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A windy day on the plateau East of Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:18 am
by Frigate
The first walk after returning from holiday in Florida, we had planned to take the ladies to the Bridge of Orchy so that they could walk part of the WHW and we would 'go up something'. However due to call off's and a poor weather report for the west, east was the place to be and as I had not completed the two eastern hills that was settled then. After all the walk up two less demanding munros is the same as 12 miles of the WHW isn't it.

We had trained hard in Florida, driving even to cross the road, waiting in line for two minutes of speed rush and giddiness on all but two of Orlando's rides and coasters. Braving the menu of cocktails and not leaving until all had been sampled (even required a return bout at one establishment). The only real mountain climbing we attempted was the portion size at 'The Cheese Cake Factory', 'IHOP', 'Red Lobster', 'Hoolahans', 'Longhorns', 'Bahama Breeze'.......... I feel ill (again).

We followed the normal route, leaving the car in Lay-by 88 and crossing the Balfour Beatty work site and onto the hill.
Crossing Balfour Beatty work site

We were late in starting and met several people on their way down who each cheered up with how windy the top was. It was pretty winding on the way up but with little scudding clouds and bright intervals, lovely day for a walk.
Track up the hill

As we reached the plateau we found just how windy it was with wee Senga being buffeted about, having to hang on to my bag at one point and walk in my lee. A'Bhuidheanach first as that meant walking into the wind and being blown back, Senga's ears were suffering in the wind so put two hats on.

Dalwhinnie distillary

No fancy navigation or cross country walking, stick to the landrover track and paths all the way. Had a quick 5 minute lunch stop in the lee at the head of Coire Chuirn, made the top in 2 hours 15 minutes, quick photo turn round and back the way we came.
A'Bhuidheanach Bheag summit

The holiday lethargy surfaced and combined with the energy sapping effect of the wind made for tired legs.
As we returned to the quarries I suggest that Senga either wait for me or take slow walk down, good job I'm not the sensitive type or I may have blushed.
Coming off Bheag looking North

North to Carn na Caim

South from Carn na Caim

So off we both went to Carn na Caim only stopping for juice, chocolate and jelly babies (holiday diet not quite abandoned yet). Reached the top in 1 hour 40 minutes, same as before quick photo and turn round.
Carn na Caim summit with Meall Chuaich

During the walk I had kept a weather eye out to the west and having seen heavy showers sweep up Loch Ericht as we started the descent it was our turn.
Stop and dress up in the full kit and caboudle, buddy up and tuck everything in and pull all straps tight.
It was very cold and wet but luckily did not last too long but made the roadway slippy.

6 hours dead car to car, we did not realize how fast two short legged people had been walking no wonder we were both cream crackered. Oh well the Bothy bar would help to right that.

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Re: A windy day on the plateau East of Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:14 pm
by pigeon
Good effort Kev and Senga,nice one to get you back into it :thumbup:

Re: A windy day on the plateau East of Drumochter

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:32 pm
by rockhopper
looks like you got a good day for these two despite the wind :thumbup: good to see them in the sun as it often seems to be raining up there - cheers :)

Re: A windy day on the plateau East of Drumochter

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:40 pm
by Graeme D
Looks much more pleasant than my experience of these two. They may be fairly benign in these conditions but one Boxing Day a few years ago they were my first real scare in the hills when walking solo with only about 15 or so Munros under my belt. It really closed in on A' Bhuideneach Beag and I did a fair amount of toing and froing on the plateau until I sorted things out.

Re: A windy day on the plateau East of Drumochter

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:12 pm
by Frigate
Cheers Pigeon, I think Senga has got the bug.

Thanks Rockhopper, I think we were very lucky until the last hour as across the A9 the hills were in/out of the clag all day, with heavy showers flying up loch Ericht.

Hi Graeme, I was up Tolmount/Tom Buidhe a few weeks ago as well, very similar in topography. Be it clag or snow loose your/horizon/reference and yes the thought process would accelerate to buttock clenching speed quite easily. Sometimes GPS just takes the edges off things.

Re: A windy day on the plateau East of Drumochter

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:38 pm
by quoman
Hi Frigate... nice report hope senga's ears have thawed out.... as Greame said "They may be fairly benign in these conditions" i was up in the winter last year and if it wasn't for the GPS i would have still been there we were going round in circles :lol: :lol: not funny at the time.