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Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone


Postby Bob the Dog » Thu May 09, 2013 7:34 pm

Route description: Beinn Mheadhoin via the Shelter Stone

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhoin

Date walked: 06/05/2013

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Ascent: 1560m

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Me and Mum hadn't been out in the hills for far too long. 4 weeks since the WH Torridon meet to be precise, and my legs and hers were itching to get back up a mountain. Now, Mum being Mum (stubborn, feisty, over-ambitious) , did she pick a nice wee short walk to get back into her stride post my 19th and 20th Munros on Beinn Eighe? Oh no! Not her!!! :roll: Nope, Beinn Mheadhoin was one she'd looked at a fair few times, and even got as far as preparing for it a couple of weeks back. That day she just wasn't in the frame of mind for it though...

But with the May Bank Holiday weekend fast approaching, she decided it was high blooming time she got her finger out and face the demons!!! And so we did...the tired legs demons, the bruised knees demons and worse than that - the no extended trip to the Old Bridge demons cos she forgot my lead for goodness sake!
:crazy:
Anyways, been asked to write the report for her (again!!!) so here goes...

A very early wake-up call from the blackbirds on a beautifully sunny morning ensured we were on the road by 7am, Mum in shorts (!) scooting along to Aviemore for the usual Tesco hit and for Mum to 'use the facilities' (Much easier being a dog apparently!) Breakfast was thoroughly enjoyed on the shores of Loch Morlich with the sun trying to peak out from fairly high level clouds. It was blowy though, so Mum's shorts would have to remain in the car it seemed. She kept talking to herself - the winter boots? the 3 season boots? the winter boots? (groan....metatarsal pain later) the 3 season boots? (might need the crampons though...) and so it went on until I told her - MAKE YOUR MIND UP AT THE CAR PARK! Woof!!! And so we were off up to the ski car park.

Mum reckoned that given there was still skiing up at Cairngorm, the metatarsal pain would have to be endured during the long walk on the return, cos she wheeeeeched her shorts off, popped on the warmer trousers and grimaced as she laced up her winter boots. The skiiers were just arriving by this time, and the funicular began running as we headed up under it. Skiiers are right friendly...when they are in the train anyways! Mum waved, they waved. But see when we started up the snowy bits where the path up the west side of Coire Chais they weren't quite so friendly!!! You see, they were trying to ski down as we were walking up!!! And as I mentioned, silly Mum had forgotten my lead. So I was leading the way as I usually do, and then I'd hear the 'car coming' shout of BOB! HERE! and I'd tear back down-hill to 'here', expecting a landie or a tractor or something, was definitely not expecting to watch folks on bits of fencing posts hurtling down the hill towards us. Mum reckoned we were as popular as if we'd been having a dog walk on the fairway at Gleneagles!!! OOPS :lol: :lol: :lol:

The snow was sugary and Mum was cursing - she could have worn the ******* 3 season boots after all and not carried the ****** crampons!!! I'll tell you something. I hadn't heard some of those words since I left the farm!!! Time to stop listening and trot on ahead up to the top of Fiacaill a' Coire Chais ridge. Mum was puffing a bit and it was VERY windy, but we were happy. Out on the hills again together. Heaven!

It was an easy walk across the plateau to Coire Raibert, and not quite so easy down the side of the waterfall towards Loch A'an. The snow melt had made the burn thunderous and way wider than normal, so it was with care and trepidation that we made our way down. She's rubbish on the downs is Mum. Spends half her time on her back-side for goodness sake!!! :lol:
loch a'an.5.jpg
Looking down towards Loch A'an


Some route descriptions warn of the tricky nature of the river crossings on this walk - they are right!!! I HATE getting my paws wet, but there was nowt for it but to splash through the burn as it roared into Loch A'an...in hindsight we should have hopped across much higher up and taken the diagonal path down to the head of the loch. Mum made it across - she looked pretty pathetic tbh, and now had wet winter boots - her feet would be sore later for sure. :( :( :(
loch a'an.jpg
Loch A'an basin


