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Spinning around on Creag Uchdag

Spinning around on Creag Uchdag


Postby trekpete » Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:52 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Creag Uchdag

Date walked: 02/02/2013

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Date: 2/2/13
Hills: Creag Uchdag, Meall nan Oighreag & Tullich Hill
Present: Just me
Weather: Sunny, high wind and spindrift
Distance: 12.05mls approx
Ascent 2772ft approx.
Walking: 5.22mins Loafing: 3.49mins


Like everybody else it was too good a forecast on Saturday to not head off to a hill somewhere. Lots of options were mused over before I settled on a circular route from Ardtalnaig to take in Creag Uchdag which I had been wanting to bag for a wee while now. Looked a good route on the map with a nice easy walk into Dunan bothy first to get warmed up before heading up the hill and back to Ardtalnaig. I was parked up on the minor road just before the gate leading up to Claggan farm just before 8am. There is room for 1 car here and it does not seem to be a problem as I have been parked here twice now and had a friendly wave from a Landrover and tractor.

Starting off through the gate just after 8.10am.
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The view behind stopped me in my tracks :D .
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An Stuc.
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Meall Greigh.
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An Stuc and Meall Garbh.
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Looking back to Claggan.
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Creagan na Beinne ahead.
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Looking back just before I entered in to Gleann a’ Chilleine.
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As I got higher up into Gleann a’ Chilleine the wind was fair blowing and I was glad it was in my back just now, however I was now wondering what lay ahead on the hill :o .

Shee of Ardtalnaig catches some sunlight.
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Looking back down Gleann a’ Chilleine.
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It was easy walking up the track despite the deep snow drifts in places as they were frozen solid, so I thought I was in for an easy days walking on consolidated snow on the hill. No such luck which I soon found out later on. There were two herds of deer on opposite sides of the glen going in opposite directions high up the hillside as I made my way up towards Dunan Bothy.

The views open up at the head of the glen.
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Track heading for Dunan Bothy.
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Dunan Bothy.
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Not going to get out the wind here :( .
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Took me 2hrs to reach here which was what I thought it would take me, so I had a break and a bite to eat in the lee of the building before heading off on the track that heads up close to the Allt a’ Charran. Soon lost it in the deep snow though.

Back to the Bothy and Creagan na Beinne.
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Crossed over a small footbridge.
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Shee of Ardtalnaig and Creagan na Beinne.
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Shee of Ardtalnaig(Ciste Buide a’ Claidheimh)
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Meall Mor.
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By now the wind was howling across the slope as it was funnelled up Gleann a’ Chloidh, picking up tons of snow and hurling it in my face in a spindrift storm. It’s beautiful in a strange kind of way when you’re walking through it and going knee deep into drifts. It has been years since I was walking in such wild conditions up in Glen Shee with my brother.

Spindrift and Creag nan Eun.
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Spindrift blowing over Meall Mor.
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Creag nan Eun.
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It was seriously hard going now plodding through soft drifting snow which was knee deep at times and I was falling behind my estimated time to reach the summit. I even thought about saying “Feck it” and about turning, as I knew by now it was going to be a hard slog to complete my planned circular route. I decided to carry on to the summit at least and maybe just double back the way I came.

Looking up to the headwaters of Allt a’ Charran.
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Creag Uchdag.
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I dropped down to the Allt and crossed over before struggling through a thigh deep drift and finally onto the slopes of Creag Uchdag. The wind was really fierce now and the spindrift was amazing to watch as it flowed across the hillside like a river :D .

