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A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan


Postby rockhopper » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:50 pm

Route description: Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan

Munros included on this walk: Gulvain, Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glenfinnan), Sgurr Thuilm

Date walked: 15/09/2012

Time taken: 13 hours

Distance: 44 km

Ascent: 2710m

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It had been 5 weeks since I’d last been near a hill or a bike or had any exercise at all due to a series of big family birthdays, anniversaries and my elder son leaving home for uni. Had hoped to revisit Glen Shiel but decided against it late on the Friday due to the weather forecast and instead switched plans for Glenfinnan. A longer route probably would have been daft anyway - the effect of the lack of exercise was very obvious from the start !
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Saturday 15 Sept 2012

Munros: Sgurr Thuilm, Sgurr nan Coireachan [Glenfinnan]
Distance: 23km
Ascent: 1,450m
Time: 7hrs 20mins
Attendees: me

Up early (but not that early as today was to be a fairly short day) and drove up to Glenfinnan. Parked in the wee car park just over the bridge past the main car park for the monument. Bike and rucksack out the car and headed off on the tarmac just as another car drew into the car park.

Nice cycle on a good surface. Under the viaduct, then a straightforward cycle up to Corryhully Bothy.

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Arrived at the bothy and had a look inside – was somewhat amazed to see an electric kettle inside !

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From there on the path gets rougher – although cycleable it’s questionable whether it would be just as quick leaving the bike just after the bothy and walking from there.

Nice colour but don’t know its name

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Arrived at a split in the tracks – can’t really go wrong as there’s a sign post pointing to the track for Sgurr Thuilm.

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The weather wasn’t really playing ball. The mist came down and couldn’t really see much – some intermittent views though. The track was boggy in places but that was to be expected given all the recent rain.

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I was sheltered from the wind for the early part of the walk but as I got higher past around 600m it really started to pick up – varied from having to slope into the wind to being unbalanced in the stronger gusts. It was also raining lightly in the wind but nowhere near enough to warrant waterproofs.

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The traverse of Druim Coire a Bheith seemed to take forever but that was probably more due to my legs not being used to exercise. Started to get easier further up before getting to the summit.

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Stopped for a wee bit to get some food and shelter out of the wind. Then retraced my steps a short way before heading down west initially towards Beinn Gharbh. The clag was down again but there was a track to follow and some fenceposts made an appearance.

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Boggy in places but a nice enough walk. The clag was clearing from time to time and I could see where I was going. The only problem was that the cloud was low enough to keep covering the top of Sgurr nan Coireachan.

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Met two people on the way up who I assume were father and the son – the only people I saw all day on these hills.

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Loch Arkaig

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Loch Morar

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Final approach to Sgurr nan Coireachan and the cloud just wouldn’t go away.

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Still very windy when I arrived at the top (munro no. 200).

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Took the usual summit photo and then decided to take a self portrait as this was a milestone munro. The first photo wasn’t great so set up the camera for a second.

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Got to the rock where I was going to sit and turned round to look at the camera…..no camera, it had been blown off the rock and disappeared. I went back and searched round the rock where I’d left it only to find that it had fallen down a hole between some boulders. The good news was that I could see it…the bad news was that my arm, even lying flat on the ground, was about a foot too short !

Took a walking pole from my rucksack and tried to reach it but couldn’t hook the strap – tried this for what seemed like ages in the wind and was starting to get cold. Then a eureka moment…bent a carabiner, attached it to an old Tiso strap and used it as a hook. This worked and I managed to retrieve a rather wet camera from the hole. Managed one picture of the hole then no further pictures until I was back down as it needed to dry off.

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It was an uneventful walk back – initial descent, then a small ascent then followed the track back down to pick up the bike and cycle back down.

Getting to the viaduct, the camera had dried off and was working again.

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Then a few photos in and around Glenfinnan before getting dinner and preparing for the following day. The next time I use the self timer I’ll be checking to ensure there are no holes nearby in the ground.

