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Wilson and Jake cutting their teeth on a couple of scrambles
by davetherave » Tue May 29, 2012 3:34 pm
Munros included on this walk: Creise, Meall a'Bhuiridh, Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach), Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)
Date walked: 26/05/2012
Time taken: 14.25 hours
Distance: 22.6 km
Ascent: 2436m4 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).
Completed by. Dave, Julie, Wilson and Jake
Weather. Supreme conditions
Time. 7hrs and 7hrs 15 mins = 14hrs 15mins
Distance. 12km and 10.6km = 22.6km
Ascent. 1264m and 1172m = 2436m
Munro’s x 4
Corbett’s x 0
Grahams x 0
Sron Na Creise scramble
The Aonach Eagach ridge scramble
Sron Na Creise scramble
As you guys probably know the prospect of great weather normally brings simmering plans into action. They can sometimes be big multi day routes, Graded scramble routes or even just a single Hill or a gentle stroll. (Think the title gives it away).
I had already done the Aonach Eagach ridge alone about a year or more ago. I wanted to try it first before risking taking Wilson (The Beardie Collie) along. Julie my wife missed out last time also, so she was eager to have a go now.
Since then our circumstances have changed slightly. What I mean by that is that we have a new member to our walking group (Jake The Border Collie). Jake obviously has less hill experience than Wilson. He has only got about 30 or so hills under his belt. But in the short time that we have had him we have seen a big increase in his strength and balance when in and around the mountains.
On the way down we popped into Tiso’s at Perth and picked up 15m x 7mm of rope just incase the dogs needed a bit of protection on the 2 scramble routes we had planned for the Saturday. We had arrived at our destination at about 6pm and had set up camp by the river Etive about 1.5km SW of the main road. Weather was glorious. As for our pitch site well I can only say prime location, it really was that good.
Saturday morning was as glorious as the day before. We were left the tent by 6.15am and headed for the Sron Na Creise scramble. My guide book Scrambles in lochaber states that this scramble can be made as easy or as hard as you want it to be, and if need be the top can be reached without much hands on scrambling if you so wished. This would be a great test for the dogs before the Aonoch Eagach ridge later in the day.
It was a hard route to follow when using the guide book, at times it seemed to over complicate the route ahead! Once you are right in about the rock, some of the crags and slabs seemed to merge making it complex and difficult to follow the true route description. But it was a cracking scramble, excellent at times with plenty of big holds. Views were superb the higher we climbed. There were far to many hills to mention, and with the wide expanse of Rannoch Moor to the East the sense of exposure was never far away.
The summit of Creise is reached easily from the Sron, once past Stob a Ghlais Choire you will know you are in striking distance. We decided to head for Clach Leathad the one time hill with Munro status, we then doubled back a short distance and picked up the connecting ridge that would lead us to Meall a Bhuiridh.
5 minutes before reaching Meall a Bhuiridh summit we got chatting to a guy from Edinburgh, turns out he is a WH member goes by the name of CliveW. Had a nice long chat with him for a bit. (All the very best for that special trip you have planned on the 19th )
We managed to avoid all the Ski tow mess by descending down the west side of Creag Dhubh to reach Cam Ghleann and then on to or camp spot for around 2pm ish. This would give us about an hour to chill before the real fun would begin on The Aonach Eagach ridge.
The Aonach Eagach ridge
Got to the Allt na reigh parking area and started our ascent of Am Bodach at 3.15pm. As we ascended we could see that there were still plenty of cars parked at the other parking areas. I was hoping that the ridge would be quiet especially as we had the 2 dogs to contend with, turns out we got our wish we never met a soul until we topped out on Sgorr nam Fiannaidh.
We made good time reaching Am Bodach, we passed the Chancellor in what seemed like a flash and before long we would reach Meall Dearg.
Julie was enjoying it so far, I even recall she said something about how uncomplicated it was until now. The dogs were unfazed and were coping very well indeed. Looks like the Scramble in the morning was a good plan in ridding them of some of their energy, and that they would be calmer on the ridge proper. It certainly helped !!
The fun starts after Meall Dearg, and before long you do get the feeling that you are suddenly very committed to completing the ridge. Well I certainly got that feeling, especially with having the 2 dogs to worry about.
The rope made an appearance prior to the Chimney but we soon found that with a wee bit of pushing and shoving and a bit of encouragement the dogs soon overcame any problems that the ridge threw at them. That was until the last pinnacle I think. The one that you have to make a few awkward steps round to the north, before scrambling up on top of the ridge once again. The dogs had to get roped up for this section.
It was tough, time consuming and mentally draining, and I was now wondering if trying to complete the ridge with 2 dogs in tow was a sensible idea. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous at this stage. The dogs were tired and were getting a wee bit stressed and there was very little room to work on that narrow bit of ridge before that awkward last pinnacle.
We took several moments to get our selves calm and arrange the rope. I climbed up and round and Julie attached the rope to Wilson and with encouragement and 3 short stages he was soon safe. Jake got the same treatment as Wilson until safety was achieved.
Julie took that last Pinnacle in her stride she never had a problem at all and once we had reached Stob Coire Leith I told her that was it, all our problems were behind us and the final summit Sgorr nam Fiannaidh would be straight forward. It was here that she told me she never really enjoyed the walk because she worried far too much about the dogs. But she did say when we come back to do them again it will be without the mutts!!
We descended back towards Stob Coire Leith and at the lowest we dropped down South to reach the A82. We reached the road about 1km east of the Loch Achtriochtan leaving just a 3 km hike back to the car , we arrived at 10.30 pm. It was only a 5-minute drive back to Glen Etive and very soon we would reach our home for the night. We crawled in to our sleeping bags that evening Dirty, sweaty and stinking.
What a trip it was, I had even considered the Curved ridge on the Sunday morning but the stress of the day before put me off some what. We decided to chill at the camp site until 1.30pm on the Sunday. Julie was driving so I had a good few beers in the sun while the dogs romped about the river Etive.
A weekend we will remember for a long time to come.
by kevsbald » Tue May 29, 2012 3:52 pm
by jools » Tue May 29, 2012 4:41 pm
by jonny616 » Tue May 29, 2012 5:15 pm
by Gavin99 » Tue May 29, 2012 5:42 pm
by EwaMH » Tue May 29, 2012 6:01 pm
by gaffr » Tue May 29, 2012 7:02 pm
by clivew » Tue May 29, 2012 7:28 pm
by Collaciotach » Tue May 29, 2012 7:48 pm
Would a wee ish agile cratur manage without ropes ?
by davetherave » Wed May 30, 2012 10:01 am
Collaciotach wrote:haha love it a bhalaich ..was thinking of leaving my Patterdale /Westie cross out of it when i do the AE maybes no now
Would a wee ish agile cratur manage without ropes ?
We did have our problems, but most of them stemmed from having 2 dogs on board for the trip.
I think the back up of a 5m rope might be helpful, for the one area that i mentioned after the chimney. Your boy may be able to scramble up just as our ones managed, but do keep in mind that a rope would give your buddy that added protection.
Have fun and keep your cool if you do go with the dog.
by audreywaugh » Wed May 30, 2012 10:20 am
by PeteR » Thu May 31, 2012 8:20 pm
It's been suggested by a friend I might like to attepmt the AE one day. So far I have manfuly resisted
by gammy leg walker » Thu May 31, 2012 8:45 pm
by rockhopper » Thu May 31, 2012 10:30 pm