but a gap and a steep drop. :shock: :shock: :shock: Crawling forward I saw that in summer it would have been possible to jump the distance (if you have a head for heights) but with the ice and snow-no chance. Looking around me I suddenly became aware of the drops to either side. Clinging to the rock like a glued on spider, I looked around for a way forward , but there was none. Cursing I looked back and not letting go of the rock, I slid myself back the rockface, which must have looked more than ridiculous. Why is climbing up rock always so more easy??? Down wet rock is just horrible and gets me the shakes. It took ages and by the time I had proper ground under my feed I felt happy, but realized that I had to take extra great care to reach the top of Sgurr a'Mhaim.

DSC00572.JPG
Devils ridge looking straight on...does not look that bad

DSC00575.JPG
After passing over the ridge looking back at it


After some more hairy moments and deep snow I reached the top, but realized that time wise the snow slowed me down far too much. I sat down, had a grab to eat and studied the map and my GPS. Looking over the ridge I knew I had to return the same way, adding even more time. Looking at the other Munros all set in deep snow, I came to the decision that my plan to complete the Mamores in 16-17h would be impossible with the snowy conditions.

DSC00573.JPG

DSC00569.JPG


The pure walking time is supposed to be 14.5h…with breaks and taking pictures you would add another 2h or so….all of that in snowy conditions I guessed would probably take at least 20…I love hillwalking but 20h in one go – no chance!I neither wanted to give it a try, as I already done 8 and did not wanted to repeat what happened last time. It was either all 10 or leave it.
I was suddenly joined by a group of 2 women and a man and after a quick chat found out that they also planned to do the 10, but came to the same decision that the conditions weren’t good enough. It felt better that I was not the only one thinking that and after saying good bye to them I felt better with my decision and decided to walk down back to my car.

DSC00586.JPG
The way back down

DSC00591.JPG
Ben Nevis


After taking some lengthy breaks on the way down to enjoy the sunshine and the views I was back at the car by 3pm. Looking back I know it was a wise decision as in that way I actually really enjoyed the day out and managed to get some good photos.

Slideshow of the photos and panorama video


DSC00596.JPG
One of the pair of antlers I found...from hillside to livingroom
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1191
Munros:282   Corbetts:20
Grahams:5   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:15 pm

Aye there was a heavy frost even here in Ardnamurchan on the coast ... glad you made it safe n sound !
User avatar
Collaciotach
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1656
Munros:282   Corbetts:83
Grahams:24   
Sub 2000:19   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby Peter913 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:15 pm

Very nice images there that snow sets those hills of

Peter
Peter913
Walker
 
Posts: 113
Corbetts:1
Joined: Jan 6, 2011

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Jeezo ML that sounds scarey glad to see you managed back safe & sound.
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3040
Munros:219   Corbetts:7
Grahams:3   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby jwramsay » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:23 pm

What a great report. You are certainly ambitious and brave, very admirable.

Great photos too, yesterday was indeed a special day on the hills.
User avatar
jwramsay
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 298
Munros:99   Corbetts:8
Grahams:3   Donalds:3
Joined: Oct 11, 2010
Location: Wishaw


Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby mgmt! » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:02 pm

you seem to love camping in etive, good report good decission, looks like a walk for summer solstice week.
mgmt!
Walker
 
Posts: 539
Joined: Oct 18, 2010

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby Alan S » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:11 pm

Probably the best decision not to attempt the 10 but good on you for trying :D
Good report, Interesting reading as usual :D
User avatar
Alan S
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1449
Munros:191   Corbetts:4
Grahams:3   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:4   
Joined: Nov 10, 2008
Location: Stirlingshire

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby JohnJoe » Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Good effort. It's frustrating when you have to abandon your plans - and it happens all too often in my case! Looks like you had a decent walk anyway though.

Mountainlove wrote:I love hillwalking but 20h in one go – no chance!


