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Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grahams"

Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grahams"


Postby Graeme D » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:12 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Binnein Shios, Binnein Shuas

Date walked: 03/06/2013

Time taken: 3.8 hours

Distance: 12.8 km

Ascent: 772m

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I was out leading a Silver Duke of Edinburgh training expedition over three days starting at the bridge over the river on the farm track from the A86 to Gallovie Farm and heading to the northeastern end of Lochan na h-Earba. From here our route took us along the track on the eastern side of the loch to the beach at the far end, where we would camp the first night, before then following the track past the ruin at Lubvan and swinging around behind Beinn a'Chlachair. This would take us to a second camp around Loch Pattack before then walking out on Day 3 along Loch Ericht to Dalwhinnie.

The next 7 photos were taken along the shores of Lochan na h-Earba on the Sunday afternoon......

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Binnein Shuas across Lochan na h-Earba from below Creag a'Chuir

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From within the little stand of trees at 495845

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Shuas again - last time I was on this track it was bucketing it down!

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Across the low Shuas-Shios bealach to the Creag Meagaidh forehills

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Binnein Shios

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Shios (right) and the Ardverickie Wall of Shuas (left)

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That beach again!

So an opportunity to finally nail Binnein Shuas and Binnein Shios which had evaded capture on a couple of previous occasions, most notably last July when I had camped on the beach after a day on the Loch Lochy Munros but the weather had turned foul overnight, and I ended up doing a low level loop around the foot of them on the lochside tracks. The only thing is that as it was a training trip, myself and my assistant Euan were supposed to be sticking more closely to the group than would be the case on an assessment.

I thought we might have a chance to nip up Shuas after dinner on the Sunday night, as most of the seven kids in our group seemed up for the idea. Euan wasn't bothered about doing the full circuit, being happy with an up and down of Shuas, so he could do that with them and I could carry on out to Shios before returning late to camp. However, in the end, one girl decided she wasn't up for it so he took the other six most of the way up Shuas while she and I sat it out at base camp.

If I was going to get them done now, it would have to be in the morning before we set off for Day 2. Euan and I both reckoned it would be a four hour route, so I set the alarm for 3.45 for a 4am start. By 2am I was awake and needing to answer a call of nature, so I nipped out and was disappointed to see that the clear skies of the previous day looked a bit heavier now. I crawled back into my sleeping bag but really only dozed fitfully for the next hour or so. By the back of 3, I was wide awake and after lying for a while and psyching myself up, I quickly got dressed, grabbed the camera and crept out of camp. By 3.40am I was off back down the track alongside Lochan na h-Earba. The sky was already starting to lighten and there was no need for a torch at all.

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Creeping out of camp at 0340 hours

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Binnein Shuas

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Binnein Shios and Creag a'Chuir

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Rusty old machinery below the crags of Shuas

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Back towards camp from between the two sections of Lochan na h-Earba

By the time I had reached and spent a few moments investigating the dam and sluice between the two halfs of the loch, it was fully daylight and the sunrise was announcing its imminent arrival way off to the east. By the time it burst over the horizon, I was on the ascent up to the corner of the plantation on the side of Shios. In the crags beyond that, I dumped my jacket in a gap between two prominent boulders and continued on up to the summit of Shios.

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North east - taken from the top of the small sluice gate dam wall

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First hints of pink

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Now glowing pink

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Creag a'Chuir and that boat again!

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Binnein Shuas from the bridge at 488842

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Sun about to burst over the horizon

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Lochan na h'Earba and Binnein Shuas bathed in Monday morning sunlight

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There she blows!

This was brilliant stuff - not yet 5.30 on a Monday morning and here I was tackling what must be two of the finer Grahams I have yet encountered. Tell me why I DO like Mondays! :D The views back to Shuas standing sentinel between the two lochs were stunning.

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Shuas between Lochan na h-Earba and Loch Laggan

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Lochan na h-Earba and Shuas from the first set of crags on Shios

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Shuas again!

After a few summit shots, I relocated my jacket before heading over the braod, grassy bealach and starting the ascent of Shuas.

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The north eastern end of Loch Laggan from the summit of Binnein Shios

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South west from the summit to the bigger twin

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At the summit of Shios

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Sunshine on the Meagaidh range

As height was gained, the views back to the lower, less craggy twin mirrored those from earlier, with Shios now framed by lochs Laggan and na h-Earba on either side.

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Binnein Shios from the ascent of Shuas

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Heading into the trough, looking back to Shios

A bit of hands on was required to negotiate the crags before entering the long, rugged trough that leads up to just below the summit of Shuas.

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Summit ahead left

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Shios from the summit of Shuas

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West along Glen Spean from the summit cairn

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Job done bar the descent!

I was now getting mobile signal so I fired off a few Monday morning text messages ( :wink: ) before descending back down to the tents.

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Campsite from the descent

Euan was lying sretched out in his tent with the door open and a brew on, but otherwise there was still no sign of life this fine Monday morning....... 8)


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Last edited by Graeme D on Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Graeme D
 
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Re: Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grah

Postby hills » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:25 pm

These are great hills, in an amazing part of scotland, and shown to perfection in your report, nice one. :clap:
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hills
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Re: Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grah

Postby The Rodmiester » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:57 am

Still to do these, but will save for a good clear day. Some wonderful photographs :D I bet it was worthwhile getting up so early for those.
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The Rodmiester
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Re: Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grah

Postby kevsbald » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:12 pm

Very nice smash and grab. No better way than a start to the week than that.
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kevsbald
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Re: Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grah

Postby Phil the Hill » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:29 pm

I've been meaning to camp by that beach ever since I first discovered it on the way to Creag Pitridh, and now I discover there is a great early morning bag from it as well for before one's walking companions wake up :D Excellent stuff!
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Re: Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grah

Postby GillC » Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:36 pm

Beautiful pics there,,,smashing,,always fancied setting off in the dark to see a sunrise from a top,,,must try that soon, :clap:
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Re: Monday. 0400 hours. Operation "Nail the Loch Laggan Grah

Postby malky_c » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:06 pm

Lovely beaches on those lochs. Great hills too - will hopefully have a trip over them this year sometime :)

Back in time for breakfast - perfect!
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