We picked our way along the loch side until we reacher the very wide and very deep river careering down from the slopes above and into the loch. Mum thought it was going to be a 'boots off and wade' job - BRRRRRRR - but then I spotted a bit that was still covered in snow...now, how thick and stable was it going to be? :shock: :shock: Fortunately, it didn't give way when I crossed it, and Mum gave it a go. Phew - it held! Didn't want any more farmyard words to be hollered! And now it was lunchtime - just beyond the Shelter Stone, to give the solitary CNP Ranger who had just arrived from a different route some peace. He wasn't very well equipped btw. No rucksack. No water bottle...nothing. Mum had a look at his feet and decided his boots looked heavier than her's though.
boulders.jpg
Lunch stop below Shelter Stone Crag


Post our leisurely blissful laze admiring the grandeur of the place, it was time to head on up towards the Barns at the summit. Now at this point I began to panic!The last Barns I'd seen was in my former life on that god-awful sheep farm where I was called things like 'useless' and 'a waste of a good bullet' and I was sure I was going somewhere I would not like at all! But it was OK - I trust Mum totally.

It was then that REAL panic set in!!! Mum's left leg disappeared up past the knee down a hole through the snow, and her right one (Yep the one waiting to be replaced folks!) came clattering down onto a lump of granite! She doubled up, clearly in agony, hunched over the boulder, turning every shade of green I'd ever seen, and was moaning and groaning like I'd never heard before. Was looking worrying I can tell you, but with a bit of love and care, she felt able to put weight on it. Seemed ok, would be brusied that's all, but it made her appreciate the remoteness of where we were and if something was to happen...We climbed the long way up until finally a frozen Loch Etchachan could be seen.
Loch Etrachan.jpg
A frozen Loch Etchachan
We sat here for a while, gazing at the hugeness of the place, looking over to where we'd come from and where we would need to go back. At this point Mum had a pure dead brilliant brain-wave - on a school holiday as well!!! Surely somebody could fit a zip-wire here from the top of Shelter Stone Crag, across Loch A'an, and right to the top of the path on the route home. Simples! Said she. I thought, daft woman!!!
Way home.jpg
Now where is the zip wire???


The trudge up the shoulder towards the summit was fairly easy, but today the mist had come down and so it was the views were obscured. But I was NOT forgetting those Barns she'd mentioned before, so my heart was racing a bit.

And then we saw them - looming like primordial statues out of the mist and they were breathtaking. Like something off Easter Island!
summit torrs.jpg
The non-agricultural Barns
They begged to be climbed to be able to truly summit, and I did! Up and down like a mountain goat. Mum's heart was in her mouth a fair few times as I went up vertical rockfaces, but the rock is granite, grippy with plenty of paw holds. It was a bit slimy in places, and that was what was worrying Mum! If she could get up, would she be able to get back down again???? :( :( :( At least there were kind of pebble-latrines on the top, created by the fierceness of the weather up here, and they were full of water so she'd be good for a day or two!
latrines.jpg
pebble-dashed latrines...
But the silly woman eventually managed to get herself back down - the relief on her face was quite something, I can tell you. She really has to learn to down-climb backwards - either that or NOT walk on her own and risk getting stuck.

Time was passing quickly - it was already 4.30pm, and so it was that it was back down the shoulder to Loch A'an, a quick stop for a snack to fuel our already weary legs before heading up the fantastically 'made' path of huge granite rocks well set as steps.
waiting patiently.jpg
post snack and admiring the view
But that climb was relentless, I could hear Mum counting to 50, then resting, counting to 30 then resting, counting to 10 then resting. It was never-ending!!!

We rested for 10 mins at the top - I had a bit of a shut-eye, knackered I was - and then we walked back up Coire Domhain, across the plateau and around the cliff tops of Coire an't-Sneachda before re-joining the path to descend to the ski car park. The cloud almost parted a few times on the way down, allowing glimpses of the amazing Fiacaill Ridge still well clad in snow. There was no way we could have descended the Goat Track that day, the cornices were still massive in spite of it being May. Anyways, goats are a bit like sheep, and my followers know what I think of them, so I was well happy.
dog tired.jpg
in need of the pub's blazing fire


