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Shorter than planned(Carn Gorm)

Shorter than planned(Carn Gorm)


Postby tullius0618 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:07 pm

Munros included on this walk: Carn Gorm

Date walked: 02/03/2013

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10.6 km

Ascent: 944m

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Setting the alarm clock for 05:30 seems to have bewildered my body clock - I was wide awake at 04:39, for no good reason, so crept out of the house, disturbing only the cat!

I'd set my goal of completing the Glen Lyon horseshoe in a day, and although the cloud level was forecast for 700m, arriving at Invervar there was a fair amount of blue sky in evidence. Sadly the summits of Carn Gorm et al aren't visible from the road.

Walking up the forest track in glorious early morning golden sunlight Spring truly felt as if it had arrived, but as I cleared the trees and the peaks came in sight that opinion withered on the vine! Cloud topped and still very, very white!

I stuck closer to the Invervar Burn longer than I should have, following a low lying and icy track, and then making a beeline directly up the flank of Carn Gorm's south eastern flank. This presented me with some fairly steep going across snow that had turned icy on the surface, but brittle and slushy underneath. By the time I made the ridge MY flanks were sore!

Cloud at the top came and went, and wind began to pick up as I climbed, and make no mistake, in sections this was a climb, not a walk. With icy snowfields very much in evidence I was very grateful to previous climbers' tracks to walk through, but after a while the steepness of the approach got the better of me and I stopped to rest and attach microspikes to my boots.

The final approach to the summit of Carn Gorm was a good few hundred feet of steep, icy snow, that needed some determination to trudge over, Bolles out to keep an eye on previous climbers' tracks, and after two false summits caused by the steepness, the snow, and the occasionally enveloping cloud, I made it.

Tougher than I'd thought it would be to reach this, I began to consider whether I'd have enough in the tank for the other three peaks, especially if conditions were the same all the way around. Even though it was 10:07, leaving me a good seven to eight hours of sunlight, I'm a pessimist when climbing, preferring discretion to valour! Five minutes sit down, cup of tea, hummus sandwich, and a brief chat to two guys from Edinburgh and I'd recovered enough to reassess and realise that the valley the horseshoe enclosed was pretty shallow, and so the ridge could be exited early from a number of locations. I pressed on to An Sgorr.

Just as I reached to top of An Sgorr, a small detour on the approach to Meall Garbh, and my Camelbak started feeding me air. Getting the pack off at the cairn I had an empty reservoir that two hours earlier had been full to the brim. Knowing my rough rate of consumption I knew this was not right, leaving me with 500ml of isotonic drink and a flask of tea for the remaining three summits and the final descent, which kind of made my mind up for me.

Considering my return over Carn Gorm and down the steep icy fields I noticed prints leading down into the bealach between An Sgorr and Carn Gorm, so followed them for a recce. Turns out the slopes are fairly shallow all the way down to Invervar Burn, so I wound my way back down, picking up the sheep tracks and farmer's feeding poles, keeping my ears pinned back for running water below the snow(plenty of it!) and so avoiding any nasty watery falls.

Made it back to the car and home for beer and pasta, and spent today testing the Camelback for leaks - nothing, only thought is that I'd been too rushed and not sealed it properly before setting out. A shame, but it DOES mean I'll get another excuse to return to this beautiful Glen!
Attachments
Coire Carie to Loch Rannoch.JPG
Coire Carie to Loch Rannoch
Carn Gorm summit cairn.JPG
Carn Gorm summit cairn
Ow my thighs.JPG
Ow my thighs!
Whats that blue stuff.JPG
What's that blue stuff?
Looking back.JPG
Looking back
Carn Gorm in cloud.JPG
Carn Gorm in cloud
Ben Lawers from just below the cloud.JPG
Ben Lawers below the cloud
Carn Gorm summit approach.JPG
Carn Gorm summit approach
Glen Lyon sunrise.JPG
Glen Lyon at sunrise
tullius0618
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 29
Munros:41   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Location: Stirling

Re: Shorter than planned(Carn Gorm)

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:16 am

Hi Tullius, I also bailed on this walk after Carn Gorm after having to crawl off the summit due to some ferocious gusts. I went back and did the other 3 anti clockwise and still had a thoroughly enjoyable day. Better luck next time :D
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lomondwalkers
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 835
Munros:118   Corbetts:44
Grahams:47   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: May 5, 2010
Location: Bishopbriggs

Re: Shorter than planned(Carn Gorm)

Postby tullius0618 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:10 pm

Thanks lomondwalkers, and you're right, I've an excuse to go back. Plus got a few learning points out of the day too, so it's not all bad. :D
tullius0618
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 29
Munros:41   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Location: Stirling

Re: Shorter than planned(Carn Gorm)

Postby tullius0618 » Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:51 pm

Well, I went back yesterday. MWIS forecast 40% chance of cloud free tops, wind due to pick up and move cloud along fairly briskly.

This is what the summit looked like around lunchtime. Weather so bad that I sat for twenty minutes at the top watching the driving snow cover my boots, had a sandwich with a couple of guys who had ski'ed up, and I then headed back down. Had some minor amusement on steep lower slopes just sliding down on me behind rather than struggling step by step, did little to improve the general mood of frustration!

I'll be back in a few weeks when the weather forecast improves!
Attachments
P1070197.JPG
Compass reading told me that was the view towards Meall Garbh!
P1070196.JPG
Yes, that's my pole vicar!
tullius0618
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 29
Munros:41   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 15, 2012
Location: Stirling

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