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Spring break – day 1 (On the Piste)

Spring break – day 1 (On the Piste)

Postby snowdonia7 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:54 pm

Route description: Creise and Meall a'Bhùiridh from the Ski centre

Munros included on this walk: Creise, Meall a' Bhùiridh

Date walked: 29/03/2013

Time taken: 3.3 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 900m

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With only the prospect of four or five trips north of the border each year I always try to get as much bang for my buck; quite often this means trying to squeeze in a hill either on the way up or on the way home. On this occasion I had suggested that with a relatively early start we could get to the White Corries ski centre with enough daylight left to do Meall a’ Buiridh and Creise. But as it transpired I ended up working late on Thursday, so I didn’t finish until 2am and couldn’t face leaving north Wales before 6am, so despite a fairly clear run we didn’t arrive until 1pm. As we planned to drive down Glen Etive to look for a camp site after the walk we agreed that on this occasion to get a little assistance up the hillside in the form of the ski lift. After buying a lift pass (£10) we set off into the sunshine in high spirits.

Taking the easy way up the mountain.jpg

The smiles were soon wiped off our faces when we arrived at the first lift station at 640m and realised we still had another 500m of stiff climb to the summit (in retrospect given the lovely weather I should have foregone my 3 hours sleep, got there earlier and hired some skis and made a day of it). As it was, I plodded on looking enviously at those being towed up the slopes and whizzing by on the way down.

Neil heading for Meall a' Bhuiridh.JPG

Near the top of the ski tow someone had made an ice sculpture – it looked as though at one time it had had wings, although the face looked decidedly less than angelic (not sure if it was deliberately ugly or it had just melted!).

Snow goblin.JPG

From here it was a short trudge eastwards to the summit and glorious sunshine. I took a quick photo, which I e-mailed to my wife (unbeknown to me I was not to have any mobile reception in Glen Etive, so this was the last she heard from me until Sunday evening, which coupled with the fact that all she knew of my destination was Scotland didn’t go down too well).

Meall a'Bhuiridh (walkers visible in the bealach behind me).JPG

We headed down the bealach that separates this summit from Creise (in my summit photo you can make out a couple of walkers on the bealach). The climb to Creise was quite steep and crampons and ice axe offered reassuring protection, although it was a pleasant stroll to the summit once we topped out and we took a few minutes to take in the views in all directions before heading back.

Summit of Creise.JPG

From Creise looking towards Ben Nevis.jpg

On the descent back to the chair lift one anti-social so-and-so on the ski tow quite aggressively called out for us to get off the piste. This was despite the fact that we were almost walking on the line of the ski tows – and was no more of an obstacle than anyone on skis who had fallen or simply stopped. I appreciate it is a ski resort, but that shouldn’t prohibit anyone else from wishing to enjoy any aspects of the mountain- should it?

Avoiding the piste on Meall a' Bhuiridh.JPG

We were back at the car park for 4.30, which allowed us to head off down Glen Etive in search of a camp site. It transpired that camping was encouraged at the head of the loch (although there were no facilities) and we arrived to find a busy little community of tents setting up in the spring sunshine. This included a group of serious-looking lads in camouflage gear who had the pitch beside us (who feature in day 2)

Glen Etive camp site.JPG
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Re: Spring break – day 1 (On the Piste)

Postby munrogimp » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:05 pm

Good stuff Dave though the last shot of me isn't complementry! Some fine views to be sure.... 8)
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