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Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Success on Stacath at the second time of asking


Postby Graeme D » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:31 am

Route description: Beinn Stacath, from Glen Buckie

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Stacath

Date walked: 16/01/2013

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 12.7 km

Ascent: 710m

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I first attempted this hill in July 2010 and at the time it was the first hill to have truly defeated me and sent me homewards to think again. On that particular day, I parked up beside the farm at Balimore and attempted to follow the route in as described in the SMC Corbett book i.e. taking the "path" on the south side of the Calair Burn. Big mistake this turned out to be! I quickly became mired in bogs and the Scarpas I had at the time, already creaking a bit around the seams, started to take on more water than the Titanic. To make matters worse, it was a claggy yet humid and sticky day. To make the worse matters even worse, I had Lucy with me and the place was hoaching with sheep. Lucy doesn't usually pay them too much attention but on that day, she seemed hell bent on going after them and whenever I shackled her, she just ended up hauling me bodily with her into a bog. By the time I got to the bend in the river where I would have to make a crossing, and looked up at the rather dreich looking ascent of the east ridge of Stacath, I was well and truly scunnered. I turned around and fumed all the way back to the car.

So, two and a half years on, and here was an opportunity to right the wrong. I have not been working Wednesdays for the last couple of months but with a return to a 5 day week at the beginning of February, I was running out of opportunities to get midweek walks on the board. The recent report from pigeon of his day with Gav on Stacath and the neighbouring Graham of Creag Mhor had grabbed my attention and so I opted not to venture back to the Angus Sub2Ks and take in Hare Cairn, but to head west along the A85 instead.

I was later away from Perth than planned. Since returning to work a year ago after maternity leave, my wife has only worked 4 days a week and Wednesday is her day off. It has been purely coincidental that for the last wee while, I have also not worked Wednesday. That happened to be the day that most suited my work and kept everybody happy, but I think that Debbie has sometimes felt that I have been encroaching on her free day with Ailsa. So she was happy for me to head out but with it being a bitterly cold day, I wanted to give them a lift to their Rhyme Time session at the North Inch Community Campus before hitting the road. So, it was midday on the button before I was away from the car and heading up towards the private deer farm and the track on the north side of the Calair Burn, still hoping to squeeze both the Corbett and the Graham into the limited daylight hours.

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Creag Mhor and Loch Voil from the start of the minor road to Balimore

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Snowiest section of the road between the houses and the cattle grid

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Out of the forest and views to Benvane. Less snow on the road but an increasing number of potholes!

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5 minutes in - on the track looking back down to Balimore (car just to the right of the third fence post)

As always in winter, the headtorch and spare batteries were in the pack. Neither a direct descent off Creag Mhor or a walk back out along the track should present any great difficulties in the dark with the headtorch on, but it would still be good to make it without the need.

I was soon doing a reprise of the photo of Gav vaulting the padlocked high gates of the deer park. After the second such gate, I started to wonder whether half the ascent figure for this route would be accounted for by gate climbing! If the gates were not enough, the track was extremely slippy in places and so it wasn't long before I stopped and threw the Kahtoolas on. This looked like just the sort of surface they are designed for.

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Pigeon and Gav said the deer were a bit sensitive - here's the proof in black and white!

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The odd bit of discarded hardware is kicking about on the road in!

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East ridge of Stacath straight ahead

The snow flurried hard for a good 20 minutes or so either side of the big sheepfold and bridge, but blew out again before I was too far up the east ridge.

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Bovine welcoming committee

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Creag Mhor behind the large sheepfold

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Bridge just beyond the sheepfold

The snow cover on ascent of the east ridge was pretty soft but sufficient to take the edge off the bog factor that was going on just below. Still, the Kahtoolas were now more of a hindrance than a help and they were quickly put back in their bag.


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Ovine welcoming committee and Creag Mhor

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Benvane - fond memories!

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Benvane again with Ben Ledi just peeking out at the back

As I began to level out onto the broad undulating ridge, I thought to myself that I was going to have another day on the hills without seeing another human being. With the exception of my own walking partners (Nigel on Beinn a'Chrulaiste in November and Kev on Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill earlier this month, and of course Mr Angry of Turin Hill), it had been 10 outings since Morrone on 12th August since I had met another human on the hills. And as soon as the thought had crossed my mind, 3 human forms materialised on the ridge ahead of me, heading in my direction. I don't know who was more surprised to meet who! We compared notes for a few minutes before heading our separate ways, me towards the summit, them back to their car at Balimore.

