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Five Drowned Golden Fools!

Five Drowned Golden Fools!


Postby ScottishLeaf » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:47 am

Route description: Sgor na h-Ulaidh and Meall Lighiche

Munros included on this walk: Sgor na h-Ulaidh

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall Lighiche

Date walked: 02/01/2013

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1105m

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Five men went to mow, went to mow a munro!
Five men got soaked, got soaked on a munro!


After arranging a Munro Meaderers meet up on FB, the five of us met up at Crianlarich then set off for the so called "Forgotten Hill of Glen Coe." Sgor na h-Ulaidh, The Peak of Treasure, apparently due to the abundance of Iron Sulphide, Fools Gold "in them thar heels!"

As we arrived at the far end of Glen Coe, we pulled into the good sized layby, which lies right on a bend on the south bound side of the A82, not far after the Glen Coe Village/Clachaig turn off, when heading up from the south. Our cars were the only two there and it was the typical dreich, gloomy, January morning only Scotland can conjure up.
We were going to get wet. It was just a question of how wet.

In the eerie pre-dawn the peak at the end of the Aonach Dubh a Ghlinne Ridge is prominent and the corbett Meall Lighiche was visible too.

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From the layby we walked a short distance north bound on the A82, then turned off past a load of wheelie bins and along a tarmac road, towards Glen Coe Cottages.

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Not long after the road crosses over the Allt Gleann Leac na Muidhe on an old stone bridge. Underneath the burn was a gushing torent of white water.... a sight we would become familiar with later on in the day.

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Soon after the path reaches a point where walkers are requested to use a bypass path to avoid the holiday cottages. We went to take this, but it was flooded, so we snuck past the houses. The road doesn't actually go into their gardens, but it does pass by right in front of them. Almost immediately the path chicanes through a farmyard, passing through a gate at each end of the farm's property. It looks like this is used to corale sheep at certain times of year as many sheepskins were laid out to dry inside the barn. The second gate is also padlocked shut and style just to the side of it must be used.

After the second gate the open hill is reached and the path follows the side of the Allt Gleann Leac na Muidhe. We decided not to cross the burn and kept to it's left hand bank, following a fairly decent path up through the glen as it narrowed, this meant we were tackling the munro first. After Johnny616 double checked the map we the point below Leacann na Bo Cairtidh. It looked to be a slog up onto the ridge, so we did what all men do before a tough job at hand... had a cup of tea and a bite to eat! :lol:

Fuelled up for the haul ahead, we made slow, but steady headway up the hill. Only the rain was showing more persistence than us and we made the ridge just north of the munro top Stob Fhuarain.

From here the ascent to the Stob Fhuarain was easier and we made good progress over a false summit and across the intermittent snow patches. The snow was rarely deep and mostly held our weight at least long enough to move on. In other places the rain was turning it to slush. The rain was driving across our route south from the west. Stob Fhuarain - Peak of the Furious Rain! :lol:

We didn't linger long, touched the cairn, Johnny checked our bearing once again and then we headed off the Sgor na h-Ulaidh itself.

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The wind was blasting us, we were now walking more or less into the teeth of it. It wasn't a pleasant walk across what looks like it could be a nice wee ridge in good conditions. But we found shelter behind some rocks and it was time for a quick warming cup of coffee/tea while we had the chance.

Soon after the ridge goes up.... very up. With the snow piling thigh deep the slope appeared almost vertical. Rocks just visible to either slide of a pristine snow slope. After all we had been through, we weren't about to be defeated so close to the summit, which we could just about make out through the gloom to our right.

We each made our own way up, we all began by scrambling up the rocks to the right of the snow slope. When these became to steep to safely negotiate, some of us cut across the snow slope to the rocks on the left, where we found a round that snaked round the back of the rocks to the top of the snow slope. Others bit the bullet and just climbed straight up the snow. It was the most fun of the day!

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However, the way ahead held little promise of getting a view from the summit.

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From the WH route description we knew there was a great big gully right at the summit, Vixen Gully. What I certainly didn't expect was a great gash that nearly bisects the summit. The top of the gully was also home to a rather large cornice, just waiting on a hapless walker.

Way to the left of the cornice was a line a fence post, that marked an alternative route to the summit, so giving the danger a wide berth, we followed the posts to the top.

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The best view we had was of the cornice, from the other side, and the just about visible route toward the corbett, Meall Lighiche. Oh! and the quick way down the Western Gully.

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Thoughts of the doing the corbett vanished at the top of Sgor na h-Ulaidh though, it had taken us the best part of 5.5 hours to get to the top in the horrendous conditions. We needed down and we needed down quickly.

We beat a hasty retreat, passing the modern art thingy at the top of the false summit on the western side of Sgor na h-Ulaidh.

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Here the ground was more or less flat and we quickly reached the top of the outlier peak Corr na Beinne. WH says the steep slopes of Corr na Beinne down to Bealach Easan is not recommended for descent, having done it. I agree! We avoid the crags thanks once again to Johnny's navigation, but the slope was incredibly steep and the rain was battering down, the heaviest fall of the day.

