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5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED


Postby munrobagpiper » Wed May 01, 2013 2:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Corranaich

Date walked: 30/04/2013

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As you will see from my map drawing, this walk was a bit all over the place, due to lack of concentration and sudden weather changes, but it was fantastic none the less!


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I woke up at 6.27 am, I only remember because my alarm was due to go off at 6.30, and looked out my window in Bishopbriggs, not a cloud to be seen! It was like a magical summers day! I cant remember jumping out of bed so quick to get out and away!

After a few delays, finding food in Asda, wide loads on the road, and finding replacement gloves, I made it to Lawers car park by 9.30, later than hoped, but still had enough time to do my original goal of Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, An Stuc, Meall Garbh, and Meall Greigh. The latter three I thought would be ambitious, not because of weather, but because of the snow on An Stuc, I have heard bad things about the descent from this one, so it all kind of hinged on that whether I did 2, or 5.....or so i thought.......!

Beinn Ghlas ahead.JPG
Start of the day


The walk from the car park is pathed and simple, there were a few walkers, which is good an bad, good that there are others out, but can be bad as you just kind of follow each other. I found myself following a pair of guys, who were decked out in all the gear, looking the part, but discovered, they were heading for Meall Corranaich. This mixed me up a bit, and after talking to two other guys, we decided to head for "Beinn Ghlas"

Ben Lawers.JPG
Ben Lawers (Not Beinn Ghlas)


I was about half way up "Beinn Ghlas", when it dawned on me "This isnt Beinn Ghlas you muppet!"

At this point I still thought I would do the other three, but was annoyed I would be missing Ghlas.

The summit of Lawers, in the conditions, unbelievable, hardly a cloud in the sky, though the sun did find the only one for a bit.

IMG_2040.JPG
Trig looking a bit cold


The two gents I met lower down were there, and they were intrigued by my piping exploits, and were keen for a photo. A party were just completing their ascent of Lawers as I played, and couldnt believe it!

Lawers Piped.JPG
Tune at the top of Lawers!


As we sat snacking, I looked at An Stuc, and thought, not today! This view was backed up by the experienced group I was with. Only Lawers and Ghlas for me today as I set off down before climbing Ghlas.

IMG_2039.JPG
View from Lawers


Ghlas was pretty straight forward, though I could see some clouds and rain in the distance. It was was only 12noon, so figured I had plenty time.

IMG_2053.JPG
Clouds approaching


IMG_2029.JPG
Looking down the valley (will see more of it later!)


Ghlas gave fantastic views, especially close up of Lawers, and made for fantastic viewing as I played a tune on the summit. Upon finishing I noticed a head pop over the snow, and it was two guys shocked at what they were seeing, I'm starting to think this isn't a normal thing to see on a snow capped mountain!

Beinn Ghlas Piped.JPG
Piping at top of Beinn Ghlas


My descent was the quickest yet.....on my backside (noticed there was a price to pay for this when I sat down later!)

My sliding route down.JPG
Quick descent


I sat between Beinn Ghlas and Meall Corranaich, about 1pm, thinking what a great morning it had been, and how much you can do in a day if you get up and make the most of it. I looked over to see where those rain clouds were, and they were still a long way off. I then looked up, and saw the summit of Meall Corranaich, and remember thinking "ach, seeing as I'm here, why not?"

Meall Corranaich looking inviting.JPG
Why not?!


I had taken my crampons off at this stage, and wondered if they would be needed. They stayed in the bag, and I made pretty quick work of the ascent.

IMG_2064.JPG
Just about at Meall Corranaich summit


The wind really picked up by this stage. Setting my camera up was difficult, it took several takes to get my picture taken with Lawers and Ghlas in the background, but got there in the end. Unfortunately, Iphones aren't designed for cold conditions, so it packed in before I could record a video, (probably just as well in the conditions, looking forward to playing in the warmer, calmer days)

Hat needed.JPG
Meall Corranaich (that hat wasnt coming off!)


At this point, I remembered there was another Munro reachable from here, Meall a'Choire.

IMG_2064.JPG
Will I? Wont I? Daft question!


Despite seeing the clouds getting closer, I set off, to what I thought was the summit of Meall a'Choire. As I approached the "summit", i was thinking this is too easy surely, so out came the map. It was too easy, Meall a'Choire was a fair distance away still. I looked over the edge, and planned my descent, then decided to go for it.

This one was done without snow under foot, my first snow less summit since January! It was like walking on a ball that kept rolling though, as the summit just didn't seem to arrive. When I got there, all I could see was the big dark clouds engulfing the other hills. I very quickly got my pictures, packed up, and was literally racing the clouds and rain!

Meall a'Choire Leith piped.JPG
Meall a'Choire with the storm in the background


I planned to go back up towards Meall Corranaich, and descend on the snow somewhere there into the valley, but this route had soon disappeared in the cloud, and I was getting hammered by wind and hail! I dived into the bowl like valley, with my clear bearing to head between the mountains and back to the path.

