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by litljortindan » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:43 pm
Corbetts included on this walk: Cul Beag
Date walked: 20/01/2013
Time taken: 4.5 hours
Distance: 4.5 km
Ascent: 698mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Set off from Aberdeenshire about 8.30am and arrived at the foot of Cul Beag at 12.20pm. Tried to take a video clip of that view you get of Ardmar Bay and Ben Mor Coigach when you crest the hill just to the south but couldn't do it justice. The clear skies promised by the forecast hadn't quite materialised but it had the feel of the sort of day I wanted: no (freezing) rain in prospect. I scouted for a place to park, knowing that there was a spot somewhere as I'd done this walk in 1998 too. My own personal criteria for a winter walk are a straightforward route and a reasonable weather forecast borne of a rule of thumb that says winter can be ten times harder than summer.
Even though I play football three times a week I was still expecting a bit of a struggle to get up and down in decent time. I am not yet over the hill but I am, at least, on it.
I started off on the easier ground that forms a shallow mini glen (not easy to discern from the OS map) in front of the west facing lower crags and decided to aim for the first visible gully ahead on the right. There's no obvious path on this side of Cul Beag but it is fairly easy going on grass, albeit the steepness of any approach increases after a kilometre. The gully was a little bit steeper and icier than I'd have liked and there were plenty of holes in the amngst the grass but my donkey like persistence eventually saw me back on to flatter ground and, with it, a cloak of surprisingly soft snow.
I was a bit exposed to the wind now and the forecast had been for minus six at 900m. My camera didn't like the cold and needed a lot of encouragement. Also, I barely had the dexterity to take video whilst I had my gloves on so occasionally I took the gloves off and found out just how cold it was.
Once I was able to stride out along the edge of the crags overlooking Loch Lurgain, Ben Mor Coigach and Stac Pollaidh I was really enjoying the day. To the north the slope was blank, with the summit out of sight. I reached a high point that overlooked a larger, open gully that you can see on the map. On the other side a long line of boken cliffs runs from the summit almost all the way down to the moorland below. There is a fair detour around the edge to rejoin a direct route for the summit. A liitle nervous of the wind, I elected to go up the middle of the what looked like the final slope. However, one of the highlights of the walk still lay before the summit, a further narrower gully just below the summit that is I think bound by the scrambling route Lancet Edge (?).
The walk round this gully was really exciting and photogenic and atmospheric. I clambered round and clumsily videoed and photographed bits of my progress. My fingers were numb within half a minute of taking my gloves off.
Now the ridge to the summit was clearly in view; quite an aesthetically pleasing narrowing gentle curve that leads to a narrowish flattish summit area with a similar short narrowish northward extension of the summit ridge. A beautiful place to be. Getting there hadn't really necessitated crampons and the snow, though soft, wasn't deep enough to be too draining so all in all it had been a great walk and I still felt that I had plenty of energy. Got back down to the car at 5pm, just after dark and got home about 9.30pm.
by Johnny Corbett » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:38 pm
by Silverhill » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:55 pm
by litljortindan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:54 pm
Johnny Corbett wrote:Looks a worthwhile walk for the stunning views, 3 nice photos
Yes, possibly neglected in favour of more attractive neighbours but not to be missed!
by litljortindan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:56 pm
Silverhill wrote:Love the last picture, there is a lot of depth in it I don't blame you for keeping your gloves on as much as possible. The wind in the video (great btw) sounded like it was very cold. It was a bit unnerving watching the video: you filming whilst walking with the edge of the hill coming nearer
I used a flip video camera which seems inordinately sensitive to wind, so wasn't quite as stormy as it sounds. Good effect though!
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