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We reached the bottom, but had gone too far. We were on the wrong side of Bealach Easan, but not by much. We gained the watershed/ saddle point and began our descent down much gentler terrain towards Glean Leac na Muidhe.

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That meant one thing, with all the rain, not just from today but from months of the stuff, the ground was completely sodden. Every step, a step in watery, grassy, mucky mulch. No boot could keep out the onslaught and if any of us still had dry feet at this point, they didn't for long.

What had been freely flowing burns, were now white water torrent gleaming like silver-white ribbons in the dusk and we had to cross lots of them. Some were merely a large step over fast flowing water. Some had to be forded and that meant a group effort, planting feet into the water, bracing against the current and grabbing a helping hand across to the other side. The deepest was over knee deep. There was so much water, new 'allts' were being formed across any lower lying grass, not just in the usual wee channels.

The path we had walked along earlier along side the Allt Gleann Leac na Muidhe was now dangerously close to the water in several places and with it now dark and us with head torches on, we tried to keep higher up above the path, walking parallel to it, where we felt it was too close to the torrent.

It was with the relief we reached the flat ground, just before the farm yard. Never have I been so happy to cross a style! Back on tarmac at least we knew our feet wouldn't get any wetter! Squelching back to the cars with as much haste as we could muster and a glorious change of clothing.

Three of us went to Clachaig, it was the best pint and burger I have ever tasted! They even had the fire on



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... they must've known!
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Last edited by ScottishLeaf on Fri May 31, 2013 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby heatheronthehills » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:01 am

Now that's a real adventure 8)

Great report and photos, you've really captured the feel of the day so well, I almost felt as though I was there too! We did this hill at the end of November in much kinder conditions, although the final ascent was really hard and we had to front point it both up and down :shock:

The Clachaig makes it all worthwhile though!
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby laconic surf » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:39 am

By all accounts that's a tough hill at the best of times SL, well done to the gang getting it done in those conditions. Nice to know there is a alternative route to the summit using fenceposts in bad weather as well. Bonus getting the fire on in the Clachaig, that's certainly a well deserved pint and burger 8)
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby basscadet » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:03 am

Despite the weather, it looks like everyone is having the times of their lives in the photos. Well done for battling on :clap:
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby gammy leg walker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:52 am

Well done to all you mad Munro Meanderers surely the maddest,craziest,finest group of hillwalkers ever,gutted I missed out with you guys again.
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby quoman » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:10 pm

Thats a top report SL, it looks a horrendous day out glad i was working for this one :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:18 pm

Well done Bryan and the four other dafties :clap:

Rocket and I did this one and Beinn Fhionnlaidh last April from Glen Etive and I can honestly say I'll happily never do them again!!!! No bridgeless rivers for us to cross though :lol:

Oh and we did get slightly better weather, 8) (to start with anyway)
P1000677.JPG
Summit
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby Fudgie » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:20 pm

You know you're certfiable when you carry on to the summit in those conditions :lol:

Well done for persevering on a hill that I'm not that keen to do for some reason :?
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby Scotjamie » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:34 pm

Having read this report, I reckon I'll follow Polly and Ron's example
pollyh33 wrote:Rocket and I did this one and Beinn Fhionnlaidh last April from Glen Etive

- or maybe just head for the Clachaig and miss out the hill!

Well done on a smashing report on a heroic wee walk all the same - a real sense of achievement.... and slightly barking
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby jonny616 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:50 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:Well done to all you mad Munro Meanderers surely the maddest,craziest,finest group of hillwalkers ever,gutted I missed out with you guys again.


Wasn't the same without you my friend, but thanks for letting us have all that clag of yours :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby jonny616 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:03 pm

Well written SL. I feel wet again just reading it (say nothing Polly :lol: ).

A great way to kick off a new year of walking. it can only get better. :clap:


Next time i might pay attention to the forecast before choosing a hill. :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Mr Keen!
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Scottish Wet leaf & Ninja Neil
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The closest we got to a view
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby Graeme D » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:14 pm

Ouch! That looked painful! Well done on getting even one of the targets nailed! :clap:

Scotjamie wrote:Having read this report, I reckon I'll follow Polly and Ron's example
pollyh33 wrote:Rocket and I did this one and Beinn Fhionnlaidh last April from Glen Etive

- or maybe just head for the Clachaig and miss out the hill!

Well done on a smashing report on a heroic wee walk all the same - a real sense of achievement.... and slightly barking


....... and it almost makes me glad that that lightweight Mr Ross reneged on the plans we made in the Clachaig at the November meet! :lol:
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:48 pm

crazy people ..rather you than me in that weather!! ! ! :shock:
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby Lenore » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:16 pm

Fools, indeed, hahaha! Glad you made it to the summit and back safely and it seems you had a laugh anyway ;-)
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Re: Five Drowed Golden Fools!

Postby ScottishLeaf » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:19 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone :)
It was a tough day, but satisfying to have my first Glen Coe Munro bagged in good company and even better to have beaten the elements as well.
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