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Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Beinn Eighe - sort of....


Postby Joey » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:42 pm

Route description: Beinn Eighe (western summits)

Munros included on this walk: Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)

Date walked: 05/09/2013

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Let me begin at the begin. A new member to WH website, I'd put a message up on the board to say hello and if anyone would like to take me to do Beinn Eighe, get in touch. After many holidays in the area, it was always a desire of mine to climb up it. The lovely Rocket Ron got in touch at the beginning of the week to see if I wanted to do it. After a quick check of the work diary, Thursday was agreed and even better, the forecast was looking promising!!

So picture the scene, in my kitchen clearing the dinner dishes away. Me - "Oh, by the way, I'm doing Beinn Eighe on Thursday...." The husband "oh right, who with?" Me - "a guy I met on the WH website. He's offered to take me up. I've not met him before." The Husband "you've never met him, don't know him and you're climbing a mountain with him?" Me "Och, I've read reports where he's mentioned a lot. It will be absolutely fine." The husband "you're off your rocker, he could be anyone." Me "I let you walk me home from the Caley 30 odd years ago and you didn't turn out to be a nutter." (Much). However, a fair point was made, but I had done my research and 'Rocket Ron' was a well kent face on the website. So I was confident that I would be in good hands and make it back safely to see if Phil Mitchell survived the car crash (touch and go at time of writing). It's just a shame the same can't be said for my waterproof over trousers, but more of that later.

The hills I'd done to date were all what I would call safe and I felt ready to tackle something more challenging. I don't care for ridges, or climbing up bits where there's the potential to fall off. I'm a fearty, but determined to get a grip and challenge myself.

So, Thursday arrived and I met Ron (lovely chap) and (even better) Charlie the Lab at Tesco car park and off we set. I was nervous, but excited too, especially as the forecast was good and as Ron had never had a view on Beinn Eighe, despite climbing it several times, this was a bonus.

We arrived at the carpark, got tooled up and off we set. We were doing the anti-clockwise route and followed the path between Liathach and Beinn Eighe. Now, I'd read many reports about the speed Ron walks at.....hells bells!! Even at my smartest pace, it wasn't long before quite a gap had opened up between us. I was soon huffing and a puffing. Charlie looked round now and then, clearly wondering what the hell was taking me so long. It was the views. I just had to keep stopping to take a snap and just drink it all in. Stunning.

We eventually arrived at Coire Mhic Fhearchair and the Triple Buttress was just as impressive in the flesh as it was in all the many photos I looked at. Ron suggested a pit-stop and I just about knelt down and kissed his feet. I was really feeling it. Clearly, not as fit as I thought I was.

Now. I'd read about the scree chute and had seen photos of it, but when I saw it in the flesh, a sweary word beginning with F, popped into my head. I am never going to get up there. This was way beyond what I'd done to date and I was not looking forward to it. The WH guide suggested that coming down it was marginally easier than going up it, but it looked flippin difficult to me no matter what way you tackled it.

Off we set, walking way over to the left to get away from the worst of the scree. Rocket Ron had been renamed Mountain Goat - he just flew up it. I started up and quickly found that as long as I got good handholds, and took my time, it was actually 'doable'. Even if my feet slipped on the loose rock (they didn't) I was confident that I had a fairly secure hold and managed to find most of the steps. I'd put my grippy gloves on before we started and this helped I think. Half way up I found that I was enjoying it. Go me!! There was one slightly tricky bit near the top, where I started to haver about where to put my foot next and the gremlins crept into my heid for a second, telling me I was going to slip, but I managed to haul myself up and collapsed next to Ron at the top. The climb up had taken it out of me and cramp was starting to creep into my right calf.

After a short sojourn taking in the views and Ron pointing out the ridge we were going to walk along (gulp), we headed off to summit the first Munro, Rhuadh Stac Mor. It was an easy walk up to the summit with a wee scramble to the cairn. Chuffed as.

We returned to the Col, chatted to a couple of guys who were up on holiday from Yorkshire and then set off up Choinneach Mor. I hadn't really liked the look of this when I had been sitting before we went to summit the first Munro, but once I started, I found it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. Ron decided to cut off and take a bypass path, so I followed, but did not enjoy this bit at all. In the main, it was ok, but there were a couple of dodgy bits, where I had to hang on to tufts of grass and I was very glad to get back up onto the grassy plateau.

I kept looking towards what was to come and started to get uneasy. I don't know if it was the walk along the bypass path or that my legs were really feeling it (I do think I'd expended alot of energy trying to match Ron's walking pace) but I'd now started to talk myself out of doing the second Munro. It just looked really daunting. I was okay walking along the ridge until we came to a section where a steepish climb was required. I plonked myself down on a stone and asked Ron what the options were for getting down......

