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Ben Lawers, Beinn Ghlas but An stuc will have to wait!

Ben Lawers, Beinn Ghlas but An stuc will have to wait!


Postby budvarone » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:55 am

Route description: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers

Date walked: 23/09/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 9.89 km

Ascent: 968m

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Four of our wee group (Ellie couldn't make it!) headed up to Loch Tay on Sunday with the intention of ticking off three of the Ben Lawers range, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers and An Stuc. I'd been checking the forecast, as I do, every day for about week before, and the snow and 100km winds that Mountain Forecast had warned me about had, by the Saturday, mellowed to some cloudy spells and 35km winds, that was much better, and I was really looking forward to another day in the hills.
We met up with Sammy at the car park and were walking by 10 am, there was still a lot of cloud clinging to the hillsides, but I was optimistic that this would lift and we would have clear skies and good veiws from the summits.
DSC02528.JPG
That cloud will lift...wont it?

At the junction of the paths, we decided to head left, and get to Ben Lawers first, and make our return over Beinn Ghlas. This path was fairly flat for a quite a bit, unfortunately the low cloud kept any veiws to a minimum.
DSC02534.JPG
Looking across the valley from the path, still cloudy!

We started to climb steadily, and reached a fence where we had good veiws along the Alt a' Chobhair burn, the path climbs and head round to the right. A few walkers passed us heading back to the car park, I gather this path is usually taken as the return path!
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Looking down Alt a' Chobhair
DSC02543.JPG
Neil, on the path going round the foot of Beinn Ghlas, STILL cloudy!
DSC02544.JPG
Michael and Sammy, the black and yellow dots in the middle of the pic,storming ahead!

We joined the path from Beinn Ghlas, and the climb to the top of Ben Lawers started in earnest, this part of the path is quite steep and rocky, and I needed to stop for breath on a few occasions. We finally reached the summit, and by now the wind had really picked up and it was bl**dy cold, the thick swirling cloud meant there were no veiws! As I said before, our original plan was to go on to An Stuc, but as we could barely see where we were going, and after speaking to a few more experienced walkers on the summit, we decided the weather was too bad and the best thing was to head back, taking in Beinn Ghlas on the way!
DSC02552.JPG
Ben Lawers summit.

I was glad to get off the top and away from the worst of the wind, we quickly descended the steep path back down to the pass.The cloud started to lift slightly when we reached this point, however, the wind seemed to be channelled through this narrower part and was stronger and colder!
DSC02560.JPG
Beinn Ghlas straight ahead, the path to the right is the one we came up.

The path up Beinn Ghlas from here is pretty straightforward, and we quickly reached the summit, although we almost walked past it, the cairn is tiny, I can quite believe some walkers pass it without realising they've bagged a Munro!
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Mobot on Beinn Ghlas
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Looking back to the bealach, Ben Lawers is up in that cloud somewhere!
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The path up to the summit of Beinn Ghlas.
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Neil with the tiny cairn!

It was still blowing a chilly gale at the top, and there were no veiws to speak of, so we quickly headed down the path and back to some shelter. On the way down the cloud lifted and the sun actually put in an appearance, and we could see across to Meall nan Tarmachan, an interesting looking summit that may well be one of our next walks.
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The knee jarring path down...ouch!
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Meall nan Tarmachan

True to the forecast, the cloud disappeared as we neared the car park, looking back we had great clear veiws of Beinn Ghlas.
We drove away, a bit disappointed at the weather, but determined to come back soon to reach the top of An Stuc.....and maybe some more!
DSC02593.JPG
A cloudless Beinn Ghlas.
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budvarone
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Re: Ben Lawers, Beinn Ghlas but An stuc will have to wait!

Postby neurone » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:04 pm

Hi,
Think we met just down from the summit of Beinn Ghlas. I was the guy with the wee girl, Catriona.
Even though I've been up there before I had to convince myself that the measly pile of stones was the summit cairn. We didn't hang about due to the wind, and once we were down the steepest part, Catriona ran most of the was back to the car. She was a bit a bit stiff for a couple of days afterwards though.
You're right about the cloud cover lifting once you're back at the car. It's a b@:£$r when it does that.
Good report. Neurone.
neurone
 
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Re: Ben Lawers, Beinn Ghlas but An stuc will have to wait!

Postby budvarone » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:44 pm

neurone wrote:
Think we met just down from the summit of Beinn Ghlas. I was the guy with the wee girl, Catriona.
Even though I've been up there before I had to convince myself that the measly pile of stones was the summit cairn. We didn't hang about due to the wind, and once we were down the steepest part, Catriona ran most of the was back to the car. She was a bit a bit stiff for a couple of days afterwards though.
You're right about the cloud cover lifting once you're back at the car. It's a b@:£$r when it does that.

Hi neurone,
Pleased to have met you! Yeah, it's a bit of a bummer when that happens with the cloud! We walked up Ben Chonzie a couple of weeks ago, and the same thing happened. I took my daughter that day, she's 22, a wee bit older than Catriona, she can't see the attraction in hill walking , so I thought I'd try her on a relatively easy climb, she HATED it! Didn't help that we got slightly lost on the descent, the cloud was REALLY thick and we lost the path! Most of the youngsters we see on our walks have their faces tripping them, obviously been dragged away from the telly or XBox, but Catriona seemed to be enjoying herself, hope you have many more walks with her!

Cheers

Gavin
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budvarone
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