Looking back towards Dunan.
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This was spindrift central!
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A handy rock to rest my weary ass on :D .
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I watched this scene for a good 5mins.
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Creag nan Eun.
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I set off uphill again, sometimes only managing about 10 paces before stopping with the effort of walking through this mostly unconsolidated bloody snow. Always just as you thought it was getting firmer you went through it up to your knees. Arghhh! Once again, train spotting seems like a good hobby! :lol:

After an eternity the summit is in view.
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Looking across the plateau to Thw Lawers Range.
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Across to Creag nan Eun.
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Loch Lednock.
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The wind eased off a little which the forecast had said it would do. A few fresh footprints on the ground which I later discovered belonged to Doogz and co, who had been here about 2hrs earlier. I got the tripod out and got the summit poses done, just in time as it turned out. The wind machine was back on full chat in minutes and I think it had a turbo now as it was a struggle to stand still and take photos. Several zoom shots were blurred beyond use. My other jacket was quickly out the sac and on which I don’t have to do very often, plus the hat had been on for a fair while. Again, something I don’t ware very often.

Summit poses 8) .
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Zoom down to Glen Lednock.
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Panoramic on to The Lawers Range.
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Slightly blurred zoom on to Ben Lawers.
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The Tarmachan Ridge.
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Meall nan Tarmachan
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Stob Binnein and Ben More.
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Looking across Creag nan Eun to Ben Chonzie.
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Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin.
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I now had a serious debate with myself about what to do next. About turn and backtrack in my own footprints or continue on over the plateau in soft snow for at least 2mls to Tullich Hill. I weighed things up and seeing as it had not gone 2pm yet, the plod across the plateau was on, well maybe. As I set off the wind in my face and the soft snow had me stop a few times within 50m of the summit and rethink as it was bloody wild up here. I spotted a set of fresh footprints heading in my intended direction so I thought “Great, I can follow these and things will be easier going”. No such bloody luck, whoever had made these tracks had a helluva stride and I could not match it. Bugger must have big lanky legs for sure and his dog probably had a hard time keeping up :lol: .

Across the plateau to Meall nan Oighreag.
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Looking back to Creag Uchdag.
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About halfway across I considered dropping down into Fin Glen and heading to Ardeonaig and heading back along the road to Ardtalnaig to the car. It would have been a longer route but much easier than this snow plodding. Really must get some snowshoes.


Another look back with an old mine building on the left.
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The foot prints disappeared now, covered over by the wind driven snow. Never saw any more so I had no idea which way they had descended off the hill.

Across to The Lawers Range from Meall nan Oighreag.
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Back to Creag Uchdag. It had taken an hour to reach here!
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When I left the summit I finally started to get some nice consolidated snow to walk across. A bit too late for my poor calves and thighs though which felt like they were on fire now :lol: .

Back to Meall nan Oighreag.
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Tullich Hill.
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Looking down in to Glen Almond.
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Looking back along Creag Gharbh.
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I could have bailed out here to the track off The Shee but I was now just bloody minded to finish my intended route, so it was a right slow plod up to the summit of Tullich Hill.

View s/e from Tullich Hill.
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Starting my final descent at last.
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Shee of Ardtalnaig.
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I followed the fence line down to pick up an atv track and followed that to a very convenient gate in the deer fence at NN707383. From there it was a steepish descent through the Birch wood with an awkward bit of fence to climb over (or I was just total knackered) just before reaching the road.
It was as tough a day’s walking as I can recall for a long while but I am glad I never bailed out anywhere and stuck to my planned route throughout the day. No immediate plans to repeat for a few years mind :lol: . :D :D :D

Short video showing the Spindrift and high winds. I would advise turning the volume down as the wind is rather prominent on the soundtrack :lol: .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GokI4angO9c
User avatar
trekpete
 
Posts: 77
Munros:267   Corbetts:73
Grahams:53   Donalds:64
Sub 2000:40   Hewitts:10
Wainwrights:17   
Joined: Mar 29, 2011
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Spinning around on Creag Uchdag

Postby Graeme D » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:01 pm

Wow, wow and more wow! Stunning, fantastic, awesome, you name it! Amazing pictures. Wish I'd been there. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3602
Munros:225   Corbetts:107
Grahams:65   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

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