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No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I say!

No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I say!


Postby PeteR » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:39 pm

Route description: Gulvain, near Kinlocheil

Munros included on this walk: Gulvain

Date walked: 19/01/2013

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First Munro of 2013, and how I was made to work for it :shock: This hill is one tough cookie :shock: Let’s hope this isn’t a sign of things to come for me this year, because if it is it looks like it’s going to be a long, hard year :shock:

To be fair though, walking on about two hours sleep probably isn’t to be advised and winter walking on about two hours sleep even less so :shock: Discovering about an hour in you only have half a litre of fluids isn’t to be advised either :shock: :oops: I’m thinking perhaps the pain was going to be self inflicted :lol:

But I was desperate to get my first Munro of the year under my belt, so regardless of how tired and sluggish I was feeling I was parked up and on my way for 8.15.

Stage 1 – the long walk in.

Well, if you walk alone and don’t like your own company, this probably isn’t the walk for you. And if you walk in a group and don’t like their company, this probably isn’t the walk for you either :lol:

On the plus side, it was a pretty straightforward walk on a good track. There was a slight dusting of snow on it, but for the most part nothing difficult. Toward the end it did get a bit rougher and was nicely ice up in places. Remembering my a**e over t*t experience in Glen Tanar a few weeks ago I was careful to avoid any repeat this time round :thumbup:
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Aproach track to Gulvain up Gleann Fionnlighe

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Early view of Gulvain

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Fionn Lighe

I enjoyed some great views of Gulvain opening up on the approach in, as well as back toward the hills of Argour :D I even managed a reasonable photo of a small herd of deer close to Gulvain before they took one look of me and legged it :lol:
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Deer and Gulvain

It was about this time I discovered I was walking with half a litre of fluids :( Oops :oops: I managed to mix in some snow later on, so then I had a Slush Puppy :lol:
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View back to Ardgour

And then there I was at the foot of the hill.

The good news was, on the approach I could see the path meandering up the hill and up into the snow :D

The bad news was, on the approach I could see the path meandering up the hill and up into the snow :lol:
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Time to take a breather before the climb begins

Stage 2 – the long climb

And oh man, it was a long, long climb :crazy:

That two hours sleep was really starting to take its toll on this part :( I really toiled up to the point 855. It took me far longer than it should have :shock: By the time I got there I was feeling absolutely shattered :wtf: Still, the views back toward Ardgour had gotten better and better as I gained height 8) Moidart came into view too, as well as the Grey Corries/Aonachs and latterly the hills around Glen Dessary :D :lol:
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Ardgour again

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Grey Corries area

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Sneaky peak at Loch Eil

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The gentle ascent up Gulvain

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Glen Dessary

Unfortunately, as I toiled up the steep side of Gulvain so the cloud came in from the west :thumbdown: By the time I was at 855 the stellar views I’d been enjoying were all gone :thumbdown:

And it was at this point I was overtaken by a couple who clearly had more energy than I did..... :lol:
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Final push to the south top as the mist takes centre stage

Stage 3 – the ridge

Having overcome my depression at only having arrived at point 855 after the slog up the side of the hill it was time to tackle the final climb up onto the south top and then along the narrow ridge to Gulvain’s summit.
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Loch Shiel through the mist

It was a shame the clag had come in, as I was looking forward to soaking up some great views :( Saw squidly dot on the way to the summit :(

In keeping with the day this far I found it a slog up to the south top, where I soaked up the view of the trig pillar :lol: Then it was on to the summit. A nice descent onto the saddle with the north top which narrowed quite nicely in places, especially with the accumulation of snow :D The couple that had passed me were a little ahead of me and care was needed in places to make sure we kept well away from the cornice forming on the left
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South top trig point

Things got even more “interesting” on the ridge up onto the summit. Quite a bit of snow had accumulated, giving more of an arête feel in places. I probably should have had the crampons on at this stage, but by then I wasn't in a position to stop and attach them. So it was a careful few moments making my way across the soft, slippery snow before the ridge broadened out for the final push to the summit cairn.
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On the way off the south top to the summit of Gulvain

No views and freezing cold :lol: So a quick text to MrsR and I was on my way back the way I had come before my fingers froze.
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Gulvain summit cairn

On the return along the ridge the sun did its best to break through, which it did eventually, albeit too late for me. I still managed some views back to Gulvain’s summit, which just about retained the clag at the very top. Views did open up toward Lochy and I think the Meagaidh area, as well as over toward Braigh nan Uamhachan, Streap, Sguur Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan. I also managed some descent views back up to the south top and the trig pillar as the sun threaten to beat the cloud away :D :D :D
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Sunshine on Braigh nan Uamhachan

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Looking back to Gulvain summit as the mist almost clears

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Mist clearing on the south top

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View to what I think is the Loch Lochy area

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South top again

I was aware of the clock though, and as much as I was enjoying taking in some views of sorts I was also aware the light would be fading at some point and really I ought to be off the hill before that happened. Walking back along the track in the dark was one thing, but I wasn’t looking for a night time descent off the hill :shock:
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Looking down toward point 855. So that's what the blighter looks like when the mist isn't there

