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It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off :-)

It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off :-)


Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 9:21 pm

Route description: Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor, from Glen Feshie

Munros included on this walk: Monadh Mor, Mullach Clach a'Bhlair, Sgor Gaoith

Date walked: 25/05/2013

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I do like to plan my walks. All week in advance of a trip out I’m looking at maps, looking at routes in guide books, reading trip reports, Google earthing. You name it and I’m probably doing it, all to be confident I know the route and any potential issues before heading out.

This last walk was no different. It was to be my first walk into Glen Affric and between you, me and the gate post I was fair excited :D

As the week progressed though the forecast wasn't looking as good as initially promised. And these are hills I want the weather for :D :D So plans for my first trip into Glen Affric were shelved.

Cairngorms were looking good though :D :D :D Full sun all round, and I had a mission on the Moine Mhor in mind that had been on my to-do list for at least five months. This was another trip I had been putting off until the sun was shining, and according to the Met Office the sun was guaranteed to be shining all day in the east :D

Monadh Mor was the target, via Glen Feshie :thumbup:

I’d already done Beinn Bhrotain from Linn o Dee and White Bridge late 2012, but had abandoned Monadh Mor at the time on account of the weather closing in. From that point I had the idea to approach from Feshie and make a circuit of it. Sgor Gaoith first, as something of an aperitif followed by the main course of Monadh Mor and if I was still feeling a bit peckish a light sweet in the shape of Mullach Clach a’Bhlair :D :D :D

Yummy :lol: :lol:

So, with the expectation of a day full of eastern promise I was parked up at the parking area near Achlean. There were a few cars there already – campers I imagined given the unseasonal frost on the windscreens :shock:

Fed, suited and booted and I was off :D A bit chilly to start with, but not a cloud in the sky as I made my way past the cottage at Achlean and then on to the path on the east side of the Feshie.
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Achlean

Arrived at the boulder signalling the path off to Carn Ban Mor, which I duly took. A tad boggy at the start, but then it soon improved into an excellent path as height was gained. Apart from about 30 seconds late in the afternoon (when a bit of cloud had bubbled up and drifted across the sun – how dare it :lol:) the short section through the forestry was the only time for the whole of the day that I had any shade. The rest of the time it was sun, sun, sun 8) 8) Thankfully though I had remembered the sun block this trip :D
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My current laptop wallpaper

The previous time I had been in these parts had been to do Mullach Clach a’Bhlair and Sgor Gaoith with my pal Stuart. We‘d walked into Glen Feshie and taken the steep landrover track up the side of Meall nan Sleac which brings you out close to the summit of Mullach Clach a’Bhlair. The Carn Ban Mor path couldn’t have been more of a contrast. This was a nice, gentle stroll up to the plateau by comparison :D

Hitting the plateau and I received an exuberant wave from a camper who had pitched up a little further south, away from the path (at least I hope it was just a wave and they weren’t in need of assistance :shock:).

And then the views hit me :lol: :D :lol: :D :lol: :D

It’s hard to come up with the superlatives at moments like this. “Stunning” , “amazing”, “sublime” just don’t do it justice. Nor does wandering about uttering things like “wow” or “absolutely stunning” :lol: :lol: My point and click camera only provides a pale imitation of what I was feasting my eyes on too :?

In a way words from this point on are wasted. Mine are provided solely to describe the route I took. Hopefully the pictures tell the real story :D :D :D I would have included more, but there's a limit to the numbers can be uploaded :( :lol:
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Early view toward Braeriach

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Monadh Mor across the Moine Mhor

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The pimple that is Mullach Clach a'Bhlair

From the saddle it was a gentle amble over to Sgor Gaoith in the unseasonal snow. Nae bad for an aperitif 8) And I had it all to myself :D :D
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Sgor Gaoith

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Another view toward Monadh Mor en route to Sgor Gaoith summit

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Sgor Gaoith summit

Took a moment to text MrsR and let her know I was enjoying some porn :shock:

Mountain porn that is :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Braeriach

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Don't look down!