What I didnt realise, was that this route took me to about 300m, in very boggy terrain, below the start of the descent path. Big slog ahead for me then! On the plus side, I walked parallel to the river, and saw the Old Shielings listed on the map, but it was a SLOG. I lay on the ground a couple times, just trying to get some energy back, a whole packet of Haribo was demolished. I couldn't believe that the hills I had such spectacular views from just a few hours ago were now hardly noticeable in the cloud.

Where I had to go!!.JPG
Where I still had to climb


The biggest cheer of the day from me, was when I reached the top of the valley and all I could see ahead was a DOWNHILL path!

IMG_2094.JPG
All downhill from here!


Forget that, the biggest cheer, although internal, was when I got to the Falls of Dochairt Inn, destroyed a Magners, Scallops and Fish and chips beside an open fire with Runrig playing on the CD player! This pub is far and away the best pub I have been to after a climb, I was there previously on SAturday part, and live music was playing, and it was a fantastic atmosphere, and great view from the front door.

aahhhh.JPG
aaahhhhhh


All in all, 4/5s of the day were amazing, my two hour slog at the end being the only low point. It is the biggest round I have done to date, and they way it was done makes it pretty memorable. Was nice to start meeting people on the hills, and explain to them why I am doing what I am doing.

Again for more photos, and updates go to facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Munro-Bagpiper/546991675322058 and Twitter https://twitter.com/munrobagpiper
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby soulminer » Wed May 01, 2013 3:25 pm

A sterling effort indeed :clap: A few big hills to summit lugging up a set o' pipes. I like the pics on FB and will keep on following your efforts :thumbup:
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby mrssanta » Wed May 01, 2013 10:57 pm

well done that was a good effort. It's a horribly boggy slog back from meall a'choire leith right enough, I remember it well!
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby munrobagpiper » Thu May 02, 2013 12:34 am

Certainly is, not a route ill be taking again in a hurry, but I guess you have to take the rough with the smooth
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby Ibex » Thu May 02, 2013 11:05 am

Well i've never seen that before. I did see a little guy carrying an accoustic guitar up Cord Du in the Brecon Beacons a few weeks ago, but not bagpipes. Brilliant idea though!
I'm the only person from England I know, that likes the sound of bagpipes. They seem to stur something in my soul.

We had a guy playing in the centre of Oxford a while back and some people were actually boo'ing him. I was loving it!

What tunes do you play when you get to the top?

I admire your determination to keep going. Turns a dissapointing day into a great success.
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu May 02, 2013 12:22 pm

A well deserved pint I think! I like the photograph on the top of Lawers, plus the McLeod kilt one, as you say you might as well make the most of a good day, An Stuc and others can wait for another day, but the other two were a bonus :)
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby munrobagpiper » Thu May 02, 2013 1:36 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:A well deserved pint I think! I like the photograph on the top of Lawers, plus the McLeod kilt one, as you say you might as well make the most of a good day, An Stuc and others can wait for another day, but the other two were a bonus :)


Yeah the Lawers pic is one of my favorites so far, along with my Beinn Sgritheall photo. I felt like I failed a bit not doing my original planned route, but it was good to get the other two done, not two ill be rushing back to though. Hoping to get the Glen Lyon four done next week if the weather holds up!
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby munrobagpiper » Thu May 02, 2013 1:38 pm

Ibex wrote:Well i've never seen that before. I did see a little guy carrying an accoustic guitar up Cord Du in the Brecon Beacons a few weeks ago, but not bagpipes. Brilliant idea though!
I'm the only person from England I know, that likes the sound of bagpipes. They seem to stur something in my soul.

We had a guy playing in the centre of Oxford a while back and some people were actually boo'ing him. I was loving it!

What tunes do you play when you get to the top?

I admire your determination to keep going. Turns a dissapointing day into a great success.


I try to play a different one each time, but sometimes I am so tired I just play the easiest to come into my head! Hopefully summer will allow better quality sounds. The problem with playing pipes on the street is you dont have a choice but to hear them, so they can upset people. Lucky ive been playing 3000 feet above everyone haha!
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu May 02, 2013 4:56 pm

Great stuff once again :clap: Must be a great feeling seeing peoples reactions when you get the pipes out 8) Hopefully see you on a summit one day, or maybe in the Crow :lol:
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Re: 5 become two, then become four! All summits bagPIPED

Postby Ibex » Thu May 02, 2013 5:20 pm

Great stuff. Wish I could be up there listening to you playing on top of one of the mountains.

As an Englishman its probably a bad thing that when I wastch Scotland play rugby, I want to sing along with the 'national anthem'. Flower Of Scotland just gets me. Not like our dirge of an anthem.

Must be my celtic blood from being half Cornish or something.
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