Two Munros and the curse of dairy products!!!
by BlackPanther » Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:37 pm
Route description: Stob Coire Easain and Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin
Munros included on this walk: Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin, Stob Coire Easain
Date walked: 06/10/2012
Time taken: 7.5 hours
Distance: 16.8 km
Ascent: 1169m6 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).
Unluckily for Kevin, he can't eat cheese!!! He's dairy intolerant
From time to time to make my husband happy, I bake a special "dairy-free" soya-equvalent-of-cheese-cake but sometimes he simply can't resist grabbing a small piece of the original full fat cheese version And so it was during our last family meeting, the cheescake was there and so were homemade cheese and lamb meatballs, he said he was ready to pay the consequences and stuffed himself...
A few days later we went hillwalking. It was a reasonable October Saturday, a bit cold-ish and windy-ish but I talked Kev into adding two more Munros to our conquests.
The Fersit hills had been on my to-do list for a while, another area I was eager to explore. I had already ticked off all Munros on the other side of Glen Spean, now it was time to lurk and meow above Loch Treig
It's a long drive from Inverness and we took the narrow and twisty A86 along Loch Laggan rather than going via the Great Glen. As a result, we spent over two hours in the car and I was beginning to feel motion sick from the countless twists and turns on the narrow road...
We arrived at the starting point eventually and the fresh autumn air was a true blessing for our twisted stomachs!
There is a small parking area off the minor road to Fersit, just before An Dubh Lochan. The walk starts here on an obvious path:
The path soon becomes sketchy but all one has to do is head straight for the bulky bump of the first knoll along the ridge, Creag Fhinaclach. The day still looked good, a few clouds out and about but the sun was shining at us at the moment and we had a taste of proper autumn... with its lovely colours:
We went through a gate in the fence and crossed the boggy track where old tramway once was and pushed up the wet slope. The narrow path appeared again, leading us to the rocky top of Creag Fhinaclach, with some really good views already, especially towards Creag Meagaidh Group:
And to Loch Laggan area:
The main ridge looked a real delight from here, even with some cloud covering the summits at the moment, and my heart was hopping and jumping and singing hoooray!
Suddenly, I realised that Kevin was staying too far behind me, he didn't look at all as cheerful and happy as I felt... He caught up with me on the summit of Creag Fhinaclach and I could see from his facial expression that he was far from enjoying the climb...
Well, he could only blame himself for his suffering. One of the side effect of eating dairy when you are allergic to lactose is so-called energy-draining. The body uses all the energy it has to attempt to digest the undiggestible substances, leaving the individual feeling tired and queezy. Well, Kevin had this problem before, after eating too much dairy and he knew exactly what he was doing when he stuffed himself with cheesecake. But I felt for him, poor silly man so I ordered a 10 min recuperation break. At least we had the mountains around us to admire and the autumn colours to sink in...
Looking west, with river Allt Laire taking the centre stage:
North to Creag Meagaidh ridge:
We moved on eventually and Kevin was now angry with himself, cursing all cheese in the world! I asked if he was sure he could do it, he was desperate to prove he was not a chicken!
We continued south and up to the scary-looking dome of Meall Cian Dearg, I was more than happy to practice some scrambling and rock hopping but I was worried my husband wasn't up to it... He kept falling behind, so I ended up running up and down the steep slope to encourage him. We got two thirds way up the rocky section where we eventually found a good though tumbling path, avoiding all the difficulties. I sat down on a dry-looking rock and waited for Kevin to join me and suddenly felt my backside going cold... The rock wasn't that dry at all! Now I had to finish the climb with a wet bum, what a humiliation!!!!!!!!
