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Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh


Postby laconic surf » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:39 pm

Route description: Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lochay

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Date walked: 04/12/2012

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 9.5 km

Ascent: 902m

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Arrived at the small parking area having just made it safely down the wee road that leads to the base of this munro - there was a lot of ice on the road and I was slightly concerned about getting back along it (more on this later) but I put that to the back of my mind as something to worry about later as I was excited to get out on the snowy hill.

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Moon still up

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Very icy road to parking area


Getting out of the car I decided to put on the microspikes as the road was just so slippy, as it happened I kept them on until about the 650 ft spot height. I met the farmer as I was about to start the walk - a friendly chap who checked my route and gave me some advice about when to leave the path (I knew this already but it was better than get off my land! :lol: ) Headed through the first gate until I reached the first obstacle - a narrow stile. No problem for me but I had the dog who is a reluctant stile climber! Being a 30kg Boxer lifting him over this high narrow stile was not an option so after some persuasion he put his paws up on the first rung and I then had to shove his ass up to the top :lol: I then had to squeeze past him and then lift him down from the top - well that was my weights workout for the week done :lol:
So glad I had my spikes on as the path was sheet ice. MWIS had given 10% chance of nae clag so I was pleasantly surprised to see the rear of Stuchd An Lochain looking so fine in the morning light

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Stuchd an Lochain


The snow was only marginally more than a dusting between the turn off from the landrover track and 600ft height. Here, however, the snow was getting deeper and deeper. I took off the microspikes as they had begun to ball. Although I had my crampons, the snow was not compacted so I didn't bother with them, and each step was knee deep in snow. The climb between 650ft and 800ft was extremely tiring, it was a case of 10 steps climb, rest, ten more, rest etc. The dog had it sussed as he waited for me to break the path and just followed in my footsteps 8) :lol:

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First sighting of Meall Ghaordaidh

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As the climb reached a wee plateau, the snow deepend further. The pace went like this; knee deep, knee deep, waist deep :shock: , knee deep, knee deep, waist deep :shock: :lol: At one point both me and the dog were half buried, the dogs head just poking out above the snow :lol: A combination of ice axe and hand shovelling, we managed to get out and reach the bottom of the final climb to the summit.

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Looking back along Glen Lochay

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Looking west up the Glen

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The dog sensibly decided to wait while I climbed to the top, a wee snowy scramble, the axe was a godsend for extra grip.

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Into the deep stuff


The clag was racing up the glen at some rate, so I didn't hang about. Collected the dog and followed my footsteps back with just a few minor sinkages :lol:

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Spikes back on and back to the car in 5 hours. I now had to get the car back along the road, I managed to do a three point turn and head back along the single track when another car came the other way, no problem, i'll just brake. Brakes don't respond :shock: and I slide head on towards the oncoming car. Starsky and Hutch style I spin the wheel to avoid a head on collision and slide towards the stone wall by the side of the roading pumping the brakes. The motor comes to a rest with the headlight touching the wall but not damaged - phew. 8)
Be warned anyone travelling along here, despite there being four or five houses along there the road is treacherous just now. A great winter hill and a rather eventful day all in all :lol:


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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Mountainlove » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:03 pm

Thank you for the warning and the snow update! I will be heading out to the area (although not same mountain on Sunday) Already made alternative plans for parking, as I am heading up one of the single tracks road as well...not a fan of icy roads either...you were so lucky with your near miss with the wall...some great photos :D
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:07 pm

laconic surf wrote:Be warned anyone travelling along here, despite there being four or five houses along there the road is treacherous just now. A great winter hill and a rather eventful day all in all :lol:


Well done with the Excellent Vehicular Manoeuvering :clap: ! Sounds a bit scary though.
Lovely winter pics - it looks like you got a much better day than the forecast :D . It's a good winter hill right enough, Ghaordaidh.
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby yellowbelly » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:19 pm

Great effort Luc. Looks like the drive was more dangerous than the walk!
The deep snow is good for building those muscles though. Bet the dog had a fab day.
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Graeme D » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:52 pm

Brilliant white, deep blue and pastel pinks in the early morning! You've got to love good winter days on the hills! Nice one L! 8)
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby morag1 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:51 pm

A bit too close for comfort - glad you're ok :D

Nice photos, nearly everyone on the website has posted photos of the hills with snow but I haven't even seen snow yet, not even on the Pentlands!!!
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby skuk007 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:08 pm

Nice report and pictures, the hills look great. Sounds like time to invest in some snow shoes. :-)
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby PeteR » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:15 pm

Don't fancy that road in winter :shock: Glad you avoided any damage to your car on the trip back out.

