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Dancing on ice with the old lady

Dancing on ice with the old lady


Postby kevsbald » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:06 pm

Route description: Carn Dearg, Carn Sgulain and A'Chailleach

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach (Monadhliath), Carn Dearg (Monadhliath), Carn Sgulain

Date walked: 01/02/2010

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 25 km

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A couple of chaps that I had met from the Tarf bothy meet had kept in touch - Graeme D and Curlywurly. We had been emailing each other about this impending trip to Newtonmore and were champing at the bit. The weather had been cold and as we drove out of Newtonmore and up to Glen Banchor, we encountered a rather icy road. Curlywurly and I both got out and pushed the car with some rather adept driving skills from Graeme D - the things you do to avoid a mile at the start/end of a day, eh? When we finally got out at the car park, we were blasted with a rather brutal North wind that begun to refrigerate exposed flesh. It was going to be a cold one. Graeme had taken Lucy, his choco lab and she had done 4 Munros by the time we had walked 10 minutes along the Allt. When I say 'walked', conditions underfoot were dreadful with fresh snow on top of very dense ice. At times the going was fine but on several occasions, I was witness to the finest triple salchow by a hill-walker I have ever seen. Darren's double helix and subsequent landing did little to improve his mood (or elevation) but it did provide mirth to Graeme and I. Eventually we came to a point where we thought we should up towards the wee hut. The book says look out for the 'invisible' bridge - we looked and looked but true, it remained invisible so we fashioned a jump over the partially frozen Allt. As I had gone first, I had the chance to catch 2 dramatic action shot of my intrepid colleagues jumping the burn - they both made it much to my chagrin - am I the only one who is due a dooking on the hills? We rapidly gained height on the frozen snow and took a break in the stalker's hut - great condition and one could imagine staying a night in this with table and bench and a solid shelter. And whisky. Names and dates were scattered all over the hut ranging back to as far as 1938 - John B? Surely not!

We headed up on the shoulder of A'Chailleach and as we approached the summit, the wind roared around us. Taking off gloves and stopping meant instant deep freeze and it was a painful break to snap photos - precisely when my battery run out - no, stop him! No matter, we descended down and up towards Carn Sgulain and within 45 minutes, we were at our 2nd summit. Would we go on and attempt the whole route? It was 1315, with perhaps another 4 a bit hours of sunlight. Condtions were good, the sun was shining and apart from poor Lucy's nipples being subjected to -20C windchill (she's a dog remember!), it was a good day. As tends to happen, as we headed along and over the tops, conditions deteriorated - visibility was null, the snow had started and I began to question if our decision had been the right one. The fence posts which run from Sgulain to Carn Ban are very welcome and we saw some absolutely massive overhangs of snow, which looked fantastic for burrowing into. If yer into that sort of thing; very Freudian I'm sure. At 1615, we eventually climbed up and on to Carn Dearg and were rewarded with an immensely satisfying view of the drop from the cairn off the NE face and into the valley below. We didn't deliberate too long - Lucy was whimpering to get down and in all truth, I am sure we were all beginning to suffer fatigue. The descent down allowed for some bahookie-racing as we slid down the slidy bits and enjoyed a good walk back out and along to the car. Taking 2 hours 20 minutes from the summit meant a long day in Winter but it also meant we could rattle off potential edibles that our respective partners would be making for us - curry, curried lard, lamb, deep-fried lamb, steak and anything which had a calorific intake of 4500 calories plus beer meant we salivated the last 2 km back to the car. It had been a long but very rewarding day and I was glad to share it with the two Tarfers. Slainte.
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A'chailleach - 'The old lady'
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Icy icy!
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Ready, steady...
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Go!
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Ooyah - almost claimed!

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Walkies!
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Here was John Burgess...

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Looking back to our intrepid 2.5
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kevsbald
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby LeithySuburbs » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:53 pm

That's an impressive effort in winter. The walk from Sgulain to Dearg must have been cold brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
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LeithySuburbs
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby Graeme D » Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:22 pm

Nice one Kev - should have my report up later tonight!

P.S. Were you really hoping either Darren or myself would take a bath in the Allt? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Graeme D
 
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby mountain coward » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:22 pm

I think your reports will always get read with the titles you think up! :D I did that walk in mid Spring and found it a long enough day then - I was originally going to try it last February but decided it would be too long in the conditions (it was the start of the big thaw). Did a slightly extended version as we (a chap I met up with on the walk and me) descended down the full length of the Carn Dearg ridge and then followed the glen down to the main river (the Balloch or something?) and walked back from there - seemed to take forever to get back!
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby kevsbald » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:43 pm

Pas du tout, Graeme. I am the martyr, don't you know!
MC - it's about the only original thing I can muster for a walk report. That and my subtle wot and repartee - pity my fake teeth froze and broke for my intended summit shot... :(
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kevsbald
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Posts: 2125
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby Graeme D » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:48 pm

kevsbald wrote:Pas du tout, Graeme. I am the martyr, don't you know!
MC - it's about the only original thing I can muster for a walk report. That and my subtle wot and repartee - pity my fake teeth froze and broke for my intended summit shot... :(


Yer subtle wot? By the way MC, he nearly broke his real nashers as well when he tried to bite into his freeze dried Snickers bar! :lol:
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Graeme D
 
Posts: 3353
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Joined: Oct 17, 2008
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby John Burgess » Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:38 am

kevsbald wrote:Names and dates were scattered all over the hut ranging back to as far as 1938 - John B? Surely not!


:lol: Have some respect for your elders, youth :lol:
I doubt if the hut was even there last time I was up that way :wink:

As ever a highly entertaining report. Interesting to hear what the three of you are up to. I was over on Sgiath Chuil and Meall Glas above Glen Dochart. Nice hard frozen snow - great not to be floundering around in knee deep powder :D

All the best,

John
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John Burgess
 
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby Alastair S » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:25 am

Great report & respect. I wouldn't fancy 25k & 9 hours in the wind chill we've been having recently.
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Alastair S
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby CurlyWurly » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:38 pm

Awesome report Kev, I did not realise how much my trailing leg went in the river whilst crossing it :)
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Re: Dancing on ice with the old lady

Postby mountain coward » Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:10 am

Graeme Dewar wrote:
kevsbald wrote:Pas du tout, Graeme. I am the martyr, don't you know!
MC - it's about the only original thing I can muster for a walk report. That and my subtle wot and repartee - pity my fake teeth froze and broke for my intended summit shot... :(


Yer subtle wot? By the way MC, he nearly broke his real nashers as well when he tried to bite into his freeze dried Snickers bar! :lol:


Yeah, that's definitely one trouble with choccie in winter. I tend to take malt loaf or cake in winter...
mountain coward
 

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