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Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby nathan79 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:35 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgairneach Mhor

Corbetts included on this walk: The Sow of Atholl

Date walked: 27/03/2013

Time taken: 6.75 hours

Distance: 13.25 km

Ascent: 840m

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A rare Wednesday excursion courtesy of my attempt to use all my annual leave allocation.
Bagged 3 of the western Drumochter Munros with Morecamb Monkey a fortnight before, though I might as well finish them off while the snow and ice was still around.

27.3.2013 Sow of Atholl and Sgairneach Mhor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Not too long a route and lengthening days allowed me to set off from Dalnaspidal at about 11:15. A positive forecast from MWIS and things were looking okay. A short plod along the road to the track cut-off before the second bridge and it was up towards the sun to kick off the day's summits.

The Sow

Increasing snow underfoot as I ascended. Cloud in the sky but patches of blue to be seen.
Meall na Leitreach

Plenty hares to be seen bounding about. Some of them prepared to let you fairly close before speeding off across the powder.

Looking good approaching the Sow's summit plateau and Sgairneach Mhor looking appealing in the distance.

Sgairneach Mhor and Beinn Udlamain

Summit one plodded to just before 1pm. Good visibility but some cloud approaching me from the west.
Sow of Atholl summit and A Mhairconaich beyond.

Meall na Leitreach under blue

Made my descent towards Sgairneach Mhor to find a spot to shelter from the coming snow and cloud and enjoy a spot of lunch. Found a convenient boulder to perch against.
Had conditions looked like they were just going to deteriorate I'd be turning back at this point but the clouds were parting nicely and I'd claim the Munro too today.

sow pano 2.jpg

Mostly hard packed snow on the pull up to SM. Rarely were my boots sinking more than an inch or two into it. Some older tracks higher up, but unblemished, untouched snow for a good section.
The pull up to Sgairnech Mhor


Almost there

A few false summits but it didn't bother me too much.
Is that the real summit I see? Rather unassuming I thought to myself, but it was only when i got up to it that I saw that the majority of the trig point and the shelter were under a good bit of the white stuff.



There were 2 other cars parked by the level crossing at the start, but I hadn't seen hide nor hair of any other human until I saw a lonely figure coming towards me. Stopped to chat and take a pic for him. He'd done the 4 Munros from Balsporran. He looked a heck of a lot colder than I felt. We bid each other goodby and a safe descent and I headed back towards the Sow, sadly into the icy wind now but towards lovely blue sky.

Schiehallion looking tasty from afar. Wonder if anyone was up there.

Roughly followed my ascent tracks down, though the wind and snow had done a good job of filling them in. Continually looking back towards the sun to appreciate the view

The face of a man doing exactly what he wants to be doing exactly where he wants to be on a day like this. Apologies to all of you who were stuck at work.

Tried to catch a good pic of the fine powder being blown along, wish I hadn't left the bigger camera in the car.


Clouding over and some gentle snow in the air as I made the easy descent back to the track and soon enough I was back down, hopping the level crossing and taking the boots off after another fun Drumochter day.
sow pano 3.jpg

I really pity anyone who's had to do these hills in boggy, soggy, grey days. I've had two days of absolute joy on the west side of the A9 this month. Now the only question is do I try and squeeze in the ones on the east side now or leave them until next winter?
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby Scotjamie » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:54 pm

Nice one Nathan. A pile of good walking powder, a load of sun and a healthy dose of envy inducing smugness. Excellent stuff!
(PM if doing the eastern ones)
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby metafor » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:37 am

great report Nathan! and a host of cracking photo's. I reckon the it must have been a fair depth of snow on the summit at the cairn on Sgairneach Mhor! checkout my photo from last year![attachment=0]05-02-2012 023.jpg[
05-02-2012 023.jpg
Sgairneach Mhor
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby Mountainlove » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:02 am

Great photos and well done for getting out on Wednesday!! Not jealous at all :roll:
Love the picture of the hare/rabbit...rather fitting for easter time!
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby BoyVertiginous » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:55 am

Stunning views...smugness well-deserved! :wink:

Nice to see the track clear, heading up to the East side at the weekend and hoping to bike-in from Dalnacardoch Lodge to Sronphadruig Lodge, looks like it should be do-able?
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby Morecambe Monkey » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:41 pm

Excellent use of a wednesday off Nathan & some nice photo's too. Stunned that you managed to get so close to that Hare,there were a few knocking about when i was up there 2 weeks back but they all scarpered pretty sharpish when i turned up! The trig/shelter on Sgairneach Mhor seems to buried even more now than it was when i was there.
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby ed_hill » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:26 pm

Was up there today - stunning day - I agree definetly one for crisp ice and snow not bogs and heather! The coire was absolutely hoaching with arctic hares!

Thought the trig point was quite interesting too - is the first trig point Flynns managed to get his front paws on!

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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby Lenore » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:04 pm

A gorgeous day and excellent report! :clap:
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Re: Savouring sunshine on Sgairneach Mhor and the Sow.

Postby jonny616 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:57 am

Another great advert for the drumochter hills Nathan. After a year of mid week walking i have no right to be jealous but i sure am :lol:
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