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The Lawers Traverse

The Lawers Traverse


Postby jupe1407 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:02 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Corranaich, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 09/06/2013

Time taken: 11.5 hours

Distance: 21.3 km

Ascent: 1716m

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I had originally planned to do the five white mounth munros this weekend, but a late change of plan saw a meet arranged with Backpacker at the Lawers hotel to do the entire range using a car at each end (just as well as i can't imagine anything worse after a walk like that, than traipsing a few miles back uphill back a car). Backpacker's original plan had been to do the 5 starting from Beinn Ghlas, but after a quick chat we decided to do the seven, thereby neatly getting his munros into double figures, and saving the need to return to do the first couple of fairly average hills.

We started from Lochan a Larigh, and took the initially good path (for 50 yards :lol: ) then just headed across the heather down to the burn, crossing just after the hydro pipe thing (apologies for the highly technical terms), then up towards the bealach below Meall a'Choire Leith. I'd imagine this would be dreadfully boggy and tedious after any sort of rainy spell. Thankfully for us it was dry. We started up the first munro in blazing sunshine. Views soon opened up:

DSC_0001.jpg
Meall nan Tarmachan


Eventually, after a few stops, we reached the large flat summit area. Not the best of summits, but the clear weather meant the views were pretty good, and we got a look across to much of the remaining traverse.

DSC_0017.jpg
Meall a'Choire Leith summit


A quick bite to eat, and we headed down a good path which ascended fairly gently to the second munro, Meall Corranaich. This was an enjoyable stroll. We had a quick chat with an obscenely fit young lad who was running between most of the hills. Hats off to him in that heat. Also got a closer look at Ben Lawers.

DSC_0018.jpg
Ben Lawers


We weren't long in reaching summit number 2, Meall Corranaich, which gave us some tremendous views.

DSC_0021.jpg
View from Meall Corranaich


Another quick stop here, and we headed off for the steep descent to the bealach. Things were starting to get busy as a path straight to Lawers runs through this area. We were also impressed that someone had built a drystone dyke on such a steep slope :lol: We had a quick wander round the Lawers path, and after a brief pause for juice and nicotein refreshment headed up a steep grassy slope to gain the path up to Beinn Ghlas.

DSC_0028.jpg
The descent off Meall Corranaich


DSC_0027.jpg
View from Beinn Ghlas ascent


After a bit of a struggle, we soon reached the well-worn summit area, with good views down to Loch Tay.

DSC_0035.jpg
Beinn Ghlas Summit Cairn


DSC_0043.jpg
Loch Tay


We didn't hang about long and set off down the fine path to Ben Lawers. This ascent didn't seem too long, most likely due to the height of the bealach. We reached the busy summit area, took a few photos and decided to have a rest and chill out for half an hour. Particularly impressive were a pair of mountain bikers at the summit area :lol:

DSC_0052.jpg
Lawers summit


DSC_0058.jpg
An Stuc, Meall Garbh and Meall Greigh


The remaining munros were laid out in front of us and not for the first time today, we tempted fate by saying "those don't look too bad", although we knew the descent from An Stuc would be testing. There was a long trudge to the foot of An Stuc, which dropped us lower than we had expected. The ascent looked like a sore one, but surprising felt quite good. We also refilled the water bottles with snow on our way up here as dehydration on such a hot day was an issue!. The summit cairn was soon reached.

DSC_0064.jpg
An Stuc summit


All that remained now was the descent :lol:

Well i won't lie. It sucked. There seemed a series of paths that led to nothing other than oblivion. We eventually found what looked to be the right path, but even now i'm not sure. Scrambling down loose scree, taking a couple of wrong turns all the while having your face attacked by midges is really not as much fun as it sounds. There were certainly a few places were i was thankful for hand holds as one slip on the loose scree below would have led to fairly unpleasant consequences. However after a lot of biting, sweating and swearing, we both made it safely down. A look back up, and I still couldn't see an obvious path through the crags.

DSC_0071.jpg
An Stuc descent


After a bit more nicoteine refreshment we decided to tackle the ascent of Meall Garbh while the adrenaline was still flowing :lol: It didn't take long, definitely the easiest ascent of the entire range. Good views to be had from the summit back towards the previous hills.

DSC_0072.jpg
Meall Garbh ascent


DSC_0077.jpg
Meall Garbh summit cairn


DSC_0079-2.jpg
Some of the previous work done today!


We soon set off for the final munro of the day, Meall Greigh, which looked like a nice, gentle ascent. We also had a good view of a rainstorm down the valley

DSC_0081.jpg


What followed was a very long and spirit crushing descent to a boggy bealach. We briefly rested here, before setting off up the final munro of an epic day, Meall Greigh. This was a thankfully gentle ascent to the munro, although we were hilariously trolled by a false summit, complete with cairn, about 200 yards before the actually ascent. However we finally made it to summit number 7 8)

DSC_0087.jpg
The final summit, Meall Greigh


Clag was rolling in now, and we got a few spots of rain, which were actually quite welcome. Took another couple of pics of the range and a nice one of Ben Nevis in the distance.