I had a short stay at the top soaking up the views and just enjoying the solitude :D But I knew I had to drag myself away :(

The route was a cliff edge walk around Loch Eanaich to the Allt a’Choire Odhair. Then a stroll over the Mhor ambling over rocks and then toward Loch nan Cnapan and the main course of Monadh Mor :D :D
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Loch Eanaich

Passing by the Loch I noticed that someone had pitched their tent up loch-side. What a simply stunning place to camp 8) 8) Such solitude – except for numpties like me wandering past of course :lol: :lol:
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Loch nan Cnapan campsite

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Campsite view

Had to cross the river Eidart at the foot of Tom Dubh. With no bridge or stepping stones and a fair flow of water from the snow melt I knew I was looking at a wet foot or maybe two :shock: Thankfully I managed to limit the damage as I waded across :D

A bit of a slog up the side of Monadh Mor and onto the ridge. Then a bit of a slog to the summit cairn of the day’s main course. But there were plenty of views to keep me entertained on the way to the summit and at the summit itself :D :D :D
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Carn Toul

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Beinn Bhrotain

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Toward the Devil's didgeridoo

There’s a couple of cairns on the huge summit of Monadh Mor, with just three meters height difference between them. As I was there I thought it best to visit the lower summit (well, the last thing I want is for some eagle eyed satellite to pass overhead and suggest someone had made a mistake, meaning I need to make a return trip :lol: :lol:).

Back at the river Eidart I decided against another wade through the water and instead decided to chance my arm (and the rest of me) by walking across a snow bridge. Although there was a fair slab of snow still bridging the river it had clearly collapsed at some point in the past. The good news was that it managed to hold my weight :lol:
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Snow bridge

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Tom Dubh summit view to Sgor Gaoith

From Tom Dubh it was off to Mullach Clach a’Bhlair. Another river crossing and another snow bridge, this time over the Allt Sgairnich. Across the river and I attempted a shortcut across the plateau :shock: Pillock! :lol: It was hard work, so I eventually made a bee line for the track again :roll:

About this time the soles of my feet were starting to scream :( Not sure they wanted any desert :lol:

Once back on the track it was a straightforward, if painful, walk to the foot of the final climb to the third summit of the day.
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The road to the Isles? Nah, the road to the Pimple

Ok, let’s be clear. Mullach Clach a’Bhlair looks like a pimple from all points on the Moine Mhor. How this can be a Munro when many other more prominent and pointy type mountains in Scotland don’t make the list is beyond me. But then again.......

........sitting there at the summit in the late afternoon sunshine, with not another soul about, I could start to forgive this pimple its less than attractive appearance :D :D

Silence and solitude were to be my desert :D
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Mullach Clach a'Bhlair summit view

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And another view

Sadly I needed to get myself back down to the car at some point, so reluctantly headed off down to the track. The route back was down the steep track I’d first slogged up when doing Mullach Clach a’Bhlair last year. As sore as my feet where by now I still took time out on the route down to enjoy the views of the stunning Coire Garbhlach :D
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Starting to head back down

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The track down to Glen Feshie

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Coire Garbhlach

Eventually the steep bit was done and what was left was the three-and-a-bit mile walk back alongside the Feshie back to the car :shock:
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The start of that long walk back to the car

So, not quite the walk I had planned for the weekend, but it more than delivered on every level. A superb walk, wall to wall sun and stunning views 8) 8) 8) :D :D :D

How I was supposed to condence my 300 photies into just 25 I'll never know :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I had a go, but there were others I could easily have included. For those that might be interested the full set can be found on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/beardybaldybloke/sets/72157633733410709/ (the resolution of the Flickr photies meant they were a bit totie when I inserted them in my report, hence the reason I haven't used them :D )
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PeteR
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon May 27, 2013 9:38 pm

Wow, Pete, think you've surpassed yourself with the photos this time............grrrrrrrrrreat, faaaaaantastic :clap: Enjoyed the report as well :lol:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby Clach Liath » Mon May 27, 2013 9:39 pm

