walkhighlands

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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.

Half a walk

Half a walk


Postby Frogwell » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:45 pm

Route description: Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a'Chreachain

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chreachain

Date walked: 30/03/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 16 km

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Not posted anything of late, partly because I haven't been doing a whole lot of walking due to my knee playing up, the delivery of an additional child unit and I don't much care for bad weather, but mainly because I'm just far too lazy to write anything once I've been walking. However, I find my more bored that usual this evening so I thought I'd maybe throw up a few words and snaps about my latest trip up Beinn a' Chreachain a couple of weekends back.

The plan was to do Beinn a' Chreachain and Beinn Achaldair, picked because I wanted something not too far away so I could be back my dinner time, not too technically difficult incase my knee decided to play funny buggers, and fairly popular so that there would be a well trodden path in the snow so I didn't have to lurch knee deep through the stuff.

I did the walk clockwise, and despite noticing before hand on the map that the approach was four miles, was still surprised when I had to walk four miles on the approach. I don't know why that always gets me. So after the four miles, I turn right to go across the marked footbridge and up the hill, only to discover the foot bridge is no more. The bent rails are still there, but the bridge is in the water. I did consider shimmying across the rails but that didn't seem like an altogether great plan, so I just headed North a couple of hundred yards and waded the river, which fortunately didn't know I was coming so was pretty low.

That's when the fun ended. Turns out that particular route was not at all popular and I saw no foot prints at all, which meant I was lurching knee deep through the snow for large parts of it. Occasionally there were bits that had not got much sun so with crampons on I made good time on them, only to lose it again on the softer snow. I eventually made it to ridge and saw the first person of the day, on his way down a few hundred yards to the North. A few minutes later I met another couple on their way down, telling me that they'd started at 8:30 in the morning and were only now coming down. Considering it was 2:30 by this time I did not rate my chances of getting round them both and being back in time for dinner.

From the ridge I doodled up Beinn a' Chreachain and doodled down the other side. By this point my knee was starting to tighten up and I was going slower than normal, so I figured Beinn Achaldair could be saved as a mid winter short walk, and started looking for escape routes. Turning right and going downhill offered such a thing. Mostly a fairly uneventful descent apart from having to use my ice axe in anger for the first time ever. A particularly sticky clump of snow stuck to my crampon so my next step didn't grip and all, causing me to perform a proper comedy feet in the air, landing on my back manoeuvre. I'm still amazed at haw fast I picked up speed, but I managed to flip myself over and get the axe stuck in pretty quick, so apart from skinned palms and a few bruises all was well. I proceeded with a little more caution, eventually meeting up with the four mile approach track half way along, and ambled back to the car, eventually making it home for a later dinner.

I think next time I'll take some more food with me.

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User avatar
Frogwell
Wanderer
 
Posts: 177
Munros:252   Corbetts:47
Grahams:7   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 29, 2011
Location: Hills above Comrie, Perthshire

Re: Half a walk

Postby laconic surf » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:59 pm

Superb photos.
I did these in the clag so my photos all show the same thing - bugger all.
As lovely as the scenery is, it is long walk in to the footbridge and I had to skirt round a mean looking bull who looked up for a fight. Needless to say I legged it.
Nice to see what i missed, cheers
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laconic surf
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 538
Munros:100   Corbetts:1
Grahams:6   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:32   Hewitts:2
Joined: Feb 18, 2012
Location: East Lothian

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