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A 5 hour white out on Aonach Mor!

A 5 hour white out on Aonach Mor!


Postby gsaboy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:51 pm

Route description: Aonach Beag and Aonach Mor from Glen Nevis

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mor

Date walked: 16/03/2013

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1539m

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After the stunning day, light winds, and all day sunshine of Stob Ban 3 weeks ago, my nephew jumped at the chance to bag his first Munro. Tom came up on the train from London on Friday, and the forecast was looking good.

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr

Aonach Mor and Beag seemed to be far enough West to avoid the snow, and with a 70% chance of a view, it was all looking good, and the other walkers departing from the car park in Glen Nevis, seemed to be equally positive about a great day.

How wrong we were...

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Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr

All went fine up to the first top of Sgurr a Bhuic, with fine views from it's 963m, but a biting wind. But within 5 mins of descending towards the belach, the weather started to close in. When we stopped for some lunch at 1048m, it was a total white out. I have never experienced anything like it, there was simply nothing to see, so we had to navigate purely by compass, and thank goodness, GPS.

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr


Tom, was now getting a real baptism of snow, as we also discovered, than unless you kept your eyes glued to the compass, it was impossible to walk up a hill in a straight line! For reasons unknown we always curved left. Eventually according to the GPS we were at the top of Aonach Beag, but couldn't find a cairn, when we we bumped, almost literally into another couple, who were also looking for the top.

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr



We decided that would have to do, and pressed on towards Aonach Mor in the vain hope that there would be a break in the cloud at some point. But no luck, the snow became heavier, and the wide and gentle slope up to the peak proved much harder to navigate up than it should. Eventually the cairn was found, Tom's second Munro, and the day was turning from a walk into a expedition. By this time it was nearing 4pm, and we knew it would be tight to get back in the light.

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr

Next came the most dramatic part of the day, as we had to descend a steep slope for other 500m, in blizzard conditions. It seemed to take hours, and was exhausting. Eventually we sighted some flatter land through the snow, and then the steam that we knew would lead us back to Glen Nevis.

Image
Tom.s 2nd Munro by 6274design, on Flickr

Our trip was far from over though, with a good distance still to walk back down in driving snow, and then rain lower down. Eventually we reached the car at 8pm. Far from all this putting Tom off, he described the day as 'epic' and was buzzing about it all the way back to Glasgow. A quick pint in the Drovers inn, which was heaving, and I think we have another convert.

As far as first climbs go, it was pretty extreme.

Image
Untitled by 6274design, on Flickr

Our Route...
Attachments

20130318.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by gsaboy on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
gsaboy
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 51
Munros:96   Corbetts:11
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Feb 9, 2012

Re: A 5 hour white out on Aonach Mor!

Postby balgonie » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:15 pm

the video says it all well done! well done Tom on your first two munros not easy ones to break you in gently eh? :clap: :clap:
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balgonie
Walker
 
Posts: 201
Munros:134   
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Oct 25, 2012
Location: Fife

Re: A 5 hour white out on Aonach Mor!

Postby Mantog » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:28 pm

Loving the videos, do you use a GoPro HD or something? The quality is very good

Bob
Mantog
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 89
Munros:41   Corbetts:1
Grahams:3   
Hewitts:6
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Mar 17, 2013

Re: A 5 hour white out on Aonach Mor!

Postby gsaboy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:59 pm

Mantog wrote:Loving the videos, do you use a GoPro HD or something? The quality is very good

Bob


I use a kodak playsport. They are cheap (kodak has gone bust) but I think you can still get them. Some bits were with my iphone, but when the weather gets bad, the kodak can get soaked, as it is totally waterproof.
User avatar
gsaboy
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 51
Munros:96   Corbetts:11
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Feb 9, 2012

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