Too right.... Great set of photos. :clap: :clap:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 9:48 pm

SusieThePensioner wrote:Wow, Pete, think you've surpassed yourself with the photos this time............grrrrrrrrrreat, faaaaaantastic :clap: Enjoyed the report as well :lol:


Thanks Susie. I must admit that the photos really don't do the views justice. It really was a stunning day though :D
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 9:49 pm

Clach Liath wrote:Too right.... Great set of photos. :clap: :clap:


Cheers Clach Liath. Hard to pick 25 when you take 301 :lol: :lol:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby Collaciotach » Mon May 27, 2013 9:54 pm

Grand photos and report :clap: ..... how long did that take you Pete ?
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Magic ! It's a lovely area up there, Pete - even better when you get such cracking views over Loch Einich and Glen Feshie :thumbup: Oddly enough I shelved plans for a similar area to you but had no plans for the east to swap instead :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Collaciotach wrote:Grand photos and report :clap: ..... how long did that take you Pete ?


Cheers Colla. Too long is the answer :lol: :lol: :lol: I'm a slow steady plodder and I also took the chance to enjoy three good breaks on the summits, along with a lengthy chat with a chap I met on the way. Naismith suggests 9.45 for the route I took, but I think Naismith is off his rocker as I've never matched him yet :lol: All in I took about 11.45 for the full trip, but walking was probably around 10.45 if you take my four stops off. Fit people would be able to do it much quicker than me :lol:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 10:04 pm

rockhopper wrote:Magic ! It's a lovely area up there, Pete - even better when you get such cracking views over Loch Einich and Glen Feshie :thumbup: Oddly enough I shelved plans for a similar area to you but had no plans for the east to swap instead :roll: - cheers :)


Cheers rockhopper. Took me a while to "discover" the Cairngorms, but since then I've loved every trip. Not the pointy mountains some people crave, but I love them all the same :D

And you should always have a plan B, or C, or even a D :lol:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon May 27, 2013 10:06 pm

Mountain porn at it's best Pete. Twice i've been on Sgor Gaoith and never saw a thing. :shock:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby PeteR » Mon May 27, 2013 10:10 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Mountain porn at it's best Pete. Twice i've been on Sgor Gaoith and never saw a thing. :shock:


Thanks JC. Don't want to make you too jealous, but twice I've stood on Sgor Gaoith and had great views :lol: But then I stood on Merrick once and saw hee haw :lol: :lol:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby Collaciotach » Mon May 27, 2013 10:27 pm

PeteR wrote:
Collaciotach wrote:Grand photos and report :clap: ..... how long did that take you Pete ?


Cheers Colla. Too long is the answer :lol: :lol: :lol: I'm a slow steady plodder and I also took the chance to enjoy three good breaks on the summits, along with a lengthy chat with a chap I met on the way. Naismith suggests 9.45 for the route I took, but I think Naismith is off his rocker as I've never matched him yet :lol: All in I took about 11.45 for the full trip, but walking was probably around 10.45 if you take my four stops off. Fit people would be able to do it much quicker than me :lol:


haha a fair slog indeed you had stunning weather ,I ve yet to venture to the Carn Gorm !
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 27, 2013 10:55 pm

PeteR wrote:And you should always have a plan B, or C, or even a D :lol:
:lol: oh, never mind B/C/D...think mine go even further than that.....problem is, they're all in the north west where the forecast wasn't so good :roll: :shock: :? 8) :lol:
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby pigeon » Tue May 28, 2013 12:48 pm

Another belter Pete,301 photos :lol: That's more than i take in a year :D
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Re: It can be great (sometimes) when a plan doesn’t come off

Postby Sabbathstevie » Tue May 28, 2013 12:56 pm

Fantastic stuff Pete. :clap: Some stunning pics there - I love when someone posts a report with different pics of a popular area that reveals more of its hidden side to us that haven't yet made the trek.

I'm also guilty of spending far too much of my time planning for walks... :lol:
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