The day ended with a bit of a let-down...no lying down in front of the blazing fire in the pub for me while Mum relaxed, flexed her tired feet and enjoyed a pint. No lead = no dog in pub. So the day was wonderfully long on the hill, but cut far too short afterwards. Never mind, she's bought another lead to keep in the rucksack so's it doesn't happen again! Good thinking I reckon. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Now, how do I find a zip-wire company........woof! woof!
Last edited by Bob the Dog on Sat May 11, 2013 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby tomyboy73 » Thu May 09, 2013 8:01 pm

well done Bob, your Mammy is a bit silly at times, so glad you`re on hand to lead her home, I take it you`ve done cairn gorm before ?
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby Bob the Dog » Thu May 09, 2013 8:11 pm

tomyboy73 wrote:well done Bob, your Mammy is a bit silly at times, so glad you`re on hand to lead her home, I take it you`ve done cairn gorm before ?

Yep...a short stoll the day we met Kevin to collect one of his Munro Round food boxes for Glenshee...
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby dogplodder » Thu May 09, 2013 8:14 pm

Brave to do that one solo (well I know you had the faithful hound but he couldn't exactly go and phone for help if you'd had no signal). Had a moment at the bit where you hurt your leg as that's about the spot my pal broke her ankle in 3 places and was airlifted to Raigmore. :shock:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby tomyboy73 » Thu May 09, 2013 8:24 pm

Funny you should call it Loch A`an, we met a local up there the other day who kept calling it that and we didn`t have a clue what he was talking about until he mentioned the shelter st :lol: one
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby SusieThePensioner » Thu May 09, 2013 9:23 pm

Well done, Bob, another great report and photos :thumbup: What a walk and, poor Mum with her knee :(
Particularly liked the photos of you but, didn't you take one of Mum? :o
So glad you showed restraint in not giving the full details of that farmyard language ......teachers! :wink: .....they know all sorts of different languages, don't they :lol: :lol:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby Tomsie » Thu May 09, 2013 9:31 pm

I think you had a bit of help writing this one Bob, :lol: :lol:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby Bob the Dog » Thu May 09, 2013 11:12 pm

SusieThePensioner wrote:Well done, Bob, another great report and photos :thumbup: What a walk and, poor Mum with her knee :(
Particularly liked the photos of you but, didn't you take one of Mum? :o
So glad you showed restraint in not giving the full details of that farmyard language ......teachers! :wink: .....they know all sorts of different languages, don't they :lol: :lol:

Only the knee pic the following day Susan....
knee2.jpg
ouch!!!!
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby Graeme D » Fri May 10, 2013 5:53 am

Bob the Dog wrote: Beinn Mheadhoin was one she'd looked at a fair few times, and even got as far as preparing for it a couple of weeks back.

But with the May Bank Holiday weekend fast approaching, she decided it was high blooming time she got her finger out and face the demons!!!


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: You think you have "demons" when it comes to getting Mheadhoin done???!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cracking report Bob - one of the finest tings I've had the pleasure of reading in a long time! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Oh, and as a fellow teacher (of languages no less), please tell your mum that I thoroughly disapprove of "agricultural" language! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri May 10, 2013 10:23 am

Bob the Dog wrote:Only the knee pic the following day Susan....

Oooooo very nasty, looks painful :shock:
Graeme D wrote:Oh, and as a fellow teacher (of languages no less), please tell your mum that I thoroughly disapprove of "agricultural" language!

Both my daughters teach languages so I'll refrain from anymore comments.......
agricultural or otherwise :lol:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby mrssanta » Fri May 10, 2013 6:38 pm

try French it can be very useful in a painful situation! (as in scuse my french but 8&^%$)
or British Sign Language?? very eloquent

smashing report Bob, you deserve an extra bone. :clap:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby Merry-walker » Fri May 10, 2013 7:43 pm

Great photos and reporting sweetie :D :D
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby PeteR » Sat May 11, 2013 4:21 pm

Another top quality report Bob :D :clap: This is a good little hill that you took your mum for a walk on :lol:
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Re: Beinn a long time... Beinn Mheadhoin via Shelter Stone

Postby Bob the Dog » Sat May 11, 2013 5:09 pm

Thank you for your lovely comments folks..going to keep taking my Mum out for long long walks. She needs them as much as me!
Nice to know that my report is appreciated... now where is that extra bone?
Woof Woof! :D
P3290130.JPG
Me enjoying the hills
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