100+141= Double celebration on Ghlo-rious Ghlo!
by BlackPanther » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:54 pm
Route description: Beinn a'Ghlo
Munros included on this walk: Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Carn Liath (Beinn a'Ghlo), Carn nan Gabhar
Date walked: 27/04/2013
Time taken: 7.5 hours
Distance: 22.5 km
Ascent: 1250m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
My last year's target was set for a modest 80, but when I ended 2012 with 91 Munros climbed, I began to feel the pressure of the big number coming
'Cause we didn't have the warmest of springs, at the beginning of 2013 I concentrated on Corbetts rather than Munros as they are easier hills for winter conditions (though it's not a rule as a couple of my recent winter walks proved). Yet slowly but surely, I was nearing the ton. After an amazing spell of sunny weather for Easter, when we managed 4 days of excellent hillwalking, I sat down to update our stats. I discovered then, that whereas I was 3 away from 100, by a sheer, crazy coincidence Kevin was 3 away from 141, his halfway point! So the perfect solution, I thought, would be to pick a triple-Munro climb and celebrate with a lot of meowing on the last of the three tops
And almost immediately, Beinn a'Ghlo popped up in my mind. What an exciting hill, or I should rather say, a complex of hills, to climb for a double celebration!
The plan was hatched like a chick from the egg and it kept growing till it reached a size of a cockerel and a very noisy one, crowing in my head... I must be bonkers, this "Munroclimbus crazus" as I call it, really brings me to the edge of madness
Joking aside. I always looked forward to meeting the Ghlo-rious Ghlo. My first encounter with the 3-M mountain was a year ago, when we visited the neighbouring Corbett, Ben Vrackie. And seeing BG trio in white coat only made it look better:
Saturday the 27th was the day then. The last moment before weather turned very windy, and a cold one, considering we are almost half way through spring. Kevin was struggling a bit with dairy in his system again - you won't believe how many products actually contain lactose even though it's not included in ingredients. Some painkillers, for example, are coated in sugar (read: lactose) to make them easier to swallow. It can be a real pain in the a*** (both literally and metaphorically) to stay dairy-free. I was a bit concerned if he would be able to complete the trio so we decided that we will do Carn Liath as a minimum plan and whatever comes next will be up to him.
Needless to say, Kevin's energy levels didn't deteriorate drastically and he enjoyed the hill just as much as I did
We followed the traditional route up Beinn a'Ghlo, starting from the car park by Loch Moraig:
It takes almost 2 hours to drive the distance from Inverness to the start point of this walk, so when we arrived, the car park was already bursting. We managed to squeeze in somehow, and quickly prepared for the adventure.
The first stage was easy, we walked quickly along the track, towards the big bulky shape of Carn Liath. From the very beginning, we recognized the familiar shape of Ben Vrackie:
Having reached a little wooden shed (not marked on the 1-25k map) we crossed a stile and rushed across the field towards the first target of the day:
The main track continues east into the glen:
Very quickly, we spotted Ben Lawers and friends on the western horizon:
The first few hundred metres across the meadow were annoying to say the least. Plenty of muddy puddles, streams and burns running across the route, so we had to manoeuvre back and forth, left and right, to actually find the way. At some point I looked back and noticed that Kevin was falling behind. Dairy energy drain? I thought and it worried me, but soon it turned out that he took a break to dig up his famous Hob Nobs. He kept munching through them all the way up to the first summit!
The boggy path improved when we reached a stony dyke. It was still wet, but easier:
The climb may seem daunting and it is quite steep and relentless push, but I had more than enough determination to carry on:
Higher up, the path is dry and we encountered some fresh snow:
Views down to the west are nice already, with Loch Moraig, Schiehallion and Lawers group in sight:
When we started, we were far behind any other walkers, but to my great surprise, near the summit we began overtaking people (wherever they came from? ). I felt like I was given a pair of wings!
Just below the summit, we stopped for another photo session:
To the north, Carn a'Chlamain and Beinn Dearg, two inaccessible Munros still to bag...:
We entered the white world now...
The summit of Carn Liath is marked with both a trigpoint and a large cairn. There are extensive views in all direction, including south to Ben Vrackie...
...and east to the remaining part of the mountain. Two Munros still waiting to be bagged:
The lower hill to the right hand side is a relatively hard to access Corbett - Ben Vuirich:
And the NE panorama contains the remotest hills in this part of the country...
We didn't take a long break on the first Munro, just a quick stop to rehydrate and record the views...
Carn Liath from Beinn Mhaol:
The traverse between Carn Liath and Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain was easy, a good path all the way and not much snow on the ridge. We kept stopping to take more photos:
...but soon we crossed the bealach and began to climb again:
Looking back to Carn Liath from half-way up the second Munro:
I knew now that we were probably going to make the 3 tops as planed, and my eyes kept focusing on the final target - Carn nan Gabhar:
Towards the summit of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain the angle of ascent eases and the final metres of climbing are a pure delight:
Looking NW to Carn a'Chlamain:
Lawers and Schiehallion:
Back to Carn Liath and the mountains beyond:
The continuation of the route looked much more snowy than the first two stages. We had crampons packed in rucksacks but hoped they wouldn't be necessary:
View east from the summit:
Carn an Righ across Glen Loch - another very remote hill to reach:
One happy Panther on her Munro No.99...
