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Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:31 pm

Munros included on this walk: Bla Bheinn

Date walked: 18/08/2013

Time taken: 5 hours

Ascent: 1029m

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Well this was the weekend of the much anticipated WH Summer meet - my first and an opportunity to meet up with some of the folk on here. Could I handle it? Could I handle Skye?? Having been up for a scrambling course on the island a few weekends ago I was nervously looking forward to putting my new skills through their paces, preferably in the company of a few other people who knew what they were doing.

The forecast for the weekend kept getting worse over the week before - windspeed predictions went from "strong" to "gales" and rainfall prediction also increased - what was I letting myself in for? Ach well, it's a possibility the forecasters might be a little wrong and we'll get out to do something...

Driving up after work on Friday night looked as if there might be something in that - some late sunshine, little wind and the hills mostly in view. Arrived at Sligachan about 8.30 and pitched in a comfy looking spot, midges were even subdued - which was a good thing as I'd forgotten to bring my midge net :roll:

Sligachan Campsite on arrival
Image
P1030686 by 23weasels, on Flickr

River Sligachan - The calm before the storm...
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P1030687 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Off to the pub - note the dry grass around the tent...
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P1030688 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Over to the Pub and first meeting with a crew of other WHers, who were mostly staying in the Bunkhouse with the exception of hardy souls like ourselves, PeteR & The Rodmeister. After a short visit up to the Bunkhouse to see how the other half lived we headed back in the dark to our little abode for the night. Still dry, not much wind either. All that was to change about 2am when the promised storm descended upon us. Winds shrieked, pushing the tent into strange shapes and the rain hammered down for much of the night. We could hear campers around us getting packed up through the night - wimps! we thought. However, in the morning we found that we were kind of floating...the campsite had become extremely waterlogged and we were in our own private pond for about 6 inches under the tent. And the groundsheet was not doing too good a job of keeping the waters at bay. There we were, floating inside the tent on our airbeds with the worrying thought that the river nearby might spill its banks and take us off downstream.

Tent in the morning :lol: where's everyone gone???
Image
P1030689 by 23weasels, on Flickr

After lying in increasingly soggy sleeping bags for a while as the waters rose around us, I reckoned we needed to move...problem was it was still pouring and blowing a gale. Managed to move uphill to a non-flooded area, noticing that what had been a moderately busy campsite the night before was now something of a ghost-site, and re-pitched - unfortunately sustaining a pole breakage in the process :crazy: My DIY skills with gaffer tape saved the day, but did leave me anxious about how the tent would stand up to the even stronger winds that were forecast. We ended up staying in the tent most of the day, braving the blasting wind and drumming rain in our soggy sleeping quarters to prevent a "Dorothy in the wiz of oz" moment. It wasn't much of a day for doing anything outdoors anyway, disappointing when we'd come up for the Cuillin...

Seeking refuge in the car
Image
P1030690 by 23weasels, on Flickr

About 5pm the rains abated and the sun even came out for a microsecond. tried to get the bags aired in the still strong - but quite warm- wind then headed over to the Pub for a meal and gathering of the Meet. Enjoyed the evening, Allison's re-branding as "the sickly child of Walk Highlands" - cheers Davey! and even the bit where Allison and myself were "volunteered" with no get out clause to arrange the next meet :lol: The back to the warmth of the bunkhouse for a few (more) whiskies, nobly turning down offers to stay the night up in the warm and dry environs. No, we would brave the delights of an injured tent and wet sleeping bags. Fortunately the whisky numbed any pain (and the fumes of it within the tent worked well as a midge repellant :D ). The Sunday forecast wasn't that much better according to MWIS - less rain but still 40-60mph winds...damn.

A little hungover, but desperate to do something we hooked up with PeteR who had targeted Bla Bheinn as being the most suitable hill to try on a challenging weather day.
Image
P1030692 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Headed along to Broadford, then down the little road alongside Loch Slapin to the car park. The hills were brooding ominously in rainclouds and it looked like being a "full waterproofs" day right from the start.

