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.

Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath


Postby dogplodder » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:36 pm

Route description: The Ring of Steall, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Mhaim

Date walked: 07/06/2013

14 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).

This day was never going to be easy. Moira and I planned it weeks ago (and I arranged respite care for my mum to make it possible) but just ten days after our good friend Kath died in an accident walking in Torridon, part of me (as an expression of outrage at what had happened) did not want to set foot in the hills again. I knew of course this is not what Kath would have wanted so we stuck to our original plan to climb Sgurr a' Mhaim - and we climbed it for her.

This was Moira's first Munro since surgery to remove the metalwork from her ankle so we decided on a straight up and down from the car park at the Polldubh Falls.

Sgurr a' Mhaim straight ahead (Moira's pic)
994363_10151619907758788_669816100_n.jpg


Follow path by the Allt Coire a' Mhusgain
DSC03145-large.jpg


A faint path leaves the path by the river, branching off left and crossing a wet area to zigzag up to a gate in a deer fence. From this point on the path is unrelentingly steep pretty much all the way to the top. We knew the NW ridge would be a tough ascent (perhaps with hindsight not the easiest reintroduction to climbing a Munro!) but it was on the descent the zigzags seemed to go on for ever.

DSC03151-large.jpg


Aonachs appearing
DSC03153-large.jpg


DSC03154-large.jpg


Glen Nevis
DSC03157-large.jpg


Path passes to the right of crags (Moira's pic)
960105_10151619908338788_2127009184_n.jpg


Stob Ban
DSC03158-large.jpg


South to Glencoe
DSC03164-large.jpg


I had remembered from climbing Stob Ban there's a shortage of natural water on the Mamores so had taken extra water for the dogs. But it was so warm they were panting and finished their water half way up so Moira and I had to share our own water with them. I was concerned about this until we reached snow cornices and could fill a plastic box with snow to melt for them on the way down.

Tess looking hopefully at Moira's rucksack
DSC03166-large.jpg


The massive bulk of Ben Nevis
DSC03169-large.jpg


Having a rest before we tackled the scree
DSC03170-large.jpg


Keeping watch, the way dogs do
DSC03172-large.jpg


There's a path through the scree, dry and dusty, but not too bad in ascent. Or maybe that's just me as I'm never so keen on moving gravel on the way down. At the top of the scree there's a cairn which briefly gave me hope we were at the top but we weren't.

The Ben again with that false hope cairn
DSC03175-large.jpg


Start of the Ring of Steall
DSC03173-large.jpg


Summit ridge
DSC03174-large.jpg


It was here I very cautiously edged down to the cornice to fill Moira's sandwich box with snow to leave to melt for our return. Jack helped himself to snow and I threw snowballs to Tess which she chomped up so I was reasonably happy they weren't about to expire from heat stroke. It's always a worry with dogs whose only means of cooling is by panting. They did at one point find a muddy hollow to lie down in which also helped.

Me after collecting snow (Moira's pic)
942343_10151619909028788_1339671125_n.jpg


The final part of the ascent is a pleasant amble and there's no doubt about the summit cairn as it's massive!

DSC03180-large.jpg


The views from the top are magnificent and make all the effort so worth it.

Devil's Ridge undulating towards demoted Munro Sgurr an Iubhair
DSC03179-large.jpg


Am Bodach
DSC03181-large.jpg


An Gearanach and Stob Coire a' Chairn
DSC03182-large.jpg


Fort William and the Ben
DSC03185-large.jpg


Stob Ban and Loch Linnhe stretching SW to the Isle of Mull
DSC03187-large.jpg


In the distance we could see the Paps of Jura, but not visible to the camera. We stayed on the top about half an hour and thought about Kath (although in truth we thought about her all day) and prayed for all who love her.

Kath was a vibrant, funny, kind, multi-talented woman. On the 11 Munros, 2 Corbetts and numerous other walks I did with her, I never saw her in a bad mood - even when she mistakenly put two left boots in the car and cheerfully went on to climb Gairich wearing them! She was one in a million and I'm grateful to Walkhighlands because it was through this site I had the privilege of knowing her.

