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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Ben Gulabin

Ben Gulabin


Postby GariochTom » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:59 pm

Route description: Ben Gulabin, Glen Shee

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Gulabin

Date walked: 02/02/2013

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 6.6 km

Ascent: 525m

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There had been a fair bit of snow fall the night before, and the roads between Inverurie and Dinnet were white. Fortunately, the A93 road through Deeside was virtually clear of snow so we arrived at Braemar in good time to meet the others.

We continued on the Glenshee road, past the many skiiers at the ski centre who were making the most of the snowy conditions, and finally reached the layby just a kilometre or so north of the Spittal of Glenshee. The other car was a 4x4 and had no problem getting into the layby, and some ice axe and shovel action allowed me to drive my car up and clear of the busy road.

After donning our outdoor gear we set off, through the gate and up the track. The track was covered in deep snow with a crispy top which our boots frequently broke through, ending up with snow up to our knees, sometimes ending up in the adjacent ditch instead. We made slow progress up the track because of the deep and uneven snow, but the views made up for our efforts. The surrounding hills looked particularly attractive blanketed in the white stuff.

Image
On the track by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Gleann Beag. Glas Maol on the other side of the A93. by GariochT, on Flickr

Whilst ascending we saw quite a few grouse flying overhead, and their footprints.

Image
Bird tracks by GariochT, on Flickr

We had only started the walk a little before 11am so elevenses seemed a bit unnecessary, but we thought we would have a tea stop at what seemed like a hut on the map... just around the corner according to my GPS. We continued up the track for a short distance, and the hut still wasn't visible. I checked my GPS again, and we had already passed the spot on the map... the 'hut' was just the dilapidated remains of a ski tow. Ah well. We just found a relatively sheltered spot on the hill for a 'first lunch', and dug out seats in the snow.

I then discovered that I'd forgotten my lunch. I emptied the contents of my rucksack - no, definitely not there. Must have left it in the car! I resorted to my emergency chocolate bar (everyone needs an emergency chocolate bar).

Now off the track, we headed northwest up steeper slopes, making use of the footsteps someone had conveniently already made in the deep snow. The wind was strong and the granular snow blew up the hill in whispy clouds.

Image
Wind blown snow by GariochT, on Flickr

Near the top, where the ground was almost flat, the snow was very crispy but still not hard enough for crampons, so we just stomped our way upwards.

Image
Crispy snow surface by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
On the ascent by GariochT, on Flickr

The top was very very windy! Great views though.

Image
At the top by GariochT, on Flickr



Image
View from Ben Gulabin by GariochT, on Flickr

We continued southeast to the other top, and enjoyed more excellent views.

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P1090143 by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Glen Shee by GariochT, on Flickr

Then we descended, much more quickly than we had ascended.

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P1090168 by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Looking towards the Devil's Elbow and Glas Maol by GariochT, on Flickr

We stopped at a collapsed ski lift base (probably the 'hut' on the map), startling a few mountain hares that had been sheltering underneath it. One of the hares paused on a nearby slope, giving us chance to take a few snaps of it.

Image
Mountain hare by GariochT, on Flickr

We descended to the track and started heading down, and shortly saw another hare just ahead of us. Two of us managed to get quite close to it before it scampered (if hares scamper) away.

Image
Mountain hare by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Mountain hare by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Mountain hare by GariochT, on Flickr

Image
Mountain hare by GariochT, on Flickr

It was just a short walk back to the cars from here, a 3 point turn (more like 10 point turn) out of the layby, then plenty of time for coffee and cake in Braemar. Another excellent day in the snowy Scottish hills.


Ben Gulabin 02 FEB 2013.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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GariochTom
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby simon-b » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:36 pm

A good day out, Tom. Great winter scenery, and some nice shots of the hare. I was in Glen Shee in summer, so it's interesting to see those familiar hills covered in snow.
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simon-b
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby Gavin99 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:47 pm

Some smashing photos Tom , especially the hares , lovely beasties 8)
I was up this hill in the 'summer' in cloud so didn't see much , it certainly looks fantastic in its winter coat.
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Gavin99
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby jenniferc6 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:23 pm

brilliant photos, i was just along the road from you at Crag nan Gabhar and the views were great :)
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby GariochTom » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:48 pm

Thanks all :) The Glenshee hills are definitely more interesting and picturesque when covered in snow!
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GariochTom
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:57 pm

You just made it in time the road now closed between Blair and Braemar. Nice views from the top, and like the third photograph of the hare, superb :D
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The Rodmiester
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby tall-story » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:34 am

Aye Tom, I was on the very same hill and was about 100yds behind you, when I turned left and went straight up as the snow was a bit soft and I opted for the less snowy ridges. I was just heading off to your left with Fern (my cocker spaniel) when you were on your approach to the summit. Damn cold day but great none the less. I dont mean to highjack your post but this is about the only photo that I got different to your selection. Colin
Attachments
Glen Shee from Gulabin Feb 2013.JPG
The Glen Shee Munros from Gulabin
tall-story
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby GariochTom » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:58 am

tall-story wrote:Aye Tom, I was on the very same hill and was about 100yds behind you, when I turned left and went straight up as the snow was a bit soft and I opted for the less snowy ridges. I was just heading off to your left with Fern (my cocker spaniel) when you were on your approach to the summit. Damn cold day but great none the less. I dont mean to highjack your post but this is about the only photo that I got different to your selection. Colin


Great photo. Hope Fern didn't have too much trouble in the deep snow with her shorter legs (I guess she does have four wheel drive which would help)!
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GariochTom
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby Graeme D » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:01 pm

Looks pristine, but 4 hours for this route! That's what breaking through knee deep unconsolidated snow does to your timings! :shock:
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Re: Ben Gulabin

Postby GariochTom » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:36 pm

Graeme D wrote:Looks pristine, but 4 hours for this route! That's what breaking through knee deep unconsolidated snow does to your timings! :shock:


The 4 hours included a few stops (including lunch, although I'd forgotten mine) but yes the snow really slowed us down! Maybe snow shoes or cross-country skis would have been handy...
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