Quite fancy that hill in winter though :D Some great photos you have there :D Definitely one to return to one day, as all I got when I was there was wet :lol: And no views either :(
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Fudgie » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:21 pm

That hill is tougher than it looks :shock: I've done it on a clear day where the wind at the top stopped me in my tracks and on a cloudy day with no wind at all. I'm determined to go back on a clear day with no wind :D
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby dogplodder » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:53 pm

Our two dogs didn't fancy the high stile either so we opened the gate a bit further along and let them through that way.

It looks a very different hill in all that snow! :D
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby KeithS » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:59 pm

Coulin Scarf ( :wink: )

Well done on what looks like a spectacular walk under the conditions. Really great pictures. :clap:

Perhaps you should have put the microspikes on the car tyres, rather than your boots :lol:

Looking forwards to April :D

Keith
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby laconic surf » Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:34 am

Mountainlove wrote:Thank you for the warning and the snow update! I will be heading out to the area (although not same mountain on Sunday) Already made alternative plans for parking, as I am heading up one of the single tracks road as well...not a fan of icy roads either...you were so lucky with your near miss with the wall...some great photos :D


Thanks ML, hope you have a great time on sunday, look forward to reading about it :wink:


bobble_hat_kenny wrote:
Well done with the Excellent Vehicular Manoeuvering :clap: ! Sounds a bit scary though.
Lovely winter pics - it looks like you got a much better day than the forecast :D . It's a good winter hill right enough, Ghaordaidh.


Cheers Kenny, I enjoyed your report on this same hill though I could have done with a bit more functionalism and less sinkism :lol:


yellowbelly wrote:Great effort Luc. Looks like the drive was more dangerous than the walk!
The deep snow is good for building those muscles though. Bet the dog had a fab day.


Cheers Hugh, the muscles were certainly sore after that effort. Aye, the dog had a blinder, he enjoyed chasing snowballs down the hill :roll:


Graeme D wrote:Brilliant white, deep blue and pastel pinks in the early morning! You've got to love good winter days on the hills! Nice one L! 8)


Cheers Graeme. It was all the better for assuming that MWIS was correct in that this would vere from clag to white out. The view was so much better than I had anticipated. :D


morag1 wrote:A bit too close for comfort - glad you're ok :D

Nice photos, nearly everyone on the website has posted photos of the hills with snow but I haven't even seen snow yet, not even on the Pentlands!!!


Thanks Morag, it was a bit hairy but nae harm done. It's funny it's been snowing quite heavily in East Lothian and when I was in Edinburgh nobody believed me, I had to show them pictures :lol: Think there is more snow in the post mind


skuk007 wrote:Nice report and pictures, the hills look great. Sounds like time to invest in some snow shoes. :-)


Cheers Skuk, aye snow shoes was on my list to Santa, hopefully he can sort something out :wink:


PeteR wrote:Don't fancy that road in winter :shock: Glad you avoided any damage to your car on the trip back out.

Quite fancy that hill in winter though :D Some great photos you have there :D Definitely one to return to one day, as all I got when I was there was wet :lol: And no views either :(


Cheers Pete, Not sure I would bother with it at any other time. Its one of those hills that comes alive with a bit of the white stuff 8)


Fudgie wrote:That hill is tougher than it looks :shock: I've done it on a clear day where the wind at the top stopped me in my tracks and on a cloudy day with no wind at all. I'm determined to go back on a clear day with no wind :D


Couldn't agree more, its a relentless climb particularly in snow. I would def recommend a revist in the snow - might take my sledge next time for the descent :D


dogplodder wrote:Our two dogs didn't fancy the high stile either so we opened the gate a bit further along and let them through that way.

It looks a very different hill in all that snow! :D


Doh! I didn't even check the gate just assumed it was padlocked :roll: Still he needs practice at them for the times its a necessity :D


KeithS wrote:Coulin Scarf ( :wink: )

Well done on what looks like a spectacular walk under the conditions. Really great pictures. :clap:

Perhaps you should have put the microspikes on the car tyres, rather than your boots :lol:

Looking forwards to April :D

Keith


:lol: I had the 4x4 as well and combined with the fact that I knew there were houses I assumed the road would be in a better state than it was, but thems the risks at this time of year I guess.
April should be a good'un :wink: 8)
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby rockhopper » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:06 am

this was the sort of day I'd hoped for when up there - instead saw nothing other than clag and "whiteness" :roll: views look great...good to see what I missed :mrgreen: (now how often have I said that :lol: ) - cheers :)
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Scotjamie » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:46 am

Really enjoyable LS
Did this on a clear but boggy day straight up the hill from Tullich..suspect I would rather have deep snow

laconic surf wrote:It's funny it's been snowing quite heavily in East Lothian

Must've been Haddington!.....NB too posh for snow :)
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Re: Short and Deep: Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Stuart Angus » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:18 am

That roads scary enough without snow! It was worth it though, you've got some cracking pics there :thumbup:
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