Weather was improving (more sunshine) and the wind dropped significantly. We decided to take a longer break now, sat by the cairn, stretched our legs, packed out sandwiches and hot tea... And that's what we looked at when lunching
Across Glen Tilt, An Sgarsoch and Carn an Fhidhleir:
Me at the summit cairn, just minutes before embarking on the final push:
Having enjoyed our lunch by the cairn with superb views for free, we started on the last leg of this climb. The descent route from the middle Munro is quite steep, but as there was virtually no snow left on the steepest part of the slope, it didn't present us with any problems.
A look back to the summit of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain:
Views are nice even from the col:
Descending to Bealach an Fhiodha:
That's the way down the mountain, by the way:
The route up Carn nan Gabhar is obvious, we took one of the paths cutting across the slope, The very cairn is situated at the eastern end of the ridge:
Tackling the final slope:
Back to Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain:
Carn Liath now seems so far away...
We enjoyed walking on the snow It was soft and fresh, no crampons needed:
Glas Leadhad and the Cairnwell Pass hills beyond:
When we reached the ridge, the summit was only a short stroll away...
We didn't bother taking a detour to Airgiod Bheinn though it's said to be a good viewpoint:
By the time we saw the trigpoint I was almost running! 1200m of ascent and I still felt like I could walk more...and more... I guess the daily jogging - cycling routine paid off...
View east from the trigpoint:
The pictures may suggest it was a grey day, but nothing more misleading. Basically from the moment we arrived on the first summit, we experienced some good spells of sunshine. The cloud was very high so we didn't have to worry about walking in the mist...
The trigpopint is NOT the true summit. I can imagine how ridiculous I'd feel if I turned back here and didn't actually reach the highest point of the mountain But nothing like that. I run across the flat ridge to the summit cairn, uttering some bizarre sounds, grabbed the cairn and kissed it. MEEEOW! I did it!!!!!!
Kevin quickly followed me though he was reluctant to kiss stones. He said he preferred to kiss Panthers
Looking back to the trig point:
I spent a few minutes on top of the cairn, doing some strange things
Panther's ton dance:
Kevin was less explicit, though he was also celebrating in his own, dignified way:
Congratulations on your half way point, hon!
We had a celebratory break on the summit of Carn nan Gabhar - of course, toast was made with hot tea and HobNobs were also invited The sun was shining nicely and well... we were happy to share another special moment
Views from the summit:
It was only 3pm and we still had about 5 hours of daylight left, more than enough to descend the mountain. Having celebrated the 100+141 M mountains, we got on going. First, we returned to Bealach an Fhiodha:
Looking up to Airgiod Bheinn from Bealach an Fhiodha:
As soon as we picked a path down along Allt Bealach an Fhiodha, I remembered all the stories about this route being a bog feast. And hands up, it's so true!
The path is obvious most of the time, but we walked most distance on the heather alongside it - it was muddy, squelchy and wet
The path improved slightly further down, but we still encountered many areas where green wellies would prove useful...
On the descent path - one of few good, dry parts of it. Ben Vrackie in the background:
The cloud thickened as we returned to the track and with the sunshine gone, it felt much colder even down in the glen. But we were more than content with what we achieved
Saying goodbye to the Ghlo-rious Ghlo:
We celebrated again when we got home, with a bottle of red wine and home made apple cake.
How to sum it up?... I honestly don't know. In stats, it would probably be something like that: 5 years, 100 Munros, over 50 Corbetts, hundreds of miles walked & cycled and a thousand meows uttered. And I'm not done with Scottish hills just yet
by SAVAGEALICE » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:34 pm
I was up there on Saturday too!! ..managed to get an early start, was away by 8.50am ...seems there were plenty of WHers up on Beinn a' Ghlo! ..i bumped into 4 other members up there! ..a crackin day ..even if that wind was a bit on the fresh side!!
by weaselmaster » Mon Apr 29, 2013 3:15 pm
Beinn a'Ghlo certainly seems popular on here at the moment - it was good to see the hills with a bit of white icing sugar on again this week - thought they looked boring and barren brown last weekend
by steven65 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:27 pm
by dooterbang » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:30 pm
I remember reaching my first 100 and couldn't believe what I'd achieved, still can't fathom I will complete all the munros one day...as I'm sure you guys will
Looking forward to the next couple of years and another 100...and perhaps a completion.
by The Rodmiester » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:42 pm
by pigeon » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:28 pm
by mrssanta » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:25 pm
by Bod » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:26 pm
by old danensian » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:43 pm
Once the trudge up Carn Liath is over it's a really smashing high level walk that your photos capture well. I was glad to have been warned about that final summit cairn beyond the trig point as I didn't benefit from all your views.
Here's to your next hundred.
by PeteR » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:27 pm
A great round on which to do it too With such a superb walk back out
As usual you have some great photos there, with that covering of snow
I remember the day I did this I met three chaps who had carried their mountain bikes up on to the last summit......just so they could cycle down again
by BlackPanther » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:54 am
Of course, completion is my ultimate dream but whether I will be able to do it, only time will tell. Still have some scary Skye scrambles and some remote tops to tackle... So does Kevin. The problem these days is, we're slowly running out of new hills within driving distance, we have already started re-doing our fav mountains. To tackle the southern Munros we would have to take a week off and climb as many as possible regardless of the weather.
We're going abroad for a couple of weeks soon and we wanted to hit the milestones before our holidays - so I can brag about it to my parents when I see them
by dogplodder » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:30 pm
Nice to find a triple for it.
by stubborntiny » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:36 am