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Gulvain. Sunshine, slips and sare knees!

Gulvain. Sunshine, slips and sare knees!

Postby Luke88 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Route description: Gulvain, near Kinlocheil

Munros included on this walk: Gulvain

Date walked: 23/02/2013

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1228m

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This was my first trip away with the Aberdeen YMCA. The guys were great fun and super experienced so it made for a comfortable trip. We arrived at Ben Nevis youth hostel about 2200 on the Friday, had a few beers then retired to bed.

Trip began from the layby as the route instructs. As stressed in every report of this walk, take a damn bike if you can. Its a long walk in/ out with not really much to look at. The mist was low as forecast but due to brighten up in the afternoon.

SW face of Gulvain on which you scale

Again as documented, the climb is pretty steep. The path zig-zags up the hill and becomes tedious quite quickly. The views behind back into the glen are bonny, when the mist isnt there. We made good time to the 855m point, I think it was two hours though I may be wrong. I was more interested in my pasta than the time. This was the snow level though it wasnt overly deep. It was icy though as I was to later succumb too.

Up towards the trig point

Looking back to 855m

Big Ben still in the clouds

The sun began to break through which gave us about 10 minutes of actually seeing where we were going and there was some nice views to be had. So nice in fact that I stood around marvelling and let the group carry on. As I continued taking pictures by the trig point, the icy mist came back in and I found myself quite alone without seeing the exact direction the guys went. I knew it was downhill but I couldnt see their footprints so I proceeded with caution. Axe oot, I began descending the 50 or so metres which takes you onto the final ridge of the walk. In fine conditions it would be easy to roll down but the ice made life difficult and of course I slipped after a few steps. This was my first fall outwith a controlled environment and admittedly I did feel a bit scared. I dug the axe in, stopped and gathered my thoughts. I thought I could make out some footprints to my left so I began to edge towards them and as I did I fell again. No damage done though, just a bruised ego. The team were waiting another 100m away in the mist.

The ridge felt a wee bit intimidating with the snow on it and my previous slide but we made good time to the summit where we had tea and pictures.

We retraced the steps back and by the time we reached the trig point again, I think there was 30 mins between the two points, the sun was out, the Ben was out and it was a lovely day!

The descent was a ******* because of my sare knees so I enjoyed the walk out in peace as I let them go ahead. Actually thats a lie, I didnt enjoy it at all. I hate a walk out.

Gulvain is a bonny wee hill, but not one I wish to return to in a hurry. 7 hours in summer conditions should easily be broken.

West of Trig


Trig, not true summit

Towards true summit, at top of descent I fell down

Ridge to cairn

Moi on cairn.






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Re: Gulvain. Sunshine, slips and sare knees!

Postby dooterbang » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:29 pm

Fantastic first trip with new walking buddies.

Looks a nice hill...which I've still to do.
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Re: Gulvain. Sunshine, slips and sare knees!

Postby jmarkb » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:14 pm

Nice pictures! But please get yourself some crampons if you are going out in icy conditions like that!!!!
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Re: Gulvain. Sunshine, slips and sare knees!

Postby ScottishLeaf » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:44 pm

becomes tedious quite quickly.

Understatement of the year! lol :lol:
That first climb is brutally steep and just seems to last for ever!

I enjoyed the ridge between the two summits though, looks like it was quite heavily corniced from your pics.... was blowing a gale when we did it.

Hope your leg heals quickly.
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Re: Gulvain. Sunshine, slips and sare knees!

Postby PeteR » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:59 pm

Some nice photos there :D And a great report too :D A bit of a killer this one, but a great ridge once you are up there.
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