Image
P1030696 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030697 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The path from the roadside, along Allt na Dunaiche, made for reasonably easy going, passing some impressive falls along the way.
Image
P1030700 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030701 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The obligatory river crossing to vex Allison - not as full or rapid as might have been the case given the 2 metres or so of rainfall we'd endured in the preceeding 24 hours :)
Image
P1030702 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It's up there, somewhere...
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P1030705 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View over to An Stac & beyond
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P1030708 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back to Loch Slapin
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P1030710 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking to West - views improving
Image
P1030712 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We headed round into Coire Uaigneich then up the scree slopes where we met some walkers on the descent - who had no views at all from the summit. Stopped for lunch at the top of the scree pull and ensured that the raven who sat eying us carefully throughout got a bit of my peanut butter & jam piece :)
Image
P1030713 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The next section was over some bigger rocks, but nothing challenging. Weather was - incredibly - clearing and allowing us views over to the main ridge. PeteR had obviously worked his "visible summit window of opportunity" timing he'd spoken of earlier to good effect :thumbup: The contrast between the Red Cuillin to our right and the Black ones ahead was breathtaking.
Image
P1030714 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030715 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1030716 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Approaching the top
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P1030718 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Clach Glas
Image
P1030720 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Raasay
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P1030722 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Main Ridge
Image
P1030724 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Red Cuillin
Image
P1030725 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch an Athain
Image
P1030729 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030733 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Got up to the trig point and looked out at the astounding scene for a bit then quite fancied a nip over to the south top - hmm - got about halfway along the little ledge before thinking twice and making my way back to the main top - probably not something to do with the remains of a hangover. :lol:

South top with raven pair
Image
P1030734 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030735 by 23weasels, on Flickr

By this time we'd been joined by another group and there was much sitting and looking at the vista across from us.

Image
P1030736 by 23weasels, on Flickr

"sickly child" gets raven flypast - probably seeing if she's dead yet :lol:
Image
P1030737 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030738 by 23weasels, on Flickr

First Skye Munro for me!
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P1030741 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030744 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The walk back down was following the same route -
Image
P1030751 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Low level rainbow
Image
P1030752 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1030756 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Rain threatened a few times, but by the time we were back at the car the sun was shining and waterproofs had been discarded.

Look - even some blue sky!
Image
P1030758 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Was really pleased to have got a hill out of this weekend given the weather and the views from the top put the icing on the cake. Nice to have some company apart from the "sickly child of walk highlands" for a change too (she's off to see her GP today with suspected tonsillitis :roll: ) My first blue balloon on the feared isle of Skye has been planted :clap:
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weaselmaster
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:56 pm

Aaah what a washout but nice to see you still made the day count :D Blaven was my first Skye Munro, too and I was lucky to have done it in hot, sunny conditions. The view from the top towards the Cuillin is simply breathtaking. We too gave up on the lower top - I was still suffering from vertigo then and the very thought of scrambling made my stomach turn.

We went for a lowland hike along Moray Coast on Sunday and the wind was terrible, so strong we struggled to walk... I had my favourite hat snatched and had to chase it... Looks like the gusts were not too bad over Skye. Or is it just the weasel deception :wink: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:01 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Looks like the gusts were not too bad over Skye. Or is it just the weasel deception :wink: :lol: :lol:


Cheers, BP

The winds were better than feared, and when walking up Bla Bheinn we were mostly screened from the wind by the hill itself, which was lucky. Think the main ridge would have been a bit "breezy" :lol:
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:54 pm

Hi there weaselmaster, great report and photographs! I particular like your description of the campsite drama :lol: Well done all in getting to the top of Blaven :clap: :clap: Great weekend apart from the weather, it was very nice to meet up with you all at last, hope to see you at the next meet. I was going to ask about the strength of the wind but you already answered that question in your reply to BP.
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby trekker53 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:54 pm

Hi weaselmaster,

That's quite a drama you had with the camping. Well done at sticking with it. Glad you got Blaven done, it wasn't a wasted weekend afterall. Good to meet you at the quiz. Good luck with organising the next meet.
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby drammy » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:39 pm

