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A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well....

A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well....


Postby weescotsman » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:25 pm

Munros included on this walk: Mullach Clach a'Bhlair, Sgor Gaoith

Date walked: 05/01/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 25.5 km

Ascent: 1170m

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Wow what a day that was then. Certainly bit off more than I could chew for a January outing, not sure if I'd fancy doing such a big walk again at this time of year. We shall see..... kudos for expert navigator Dave Webb for getting us up and down safely, especially in the last couple of hours of darkness. Head torches to the front. At least I was able to test out my new Lenser I treated myself too, more of that later.

Didn't have the best of starts at all, I'd got as far as Stirling services en-route to pick up Dawn in Dunblane when I realised I'd left my new jacket at home. Fortunately, Hazel had a spare. Even if it was a bit girly, it was better than not having one in the conditions we were going to face. Didn't quite match my new PLUM coloured rucksack, it's not PINK and girly in the slightest. Maybe I should have used the DAYGLO ORANGE raincover instead.... :lol:

Anyways, suited and booted, us 4 intrepid adventurers and Bob the Dog left the car park about 9.15. A bit later than planned but that's mostly down to me being not sure where to go exactly..... Along the road to the farmhouse and started the climb through the forest.

P1050006.JPG
Early days....


A bit of clag over the plateau but at least we couldn't really feel the wind at this point.

P1050007.JPG
Claggy plateau


Out of the forest the wind hit us side on, I was glad of the spare jacket and also my thermal long johns. It's a good path pretty much all the way up to the plateau here and I was glad of that. Wouldn't fancy tramping through bog with this wind as well.

Carried on up, passed several wee rivulets caused by snow melt, there really was just the odd patch of snow here and there after the big thaw. The good path continues up until you get to a wee cairn marking the crossroads; straight on if you want to do Sgor Gaoith first or go right at the cairn for Mullach Clach a'Bhlair.

We went right and the path was still pretty good here. Came off the path a wee while later and stopped for lunch at a nicely placed shelter cairn. Dave was still expertly navigating us to Mullach but now we had the worst part to come. A massive bog field to traverse but at least some of the mud was quite firm to walk on; although I do believe some of the party may have tripped or slipped here...... no names, no pack drill.... :lol: I was too far behind at this point to see what happened properly. For once I didn't slip at all myself.

Through the bog we finally regained the landrover track and this took us pretty close to the summit cairn of Mullach. We made it in just over 4 hrs but the increasingly strong gales into our faces made it tough at times.

Only stuck around for the obligatory cairn photo's then retraced our steps to the landrover track and found a wee shortcut which saved a few minutes but isn't obvious on the route up.

P1050022.JPG
Success....

P1050023.JPG
Success 2


Followed the landrover track back down to a dip and paused for lunch part 2 out of the fierce wind. Bob the Dog seemed to be loving this adventure.

Back on the track we roughly made a beeline for the 2nd summit of Sgor Gaoith, bypassing the top of Carn Ban Mor. The wind was still picking up speed and the clag was coming in thick, along with the daylight fading it was difficult to see where we were going. I think we got to the summit cairn in about 3 hrs after leaving Mullach but it was dark by the time we did make it and the conditions were probably as tough as I've ever had in the mountains. Given that the cairn is right on the edge a corrie we had to take extra care. I wasn't moving at all whilst we attached head torches. Being a glasses wearer, the worst mountain weather for me is claggy mist and so it proved. My glasses constantly misted up and resulted in the light reflecting, meaning I was walking almost blind. Ended up switching my light off and following the beam from Dawns torch. Even then I nearly stumbled a couple of times and we were all glad to finally reach the original path down. At least I'd be able to use my own torch but it was still a struggle to see properly until I was below the clag level. The rain was on as well by now just to add to the lovely day out.... :lol:

We were back at the car park just before 7 pm and I for one was glad of that. So glad that I couldn't even be bothered changing out my sweaty t-shirt...... :wink:

Can't see me ever wanting to repeat Mullach again but having read some cracking TR's of Sgor Gaoith I might go back and see what others have seen of the spectacular views. Only a maybe though.... :wink:

Apologies to Dave if the attached gpx file isn't quite spot on, had a go from memory at creating it.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

weescotsman
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby dawnfoth » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:54 pm

It all started off so well.... the weather was looking alright, then as soon as you reach the plateau the bloody cloud follows you like a bad smell..... and the wind caused Brian to walk like an old drunk. :lol: Dave took us through that awful bog, but it wasn't so bad, apart from me stepping out onto a patch of snow and being sucked down into it at chest height. :lol: Let out a big squeel to Dave's amusement. Thankfully there was no water in the bottom of it - just a peat field. :shock: Brian took his time on the bog, for some reason.... whilst we all waited and wondered what he was doing.... hmmmmm..... the summit of Mullach is somewhat boring and back to Sgor Gaoith we went.... It was dark when we left Sgor Gaoith with our headtorches on - Brian's was more like a flippin car headlight blinding us like wee rabbits :shock: :lol: Out of interest, does your headtorch not have a dim switch...? Ah well, at least he could see once we reached the main path. I rather enjoyed this part of the walk - don't ask me why. We all seperated out so not to shadow each others light and the drizzle was soaking us whilst the wind still blew. I have had much worse days out on the hill - this was just another one to add to the collection of claggy days I've had recently. I much prefer the sunshine. :D