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___________________________________________________________________

Sunday 16 Sept 2012

Munro: Gulvain
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 1,260m
Time: 5hrs 40mins
Attendees: me

Parked just off the road over the old bridge beside the start of the right of way track. The plan was to leave before dawn and start up the track using a headtorch as I had to be back in Glasgow before 1600hrs. Unfortunately the rain started just after 0600hrs so I didn’t get off until around 0630.

Started cycling up the track – initially hilly before levelling off, over a bridge, past a ruined building and through two gates before getting into more open countryside. At one point the track became a stream and there were a few other water crossings which weren’t easily cycled but all in all quite a nice cycle.

Further up the track became rougher and less easy to cycle – as with the day before, possibly questionable as to whether to keep going or leave the bike and walk. Crossed another bridge and shortly after arrived at the point where the track splits – remembered monty’s report and set off on the track to the right.

I found the early part of the ascent quite tiring again probably because my legs weren’t used to the exercise. The early stages were quite sheltered so, when the rain started, I decided against putting on waterproofs as I knew I’d end up feeling like I was in a sauna (even goretex doesn’t breathe enough for me). Although I don’t normally like wearing them, I had, however, put on gaiters to help keep the rain out. Of course, as I went on, the rain got heavier and the wind stronger.

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Stopped a few times to consider putting on waterproofs but each time it looked like the rain would go off so ended up just going on. This was not a good idea – the rain got worse, trousers got wetter then I felt water first in the left boot and subsequently in the tight boot. Very quickly it felt like I had puddles in the boots. I suspect the rain had soaked into the trousers, inside the gaiters, then into the socks and into the boots – the ground didn’t seem wet enough to cause a leak from the outside and I was wearing my SL M3s which weren’t that old. Ah well, nothing other than to get on with it – from here on in I didn’t need to worry about walking in the bogs !

On the plus side, after a foot analysis by a specialist shop in Glasgow I was trying out a new pair of insoles with special metatarsal “bumps” – the day before in my Meindl Burmas and today in the Scarpas…touch wood, they seemed to be working and my feet were behaving a lot better than normal.

Got to the trig point and still in the clag.

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Then headed off towards the ridge and the true summit. Clag clearing every now and then.

Now you see it....

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Now you don’t....

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Nice wander along and up the ridge to the summit cairn.

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It was them just a case of retracing my steps back down and up to the trig point then back down to the bike.

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Of course, the weather then improved while I was on the way down....as is often the case.

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Cairn where the track splits.

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Looking back up

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Got to the bike and then a great cycle back down to the car followed by the drive back to Glasgow....and I got home in time.
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rockhopper
 
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby basscadet » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:08 pm

Oh nice report :) I really like the photos of the sunbeams :D
Glad your camera survived :thumbup:

You shoulda come to kintail, it was lush as it turned out :) Ironically though I was just thinking about these hills on sunday.. They are on the 'soon' hitlist now :lol:

Oh afterthought - what like is the bothy? How many rooms? Whats the fire/stove like?
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby monty » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:56 pm

Good effort Rockhopper. The weather forecast has been crap for the past few weekends so good of you to brave it :lol: I havent been out for three weeks and feeling unfit so need to get a fix this weekend coming. :D The bothy has its own electricity. Some good photos of the inside of the bothy here Bascadet
http://www.caledoniahilltreks.com/gallery06/glen_finnan_may06/08%20Electricity%20in%20Bothy.htm
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:57 pm

Congratulations on 200. These two are on my to do list this year as well, was thinking about tomorrow or Thursday but strong winds forecast so hopefully save them for a good day as it looks a great walk. Cheers :D
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby pigeon » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:58 pm

Well done on the double century RH :clap: :clap: Glad you got your camera back :wink:Still got these to do so i'll watch out for that hole :lol:
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby basscadet » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:17 pm

monty wrote:Good effort Rockhopper. The weather forecast has been crap for the past few weekends so good of you to brave it :lol: I havent been out for three weeks and feeling unfit so need to get a fix this weekend coming. :D The bothy has its own electricity. Some good photos of the inside of the bothy here Bascadet
http://www.caledoniahilltreks.com/gallery06/glen_finnan_may06/08%20Electricity%20in%20Bothy.htm


Oooh I could take my hairdryer.. how funcy!!

