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Seven Blue Balloons

Seven Blue Balloons


Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:07 pm

Route description: South Glen Shiel Ridge: 7 Munros

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhaim, Creag nan Damh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgurr an Doire Leathain, Sgurr an Lochain

Date walked: 18/06/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 27 km

Ascent: 1918m

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Firstly a BIG thanks to Chris for suggesting & arranging the day, everything was superb apart from the weather - you failed miserably on that front :(
As you will all be aware the plans for this day started a few weeks ago & after a fairly lengthy thread we ended up with 7 intrepid adventurers :lol:
Chris, his 2 pals Matt & Phil, John (Jupe1407), Luke (Laconic Surf), Pat (Postmand Pat, no sorry Morcambe Monkey) & me :clap: :clap:
Everyone apart from me was in the area for an early (ish) start, some camping, some sleeping rough in cars & then me who left home at 4.45am, yes 4.45 am, the AA had forecast that it will take 3hours, when in reality with no traffic, me driving at warp factor 5 it only takes 2 hours :D :D
So we all introduced ourselves at 8.30am & took a couple of cars to the finishing line which were a very welcome sight 9 hours later 8) I cannot imagine anyone walking along that road after walking that route, it even seemed along way driving there :o
So 8.45am off we set, weather was dry and overcast, the first summit could be seen, it is quite a long walk in, but we were making good progress, bit like a route march, we marched past another group of seven guys who we only saw again briefly when we reached the second summit & that was in the distance :lol:
Due to the weather not being very kind I don't we took as many photo's as we could have, having said that I have just downloaded mine & was really surprised to find I had taken 60 :o

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A few photo's from the car park

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The climb up the first hill Creag a'Mhaim was a bit of a slog but once on top we gathered together, the 2 mountain goats (Matt & Phil) had to wait ages for us slow coaches at the rear, hope they appreciated the views because they didn't last, but we weren't to know that :(

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Left to right - Pat, John, Luke, Chris, Phil & Matt

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Fine body of men

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Loch Cluanie, water level quite low, not quite sure why

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Loch Loyne


The walk from Creag a'Mhaim to Druim Shionnach seemed to take no time at all, maybe because the legs were still fresh :o

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Looking back at the stragglers from the second summit

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The path to summit number 3 Aonach air Chrith

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The path to the next summit Aonach air Chrith

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The other party trying to catch us, failing miserably, well spread out


From now until the last summit there aren't too many photo's mainly because we were well wrapped up & getting a tad wet. This was the first walk this year that I have had to break out my water proof jacket :(
Our mountain goats who were always way off in the distance tried to take us off one of what seems like the many escape routes after the third summit (I think). It was only when we got below the cloud that we could see that we would be descending & never ascending :lol:
So it was a quick huddle round Luke's GPS & back up to where we had come from, 300 feet down & 300 feet back up. I did add that onto the ascent, all these extra feet add up :wink:
So back on top of the third summit, we then found the path we should have taken :lol: :lol:
It is funny how disorientated you become when you can't see where you are going, navigating in cloud is always challenging, round of applause for Luke saving the day :clap: :clap:

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I think this was one of the next targets, looks pretty scary to me, does highlight the low cloud


I think the next few are off the third summit Aonach air Chrith, but I was already struggling to keep up with which summit we were on, in the grottiness they were a blur - literally :lol:

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Getting ready for the wet stuff

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Feeding time

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Our 2 mountain goats galloping off into the distance

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Chris & Luke stopping to look for the sun, failed miserably

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The path to Maol Chinn-dearg (I think), note cloud fleeing across


The next few summits were a bit of struggle in the grotty weather, not many photo opportunities & no chance to see how exposed some of the ridges really were - probably just as well :lol:

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Chris & Luke heading off in the murk

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Group discussion, we were joined by a couple who had trudged back up to the summit having taken an escape route (a different one from us)

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Poser, no idea where this was, no doubt someone was paying attention


I think after we left Sgurr an Lochain the cloud lifted slightly & we managed to see some of surrounding scenery 8)

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Pat smiling for the first time

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John trying to smile


After a pleasant detour round Sgurr Beag (which is probably one of the least climbed hills in Scotland, let's face who would want to go up there if you don't have to) we reached the final summit Creag nan Damh & the weather improved :lol:

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And so to the descent, we could see where we were supposed to be going


The descent was not the most pleasant experience, I found it strange that all the escape routes could easily be picked up, but we couldn't find the path down :oops: :oops: Having said that we did try & take a bit of a short cut, which to be honest was far better than the path when eventually found it, the descent down the grass was easy & been down much steeper slopes :wink:

The path back to the road was a real slog, loose stones, boulders & on the lower slopes a bit on the damp side :(
Summing up - a great day, it shows us Brits are not beaten by the elements :lol:
Good luck to Chris & Matt who still have another 9 munro's to conquer before the end of the month, 50 munro's in a month is cracking challenge, not that I am contemplating trying it. Am sure Chris will post the details of the charity they are having all this enjoyment for :lol: The thought of camping/living rough etc for a month is not appealing to me, good luck guys & keep us posted :clap: :clap: :clap:

Footnote: John apologies for leaving you in my slip stream on the road home, when I started up the satnav it forecast me arriving home at 2323hours and didn't fancy that very much, so went into warp factor 5 mode & was home before 11pm :lol: Clocked up 334miles & the fuel warning light came on about 10 miles from home, first time in this car, so filled up this morning £70 ouch :lol: Loved the drive there & back though :clap:
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:21 pm

Oh well done FF for inflating another 7 blue balloons :clap: :clap:

Your weather may have been mince but at least your companions were prime Scottish sirloin :lol: :lol: (eh apart from Pat who is Simian steak???? Lancashire Hotpot???)

Believe it or not but you still managed to get better conditions than I did on this walk, in the end it was all about survival and catching last orders at the pub! :crazy:
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby MG1976 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Nice report FF, with some good pictures.

"60", Really???
That's a fair few more than you took in Crianlarich last month.

I won't deny I have been a bit of a grumpy sod in work this week; I had wanted to tag along on this meet, but had previously planned meetings that screwed me over.

It looks like it was a good meet (or "Meat" according to Polly33), and an enjoyable day, even if the weather wasn't the best.

Well done to all of you...

Martin
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby laconic surf » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:18 pm

Top day out FF.
Good start to the day, first two summits below the cloud, then 3 through 6 in clag and a final clearance for number 7. That walk out just about finished me off - been walking like John Wayne today - i'm ok as long as I don't have to go up or down the stairs :lol:
p.s You need to brush up on your Afrikaans spellings - it's Luc (or Lucas). But then as you spent half the round calling Pat - Matt, we'll not worry too much :wink: :lol:

A few more photies:

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John heading towards the final scramble

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Pat doing some Morecambe monkey scrambling
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby mrssanta » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:30 pm

that looked like a good crowd, just a pity the weather was pants, it better clear up when we go up that way next month. :lol:
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:06 pm

laconic surf wrote:Top day out FF.
Good start to the day, first two summits below the cloud, then 3 through 6 in clag and a final clearance for number 7. That walk out just about finished me off - been walking like John Wayne today - i'm ok as long as I don't have to go up or down the stairs :lol:
p.s You need to brush up on your Afrikaans spellings - it's Luc (or Lucas). But then as you spent half the round calling Pat - Matt, we'll not worry too much :wink: :lol: ]


Apologies Luc (Luke), Afrikaans is not one of my specialist subjects, then again neither is remember names :oops: :oops: :lol:
Sorry Pat, won't forget your name in a hurry, it fits fine with your occupation :lol: :lol:
As for the legs, they are fine, my feet are a tad tender though :(
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:42 pm

Excellent day chaps. Well done Chris. As FF has kindly saved me the bother of writing the report, i'll just chuck in the few half decent photos i managed to take.