It was nice to meet hill-loving lady and spiderwebb and weescotsman, you did well depsite all the b*tching.... :lol: Thanks for doing the driving too after that big day - I was just about asleep on the way home thus why I was quiet... apart from not being able to get a word in edgeways - chatterbox! :lol:

I have a few photos to add to the collection.... will upload later :D
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:03 pm

well done guys :clap: ..always nice to have company when conditions are like that :)
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby Hill-loving lady » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:00 pm

Well done weescotsman for doing A) the walk and B) the trip report!!! Your's and Dawn's positive humour managed to last the day which was truly commendable. Mine got lost about half way across the peat bog, but hey ho, not to worry. All's well that end's well! :wink:
Have to be honest, it is the first time I have repeated a hill within a week (Sgor Gaoith), and on both occasions the wind was less than helpful! At least this time the crampons remained in the rucksack and there was no risk of avalanche! Nor did Bob the Dog appear to be unhappy nor frozen to the spot. :crazy:
Anyways, til the next time...and I'm doing a navigation course asap!!! Anything to avoid peat bogs!!! :lol:
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby weescotsman » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:59 pm

Think I need to hit the gym to keep up with you guys at times. Jings what would I be like if I was ever to go out on the mountains with Rocket Ron..... he'd probably be able to lap me and not break sweat..... :lol:
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:12 pm

Long walk for the short days so a big well done to you all,if you want a laugh look at my TR for these 2 or the TR from stretch on the same day :lol: :lol:

PS,me thinks you all owe spideweb a big thanks & I all of you.
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:52 pm

Thanks Gammy :D
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby Tomsie » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:07 pm

He'll get ye off the hill, might try get you killed up there first mind :wink:

Well done on a big walk, you had good company with you :clap: :clap:
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby davedanson28 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:19 pm

Hey Brian...well done you guys! :clap: Looks like it was a bit challenging at times, god damn I hate the bogs! :lol:
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby dawnfoth » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:29 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:Long walk for the short days so a big well done to you all,if you want a laugh look at my TR for these 2 or the TR from stretch on the same day :lol: :lol:

PS,me thinks you all owe spideweb a big thanks & I all of you.


We did - numerous times - the weather was horrendous. The navigational expertise that Dave has are to be highly commended - I would trust him in any weather.... but I would have preferred some sunshine for a change..... Cheers Dave :clap: :D

Here's some other photos from the day :D

looking up to mullach.jpg

brian coming up the track.jpg
Brian coming up the track in a drunken meander

snow wave.jpg
Snow wave

on way up hill looking back.jpg

8ft mountain.jpg
Dave's 8ft Mountain

dave webb 1.jpg
Dave Webb got a bit stuck

dave webb 2.jpg
Dave Webb's arse
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby weescotsman » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:30 am

Totally agree Dave the bogs are a nightmare. Hate to think what these would have been like if it had been wet. Maybe a long detour would have been needed...... :lol: At least once we were on the plateau there wasn't really much climbing to be done..... :wink:

davedanson28 wrote:Hey Brian...well done you guys! :clap: Looks like it was a bit challenging at times, god damn I hate the bogs! :lol:
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby Hill-loving lady » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:23 am

gammy leg walker wrote:Long walk for the short days so a big well done to you all,if you want a laugh look at my TR for these 2 or the TR from stretch on the same day :lol: :lol:

PS,me thinks you all owe spideweb a big thanks & I all of you.


Totally agreed Gammy, has made me realise that I need to improve my own navigation skills big time. Felt totally safe in Spider's hands all day which given the conditions during the last 2 hours is pretty impressive.

So New Year Resolution no. 2, book course asap :lol:
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby spiderwebb » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:02 pm

Thanks all for your comments and nice pics Dawn, dont remember you taking those very fetching !

Enjoyed the day with all of you, at least the walk ended well !
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby spiderwebb » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:54 pm

Save your Nav course money and get a good 4 season outer shell with a wired hood !

Navigation wise everything you need is in that book, but you need to practice, key thing being to take and then follow a compass bearing and pacing/timing distance.
Dont just walk on a good day, practice it until its second nature, so that you can do it when the weather is at its worst cos thats when you'll need it.
You may have noticed me pause as we descended back off Sgir G last weekend, thats cos it didnt seem right....golden rule number one, forget what seems rght and trust the compass as thats all I used to get us back to the head of that descent path, also being aare of the route regarding, up oe down (tick off features if you like) , in pretty **** conditions. You cant afford to go wrong at the end of the day as your all knackered and mistakes cost !

And if all else fails that you dont understand, ask, most people on here dont bite
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Re: A blowy day in the Cairngorms, with a bit of bog as well

Postby Hill-loving lady » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:32 am

spiderwebb wrote:Save your Nav course money and get a good 4 season outer shell with a wired hood !

Navigation wise everything you need is in that book, but you need to practice, key thing being to take and then follow a compass bearing and pacing/timing distance.
Dont just walk on a good day, practice it until its second nature, so that you can do it when the weather is at its worst cos thats when you'll need it.
You may have noticed me pause as we descended back off Sgir G last weekend, thats cos it didnt seem right....golden rule number one, forget what seems rght and trust the compass as thats all I used to get us back to the head of that descent path, also being aare of the route regarding, up oe down (tick off features if you like) , in pretty **** conditions. You cant afford to go wrong at the end of the day as your all knackered and mistakes cost !

And if all else fails that you dont understand, ask, most people on here dont bite


Just checked the time of your reply on here....yep, Glenmorangie or Jura effect on the typing :lol:
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