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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:34 pm
by pmallan1
Went to do A'Chralaig last friday - left it a bit late and got battered by the wind so badly we had to retreat!

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We were going over to the West Coast from Aberdeen to stay for 4 nights so decided to try and squeeze in a munro on the way... Seemed like the best plan was to get there and see what time we had left so that we had a short drive after the walk. By the time we got to the Cluanie Inn it was already 1pm but we reckoned we'd have just enough light to get up and down.

The route takes you up a landrover track for a bit, and the route is meant to branch off from this but we missed the turn so ended up taking the track for longer than we should have (maybe slightly intentionally since the hill looked so steep!)

We realised and started heading up the steep side of A'Chralaig which was tiring from the off! :wink:

Steep ascent!

The views of Loch Cluanie as we started to gain altitude made it worth the effort though!

Getting there!

When we got to about 700m, we came over the side and into the wind - it had been a bit blustery as the forecast had warned up until then, but once we got into the full force of the wind could hardly hear each other! We retreated briefly to get the goggles on and discuss a game plan - if it got too bad we'd retreat but until then we plough on. At this height there was snow on the ground and we could see the summit was in cloud so it wasn't great conditions but we went for it!

Snowy, windy, cloudy...

It got really windy, quite icy underfoot and there was a bit of a cornice to the east which was worrying Claire - what if we got lost in the cloud and ended up walking over the wrong bit? I understood her fear, tried to reassure her but the wind was too loud so my reasoning didn't really have much effect. It's hard to say that the conditions aren't too bad when the wind was so bad it's impossible to get the words across!! :lol:

At about 900m (hard to tell with no real features, but it was a flattish section before a steeper ascent so assuming it was about this height before the final push up to the summit) we decided that enough was enough, it would be better to go back while we still had the choice and hadn't got into any bother. What a relief it was to get out of the wind! Only the 2nd time I'd ever retreated from a Munro, not a satisfying feeling but good to know I've still got a bit of sensibility about me! :crazy:


The slippy snow on the steep descent was annoying, losing grip a fair bit and in hindsight I kind of wish I'd put crampons on just to grip in but we got down ok in the end.

Slippery way back down

One of those steep hills that kills the knees on the way down, the descent seemed to take a while, especially with the sight of the car taunting you all the way. "I can see you but I can't get to you!".

Although we didn't make it to the top, it was still a cracking day, nothing like some extreme wind to really make you feel alive! Looking forward to going back and completing the ascent, might wait til the forecast is a bit better though!!

Re: A'Chralaig

PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:42 am
by dogplodder
Pretty good photos considering the conditions. When one of you isn't happy it's always right to turn back and the hill will be there another day. You can include the Pinnacles the next time! :wink:

Re: A'Chralaig

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:26 pm
by pmallan1
You're right - I will probably go back in summer, especially after reading your report and seeing the photos - the views look superb and the Pinnacles seem like they'd be a bit easier to negotiate if there is no ice on them! :D

Re: A'Chralaig

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:37 pm
by Klaasloopt
Trip reports of trips not finished are so very useful, especially with reasoning leading to retreat included :clap: . This one especially since A'Chralaig is on my shortlist.