2 out of 4 ain’t half bad
The plan was to do the Glas Maol circuit with the 4 Munros. The forecast for Saturday was rain and wind…..but I am always optimistic “We WILL see some Blue skies!”. The wind was forecast to be coming from a southerly direction, so we decided to do the route in reverse with the hope the wind would be behind us. Some clever thinking going on there!
As always the drive up the A93(northbound) is a delightful journey first thing in the morning, (not so on the way back, stuck behind a stagecoach bus for 30mins )
I have to admit my heart sank a bit, the cloud cover was low, extremely low. It was going to be one of those days, but you can’t always have it sunny and you have to make the most of it!!
The walk to begin with was fine, we have set off for Creag Leacach and it wasn’t too windy and the rain was holding off. I had the film Gorilla in the Mist playing over & over in my head every time I looked back at my mate in the distance….he really did resemble the gorilla ha ha!!
It wasn’t long at all before it was no visibility and soon reaching the famous Glas Maol “Wall” to follow up to the first summit.
The wind had somewhat picked up a notch or fifty when at the first summit. So we very quickly moved on, continuing along the wall. Then the wall ended…..NO MORE WALL to follow!!! Now it was time to really rely on the trusted Map & Compass technique!
The GPS also came in handy, giving accurate grid reference readings. Happy to say that we reached Glas Maol summit with no visibility, actually I was very happy with myself, I haven’t lost my map & compass skills at all!
Unfortunately the weather really took a turn for the worst while reaching the summit. The wind was really gusting, incredibly difficult to stand up, the rain was coming in almost horizontally, stinging the face, and my boots were drenched, the price I paid for not waterproofing the boots for a while! I could see the guys were a wee bit with the weather(despite the constant banter from the start) and I suggested giving Cairn of Claise and Carn an Turic a miss and get down out of the weather. It was a very warmly received suggestion! A quick read of the map and decided to go down Sron Na Gaoithe which still takes us back to the finishing point.
The first 15mins or so was a bit unnerving, trusting the compass and not being to see where you’re going, especially when you’re going off route….but hey it all works out well, we came across the path that was on the map, and followed it down. It wasn’t too long before seeing Sron Na Gaoithe, an impressive hill in its own right.
Reached the summit and was nearly blown off, man I was loving this!! The views as we came down Sron na Gaoithe were amazing. I love how the A93 just slices it way through the Cairnwell.
Some happy guys back at the car and a quick change into dry clothes, and apologies to any cyclists/drivers who might have spotted a few buck-naked guys in the car park!!
All in all, this was an excellent walk, we’ve been lucky with the weather in the past and I can’t remember the last time I did a walk in these conditions. But I believe it’s good to do it, it made me use my compass with my map, brushing up on my navigational skills, an excellent exercise in my eyes. The lads and I had a great laugh, constant banter throughout the walk. It’s always good to catch up with friends, out on the hills, no matter what the weather is. We are incredibly lucky to be able to do this
P.S. The clouds lifted and the Sun came out as we drove back to Dundee. I hate the Sun and it’s timings
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