DSC_0085.jpg


DSC_0100.jpg


We soon made our way off the hill, fantasising about steak pies and chips at the Lawers Hotel. Sadly the descent was very long, consisting largely of steep, wet grass. Probably my least favourite surface. After a while we pick up the path that takes you down a farm through the woodland area. Mind you, I must say that the two stiles were fairly unwelcome to screaming pairs of legs. However it wasn't long we got back to the car park and ordered up an obscene amount of food in the hotel. Good at the time, but probably didn't help my barely successful attempts at staying awake on the drive home.

A big thanks to Backpacker for the day. The two cars thing is definitely the best way to do the range. Good hills, fine company and nice weather. Canny beat it!
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jupe1407
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby Craiging619 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:11 pm

Looks like an epic. I think I'd prefer to it East-to-West to climb the east face of An Stuc rather than try and descend it. The Lawers Hotel sounds like an oasis at the end of a day like that!
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:15 pm

Craiging619 wrote:Looks like an epic. I think I'd prefer to it East-to-West to climb the east face of An Stuc rather than try and descend it. The Lawers Hotel sounds like an oasis at the end of a day like that!


Aye, i'm in a spot of pain today :lol:

Going up An Stuc would definitely be preferable, but IMO it's probably the only plus point of East to West. Starting at Horn Carver means a long boggy plod through wet grass and a fairly lengthy ascent, plus i think the ascents to Meall Garbh, Ben Lawers and up Meall Corrainach would be longer. Mind you, halfway down An Stuc, i'd gladly have swapped :lol:

ETA: The food at the Lawers Hotel was outstanding 8)
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby Backpacker » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:18 pm

Jupe, cracking report, mirrors my thoughts exactly :D

I still haven't moved from the sofa I woke up on this morning :lol:

Craig, myself and Jupe spoke about this when we were descending Meall Greigh, It would probably be best to ascend An Stuc from that side but the ascent to Meall Greigh looks a bit of a heartbreaker and a long trudge up, I suppose it's a case of 6 and 2 3's
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:21 pm

Hi Jupe, great report and wonderful photographs, you beat me in getting your report done first :) Working on it now, saw your car parked at the hotel, so I knew you were on the hills somewhere, I must have passed you somewhere along the ridge going in the opposite direction. (Because of An Stuc) Fabulous day for it, but not the four mile walk along back to the Hotel. Report to follow soon. Will say it again Great photographs! :D
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:30 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Hi Jupe, great report and wonderful photographs, you beat me in getting your report done first :) Working on it now, saw your car parked at the hotel, so I knew you were on the hills somewhere, I must have passed you somewhere along the ridge going in the opposite direction. (Because of An Stuc) Fabulous day for it, but not the four mile walk along back to the Hotel. Report to follow soon. Will say it again Great photographs! :D


Thanks mate.

Most of the folk we passed were either on Ghlas or Lawers. Met a couple coming the other way on Meall Garbh who were pondering on whether or not to tackle An Stuc. Other than that we saw a couple of guys walking dogs heading off down towards the Lawers Visitor Centre and a guy who told us that going down Lawers was easier than going up it. that wasn't you was it? :lol:

If i passed you, I was the guy sweating profusely due to wearing a white baselayer under a blue and red striped t-shirt, probably having a fag.
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:31 pm

Backpacker wrote:Jupe, cracking report, mirrors my thoughts exactly :D

I still haven't moved from the sofa I woke up on this morning :lol:

Craig, myself and Jupe spoke about this when we were descending Meall Greigh, It would probably be best to ascend An Stuc from that side but the ascent to Meall Greigh looks a bit of a heartbreaker and a long trudge up, I suppose it's a case of 6 and 2 3's


Are you glad you didn't camp? :lol:
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby Backpacker » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:36 pm

Oh yes, although carting all my gear up to the flat was a mission in itself last night :lol:
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby ceaser » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:58 pm

well done jupe , i was blinded with sweat yesterday ,heading up meall greigh ,glad i started at the same time as you and not later , that suns a killer ,

heard a few stories about an stuc ,but it was actually an easy ascent ,looked like there was a path up it to the left when i was ascending , but i choose just to go straight up , think most people started a bit later than us as i passed a few people on the way up as i was heading down ,was glad to get back to lawers hotel and a cold beer :D
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:14 pm

ceaser wrote:well done jupe , i was blinded with sweat yesterday ,heading up meall greigh ,glad i started at the same time as you and not later , that suns a killer ,

heard a few stories about an stuc ,but it was actually an easy ascent ,looked like there was a path up it to the left when i was ascending , but i choose just to go straight up , think most people started a bit later than us as i passed a few people on the way up as i was heading down ,was glad to get back to lawers hotel and a cold beer :D


And yourself! Aye we were saying coming down Meall Greigh that it would be a killer ascent to start with in the heat. Topper of a day though. :D
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby The Rodmiester » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:43 pm

I met the two guys with the dogs going up Lawers so I guess I missed guys when I took the bye pass at the North of Beinn Ghlas. I bet your glad you had two cars! That road was hard in more ways than one. By the way the old guy (me) went for a walk today, no probs. :lol:
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Re: The Lawers Traverse

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:45 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:I met the two guys with the dogs going up Lawers so I guess I missed guys when I took the bye pass at the North of Beinn Ghlas. I bet your glad you had two cars! That road was hard in more ways than one. By the way the old guy (me) went for a walk today, no probs. :lol:


We must have been halfway up Beinn Ghlas by then.

I managed to leave my house today. I consider that an achievement :lol:
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