Spidean Curses Gives Mialach of money!
by ScottishLeaf » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:07 am
Route description: Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach
Munros included on this walk: Spidean Mialach
Date walked: 17/02/2013
Time taken: 5.5 hours
Distance: 5.5 km
Ascent: 820mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
This year, I've not been proud of my increasingly industrial language, so my Wee Box has become a swearing jar.
It's teaching me a lesson and raising some cash at the same time. Every time a bad word escapes my lips SCIAF are 20p richer. Since I'm also a caffeine-aholic ... coffee is costing me 50p a cup as well during lent. Spidean Mialach and a lack of Gleouraich made SCIAF a good wee bit richer!
I met up with Jonny616 and his pal Harry and canine friend Millie at Crianlarich and then it was the long haul up the A82 etc to Loch Quioch only to be met with a rather more familiar sight than remote highland glens, lochs and hills.
The parking spot for this walk is at the base of the stalker's path to/from Gleouraich, but there are considerable sized works going on nearby and it seems they are using the layby as storage and parking for the diggers etc.
But we were first there and the workmen looked like they had the Saturday off, so no problems for us! (The slow sign wasn't a warning for us... just a statement of fact about our walking speed! )
We began the walk by heading back along the road for a short way, before heading up through the bushes at the stalkers path, marked with a pole.
Almost immediately the views are spectacular back behind, shame we couldn't see half of them. Gairich, directly across the loch, was cut in half by the low cloud base. The view SW down the loch, towards Sgurr Mor and Knoydart, was superb though.
But as you get a little higher, the pylons spoil the view for a wee while.
Ahead of us the good grassy path seemed to be climbing directly up into the sky, with only hints of the hills hidden behind the cloud. The prospect of a day in the cloud, thrilled me so much SCIAF made 20p out of my comment.
As I began to recount a story of a previous trip up to Loch Quioch, to nearby Sgurr a'Mhaoriach, I made the sound of a bellowing stag.... only to be joined in by the real thing, on the hillside behind us! ... 40p more for SCIAF!
Quioch-side is literally swarming with deer and we soon saw more of them.
Shortly after, we had to cross the Allt a'Mheil, given the recent milder temperatures, the burn was swollen with snow melt and we had to search for a decent crossing place. Two stepping stones later, we were all safely across... nae wet feet!
Around this time it felt as if we were walking under a ceiling, the clouds so low it felt as if you could reach up and grab them. Loch Quioch began to disappear.
From here on the good stalkers path disappears and in good weather I think a decent we walkers path would be relatively straight forward to follow. However in the patchy snow and wet, brown heathery underfoot conditions, we struggled to follow it exactly. Finding it, losing it and finding it again all the way up to the snow line, where it was finally lost under the white stuff. Jonny's route finding and my chipping in kept us on course though and we soon began to seriously climb up hill.
With the wind picking up, we hunkered down behind a crag and had 11ses.... just perfect timing for a rain shower to wet us, thankfully it wasn't much and soon passed. Time to get going again! (Cursing the rain... 20p to SCIAF.. Coffee 50p to SCIAF.)
The snow had obviously been given a fright, it was about the 500m mark before we reached any serious quantity of the stuff and it had undergone a couple of freeze thaw cycles, giving the snow an icy sugar grain consistency on top, but thicker underneath, so no difficulties were encountered.
The higher we got the clag really closed in, as it had threatened to do all day. At first it was a grey clag, giving us a contrast between ground and sky, then it turned white..... compass time! (Another SCIAF donation, as I took my turn making the going at the front of the line of three!) Jonny was once again expert in his navigating though and we made the ridge just 200m to the west of the Spidean Mialach's summit.
The views were exceptional.... to recreate them follow these incredibly complex directions.
1) Find an unused sheet of regular A4 paper.... or A3 if you can get it.
2) Hold said sheer of paper in front of your face.
Voila, you have the same view we did on Spidean Mialach.
Here's the proof.
(Cursing white out £1 to SCIAF.)
The wind was also increasing as we took the usual summit pictures.
The ridge between Spidean Mialach and Gleouriach is like a series of crecent moon shapes along the edge and from the little we could make out in the conditions, it looked as if the edge the heavily corniced. The avalanche forecast for the area was also on an amber "considerable" alert for all north facing precipices.. the ridge edge faces north... Bye Bye Gleouraich, you'll still be there in better weather.
As we headed back off the summit, we found something we could actually see!
Despite being only able to complete half the walk, spirits were still high and as the wind was blowing into our faces, it was time to scare my fellow walkers.
After we had climbed down the steepest slopes, we opted for an easier way down.... sliding! woo hoo!! We even made a wee tobogan run with a nice big boulder acting as a back stop... maybe some other lucky WHer will have some fun on our run... all slides 20p for SCIAF!
Soon enough we were back down over the heather and back at the car, with some more stunning views of the loch that likes to give, Loch Quioch.
Having done only the one hill, we had extra time on our hands and since we had to drive back down through Glen Coe and pass the Clachaig...... well it'd be rude to drive past it twice in the same day! (Exclaiming a rather tasty pint ... 20p.)
As for Gleouraich, it's just another excuse to go back to wonderful Loch Quoich.
by pollyh33 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:57 pm
I also have a wee box but I only put money in when I’ve have kindly thoughts or done a good deed.
You’ll be glad to know its almost full! Not!!!!!!
by Frigate » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:21 pm
by mrssanta » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:34 pm
good for you paying 50p for a cup of coffee, I'd be bankrupt if I did that for tea! that's a lot more use than giving it up I'm sure.
by PeteR » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:12 pm
Seriously though, it's a real shame you got no summit views from SM. I'm told they're fantastic. My trip to these two was low cloud, horizontal rain and strong winds resulting in being soaked to the skin. Still ranks as one of my best days out on the hill So bad, it was good. These are two hills I will definitely return to on a sunny day
by Meatball » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:39 am
A magic area that will be worth the return!
by jonny616 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:00 pm
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