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A Ghlas Bheinn in January 2013
by scottishkennyg » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:37 am
Munros included on this walk: A' Ghlas-bheinn
Date walked: 24/01/2013
Time taken: 4.5 hours
Ascent: 918mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The weather was fine as I drove through Morvich peering up to the snow covered hills. I decided to check the single track road to see if the access into the forest to dorusduain was still restricted for vehicle access. I drove carefully along the road to reach the car park in the woods, negotiating only one closed gate, and then a Ghlas Bheinn was beckoning.
After getting suited and booted it was off along the track toward the Falls of Glomach. The walk up the glen was very scenic with some cracking frozen waterfalls on the hills and up ahead.
At the end of the woods I turned right to climb up the NW ridge. Initially the going was steep on hard ground and the running water had turned to ice making it tricky to negotiate.
I decided to wait until I was over the first pull before trying out the newly acquired Yaktrax pro walker ice grippers. They fitted easily enough over the vibram soles and performed well. They offered good traction and reassurance on some icy sections, although not a substitute for the crampons but worthy lighter alternative on less demanding terrain.
Continuing up the broad snow covered slopes with no visible path was tricky but allowed the opportunity for some random leg extension exercises into waist deep snow pockets. Balls of snow were instantly formed in the gaitors.LOL.
The gradient increased near the summit with plenty of protruding rocks to provide sound footing.
The summit cairn was nicely placed near the edge to afford excellent panoramic views of the surrounding hills. It took about 2.5 hours to reach this point and there was no rush to get back despite the dark clouds. The rocks provided fine shelter from the wind and powdery snow.
It was time to take some 360 degree photos and upload calories for the return leg.
I retraced the footsteps to reach the track at the end of the forest. It was easy to see why some people bail out W direct toward Loch Duich and the glen as the contours sweep you that way.
However it is steep lower down and the wood near the base has trees which I noticed on the way up were densely packed. I did not fancy fighting with the branches and risk tearing the recently acquired Montane Extreme smock which performed excellently. I had one of these for over 20 year and would say in my ill informed opinion that this is the best bit of kit for winter walking. You just wear it next to the skin and off you go, forget marinho wool thermal base layers and ionx cold mid layers etc.. This new one even came with a detachable matching hood, not a good fashion statement for the pub but very practicable on the hills.
I realigned my gait NW toward the visible end of the forest in the glen.
Alas, the ice grippers did not do so well on the descent, probably due to my weight and poor technique of dragging my submerged toes out of the snow causing the rubber to slide off the boot. In fairness this only happened twice. I even tried glissading down the smooth sections but this is not to be recommended using expensive goretex trousers or even a cheaper alternate Morrisons carrier bag. For some reason the backside does not slide and pushes snow like a plough leaving a nice track for the next walker. More appropriate to refer to my attempts as gl“ASS”ading for obvious reasons.
Anyway the final descent to the track required an extra degree of care due to the way the ice had formed into small lugs which seemed to trap my toes.
Safely on terra firma after 1hour 10 min descent it was time realign the spine and remove the winter gear before strolling down glen soaking up the last of the scenery.
Returning to the car park 4.5 hours after starting was sound and provided just the right amount of exposure for a short sharp recharging session.
On the drive out I noticed a low level barrier gate at the farm which may be a problem for higher vehicles if locked.
Also spotted some stags in the field so it was obligatory to take a photo and have one last look up Gleann Lichd to scope a route for a future sortie.
by Silverhill » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:57 pm
scottishkennyg wrote:newly acquired Yaktrax pro walker ice grippers...
recently acquired Montane Extreme smock...
expensive goretex trousers or a Morrisons carrier bag.
I see you chose your gear with great care!
by scottishkennyg » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:30 pm
by Rekrab » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:56 am
good wee walk
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