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Beinn Dorain - Here's the snow!

Beinn Dorain - Here's the snow!


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:04 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn an Dothaidh, Beinn Dorain

Date walked: 18/11/2012

Time taken: 7.36 hours

Distance: 15.52 km

Ascent: 1195m

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Me and my big mouth! Yesterday, while doing Ben Vane, I was moaning about there being no snow...MWIS forecast was for 1cm snow overnight at the tops, and a clear morning/afternoon, so didn't really expect much of the white stuff today. But how much difference a day makes - driving up past Loch Lomond, all the hills had white cover down to about 300m it seemed after the bare backs yesterday. Not sure what we were going to find at Bridge of Orchy...

Got to the car park at the Hotel for about 8.45 and off for 9. Lots of other walkers going up today, including a group of about 10 who were a little ahead of us most of the way up Beinn an Dothiadh.

Image
P1000284 by 23weasels, on Flickr

First section was boggy and wet, as we got to around 450m the snow was lying thinly.

Image
P1000285 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed off to the left, across the stream to head up BaD, snow significantly thicker as we got to the bealach - we put crampons on at this point, though didn't pass anyone else today who was wearing any... Visibility pretty poor heading higher up the first hill,

Image
P1000292 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000294 by 23weasels, on Flickr

but followed the footsteps of the party ahead, got up to the ridge and along to the first cairn, before heading off into driving snow/hail to reach the proper cairn. Really cold wind on the face at this point!

Image
P1000297 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The large group seemed to be heading back the way they'd come, but we followed the WH route over virgin snow. This was quite challenging - mostly cos my glasses kept misting/freezing up which made it difficult to see the satmap and to distinguish variations in the snow surface, leading to some stumbles and plunges into thigh high drifts. I hadn't brought my goggles, which might have helped a bit, and I decided against wearing contacts after grim efforts to extract them from my eyes during the week and heading from a colleague about how they can actually freeze at altitude... Eventually we joined the ascent path again, just as the group were coming down and headed back to the bealach where we had a quick lunch, it being about 1pm by this time. Fortunately a cup of hot soup has reviving properties!

Next it was across to Beinn Dorain, which was pretty much hidden by clag. Was prettty slow going in the snow, with one of us finding her legs pretty sore today :lol: Sometimes there were footsteps of walkers ahead of us to follow, sometimes not, and about halfway up I found the satmap telling me that "batteries critical" - damn - I didn't charge it last night thinking that it had enough juice left in it, but obviously not. I didn't fancy getting lost in the winter wonderland, but did have spare batteries with me - fortunately - and a quick changeover got us going again. We met a couple with 2 dogs, who enjoyed playing with my mutt. The last section from the Sassunnaich cairn to the proper cairn was excellent - skirting along the ridge with some drops to the north, then a little bit of clear sky when we were on the way back.

Image
P1000310 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Major beard freeze today (which didn't fully thaw out til I was back at the car). Also some wonderful blue light in the holes in the snow, and on some of the surrounding hills - ethereal, don't think I've ever see that light in the snow before, though read about the blue insides of glaciers.

Image
P1000327 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Made it another reason for the walk being a cracker today, even if I didn't get any sign of the ravens at the top which I like to look for - but I guess the birds were keeping warm somewhere else.

Dog enjoyed a bit of pathfinding...

Image
P1000314 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Took quite a while to get back down the slopes, rocks were slippy with slush & melt.

Image
P1000325 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1000328 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Light was fading as we got to the lower slopes, with a little crescent moon hanging over the body of Dorain as we looked back up towards it.

Image
P1000337 by 23weasels, on Flickr

More appealing however were the lights from the Bridge of Orchy hotel, where we had a swift pint of "Bitter & Twisted" before heading off home in the dark. A great day out in the snow (apart from frozen glasses) - really enjoying this winter walking malarkey. Even got to use my ice axe today - just for stability, mind, but that felt good as well. :o

Pictures...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29312277@N08/sets/72157632040604651
Last edited by weaselmaster on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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weaselmaster
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Re: Beinn Dorain - Here's the snow!

Postby Peter913 » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:29 pm

Nice report well done on 2 munros in these conditions

Here is mine from today

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=27016

Regards

Peter

Ps Any pics from today
Peter913
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Re: Beinn Dorain - Here's the snow!

Postby K3vc » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:37 pm

Nice report weaselmaster,done these 2 yesterday as well,quite difficult in the conditions. I remember seeing your frosty pup on a couple of occasions and seeing the blue snow holes that you wrote about brilliant day in the first proper snow of the year :thumbup:
K3vc
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Re: Beinn Dorain - Here's the snow!

Postby gsaboy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:17 pm

love the frozen beard
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