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More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:42 am
by luckyguy68
For my second outing in a week i was faced with the prospect of the forecast of rain, thunder and 60% chance of cloud free munros. :( And once again MWIS was slightly off with their precictions. The only weather problems I encountered were thick cloud at the summits. Saying that, bar one potentially akward moment a good day was had.
I left home slightly later than my norm though was fired up for starters orders by 10am. I faced the unervy prospect of being the only walker up there as there were no other cars in the layby :shock: . Not very reassuring when you cant actually see where you final destination will be as it was shrouded in cloud :crazy: For the WH guide to indicate that the climb was unrelenting was a fair assessment :lol: I had to stop a few times on the way up to catch my breath and drink in the views behind me.
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A moody ben more

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Views to Loch Lubhair

By the time i reached the summit my visability had reduced greatly. Fair to say i had zero views but i still had the feel good factor on hitting munro 23. I didnt even have a break in the cloud for photo purposes :( . From there i made my way to the trig point and only had the easy task of looking across to Stob Binnein and follow the heavily eroded path towards it. This would all have been fine and well but i couldnt see the tip of my nose never mind panoramic views of neighbouring hills. :lol: My compass showed me the way ahead and i took off looking for this easy to identify path. After 20 minutes of steep, verging on very steep descent i concluded that i had missed the path. Initially i walked 5minutes to my left and then right but still no path or waypoint. I knew that retracing my steps to the last point compass point was the right approach. I couldnt believe how steep the route back to the summit was. I was scrambling for much of it. :crazy: From the trig point, the compass bearing was obviously pointing me in the same direction as the last time. I made the decision to read the land a bit better and wandered back and forward a few times before finding what looked like a faint path. Once on it the track became more pronunced and i was on my way. This was a steep learning curve. I reckon i was only maybe 20 paces away from getting on the path in the first attempt. Respect to how disorientating walking can be in poor visibility. This has been my first adventure in such conditions. :shock:
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The changing Scottish weather

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A viewless Ben More summit

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The start of the getting it wrong section

On approach to the bealach i still had zero views then from nowhere the clouds passed by for a few minutes revealing Stob Binnein and behind it Ben More in all their splendour. It felt like someone was trying to tease me at this point. :lol: The ascent to Stob was pretty uneventful and my fingers were crossed that i would get one of those cloud free moments. Didnae happen. Third peak in a row with nothing to write home about. The feeling of isolation though was special. I wouldnt have swapped the moment for anything.
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Closest thing to a view of Stobb Binnein

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A now familiar summit view

The descent from the bealach was as expected a boggy affair. I spoke to the only two walkers i met all day who were coming up the way to Stob through the bealach. I was advised that it was pretty slippy further down and they werny joking. :lol: I was wearing my new Montane terra pants and was priding myself on how i hadnt christened them all the way up and half way down. Spoke to soon obviously. I was up on my a**e before i knew it and for some strange reason the water repellant coating on the pants turned me into a human sledge. :lol: :lol: I kid you not, i must have slid about 20 feet through boggy grass. They done their job well as they were dry within 10 minures of me brushing down my pride. :lol:
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The return path along the side of Ben More was a long one and my legs were kinda empty. True to form blue skies were above me by this point and the photo opportunity was taken advantage off. I was back at the car by 4.30pm and was quietly pleased that i had got through my first navigation error unscathed. :thumbup:

Re: More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:49 am
by Chrisabelle
Good decision to go back to trig point. Not sure I would've kept going to the :clap: top in those conditions, especially not on my own.

Re: More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:52 am
by luckyguy68
Chrisabelle wrote:Good decision to go back to trig point. Not sure I would've kept going to the :clap: top in those conditions, especially not on my own.

Thought about the turn back Chris if the path had'nt turned into anything i would have about turned, believe me :lol:

Re: More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:01 pm
by laconic surf
Nice report, though 60% chance of cloud free summits is awesome compared to recent predictions :lol: Going outside just now unfortunately means clag and rain but all good experience. Have to say my GPS is my best friend just now in all this cloud. Although I still use my map and compass, it's great to have that extra security and confidence. Can't believe back in April/May everyone was getting sunburnt :crazy: Scottish weather eh?
Hopefully some blue skies on the way...

Re: More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:29 pm
by Fudgie
After the effort of getting up to the top of Ben More I can imagine the disappointment of not being able to see anything. I agree about that descent from the bealach though, it's slippy to say the least :lol:

Re: More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:36 pm
by monty
Good effort luckyguy. I would say at least 50% of my munros have been in the clag. The rest in a mix of reasonable weather to brilliant sunshine. You will get good weather. :D

Re: More clouds to dampen the day.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:59 pm
by jonny616
When i did these it was snowing so you possibly saw more than me :lol:

Well done on going for it in those conditions, a lot would have bottled it :clap: