walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Steamy Window

Steamy Window


Postby laconic surf » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:26 pm

Route description: Creag Meagaidh circuit

Munros included on this walk: Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh), Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair

Date walked: 04/06/2013

Time taken: 7.4 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1130m

2 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).

After some thought on where to go with the weather promising a cloud free Tuesday, Nathan and I settled on the Creag Meagaidh circuit. We set out from the nature reserve car park at 8.30am and headed up towards the old farm/visitor centre. There were large banks of cloud but it was way above the summits. Even at this time of the morning the air was warm and sticky with no hint of a breeze.

image.jpg


It was a pleasant walk on a good stony track and soon the famous "window" came into view across the glen.
image.jpg


We decided to do this circuit in reverse to the WH guide, mainly so you are walking towards the cliffs and lochan rather than having your back to them. As the track began to bear left, the ice climbing mecca came into view.
image.jpg

image.jpg


When we reached the Lochan we stopped for a while and just gazed up at the cliffs. This is definitely a place to return to in winter, either to watch the climbers on the icy cliffs or to have a climb yourself. A very quiet, restful place. And rest we did as the heat was kicking in and we hadn't started to gain any height yet :shock:
With no breeze and no direct sunlight there were a few midges kicking around but they were certainly not out in force yet. Give it a week or two :wink:
image.jpg

image.jpg


After taking on plenty of water we were ready to tackle the climb up the window. I hadn't been out for four weeks and had only just recovered from a bout of manflu - i knew in these humid conditions this was going to be tough going.
image.jpg


The path sticks to the right of the worst of the scree but it's still fairly loose in places. I was feeling the heat and paused regularly for water and "view appreciation" stops :roll:
image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg


The main core of the window is still holding snow, though parts are avoidable and where you do have to cross it it's soft and reasonably shallow.
image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg


It was much relief to reach the bealach. Still no cooling breeze to speak of, I don't know about Nathan but I lost a fair amount of body water getting up there :lol:
There was then a final climb to reach the plateau of Creag Meagaidh. There is still a magnificent cornice sticking around. There is a path right on the edge of the cliff and i couldn't help but walk round it peering over the cornice to the depths below.
image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg


We then headed over towards the top, passing the huge Mad Meg's Cairn
image.jpg
Mad Meg's Cairn


Before finally reaching the summit of Creag Meagaidh and the first munro of the day.
image.jpg
Summit of Creag Meagaidh


We got stuck into some food here and I monitored my water situation. In the heat I was downing serious amounts of fluid and was mindful that there was nowhere up there to fill up. Four weeks off the hill and I could feel the first signs of my legs starting to cramp. Luckily Nathan was carrying some electrolyte tablets, so I added these into my water bottle and these helped ease the protesting muscles - cheers mate :thumbup:

It was then time to retrace our steps to the top of the window and begin the steep but short climb up to the ridge towards the second munro.
image.jpg

image.jpg
Summit of Stob Poite Coire Ardair


From here the hard work of climbing was over, but it was a fair old walk across to Carn Liath but a least it was fairly flat :lol: At long last there was the slightest hint of a breeze - not before time. Heads down we got the ridge done and despite at times it not seeming to get any closer we finally reach the last munro of the day.
image.jpg

image.jpg
Summit of Carn Liath


Some lovely views from the top, particularly over Loch Laggan
image.jpg


We didn't hang about as the breeze had disappeared and the humidity seemed to have ratched itself up another notch. All I could think about was the images of the British Lions rugby boys in Hong Kong earlier in the week sitting under water fans to combat the heat and high humidity - what we would have given for a shot under one of those :lol:
We headed down straight over Na Cnapanan which is the brown knoll you can see in the photo below. If there is a path here it's very feint, much of the first half of descent was over uncomfortably loose boulders. We then picked up a more pronounced path which led through a small woody area. The path here was wet and seemingly never-ending, there was also plenty of bracken about, i was concerned over ticks but I encountered only one and gave it a sharp flick before it did any damage. We finally appeared out of the wood and regained the stone path. Thank Christ! If we weren't macho types we may have shed a tear at how relieved we were that the descent was over :wink:

image.jpg


We then headed back to the cars where a cold Irn- Bru near saved my life :lol:

A great day out though man it was hard going. Memo to self - don't take four weeks off and do start taking loads more water!
User avatar
laconic surf
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 538
Munros:100   Corbetts:1
Grahams:6   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:32   Hewitts:2
Joined: Feb 18, 2012
Location: East Lothian

Re: Steamy Window

Postby GillC » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:39 pm

Fantastic, some amazing cliffs there, love the pointy one lol

One for the radar me thinks. :clap:
User avatar
GillC
Walker
 
Posts: 1510
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:28   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Steamy Window

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:54 pm

Great report & the cliffs do look challenging - not to me though :lol:
We can all sympathise re the manflu you did well to soldier on manfully 8)
Out of interest & looking back was your choice of route a good decision?
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Walker
 
Posts: 2356
Munros:172   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:120   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Steamy Window

Postby laconic surf » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:47 pm

GillC wrote:Fantastic, some amazing cliffs there, love the pointy one lol

One for the radar me thinks. :clap:


Thanks Gill. The cliffs of Meagaidh are pretty special, it was a great day out :D


Fife Flyer wrote:Great report & the cliffs do look challenging - not to me though :lol:
We can all sympathise re the manflu you did well to soldier on manfully 8)
Out of interest & looking back was your choice of route a good decision?


Cheers FF. It's surprising what a wee bout of manflu can take out of you - you feel like there is very little reserve in the tank :?
If i went back to do it again tomorrow, I would stick with the reverse route that we did. The walk in under the shadow of the cliffs was great. It was, however, the intention to have the long walk in rather than out (I like a warm up before climbing and detest huge walks out at the end of the day) but the descent path from Carn Liath is very laborious and took the same time as the walk in to the window. On aesthetics alone though I would stick with how we did it :D
User avatar
laconic surf
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 538
Munros:100   Corbetts:1
Grahams:6   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:32   Hewitts:2
Joined: Feb 18, 2012
Location: East Lothian

Re: Steamy Window

Postby kevsbald » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:55 pm

Good effort - defo a place to go back in Winter.
Isn't the Meagaidh amphitheatre wondrous?
User avatar
kevsbald
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2158
Munros:260   Corbetts:115
Grahams:76   Donalds:51
Sub 2000:12   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Jan 15, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Steamy Window

Postby Sabbathstevie » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:04 pm

Great report as ever LS, this is at the top of anticipation list but waiting on the right combination of weather, fellow participants and fitness - I can see myself spending far too long linger around those crags for pics!
User avatar
Sabbathstevie
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 231
Munros:56   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jul 20, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Steamy Window

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:41 pm

Great report Lucas :thumbup:

I did that walk last year in similar conditions but starting at Roughburn to take in the other two outlying munros, and all we talked about all day was how much water we had left :crazy: :crazy: As for coping with the heat I used the remnants of any snow to cool down! Yeah and I still remember that crappy path at the end- what's that all about :shock: :shock:

Did you see me waving to you and Nathan from Geal Charn ??? :lol:
User avatar
pollyh33
Walker
 
Posts: 2577
Munros:282   Corbetts:16
Grahams:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

Re: Steamy Window

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:39 pm

laconic surf wrote:Out of interest & looking back was your choice of route a good decision?


Cheers FF. It's surprising what a wee bout of manflu can take out of you - you feel like there is very little reserve in the tank :?
If i went back to do it again tomorrow, I would stick with the reverse route that we did. The walk in under the shadow of the cliffs was great. It was, however, the intention to have the long walk in rather than out (I like a warm up before climbing and detest huge walks out at the end of the day) but the descent path from Carn Liath is very laborious and took the same time as the walk in to the window. On aesthetics alone though I would stick with how we did it :D[/quote]
Thanks for that, will hopefully head up that way soon 8)
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Walker
 
Posts: 2356
Munros:172   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:120   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Steamy Window

Postby laconic surf » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:32 pm

kevsbald wrote:Good effort - defo a place to go back in Winter.
Isn't the Meagaidh amphitheatre wondrous?


It's not sh*te is it? :wink:

Sabbathstevie wrote:Great report as ever LS, this is at the top of anticipation list but waiting on the right combination of weather, fellow participants and fitness - I can see myself spending far too long linger around those crags for pics!


Cheers Stevie. You'll enjoy this round - just mind to take plenty of water :D


pollyh33 wrote:Great report Lucas :thumbup:

I did that walk last year in similar conditions but starting at Roughburn to take in the other two outlying munros, and all we talked about all day was how much water we had left :crazy: :crazy: As for coping with the heat I used the remnants of any snow to cool down! Yeah and I still remember that crappy path at the end- what's that all about :shock: :shock:

Did you see me waving to you and Nathan from Geal Charn ??? :lol:


Thanks P :D
Nathan said you were up there. We had a conversation about how you were supposed to be in hill-walking retirement but there was absolutely no evidence to suggest this had taken place :lol:
I often utilise snow too - up Fionnlaidh last month, I resorted to strapping an ice block to my head :roll:
User avatar
laconic surf
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 538
Munros:100   Corbetts:1
Grahams:6   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:32   Hewitts:2
Joined: Feb 18, 2012
Location: East Lothian

Re: Steamy Window

Postby riverlodge » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:18 pm

great report, amazing to see how all the snow has gone from just a month ago. not sure if scree or old avalanched snow is easier to get up to up the window!

although views are good, the descent following the fence line down from na cnapanan through those birch trees and that soggy little path wasn't great. another group ahead just headed straight down the slope which looked hard at the time but ended up with them back down at the main path much more quickly.
riverlodge
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 74
Munros:155   
Joined: May 1, 2013

Re: Steamy Window

Postby nathan79 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:25 pm

I can indeed confirm it was a horribly humid day up Creag Meagaidh, but it was a fun one.

I'd had my eye on this trio for a while and it didn't disappoint. I'd say definitely better doing it clockwise. The descent off Carn Liath was bearable, but I think I'd have been effing and blinding all the way up if that had been our ascent route.
User avatar
nathan79
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 876
Munros:101   Corbetts:29
Grahams:13   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:14   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Location: The Kingdom of Fife

Re: Steamy Window

Postby nathan79 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:24 pm

A few of my pics from the day.

Creag Meagaidh pano 1.jpg
Heading towards the cliffs and lochan


Creag Meagaidh pano 2 crop 2.jpg


Creag Meagaidh pano 3 crop.jpg


IMG_1159.JPG
Heading back down at the end of the day. Binniens Shuas and Shios looming over Loch Laggan in the backgraound, the spoils of a tough day with Mountainstar and Danrun last year.
User avatar
nathan79
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 876
Munros:101   Corbetts:29
Grahams:13   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:14   Islands:5
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
Location: The Kingdom of Fife

2 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: corm0003 and 21 guests