I continued on to the 684m spot height where I had my lunch of chicken and bacon wraps and some gelatine based sweets - well, if it's good enough for Tesco! :shock: :lol:

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Stacath summit from the 684 spot height

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Creag Mhor from a frozen peat hag

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Vane and Ledi

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Back along the ridge to three frozen lochans

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Vane and Ledi again

From there it was a lonely but very enjoyable walk through the drifts to the summit trig point which gave stunning views over the Trossachs, the Arrochar hills and the Crianlarich Munros to the north.

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Just below the summit looking west to Ben Lomond

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Rime time at the summit - Stob Binnein and Ben More in the background

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Crianlarich Munros and Stacath trig

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Summit view to Benvane and Ben Ledi

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Crianlarich Munros

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Distant Ben Lomond

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Creag Mhor

I had no pretences about attempting Creag Mhor, instead concocting plans as I retraced my steps for how I can combine it in the future with other things to make a full day outing.

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Heading home - one last shot of Stob Binnein and Ben More


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Last edited by Graeme D on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby rockhopper » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:07 am

looks perishingly cold Graeme, but must be good to get out :sick: :mrgreen: would agree on the microspikes, great for that sort of surface and easy to put on/take off - had to laugh at the sensitive deer though - cheers :)
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby ChrisW » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:55 am

Some great shots of a bleak looking hike Graeme :clap: what is a person supposed to do with the information that 'Deer are highly sensitive" :wtf:
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:13 am

Aye, your still getting out then. Plenty of sheep and coows, but no sign of any deer, not even in their own park. Looks hard work but some great views none the less. :)
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby pigeon » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:54 am

Nice one Graeme,not the most popular hill this but Gavin and i enjoyed our day and sounds like you did too :wink: Looks pretty chilly but some great views,cheers :thumbup:
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:55 am

There are hills away from OS 44............................??????????????????????????????? :lol:
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby PeteR » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:09 pm

Some great, bleak wintery views there Graeme :D
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby Silverhill » Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:28 pm

Well done Graeme, you got your revenge on the bogs! :wink:
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby Gavin99 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:51 pm

Looks like a nice day you had for it , I hope you watched your language passing through the deer enclosure :)
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby Graeme D » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:17 pm

Gordie12 wrote:There are hills away from OS 44............................??????????????????????????????? :lol:


I know! Who'd have thought???? :lol:

The Rodmiester wrote:Aye, your still getting out then. Plenty of sheep and coows, but no sign of any deer, not even in their own park. Looks hard work but some great views none the less. :)


Aye, the sensitive deer were conspicuous by their absence! :?

ChrisW wrote:Some great shots of a bleak looking hike Graeme :clap: what is a person supposed to do with the information that 'Deer are highly sensitive" :wtf:


Your guess is as good as mine Chris! As for the bleakness, yeah it was a bit bleak, but that kind of added to the character of it. 8)

rockhopper wrote:looks perishingly cold Graeme, but must be good to get out :sick: :mrgreen: would agree on the microspikes, great for that sort of surface and easy to put on/take off - had to laugh at the sensitive deer though - cheers :)


Oddly enough RH, not really cold at all. I had the thermal longs on under my trousers and quickly came to regret it. And by the time I had reached the summit, my jacket was off and I was down to a Berghaus Extrem top and the Arcteryx gilet. There wasn't a breath of wind!
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby kevsbald » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:07 pm

What do you call a deer with no eyes? No eyed deer. :crazy:
Well done G, looks a nice wee pad.
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby Bod » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:53 pm

kevsbald wrote:What do you call a deer with no eyes? No eyed deer. :crazy:
Well done G, looks a nice wee pad.


And a dead deer with no eyes? Still no eyed deer :wink:

Graeme, had my DofE girls up this way round the the side of Ben Vane ......
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby penelope1 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:45 pm

Great report and the lonely snow-covered vistas look very appetising. Am thinking of doing this one in a couple of days (unpopular corbetts need our love too!) Will be sure to offer my counselling skills to any 'sensitive' livestock I happen across!
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:33 pm

Enjoyed that.
Do you think that it'd be feasible to combine this with ledi and benvane in one trip?
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Re: Success on Stacath at the second time of asking

Postby malky_c » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:18 pm

weaselmaster wrote:Enjoyed that.
Do you think that it'd be feasible to combine this with ledi and benvane in one trip?


You could do a great winding route from Ledi to Vane to Stacath to Creag Mhor. Either walk/cycle back along the Loch Lubhnaig cycle way or get the bus from Kingshouse to close the loop. Had this route in mind for a couple of years now - just haven't got around to it yet.
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