:lol: :lol:
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby simon-b » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:44 pm

Another impressive outing, rockhopper. Great pictures too, I'm glad you managed to rescue them. Congratulations on getting past 200.
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:21 pm

Smashing report RH :D

Was reaching your 200th not exciting enough without having to cobble together a Blue Peter stylie fishing rod??? :crazy: :crazy: No need for the ubiquitous wire coathanger when you have bits of a walking kit to use!!!

Loved seeing the Glenfinnan monument again. Last time I climbed up there I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter who as it happens is just about to start her MA down at Chelsea. Looks like that's both me and you RH gonna be skint for a wee while :lol: :lol:
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby mountain thyme » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:16 am

Well done Rockhopper and glad you retrieved your camera.... Even although a cloudy/ misty day your pictures are lovely :)
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby Stretch » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:52 am

Nice one Rockhopper, and way to go with the double century mark! :clap:
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby Fudgie » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:16 am

Good to see you ease yourself back in after 5 weeks away from the hills :lol:

Well done on reaching (and surpassing) 200 :clap:
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby mrssanta » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:30 pm

brilliant I really enjoyed that and the pictures were great, I felt such a relief when you got your camera out - although you must have done as I'd already seen half the pics!
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby dooterbang » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:31 pm

Goodness if a fit bloke like you felt knackered after a lay off i dread to think what i'll be like :shock: !!! Mines is more a forced lay off due to straining my Achilles Tendon doing the GSR, no exercise for a while now :(

Did the first 2 in January this year and really enjoyed them so well done on reaching 200 on a great pair of hills :clap: . Your fairly flying through the Munros now, will be overtaking me on your next outing...how did that happen :crazy: You gotta be thinking of completing now?

Glad you got your camera back but at least you caught your "best side" at the summit :wink:

Fab report as usual and well done on winning last months TR.
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby jonny616 » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:34 pm

Great stuff as always RH, 5 weeks is a long time of the hills for you. Well done on the 200. Off to Glenmore camping with the family this weekend. :D
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Re: A wee bit windy in Glenfinnan

Postby rockhopper » Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:59 pm

thanks everyone

basscadet - had a bit of luck with the sunbeams and the bothy looked great inside as monty noted though I've never stayed in one....so far.....but a hairdrier :roll:
monty - unfit ? :shock: don't believe it....I saw your time for Gulvain and there's no way I'd get anywhere near it !
Johnny Corbett - hope you enjoy them...the weather's looking better for the end of the week
pigeon - hope you get a good day for them and make sure you avoid the hole ! :?
simon-b - cheers...got me thinking about the sort of stuff I carry for emergencies on the hills and fishing lines/hooks aren't in there at the moment
pollyh33 - now then, now then....I did like Val, Peter & John !....think I'll be skint now until I retire ! :crazy:
mountain thyme - yup, it's kind of odd when you find yourself more worried about the losing the photos than the camera !
Stretch - nice to hear from you and hope all's well in Tennessee
Fudgie - aye I think I need to take more exercise in future !
mrssanta - yup, it's not an expensive camera but I was glad to retrieve it with the photos
dooterbang - sorry to hear about your achilles tendon, hope it's healing...it's only recently that I've started to think that I could manage them all but think it'll be a couple of years at least....as for overtaking you on my next outing, that would mean more than 6 in one go......... :wink:
jonny616 - hope you enjoy Glenmore.....one of my favourite areas as we're up in Coylumbridge most summers
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