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Aonach Air Chrith from Druim Shionnach


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On the way to Sgurr an Lochain


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Glen Quoich (i think) on the way up Creag nan Damh


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Towards Loch Cluanie from Creag nan Damh


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The view from on my way home


All in all, despite the clag, an absolutely superb day, excellent ridge walk and great company. The final descent was absolutely soul-destroying. My legs were screaming all the way home. An eventful journey that included hitting a deer. Anyway, thanks to Chris for putting this together, and good luck with the three of them and their remaining 19 munros.


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The Forcan Ridge looking pretty awesome
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DSC_0029.jpg
Lucas on the way up number 5, Sgurr an Doire Leathain
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby ChrisC1990 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:09 pm

Nice report Martin, and thanks for a great day out on the hill gents. You're right in saying that a big report will be up from me at some point but it could be a while yet! It looks like we got some great photos between us despite the weather, particularly John's view of the way home. There's something special about being up there in such variable conditions.
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby Graeme D » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:31 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Believe it or not but you still managed to get better conditions than I did on this walk, in the end it was all about survival and catching last orders at the pub


And we succeeded (just) on both counts! :crazy: :D
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:39 am

Oh dear, bad news about the weather. Serves you all right, though, :wink: I did the Ridge the day before you lot (Sun 16th) and had dry weather, albeit the first four summits were in clag. But it cleared after the fourth one, :thumbup: and I spent the remaining couple of hours or so bagging the remaining three peaks in fine weather. :wave:

PS: Good report and great pics too. :clap:

PPS: Did anyone in your party notice the VERY dodgy scramble / climb immediately after the final summit? The ‘path’ goes vertically UP an escarpment maybe 30ft or so…quite possibly the scariest bit of the walk!!
:shock:
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby old danensian » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Persistence pays and the company clearly helped.

Congratulations on making it from end to end.

Don't beat yourselves up about missing the final way down - I missed it on the way up and in good weather.

Your dilema now will be whether or not to return in good weather and see what you missed first time round.

OD
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:11 pm

Lightfoot2017 wrote:Oh dear, bad news about the weather. Serves you all right, though, :wink: I did the Ridge the day before you lot (Sun 16th) and had dry weather, albeit the first four summits were in clag. But it cleared after the fourth one, :thumbup: and I spent the remaining couple of hours or so bagging the remaining three peaks in fine weather. :wave:

PS: Good report and great pics too. :clap:

PPS: Did anyone in your party notice the VERY dodgy scramble / climb immediately after the final summit? The ‘path’ goes vertically UP an escarpment maybe 30ft or so…quite possibly the scariest bit of the walk!!
:shock:


I'd been thinking about that on the way up the final peak, but to be honest i thought it seemed quite straightforward.

Got the best part of the day off the last munro, and was pleased with the photos down the Glen. Wonderful ridge. 8)
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:13 pm

old danensian wrote:Persistence pays and the company clearly helped.

Congratulations on making it from end to end.

Don't beat yourselves up about missing the final way down - I missed it on the way up and in good weather.

Your dilema now will be whether or not to return in good weather and see what you missed first time round.

OD


This will definitely happen. Maybe not this summer, but i'd like to spend a few days camping in the area sometime, and given clear conditions, would certainly do this walk again.
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby GillC » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:30 am

Looks great,,,I really need to start making time in my work calendar for some mid week plans. Epic day out for all, G :clap:
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Re: Seven Blue Balloons

Postby Lenore » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:01 am

jupe1407 wrote:
old danensian wrote:Persistence pays and the company clearly helped.

Congratulations on making it from end to end.

Don't beat yourselves up about missing the final way down - I missed it on the way up and in good weather.

Your dilema now will be whether or not to return in good weather and see what you missed first time round.

OD


This will definitely happen. Maybe not this summer, but i'd like to spend a few days camping in the area sometime, and given clear conditions, would certainly do this walk again.


Do go back in sunshine! I did this walk in glorious weather last summer (though have to be honest and say the sun didn't come out to play until the third summit) and it must have been one of the most magical days on the hills I've had. All of Kintail spread out around us in the evening light on that last summit... Superb!

Sounds like you had a great day anyways :D
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