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Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Day 2

Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Day 2

Postby Graeme D » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:45 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Garbh Bheinn (Loch Leven)

Date walked: 10/11/2013

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 5.9 km

Ascent: 870m

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The sunday of the Kinlochleven meet and I awoke to a) the faded memory of winning the quiz along with AnneJ, Jupe1407 and Kilted Biggles and b) a truly stomach wrenching odour in the 8 bed dorm. Oh well, if you will share a dorm with three Alans and an Andy after a night supping Trade Winds and Wildcat in the pub, then these things will happen. I stumbled into the bathroom where oddly enough the stench was less repugnant and threw some water at my face before venturing downstairs to again find that the hostel was a hive of activity with people making breakfast and preparing either to head home or head for more hills.

Nigel (Old Danensian) and myself had made plans to reprise our Sunday Corbett bagging exploits of last November on Beinn a’Chrulaiste, today’s target being Garbh Bheinn which looms large immediately to the southwest of the village.
After a seemingly endless round of farewells, Nigel and I headed off towards the parking spot just west of the bridge before the campsite at Caolsnacon. In the 10 minutes or so that it took us to get ready and set off, a steady stream of WH meet cars sped past us on their way out of Kinlochleven.

We were off by 9.45 under almost unbroken blue skies, although down here in the lower reaches of the glen it was still very cold out of the early morning November sun.

We opted to get up onto the north west ridge of Garbh Bheinn as quickly as possible to benefit from the sunshine and soon we were sweating buckets and shedding layers like it was high summer.

View down Loch Leven from the first set of crags climbing onto the ridge - cars visible just over the edge of the crags

Na Gruaghaichean and the back end of the Ring of Steall

Na Gruaghaichean zoomed

The ridge ahead

Stob Ban

The views in all directions took in pristine white peaks under bright blue skies – firstly north to the Mamores and south to the Aonach Eagach, then as we gained height, west beyond Loch Linnhe and into Ardgour.

Vapour trail and Edinburgh couple

Back down the ridge - in the sunshine now

We quickly caught up with and passed a couple who had stopped to sit down at the top of the steep scrambly section and they then followed close on our tails until we reached the summit, which now revealed a 360° panorama of eye wateringly stunning winter mountain scenery.

One of the Edinburgh couple at the top of the main scrambling section

Lochs Linnhe and Leven behind Nigel

The Aonach Eagach

West towards Ardgour, and the Pap looks quite mighty from here

Sgurr Eilde Beag and Loch Eilde Mor

Summit in sight

The Edinburgh couple hot on our heels

The AE again

Loch Eilde Mor and Blackwater Reservoir from the summit

Nigel about to check in

We chatted to the couple over lunch – they were up walking for a few days from Edinburgh and he claimed that it was his first hill day in 10 years. If this was the case, what a day to end the famine! Another lone walker soon joined us before quickly heading off again. The Edinburgh couple had plans to head south off the summit before heading over the AE ridge and into Glencoe, whereas Nigel and I just wished we had somewhere else to head other than back to our cars and the road home.

The two of us framing a now not quite so mighty looking Pap

A couple of Corbetts between Loch Eilde Mor and Blackwater

Looking east along Loch Eilde Mor (zoomed)

A busy summit today

Another view east

Ben Nevis across the Mamores

Beinn a'Bhethir (zoomed)

On our descent, the snow towards and around the snowline had softened up quite a bit in the full daytime temperatures and remaining upright was not easy in certain sections. There followed a few near misses before the silence was pierced by some industrial language from Nigel as he went into a full scale bum slide down a sodden section of the path.

Nigel on the descent - prior to bum slide

An absolutely brilliant day that was over all too soon to round off a fantastic meet that was similarly over all too soon.
Before I drove off on my road back to Perth, something in my subconscious made me think that I couldn’t remember seeing or packing my black Arcteryx jacket this morning. A quick search of the car confirmed it was missing, so it was back to the hostel which was open and entirely deserted. It wasn’t in my room and did not appear to be in the kitchen/social area. I knew I hadn’t worn it on the hill the previous day (so there had been no need to put it in the drying room) and clearly remembered wearing it back from the pub the previous evening. I was about to give it up as a lost cause when something made me kneel down and scan the room at floor level, and there it was lying under one of the big armchairs in the corner by the pool table. Phew - £170 jacket safe and well!

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Graeme D
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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby Collaciotach » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:22 pm

Grand pics and a good day out :clap:

Been eyeing this up for a while now looks a grand hill indeed !
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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby old danensian » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:35 am

Thanks for writing it up Graeme - paint-spattered and suffering from decorating burn-out meant you beat me to it. Glad there was no photographic record of my impact crater and skid mark.

As you say, if only there had been a ridge to wander along.

Here's the "money shot" as promised.

Exposure - what exposure?

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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:31 am

What a day! For all the right reasons it would appear. Good news about the jacket, I thought it was only older people who forgot things :lol: :lol: I for one have a habit of leaving stuff at bunk houses, hostels you name it :lol: :lol: Great photographic record of the day by the way! :) Not met up with Nigel for a wee while now, no doubt we will some time again. :)
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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby wjshaw2 » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:15 pm

I'm with the Edinburgh Couple for the route choice - if you do this Corbett, then the Aonach Eagach and the Pap you could drop straight back to the car rather than having the long walk back up Glencoe. Sometime soon... It does look reasonably steep on the map coming off Garbh Beinn to the south, how does it look in reality?

Great pics.
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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby Mountainlove » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:21 am

Wow that looks like a great Corbett. The views are amazing and you certainly had the day for it :D You are so lucky to have found our jacket again!! :clap:
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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:20 pm

Loved this Corbett, spent a good while sitting about the summit when i did it. Good choice picking this one on such a fine day. :D
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Re: Blue skies & bum slides on Garbh Bheinn: Kinlochleven Da

Postby PeteR » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:17 pm

This brings back back good memories from earlier in the year :D

Great Corbett this one and a fine winter objective. You certainly had the best of days for it and enjoyed some stunning views by the looks of your photos :D A bit cloudy and snowy when I was up there, but the eventual views I had to the AE and the Pap were ones to savour :D
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