Hi Weaselmaster.
We spoke to you guys on Bla Bheinn as we were on our way down.
Glad you got far better views than us!!!
Turned out a lovely day....just as we got back to the car. :roll:
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby ceaser » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:40 pm

glad you got some decent weather at last WM ,Dean and myself stopped off and did bein sgritheall on the way down the road and never seen a thing :(
are you sure its tonsilitis "sickly child " has ,her tonsils are probably just sore with all that snorting :lol:

was good to meet you both !
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:44 pm

Aye weather was grim on Saturday that why I stayed away haha .... well done in getting out and some decent views for the effort :clap: :clap:

Good for you on volunteering ..... I await your organisation with interest :lol:
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby soapy27 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:00 pm

Nice report and some braw photos to go with it :clap: Well done for managing to stick the camping out ,I'd never of managed that, Nice meeting you both and will see you at the next meet :D
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:05 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Hi there weaselmaster, great report and photographs! I particular like your description of the campsite drama :lol: Well done all in getting to the top of Blaven :clap: :clap: Great weekend apart from the weather, it was very nice to meet up with you all at last, hope to see you at the next meet. I was going to ask about the strength of the wind but you already answered that question in your reply to BP.


Cheers, Rod - enjoyed meeting you and your "Grousey" hospitality. Have to say the pics of the campsite/river in your own post capture the wet look pretty well :lol:
trekker53 wrote:Hi weaselmaster,

That's quite a drama you had with the camping. Well done at sticking with it. Glad you got Blaven done, it wasn't a wasted weekend afterall. Good to meet you at the quiz. Good luck with organising the next meet.


Thanks - and for your generosity with the Aberlour & Pulteney at the Bunkhouse

drammy wrote:Hi Weaselmaster.
We spoke to you guys on Bla Bheinn as we were on our way down.
Glad you got far better views than us!!!
Turned out a lovely day....just as we got back to the car. :roll:


We were thinking about your lack of luck with the summit timing - pity you missed out

ceaser wrote:glad you got some decent weather at last WM ,Dean and myself stopped off and did bein sgritheall on the way down the road and never seen a thing :(
are you sure its tonsilitis "sickly child " has ,her tonsils are probably just sore with all that snorting :lol:

was good to meet you both !


Pity about no views - I'm definately saving Sgritheall for a clear day. Was it as steep as they say it is?
As for the sickly child - she'll be after you for that comment :twisted: :lol:
Good to meet you - hope to have the pleasure again

Collaciotach wrote:Aye weather was grim on Saturday that why I stayed away haha .... well done in getting out and some decent views for the effort :clap: :clap:

Good for you on volunteering ..... I await your organisation with interest :lol:


Fair weather walker, eh? Hopefully you'll manage the next one then :D
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby jupe1407 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:25 pm

Fine report there and cracking pics. Finding decent weather on Skye over that weekend was impressive :lol:

Good to meet you both, and good luck in sorting the next meet.
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby rockhopper » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:44 pm

It did look a bit on the wet side on Saturday for you - no wonder you weren't out on the hills.
Still, Sunday looked pretty good and at least you got some views from Bla Bheinn....which was more than we did :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby PeteR » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:25 pm

Very nice report and photos Alastair :D It was good to meet you both at the weekend :D I hope you have both dried out :shock:

Thanks to you and Alison for letting me walk behind you slowly on this walk :lol: Despite my rest day on Saturday I think I was still recovering from the Forcan Ridge on Friday :shock:

But it was a great walk this one with some stunning views :D Hopefully I'll get some of my photos up at some point.
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby Bod » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:40 pm

Well weaselmaster, what a weekend! And well done you guys getting up Bla Bheinn and what a reward it presented you :D :D :D

We were so glad we managed a A Chralaig and Mulloch Froach choire in Kintail on the Friday, and our wet wild afternoon stroll up towards the Cuillin on the Saturday was superb........as was our evening together :D :lol: :lol:

Great account of your campsite antics and mountain fun. Great meeting you and here's to the next one - thank you both of you for taking on the challenge :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Bla Bheinn on a wet weekend

Postby gaffr » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:40 am

Three dodgy number plate digits on display. :) Even the grand old masters in the SMC did not use them to register the Compleatist following six six five. :lol:
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