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samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996


Postby litljortindan » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:40 pm

Route description: Beinn Talaidh, via Glen Forsa

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Talaidh

Date walked: 05/04/1995

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 761m

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I've climbed Ben Talaidh twice and encountered the same unusual conditions on each occasion.

My first visit was in the spring of 1995. I can't remember exactly how this came about but I walked along the east shore of Loch Ba, aiming for Ben Talaidh and the option of a night in Tomsleibhe or a bivy on the hill. I think I was possibly hedging my bets between Talaidh and Ben More and had hitched as far as Gruline only because of the cloud sitting on Ben More.

Well, a fair walk in from that starting point and over rough ground. Nevertheless, I found myself on Ben Talaidh's north ridge by late afternoon. That's a very fine way up with short grass and a gradient that seems ideal for fast but non-knackering ascent. The weather had cheered up by 4pm or so and a sunlit summit beckoned. But, oh no, a wee ball of cloud appeared out of nowhere just at the very summit. It might go away, I thought, as I made steady progress upwards. Alas, this wasn't to be. I got to the flat summit area shrouded in mist and couldn't see anything but the stones that lay there. It looked as if the cloud wasn't too thick from the light coming through from above but it just wasn't going anywhere. Reluctantly, I set off down the hill and decided on a bivy about 100 metres below the summit. At least I could lie there and watch the clouds on the horizon coming and going. Not a bad view, even if the summits were obscured.

To explain a bit of context, at the time I would have been using the outer of my tent, a carry mat and my sleeping bag to try to keep the load light. Thus, I was looking out of a tent outer door to watch afternoon turn to evening.

After a while I dosed and, with the wind picking up and the mist having descended to my level, closed the door and drifted off a bit. Some time later I opened my eyes and saw the confusing sight of a red coloured tent roof being strafed by the rising wind. Confusing, as my tent was green in colour. I quickly realised what this meant: sunset colours penetrating the gloom. I got out of the tent as soon as I could and could see gaps above and in the mist and cloud. The cloud maybe closed in again then or else I thought I might get above the cloud be re-ascending. Whatever the case, I raced back to the summit with a strengthening wind at my back. At the summit it was fairly gusting and large gaps were opening in the cloud that now seemed to race past just below the summit. By now I struggled to keep my feet. I faced west leaning into the wind and could see the red of a sun setting behind clouds on the horizon whilst behind me to the east the cloud was glowing redder and redder and throwing up odd shapes as the wind took hold. I have never experienced anything so exhilarating before or since...apart from the one time I went back to Ben Talaidh the following year.

54100004v3.jpg
Loch Ba

54100001v2.jpg
Loch Ba from the upper slopes of Ben Talaidh's north ridge, sky filling with cloud

81030006v2.jpg
view north from near my bivvy site

81030005v2.jpg
view north from near my bivvy site

81030004v2.jpg
later, at or near the summit the cloud being torn apart by a strong westerly

81030003v2.jpg
these clouds are flying towards me but passing just beneath -wind strong enough to knock me about

81030002v2.jpg
the cloud sea

81030001v2.jpg
light fading


1995 route:

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Yes, in autumn 1996 I had an almost identical experience. I was there with a friend this time and we ascended Talaidh in the late afternoon in fairly bright conditions from the outset. However, about half an hour before we reached the summit, a cloud cap formed that just got bigger and bigger. We made our disappointed way to the summit and, once again, the wind picked up as we ascended. The cloud wouldn't drop though so we about turned but not long after breaks started appearing. We made our way back up through the cloud to the top and when we got there I pointed out that clear sky could be seen directly above. Pretty soon after we saw another dip and break in the cloud below the summit. This encouraged us to linger further. The wind started to buffet us about but more and more gaps appeared revealing views out towards Loch Ba and Ben More shrouded in cloud. I couldn't believe it. My friend too was amazed by what was happening. For the second time I stood on the summit of Ben Talaidh bracing myself against the wind as the cloud dipped and raced past just below the summit. We were not bivvying though and had to make our way down in the dark with dubious torches and then had a game of hide and seek with Tomsleibhe at the bottom in the mist. That took quite a long time, despite it seeming an easy task.

65960056v3.jpg
re-ascent just below summit

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fine views opening up with the cloud being blown past around and beneath us

65960069v2.jpg
me willing more breaks in the cloud

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sunset colours finding small gaps in the cloud on Ben More's neighbours

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more cloud still being blown at us, beneath us and around us

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a fantastic after glow and clearer view opening up down to Loch Ba

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spellbound

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an uncommon scene I think


1996 route:

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I expect this sort of thing is not that uncommon but still a coincidence that stands out in my memory and not something I've seen since.
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litljortindan
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby litljortindan » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:33 pm

Might just be blobs of cloud to you but treasured memories to me.
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litljortindan
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:38 pm

I'd say all walks are treasured memories. :wink:
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby litljortindan » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:50 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:I'd say all walks are treasured memories. :wink:


Just struggling a bit with what to write about. On holiday but with a bad back.
Just write for myself, something optimally useful for other folk or what? I should know that my Ben Talaidh blobs of cloud are not that interesting for other folk but they are like beacons in my memory so I felt compelled to write something about them.
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1957
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:57 pm

litljortindan wrote:
Johnny Corbett wrote:I'd say all walks are treasured memories. :wink:


Just struggling a bit with what to write about. On holiday but with a bad back.
Just write for myself, something optimally useful for other folk or what? I should know that my Ben Talaidh blobs of cloud are not that interesting for other folk but they are like beacons in my memory so I felt compelled to write something about them.
Yip you still gotta treasure them all :)
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby rockhopper » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:07 pm

I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for misty shots and sunrise/sunset photos - combined they're even better - good to have a bit of a wander down memory lane now and again - cheers :)
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby rohan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:15 am

Clouds and mist swirling around and lifting for those tantalising glimpses make for a far more interesting trip out than wall to wall sunshine. Your photos are excellent quality, presumeably film rather than digital at that date? They have transposed well. I envy your memory too.
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:14 pm

rohan wrote:Clouds and mist swirling around and lifting for those tantalising glimpses make for a far more interesting trip out than wall to wall sunshine. Your photos are excellent quality, presumeably film rather than digital at that date? They have transposed well. I envy your memory too.


Agreed re. cloud and mist.
Negatives scanned by Snappysnaps in Aberdeen. Despite what the name might suggest they take great care and provide a good service. A lot better than I could manage myself at any rate.
Memory good for some things and not for others!
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1957
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Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:16 pm

rockhopper wrote:I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for misty shots and sunrise/sunset photos - combined they're even better - good to have a bit of a wander down memory lane now and again - cheers :)


I have a grandiose scheme to add all of my memory lane to WH one day. I may spare folk the sharing though!
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1957
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Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
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Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: samey Beinn Talaidh 1995 and 1996

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:17 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:
litljortindan wrote:
Johnny Corbett wrote:I'd say all walks are treasured memories. :wink:


Just struggling a bit with what to write about. On holiday but with a bad back.
Just write for myself, something optimally useful for other folk or what? I should know that my Ben Talaidh blobs of cloud are not that interesting for other folk but they are like beacons in my memory so I felt compelled to write something about them.
Yip you still gotta treasure them all :)


Thanks for the positivity!
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litljortindan
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Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

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