The views all but made up for all the obstacles:
A short wet section just above the crags of Meall Cian Dearg lead us to more level ground, where the rest of the ridge was clearly seen:
The Grey Corries out of the cloud for a time being:
Kevin dug up a pack of sundried bananas and we had a snack, well, he had most of it and I didn't complain, he needed some healthy non-dairy energy Soon, he began to feel a bit better, on the less steep part of the ridge the going was much easier and he actually strated to enjoy the outing. We met a couple of fellow walkers descending the hill and had a short chat about the Meall Cian Dearg path. Soon we were past the 978m peak and heading for the first Munro summit of the day:
It was now getting cold so we put on warm tops and waterproofs as there was a shower lingering:
...and the Grey Corries changed their mood as well...
...but when looking nort-west, hard to believe there photos were taken at the same moment!
NE pano also sunny:
Another shower coming:
We were lucky: none of these showers actually reached us, but the wind picked up as we neared the summit and we found winter gloves really useful.
Just before the summit of Stob Coire Easain we glanced back and saw a single stag skipping across the ridge. It stopped for a short time and examined us carefully, then continued its way across and then down to Loch Treig. Kevin managed to zoom all the way to the stag - an interesting individual, I must say:
Whiteheaded deer, a new Scottish species???
The ridge seen from near the summit of Stob Coire Easain:
Not much water in Loch Treig:
The summit was extremely windy but we were glad we have done most of the hard work, now it was supposed to be mountain-pleasure...
Cold but happy by the summit cairn:
The second Munro was close now:
Low cloud hanging above Glen Coe mountains:
The two Shepherds:
We found a sheltered rock just off the summit and tried to enjoy our lunch but to be honest it was so cold my fingers went numb after five minutes and I was happy to move on, at least it felt much warmer when I walked...
We set off to climb the second Munro - there's not much drop between the two, the path up to the top of Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin is a bit eroded but can easily be followed all the way to the cairn. The summit area is surprisingly small but it's a fantastic viewpoint - even with the cloud hanging about we were still impressed!
Looking back to Stob Coire Easain:
Glen Coe again: The Two Buachailles, Mr Bidean and the infamous AE ridge:
Ben Nevis with the first sprinkle of snow:
The Grey Corries revealed again:
Along Loch Treig:
Busy recording the views...
The summit cairn and me, now only 9 away from the ton... Hell, how did I manage to get that far???
We descended to the col between the two Munros and then decided to vary the route by continuing down to Coire Easain Beag - it's a descent option suggested in HMC Guide. There is a path zigzagging down to the corrie and then along the little stream, Allt Coire Easain Beag - the ground is wet but manageable. The path then circles the lower slopes of Stob Coire Easain - we left it at some point and headed straight down the heathery slope to the glen, where we picked a boggy but obvious track going all the way back along Allt Laire. The final stage was walked along the dismantled tramway which is now a path (a very wet one to say the least) - there is a barbed wire fence to climb over but a wooden ladder can be used. Finally, we arrived by the very gate where we started.
It took us 7.5 hours to finish the circuit - it would gave been much less but for the dreaded curse of dairy products!!
So now Kevin has learned his lesson - if he wants to enjoy his mountains, he must forget about this...
Summing up, an interesting pair of Munros. The aren't the driest in the world but will provide you with a fantastic day out. Highly recommended, just don't forget to wear good waterproof booties. And don't sit on rocks before checking them for wet moss... Meow!
by Fudgie » Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:10 pm
by dawnfoth » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:18 pm
by ChrisW » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:16 pm
by quoman » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:53 pm
by dogplodder » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:03 pm
by BlackPanther » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:21 pm
Kevin is doing well now, no dairy for two weeks and he has already forgotten the pain, at least until the next cheesecake Dairy intolerance may cause different symptoms - I know another intolerant person who gets a nasty skin rush after eating cheese or yoghurt. Diarrhoea and stomach cramps can happen as well. Energy drain is perhaps the least painful symptom but what a nuisance for a hillwalker!!!
Just to explain myself... I wasn't being cruel to my husband. I asked him a few times if he wanted to turn back - there was no pressure. You should have seen his face... Turn back??? No way!!!
I guess I have to bake dairy-free now. On Friday I prepared a banana cake - half of it is gone now and it ain't me who is eating double portions...