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Winter wonderland

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Looking back to the south top, with the mist still hanging about

Stage 4 – homeward bound

Thankfully I managed to get down off the hill and starting the long walk back before the light was lost :D Enjoyed a nice sunset before the light was lost :D
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Sunset view

Initially I was struggling to get my rhythm going on the walk back, stumbling along. I was putting this down to the dehydration taking its toll. Not too bad, but I was gagging for a drink all the same. Eventually it all clicked into place and I was at last motoring along, despite the strong desire to stop for a kip :lol: I noticed a couple of head torch lights ahead of me, which gave me the incentive to keep the pace up and catch them, which I eventually did. It was a father and son who had been out on the Corbett Braigh nan Uamhachan. Enjoyed a good chat as we kept a good pace going to our respective cars back at the main road.

So, that was Gulvain :D One tough hill :wtf: Perhaps I should have had myself a bit more than two hours sleep before heading out and ensured I'd stocked up my rucksack with sufficient fluids , but even with those handicaps this was still a great days winter walking :D :D :D
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PeteR
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby Graeme D » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:47 pm

That does look like a tough beast Pete, but worth it from all accounts. I've heard a few people mention this hill through gritted teeth recently. I have been warned! :lol:
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby ChrisW » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:41 am

Great hike Pete and a cracker of a write up. It might have been hard work but well worth it I think. :clap: Don't feel too bad about the two guys overtaking you, a 65 year old man overtook me today and I'd had a good nights kip :lol: when we met at the summit he told me had just returned from the Matterhorn :shock: I think we were in different leagues :lol:

Some lovely photos here too mate, would a mountain bike cut this down to a more readily achievable hill?
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby kevsbald » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:53 pm

Pete,

I did this on the shortest day last month and I agree with you all the way. It was one tough cookie especially with thigh deep snow between the summits.

One best kept for a long, languid summer stroll I think.

K
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby pigeon » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:07 pm

Another good report pete,no sure if i'm looking forward to this one or not now :lol:
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby lochlaggan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:23 pm

A great report.

Not sure I would do in winter as in the summer I found the ridge drops just a little too much. :crazy:

Cheers

Grant
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby quoman » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:28 pm

Nice one Peter... it sure is a tough hill we were nackered on the walk up to the 855 point but enjoyed the rest of the walk.had the clag at the top to, so never seen anything.
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby laconic surf » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:29 pm

Ooft, sounds a tough climb Pete, still sometimes its nice to come off the hills having been made to work for it :wink:
Like some of the other posters have said, think i'll keep this for a nice day. Great report :D
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby jonny616 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:06 pm

As you &others have said a real slog to the 855 point. I loved the walk between the two summits. Great set of photos :clap:
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby Silverhill » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:15 pm

First munro of 2013 in the bag, well done! It may have been a tough one, but your pictures tell me it's been worthwhile! :D
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby PeteR » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:59 pm

Graeme D wrote:That does look like a tough beast Pete, but worth it from all accounts. I've heard a few people mention this hill through gritted teeth recently. I have been warned! :lol:


Thanks Graeme. It sure is tough, but then my woes were probably added to by the lack of sleep. On a good day I can imagine the ridge more than makes up for the grind up the side.
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby PeteR » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:03 pm

ChrisW wrote:Great hike Pete and a cracker of a write up. It might have been hard work but well worth it I think. :clap: Don't feel too bad about the two guys overtaking you, a 65 year old man overtook me today and I'd had a good nights kip :lol: when we met at the summit he told me had just returned from the Matterhorn :shock: I think we were in different leagues :lol:

Some lovely photos here too mate, would a mountain bike cut this down to a more readily achievable hill?


A mountain bike Chris :shock: A mountain bike? That's called cheating :lol: Had I been offered a lift on the walk back out on the other hand.......I'd have bitten their hand off :lol:
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby PeteR » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:06 pm

kevsbald wrote:Pete,

I did this on the shortest day last month and I agree with you all the way. It was one tough cookie especially with thigh deep snow between the summits.

One best kept for a long, languid summer stroll I think.

K


Totally agree Kev on keeping this hill for a long summer day. Maybe have to remember that if I ever get on to a second round :lol:
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby PeteR » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:07 pm

pigeon wrote:Another good report pete,no sure if i'm looking forward to this one or not now :lol:


You'll have no problem with this one pigeon. I'm pretty sure you legs are longer than mine :D
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Re: No Pain, no Gain they say.........no Pain, no Gulvain I

Postby PeteR » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:09 pm

lochlaggan wrote:A great report.

Not sure I would do in winter as in the summer I found the ridge drops just a little too much. :crazy:

Cheers

Grant


Thanks Grant. I thought the ridge looked exciting from the pictures I'd seen. Shame it was in cloud when I did it, as I'm pretty sure it would have looked good with the snow too :D
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