He jogged off to have a look and came back to report that there was a zig zag path down that looked ok. He suggested I use both poles for balance and off we set. For the second time that day, a sweary word beginning with F popped into my heid. This looked hard. No, it looked difficult. It was scree all the way down. There was a faint path to start with, but this was clearly a route tackled by experts, not novices like me! But Ron wouldn't have taken me down there if he didn't think I'd manage. The Mountain Goat was off and making it look like a piece of duff. So I gritted my teeth and headed down. I actually think a bit of my skiing technique kicked in. I just put my feet parallel to the hill and slid down, sort of traversing and just going with the stones. I found that moving rocks under my feet didn't trouble me too much and I soon found I got into a bit of a rhythm. I fell a few times and slid on my backside, controlling my speed with my feet and poles. But all in all, by the time I'd got two thirds of the way down to where Ron was waiting for me, I was finding it quite enjoyable! Charlie looked in a bad mood. I sat to have a drink and Charlie curled right up, practically on my lap. It must've been sore on his paws. I apologised to Ron for not doing the second Munro, which I felt really bad about, but at least he'd tried a new way down!! Ron pointed to where we were to aim to get across the stream and back on the path and we set off down the rest of the scree then onto the flat boggy hill. When we got to the stream, Ron started walking upstream to find a bit with stepping stones to cross, but I was so knackered, I just waded through the water! We picked up the path and headed back to the car park.

Thankfully, probably due to laziness, I'd kept my waterproof over trousers on, after a wee shower earlier in the day. They had no backside left. I looked like I was wearing a pair of chaps. I just needed a horse and cowboy hat. But thankfully my walking trousers were still intacto.

So, what did I learn? As a novice, I had no problem going up the chute, and wouldn't hesitate doing it again. I'm not bothered by moving scree, although I would not recommend that route as a way down. I need to walk at a pace I'm comfortable with and not try and keep up with guys that are much fitter and younger than me! Although I was only on a short section of the ridge, I wasn't scared and I thought I would be. My bum bruises easily.

I will go back and start the walk clockwise to do the other Munro another time.

A big thank you to Ron and Charlie for their enduring patience, company and expertise!
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Joey
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Re: Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Postby rockhopper » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:00 pm

:lol: :lol: "....Me "I let you walk me home from the Caley 30 odd years ago and you didn't turn out to be a nutter." (Much)...." :lol: :lol:
Enjoyed that and well done for achieving what you did ! Sounds like you did have a great time. Was up there recently and really enjoyed it as well - cracking set of hills - cheers :)
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Re: Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Postby rocket-ron » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:26 am

glad you enjoyed your self joey. I was not bothered about getting to second summit. as I have done it before. I will head back up soon. to do a complete traverse off it. there is a few tops for me to get. am just glad I got views yesterday for a change.
wee tip for you. never ever try to keep up with a faster walker. it kills you trying to do it
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Re: Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:43 am

Well done Joey!

As a victim of Ron's walking pace I can sympathise completely :crazy: :crazy:

My husband has given up worrying about me meeting strange men, I think he feels more sorry for them having to put up with my constant gibbering :lol: :lol:

Still have Beinn Eighe to do, really looking forward to it but maybe not that pesky scree chute :( :(

Take care and hopefully see you on a hill soon X
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pollyh33
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Re: Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Postby Joey » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:48 pm

rockhopper wrote::lol: :lol: "....Me "I let you walk me home from the Caley 30 odd years ago and you didn't turn out to be a nutter." (Much)...." :lol: :lol:
Enjoyed that and well done for achieving what you did ! Sounds like you did have a great time. Was up there recently and really enjoyed it as well - cracking set of hills - cheers :)



Thanks! I enjoyed it very much. I've always avoided hills with pointy bits, sticking to the rounder versions, but had a great day. Annoyed at myself for not doing the second munro, but will go back for it.
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Joey
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Re: Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Postby Joey » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:49 pm

rocket-ron wrote:glad you enjoyed your self joey. I was not bothered about getting to second summit. as I have done it before. I will head back up soon. to do a complete traverse off it. there is a few tops for me to get. am just glad I got views yesterday for a change.
wee tip for you. never ever try to keep up with a faster walker. it kills you trying to do it



Thanks again Ron! I will definitely stick to my own pace from now on, but I felt bad that I was holding you and Charlied boy back. Had a great day, though my bum says otherwise. It's black and blue - literally! x
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Joey
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Re: Beinn Eighe - sort of....

Postby Joey » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:53 pm

pollyh33 wrote:Well done Joey!

As a victim of Ron's walking pace I can sympathise completely :crazy: :crazy:

My husband has given up worrying about me meeting strange men, I think he feels more sorry for them having to put up with my constant gibbering :lol: :lol:

Still have Beinn Eighe to do, really looking forward to it but maybe not that pesky scree chute :( :(

Take care and hopefully see you on a hill soon X



Thanks! My husband should know me by now! If I can get up that chute, anyone can!! x
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Joey
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