Jack in the bluebells on lower slopes of Sgurr a' Mhaim
DSC03188-large.jpg


The dogs are getting on a bit and had done well in the heat so as a reward I took them for a swim in the Water of Nevis. When we got to the bridge we saw a group of young guys poised above the waterfall trying to pysche themselves up to jump in. One watching on the bridge explained to me the first jump of the year is always the hardest. I could well believe that and while I was there no one took the plunge. I walked upstream a bit to where it was safer but less exhilerating to have a dip and the dogs went in there. Not sure if it would have encouraged the jumpers to know dogs were swimming upstream of them but it's a free river and I felt the dogs were as entitled to it as anyone else and they'd earned it!

We went into Cafe Beag for cold drinks and homemade chicken and ham pie before starting the drive home. We thought with Rockness the road might be busy but it was so quiet we think everyone was already there. Arriving back in Inverness at 10.30 we got the tail end of a glorious sunset - a fitting end to an amazing and tough day.

Sky from my garden at 10.30
DSC03189-large.jpg
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3706
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:53 pm

Great report, well written with some great well explained photo's :clap: :clap:

Paying a tribute is never easy, having lost my first wife when she was just a mere 43 yrs old :(
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2386
Munros:195   Corbetts:42
Grahams:22   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:120   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:37 pm

A beautiful day for you both and such a fitting tribute to Kath.
A great report on a great day :D
You have some lovely photos and thank goodness for the snow for the dogs :thumbup:
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby dogplodder » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:42 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:

Paying a tribute is never easy, having lost my first wife when she was just a mere 43 yrs old :(


That was very hard to lose her so young. Life can be painful at times like these. :(
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3706
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby dogplodder » Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:44 pm

SusieThePensioner wrote:A beautiful day for you both and such a fitting tribute to Kath.
A great report on a great day :D
You have some lovely photos and thank goodness for the snow for the dogs :thumbup:


Thank you so much Susie - and yes, we were glad to see the snow! :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3706
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby mrssanta » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:58 pm

What a lovely report and tribute. I read the report about Gairich with two left boots and thought at the time that Kath was amazing to do that! Most of us would just have gone home in a grump!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3048
Munros:252   Corbetts:11
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:44
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:44 am

A fantastic way to pay tribute to a friend who's gone too early... And well done for reaching the summit in such heat, too. I remember descending this route after doing the Ring of Steel, it's a killer for knees.

I'm sure wherever Kath is now, she is smiling :)
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3501
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:49   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby morag1 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:47 pm

That must have been a very sad walk for you both, but as you say it's what Kath would have wanted :D

Lovely photos, well done to Moira for walking all that distance after suffering a badly damaged ankle, hope it's completely healed now.
morag1
 

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:02 pm

The 1st walk without Kath was always going to be the hardest,the rest will get easier but you will never forget her and she will always be there with you with every walk you take.
User avatar
gammy leg walker
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3348
Munros:262   Corbetts:7
Grahams:4   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:2   
Islands:7
Joined: Jan 30, 2010
Location: Central Region
Walk wish-list

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby scooby0511 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:45 pm

Lovely, thanks for sharing
scooby0511
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 53
Munros:46   
Grahams:1   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Sep 2, 2011
Location: Larbert

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:46 pm

A lovely tribute to three amazing people - and your usual great photos :) :)
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 988
Munros:263   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby rockhopper » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:25 pm

A nice tribute; certainly made me stop and think - and well done Moira on her first after surgery - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6691
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:01 pm

mrssanta wrote:What a lovely report and tribute. I read the report about Gairich with two left boots and thought at the time that Kath was amazing to do that! Most of us would just have gone home in a grump!


Kath didn't let little things like two left boots get her down. 8)
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3706
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:09 pm

BlackPanther wrote:A fantastic way to pay tribute to a friend who's gone too early... And well done for reaching the summit in such heat, too. I remember descending this route after doing the Ring of Steel, it's a killer for knees.


The knees coped not too badly. It was the big toe nails that took a bit of a bashing and Moira reckons she's going to lose hers. But it was worth it to get those views! :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3706
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: Sgurr a' Mhaim without Kath

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:34 pm

morag1 wrote:

Lovely photos, well done to Moira for walking all that distance after suffering a badly damaged ankle, hope it's completely healed now.


Thanks Morag. Moira climbed 4 Munros in the past week and her ankle coped very well - which we're delighted about. :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3706
Munros:232   Corbetts:57
Grahams:17   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:23
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

14 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).
Next



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: Coop, Franko84, sarahbell100000, trekker53 and 58 guests