I once managed 18 hours attempting to do 100K - I could barely walk (or straighten my right leg) for almost a week afterwards :D
User avatar
JohnJoe
Walker
 
Posts: 146
Munros:21   Corbetts:3
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:21
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Aug 2, 2011
Location: The Continent

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby dooterbang » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:21 pm

Why no ice axe?

Looked great weather for a wander about the hills.

10 in those conditions is too much, glad you seen sense for once :lol:

It took me 20 hours to do the 10 but we got lost in the clag and reascended a few.

I would like to try these again in summer without the snow as i now think i could do in 12hrs :D

Nice slideshow, nearly as good as mine 8)
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1817
Munros:255   Corbetts:53
Grahams:17   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby monty » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:01 am

Excellent photos Mountainlove. Not so good that you bottled it though. Thought you were tougher than that :lol: Only joking. You made the correct decision under the circumstances. I bet its niggling you bad now though. :lol:

Dooter is going to do it in 12 hours in the summer probably after I do it in 11hrs. :lol: :lol: We could possibly join forces for a good round in the summer :D 8)
monty
 

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:50 am

Collaciotach, Peter,gammy leg walker and jwramsay
Many thanks for your comments!! I was glad to be back as well :D :D

mgmt! wrote:you seem to love camping in etive, good report good decission, looks like a walk for summer solstice week.

Yes Glen Etive is a special place for me...and you are right it is one for summer thats for sure!

JohnJoe wrote:Good effort. It's frustrating when you have to abandon your plans - and it happens all too often in my case! Looks like you had a decent walk anyway though.
I once managed 18 hours attempting to do 100K - I could barely walk (or straighten my right leg) for almost a week afterwards :D

Is that by any chance that mad 100km walk/run over 24h which is held I think in Belgium each year?

dooterbang wrote:Why no ice axe?
Looked great weather for a wander about the hills.
10 in those conditions is too much, glad you seen sense for once :lol:
It took me 20 hours to do the 10 but we got lost in the clag and reascended a few.
I would like to try these again in summer without the snow as i now think i could do in 12hrs :D
Nice slideshow, nearly as good as mine 8)


12h? :shock: :shock: :shock: are you planning to run them?
My iceaxe was already in hibernation up in the loft- did not thought I need it again this year :?
Slideshow...lol one learned from the best 8)

monty wrote:Excellent photos Mountainlove. Not so good that you bottled it though. Thought you were tougher than that :lol: Only joking. You made the correct decision under the circumstances. I bet its niggling you bad now though. :lol:
Dooter is going to do it in 12 hours in the summer probably after I do it in 11hrs. :lol: :lol: We could possibly join forces for a good round in the summer :D 8)


Well it is not as bad as the last time ...but annoying it is!
Lol of you and Dooter are planning to do them in 10h (as I guess thats what it will turn out to be)...I will happily miss that challenge, but if you plan them in a normal mountain goat speed time, I am in :D
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1191
Munros:282   Corbetts:20
Grahams:5   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby 2dalmatians » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:47 pm

A really captivating report. Glad you made it back safe...and at least you had the prized antlers as some consolation! :lol:
User avatar
2dalmatians
Walker
 
Posts: 341
Munros:38   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Aug 17, 2010
Location: Stirling

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby kevsbald » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:10 pm

Didn't recognise you with the clothes on... :)
User avatar
kevsbald
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2069
Munros:255   Corbetts:104
Grahams:69   Donalds:50
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:8
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby Mountainlove » Tue May 01, 2012 8:51 am

2dalmatians wrote:A really captivating report. Glad you made it back safe...and at least you had the prized antlers as some consolation! :lol:

Thats what I thought as well :D

kevsbald wrote:Didn't recognise you with the clothes on... :)

Thats me in disguise 8) 8) 8)
User avatar
Mountainlove
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1191
Munros:282   Corbetts:20
Grahams:5   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Gutted-but sometimes you have to give up

Postby jonny616 » Tue May 01, 2012 11:12 am

Nice report. Ring of steall for me in 10 days time can't wait 8)
User avatar
jonny616
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1516
Munros:252   Corbetts:12
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Aug 19, 2009

7 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests