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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Glorious Failures take 1 nope take 2!!

Glorious Failures take 1 nope take 2!!


Postby dektasker » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:38 pm

Route description: The Tarmachan Ridge

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie, Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 30/03/2013

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Glorious Failures take 1 nope take 2!!

Gerry and I thought long and hard about the walks we would try with the recent snow fall. We both decided that Ben Chonzie would be a good and fairly easy one to do. How wrong were we? From Comrie you follow monument road which leads directly to a small car park. As you follow the track a small private road soon appears but you take the gate to the right and follow the track. Though the tracks where covered in snow the path to the dam is fairly easy.
Image
Route from Dam Ben Chonzie (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

The tricky part came when the snow totally covered the small stream and any resemblance of a track / path.
Image
Gerry (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

Gut instincts are good and we followed what looked like a path with a very good topping of snow. The GPS, map and compass kept us in the right direction. Instead of taking the main route up the grouse butts we transverse around looking for an easier route which never really happened. The snow was deep and just sapped the energy from the both of us.
Image
Views on route to Ben Chonzie (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

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Views to Meall na Seide 2 (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

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Views from top of grouse butts (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr


We got to the top of the grouse butts and the large cairn on top. The next step was Ben Chonzie itself and it was in striking distance but batteries where low

The crag and the snow has been coming and going through out the walk. Both of us agreed that with the snow is so deep it was better to turn around and head back.. The path was clear from the top but with clouds appearing from nowhere and the snow falling at will, it was safer and easier to go back down and leave the summit for another day. Never mind we thought, lets try again but on the Saturday.


Having failed with about 1 km to walk to the summit of Ben Chonzie we decided to try another supposedly easy munro. This time it was Meall Nan Tarmachan. This is the munro with the great starting point, being so high up. Finding the car park was easy from Kenmore once you pass through Lawers and the sign posting is good. Even more surprising was the road was clear of snow and ice though the outside temperature was -5. It had been one of those days when you’re unsure if you have remembered to pack everything, forget the right route up and have that doubt that something is missing. Something was missing; It was a sense my direction. From the lawers car park we followed the path but took the wrong turning and took the route to the dam!! Nice photos though.
Image
Meall nan Tarnachan and the Damm (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

Image
Beinn Ghlas (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

We realised our mistake and took the flank which eventually joined the right path. Luckily for us someone had skied and snowboarded down the flank which gave us an easy route to follow. We reached that “minor” summit at 923 meters


This is a bit of a climb and the easier route especially in the snow is to follow the nearby fence which transverses the “minor” summit and safes your strength. Anyway lesson learnt. One blessing was the views and the great weather we had.
Image
Views towards Meall a Choire L A ith 2 (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

Over the “minor” summit, then across the small saddle then face to face with the steep slope leading to the summit.
Image
Route to Tarmachan Summit (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

This is a great climb and the views back across are excellent. Near the summit there is a small plateau (50 meters) before the final climb up. The snow was deep, wet and very soft. This is our first year of walking and only our third winter walk. Looking at the snow and how it was overhanging the route up we decided to again call a halt.
Image
Overhanging snow towards Summit (1 of 1) by dektasker, on Flickr

We had a sense that the snow was ready to fall at anytime and not keen to get caught in the huge volume of snow that would come down. This time the feeling of deflation was deep and hurtful. However, as Gerry said the hills not going anywhere. We walked back to the car park, this time taking the path that everyone else had followed. Must admit I thought walking towards the dam and flanking up the “minor” summit was more enjoyable and definitely more scenic.There is a folder I have on flickr with more photos from these walks. Follow the link below, I am sure you will not be dissapointed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67862513@N03/sets/72157633127183063/

A promise to myself is to get a very decent pair of snow shoes ( had a wee look on the web and pretty expensive) Grateful if anyone can recommended a pair that makes walking in the snow that bit easier, Also going to learn how to snow board ( or take a sledge) for coming down again. Gerry used his fair sized posterior to slide back down, which was much quicker and loads more fun.

Why are Gerry and I doing these winter walks? Simple says the meerkat. We have both decided to do the loch alsh dirty 30 challenge for charity and need to get the miles in before the 8th of June.

A colleague in my wife’s ward broke the news that her daughter has a brain tumour. The support of the Clic Sargent charity has been immense to the whole family and this is my way of saying thank you to all involved. If you can spare anything at all please follow the link below. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/DekTasker Please do not feel obliged to give anything but if you do I give you a big thank you.

Anyway hopefully you have enjoyed the blog and the photos and next walk in the snow it is bound to be third time lucky. Here’s to the 8th of June and the dirty 30.
dektasker
 
Posts: 41
Munros:188   Corbetts:1
Joined: Apr 15, 2012

Re: Glorious Failures take 1 nope take 2!!

Postby mrssanta » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:41 pm

Well at least you put in lots of effort and you will still be getting fitter even if the blue balloons are proving elusive. Better luck next time!
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mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3041
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Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

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