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Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")


Postby MG1976 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:16 pm

Route description: Aonach Eagach

Munros included on this walk: Meall Dearg (Aonach Eagach), Sgorr nam Fiannaidh (Aonach Eagach)

Date walked: 28/08/2013

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 9.43 km

Ascent: 1182m

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What brings you to the point of writing a Walk Report about this (im)famous ridge?
Well, this is it how it happened for me....

On the 23rd May (2013), one innocent enough question (Aonach Eagach in 2013 anyone??) started a chain reaction. Another thread followed (Aonach Eagach - 28th August 2013), resulting in 7 people (of varying degrees of daftness) arriving at a small (unspectacular) layby, in Glencoe.

01. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 01.
6 of the 7 "dafties"
[L to R - Martin, Gill, John, Peter, Jimmy & Harry]
I was the 7th, standing in the middle of the road, taking pictures.

We set off at 0910, following the obvious path up the hillside.
The initial climb is straighforward; just keep heading up.
We did, stopping to enjoy the views up, down and across the glen.

02. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 02.
Looking down Glencoe, from above the layby.

03. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 03.
The view, approaching the cloud base.

Just as we were hitting the cloud base, we reached the first decision point of the day; the direct path up to Am Bodach (to the left), or the path up to the corrie head (to the right)?

After much discussion of who's guide book said what, and what we all thought (based on our varying degrees of map "holding" & "turning" skills, I asked everyone for a vote on which direction we should take.
From the outset we had agreed that we were walking as a group and would be staying as a group.
The resulting vote was as follows...

04. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 04.
John - "Well done, gold star."
The rest of you - "Could do better."
It should be noted that Gill (the only woman), and Peter (the most experienced), both voted to go it two opposite directions at once. I'm just saying...

After a bit of sensibility, and a spontaneous recital from Ralph Storer's "Ultimate Guide to the Munros" book, declaring the corrie path to be "HORRENDOUSLY" stony (I can't remember who by), we opted for the direct path to the left.

05. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 05.
The last views of the glen, for a while.

06. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 06.
Buachaille Etive Mor, unable to resist Mr Dismay's advances.

I don't really remember what promted what happened next; I don't know if it was thoughts that we might be gambling with our lives, or if it was thoughts of wishing he was back at home on his sofa, watcing repeats of early 90's family game shows but, (for some reason know only to himself) one of the group turned into Bruce Forsyth as we reached the top of Am Bodach.

07. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 07.
"Fife to see you, to see you Fife."

Okay, so we're 2 hours in....
The cloud is low, but the weather appears to be holding.
So far, the mood is good; we're all getting along well, the pace is steady, the banter is good.
If I was to sum up the day so far, in a musical fashion, the song i'd go for would be
The Banana Splits TV show theme tune - "Tra La La, La La La La" :-D :) :lol:

Then, at 1115, we all stood on top of Am Bodach.
:silent: :silent: :silent: :silent: :silent: :silent: :silent:

08. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 08.
"Hello, high spirited, hill walkers."

At this point, the "Tra La La'ing" was quickly replaced by the theme to "The Good, The Bad & the Ugly."

09. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 09.
The long route ahead.

We had all read similar reports regarding the climb down from Am Bodach onto the ridge.
Some say it's the toughest part (maybe psychologically), others say that if you can't hold your nerve here then it's time to turn around and head home.
We all had a good look, we all voiced how we were feeling (some voices more high pitched than others) but we agreed (eventually) that we were doing this. It was all or nothing deal, we weren't splitting up.

10. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 10.
"Here we go!"

Peter took the lead, having declared himself the most experienced of the group. ( :roll: )
It's not your typical left foot, right foot plod; more a "Where the hell do I put my hand, foot, knee, bum, anything, now" sort of deal.
Eventually we were all down and, looking back up, one thing was clear...
We had better make it all the way across, because none of us fancied climbing back up this.

11. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 11.
Once on the ridge, this is your ONLY (reverse) exit route.

The cloud wasn't too bad, to be fair. I'm sure we missed out on some wonderful views, but I wouldn't say we felt cheated. The ridge itself, needs no support acts....
And so, some more shades of...

12. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 12.
Someone posing, trying to give a bit of persprective.

13. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 13.
Where did they all go?

14. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 14.
Glencoe, an amazing place.

15. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 15.
One of the "easier" sections.

16. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 16.
No words required.

17. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 17.
The summit of Meall Dearg now in sight.
Our first Blue Balloons of the day, await us...

18. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 18.
I know where I was standing but, has anyone seen Harry?

19. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.jpg
Shade 19.
One of John's "I was brave enough to bring my DSLR with me" pictures.
{John-Paul Photography}

20. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 20.
A brief opening in the clouds let us confirm that Glencoe was still down there.

We reached the summit of Meall Dearg at 1215, all happy to rest and enjoyed our lunch.

21. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 21.
The view back along the ridge to Am Bodach.

22. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 22.
The view (or lack of) of what was still to come.

John, having the "big" camera, took the summit group picture, and has kindly shared it with me.

23. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.jpg
Shade 23.
The group summit shot on Meall Dearg
{John-Paul Photography}

We stayed at the summit of our newly aquired Blue Balloons for about half an hour.
We knew that what lay ahead was going to be tougher that what we had already been through, but the initial leg shakes were now a little less obvious than they were, after the climb down from Am Bodach.

I'm not gonna write much more, the ridge between the two Munros took up all our concentration, and taking notes never really happened. Plenty more pictures, but keeping my hand steady enough to actually form words with pen and paper wasn't that important anymore; getting across the ridge was.

So, I hope the picture here give a "flavour" of our trip.
That's all they will do; you really need to "walk the walk" on this one.

We did make it safely across.
Straight after lunch, we were back to climbing again; anyone ever worked as a chimney sweep?

24. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 24.
The ridge doesn't break you in gently after lunch.

25. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 25.
Don't look down and you'll be fine.


I'll post the remaining "25 Shades" as a reply to this post.

Official times are as follows:

Walk time from layby to Am Bodach top: 2 Hours
Walk time from Am Bodach to Meall Dearg summit: 1 Hour
Meall Dearg summit rest time: 30 Minutes

Walk time from Meall Dearg summit to Sgorr Nam Fiannaidh: 3 Hours
Sgorr Nam Fiannaidh summit rest time: 10 Minutes
Walk time from Sgorr Nam Fiannaidh summit to Red Squirrell Camp Site: 2 Hour - 50 Minutes

Total walking time: 8 Hours - 50 Minutes
Total rest time: 40 Minutes
Total Trip Time : 9 Hours - 30 Minutes.


I would just like to thank those who attended for a fantastic day out.
I'd happily "walk" with any of you again some time, but next time (Gill), when Peter asks for the grid refrence for the Cairngorms, could you try and get it right.... :lol:

Cheers,
Martin
Last edited by MG1976 on Wed May 25, 2016 10:16 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Aonach Eagach 1 - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby Fife Flyer » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:38 pm

EAGERLY awaiting part 2 & the rest of the shades :wink:
Brought a smile & a grimace to my face at the same time, it really was that steep :shock:
From what I remember only one of us had shades & she will remain nameless, just think of the extra weight :lol: :lol:
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby MG1976 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:47 pm

The remaining shades...

26. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 26.
Looking at this, you forget about the ridge. Who am I kidding...

27. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 27.
A familiar outlook.

28. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 28.
Another brief break in the clouds.

29. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 29.
I'm quite proud of this from my lowly point & shoot.

30. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 30.
Crazy.

31. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 31.
Is that Jimmy looking for an alternative escape route?

32. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 32.
Taking a break; If I was posing, I wouldn't have been holding on.

33. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 33.
Up this / down this, I can't remember.

34. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 34.
It's a long way back.

35. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 35.
To all my friends & family, that's Glencoe you can('t) see, behind me.

36. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 36.
"Climb Every Mountain"

37. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 37.
The ridgeline, already completed.

38. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 38.
Yazz - "The only way is up"

39. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 39.
Jimmy, did you not start off with a full head of hair?

40. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 40.
Anyone for a pinnacle?

41. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 41.
Cloud.

42. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 42.
Lost a few of them, again.

43. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 43.
Glencoe.

44. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 44.
Those jokers playing Hide & Seek, I wonder where they might be.

45. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 45.
Group Summit Shot - Sgorr Nam Fiannaidh.

46. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 46.
The Pap of Glencoe.

47. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 47.
A long look back up the glen.

48. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 48.
That cloud just never lifted.

49. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.JPG
Shade 49.
Just the long slog down to go.

50. Aonach Eagach 28.08.13.jpg
Shade 50.
A fine view to end a fine day.


Once again,
To Martin, Gill, John, Jimmy, Peter & Harry,

Thanks for an amazing day.
These were 2 well earned blue balloons.

MG
Last edited by MG1976 on Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby The Rodmiester » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:18 pm

Great stuff! Well done all, everything else on the mainland a piece of cake, bring on Skye! :)
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby tomyboy73 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:57 pm

well done all of you , and a great range of pictures for me to go through before i eventually do it, cheers
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby Backpacker » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:09 pm

Some cracking pictures there.

This is definitely on next years to do list
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby jupe1407 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:02 pm

Excellent report Martin ... I'd forgotten about a couple of those sections :lol:
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby rockhopper » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:31 pm

:lol: Well done all - sounded (and looked) to be a great day :thumbup: good to see the joint decision making policy was successful in the end - cheers :)
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby GillC » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:54 pm

Can only say thanks to all for taking me up on my incredulous suggestion and actually doing this,,amazing amazing amazing,,oh and did I mention,,it was AMAZING!

I stayed on til Friday, but the amount of rain that fell in the past 24 hrs in Glencoe is STUPID. most of its in my tent. Im now home, pizza, wine and a warm cosy bed. :clap:
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby GillC » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:58 pm

and hey,,,whats this 9.5hrs thing? we took 8hrs 40, not including the 1mile walk back to the cars lol Don't want Cameron thinking we're a TOTAL bunch of lightweights lol
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby Munchie » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:28 pm

Wow, Wow, Wow.....welll done to everyone but a special well done to ma bud Gill ..... the girl did good and you are all WAY braver than me :shock: .

MG1976 some great photos there and you have really captured an atmospheric Yin-Yang moment in Glencoe (photo Shade 08).

Cracking photos and a job well done folks :clap: :clap: .
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby Silverhill » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:48 pm

Awesome, well done all! 8)
Thanks MG1976 for the detailed pictures of the route. It looks like good fun (am I really saying this? :crazy: ). I think I'm warming towards the idea of doing this....
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby hutchy1 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:34 pm

GillC wrote:and hey,,,whats this 9.5hrs thing? we took 8hrs 40, not including the 1mile walk back to the cars lol Don't want Cameron thinking we're a TOTAL bunch of lightweights lol


now im even more gutted I missed out glad you all had a great day hope you got my message in time
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:41 pm

Great stuff Martin, some of those photo's make it look even harder & scarier - if it's possible :lol: :lol:
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Re: Aonach Eagach - 28/08/13 (50 Shades of "Dismay")

Postby pollyh33 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:49 pm

Fantastic report! :clap: :clap:

If there is one walk that always guarantees a good read its the A/E traverse!

No matter how many hills you have climbed this is the one you have etched on your memory for forever :crazy: :crazy:

Totally different conditions from what I had but same look of relief on all the faces at the end :lol: :lol:

Well done guys and gal :clap:
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