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Ben Oss 2nd Attempt with Photos

Ben Oss 2nd Attempt with Photos

Postby davidwcroft » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Route description: Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig, near Tyndrum

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dubhchraig, Ben Oss

Date walked: 23/02/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1114m

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In Oct 2011 my son Gordon and I attempted Ben Dubhchraig and Ben Oss from Dalrigh. The MWIS forecast wasn't particularly good - wind and rain but so what's new it's Scotland. We started off in a light drizzle without waterproof jackets on, in hindsight mistake 1.

Just after the track crosses the railway we headed across the field, it does start with a nice path but quickly turned into a bog-fest, mistake 2 - we should have stayed on the track and cut N along the Allt Coire Dubhchraig to the rickety bridge. Once over the bridge the walk though the woods was initially dry but got boggier as we climbed. Approx 1.5km from the bridge there is a deer fence and beyond this for the next 0.5km or so it was extremely boggy and slow going. Our attempts to avoid the bog and talking too much resulted in us drifting away from the WH route (mistake 3) and we then had the difficult task of heading cross country to regain the path up the Allt Coire Dubhchraig. The drizzle turned to rain and it was time to put on full waterproofs - a bit late - Gordon young and lean was getting cold, dad with greater body insulation (i.e. fat) wasn't feeling the cold - mistake 4. As we headed up the path the weather got worse with heavy squally rain and I was pretty certain then it would only be one munro that day. Once we reached 900m flat shoulder with the small lochans the wind and rain got much worse. We made a dash for the summit of Ben Dubhchraig where we planned to stop to eat, unfortunately there was zero shelter, on the descent to the lochans we found a small outcrop which gave a little shelter from the wind where stopped for a quick bite to eat and a hot drink. We decided that the weather was too bad to continue to Ben Oss so we legged it back to the car. During the walk down Gordon discovered his boots were badly leaking.

Attempt #2 Ben Oss - The MWIS forecast was 30% cloud free munros, only 10mph wind with small risk of snow flurries - good enough - but better still freezing level 400m and valleys frozen overnight meaning hopefully little bog to negotiate. The new Met office summit forecast showed sun from noon onwards. I set off from Dalrigh this time on my own low cloud and indeed ground frozen.

This time the bog across the field was largely frozen so it was easy going. The bridge seemed to be more rickety than before with several planks missing. On the return a couple just behind me either crossed using step stones or found another bridge a couple of hundred meters above the bridge - this might be a safer option in future. The walk through the woods was almost all frozen bog but I was wondering whether it would have melted for my return.

Looking up towards end of forest

I made good time to the remains of the 3rd deer fence. I decided since the visibility was poor too practice my winter navigation skills (courtesy of an winters skills course in January at Glenmore Lodge) which slowed me down a bit. The route went up several frozen snow banks which were walkable only due to frozen bootsteps - unfortunately they were made by somebody with a longer stride than I to be comfortable.

At the 730m contour I was faced with a continuous snow slope so stopped for a quick bite, hot drink, to put my crampons on and out with my ice axe.

Looking up towards lochans

This took a bit longer than expected with one crampon strap twisted and the other crampon was too long the clip having moved a notch when I cleaned them - note for future - check crampons still fit boots before leaving house - its much quicker to fix in the warm without gloves on. My crampons remained on until I returned to the same point. Although the route ahead was shrouded in cloud looking back there was signs of an improvement with some blue sky.

I negotiated the ascent to the lochans which were now covered by snow and was delighted that I was exactly where I planned to be. The weather was now beginning to clear and I was beginning to regret leaving my SLR in the car and only had my pocket digital camera.

Looking back down Coire Dubhchraig

Ben Dubhchraig in the clag

I headed down to Bealach Buidhe as the weather continued to improve and got my first sight of Ben Lui.

Ben Lui

Looking up towards shoulder from Bealach Buidhe

Ben Oss

I contoured around spot height 941m following several frozen sets of footprints but only saved 20m or so of ascent!

Ben Dorian top left

Ben Oss

Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond top left

By the time I got to col between 941m and Ben Oss my legs were getting a bit sore from crampon use. The relatively gentle final ascent was made in brilliant sunshine to the summit.

On Ben Oss summit with Ben Lui

Ben Lui

Not sure which direction this was taken

A couple of guys on the summit had come from Ben Lui and mentioned that unfortunately someone had fallen on in Central Gully.

Ten minutes later a helicopter arrived for the rescue, hopefully the person wasn't badly injured.

Helicopter hovering over Central Gully

I spent longer than planned at the summit taking in the stunning views, eating , watching the rescue and speaking to a member of the Lochaber MRT who was out for a walk.

Ben Lui

The return to the shoulder below Ben Dubhchraig was uneventful except for the last 100m of ascent of the day where my legs were protesting.

Ben Dubhchraig with frozen Loch Oss centre right

Looking north

Ben Dubhchraig

Ben Dubhchraig from lochans

I did think about doing Ben Dubhchraig again but although it was only 80m ascent and 1km round trip I didn't want to push my luck with my legs.

Last view of Ben Oss and Ben Lui

Looking up from Coire Dubhchraig to lochans

After removing my crampons at 730m contour I bum slid several short patches of gently sloping frozen snow - good fun. The frozen boggy bits had thawed a bit as expected but wasn't too bad. Returned to the car just after sunset. Overall a fantastic winter walk.
Looking up towards shoulder
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Munros:282   Corbetts:13
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Re: Ben Oss 2nd Attempt with Photos

Postby Silverhill » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:40 pm

A happy chappy on the summit of Ben Oss :D Well done!
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Posts: 1310
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Re: Ben Oss 2nd Attempt with Photos

Postby neilmci » Sat Apr 27, 2013 11:47 am

I was up there the other day and the lower rickety bridge is indeed in a bit of a state. I chickened out of using it as the supporting rails have buckled so far that they are lying on their side. Being an Engineer and being rather heavier than i would like to be - i decided to use the bridge further upstream.
This was then followed by a battle through the bog to hit the snow and hail on reaching reaching the bealach. The hail was so bad i decided that the better part of valour was to turn back at this point. Gutted but having problem with boots and blisters from earlier in the week, the weather (based in the desert at the moment so the hail stones were not appreciated!) and my own lack of hill fitness (office based now means i spend 90% of my life at my desk) i thought i would save these for a better day.
I have attempted Ben Lui and failed (weather was horrific and GF refused to continue) and now Ben Oss I think i have found my nemesis.
The annoying thing is that thirty mins after i left the bealach the sun was out and the summits were clear. Typical but i think i will save these ones for a summers day.
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