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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat


Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:25 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Choinnich Mor, Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh

Date walked: 30/11/2013

Time taken: 9 hours

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( I used flickr to upload images so it is possible to double click them to make them larger)

I set off on the road at 0545 for this winter trek over the grey corries. I took the MTB to provide another option if the weather was poor. I arrived at the upper hard standing with the car intact after using only first gear and rolling from just after the lodge. I had a chat with two other early starters heading off on bikes for the bothy and Stob Ban then possibly out and in over the ridge and a return on the bike. Seemed a big day considering it was 0730 and it gets dark at 1615.
I set off with the intention of completing the ridge anti clockwise to provide the option to add in Stob Ban. However I did not realise that the start was right in front of the car, so I ended up going up passed the minister and on to a gate. Crossed the bridge then headed up onto ridge as daylight was dawning.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 001 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
A long pull later I was in the clouds and on the sharp ridge with corries on the left hand side. Intermittent views and a sharp westerly wind added to the exposure.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 027 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 015 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 028 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 030 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I passed cairns on tops Stob Coire Gaibhre,960m, 1064m (great view across to Stob Coire na Ceananin and corries)
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GreyCorries30Nov13 032 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 033 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

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GreyCorries30Nov13 035 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

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GreyCorries30Nov13 038 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

then a final rise up icy terrain to reach the shelter summit cairn at 1020.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 034 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Summit top..
ImageGreyCorries30Nov13 039 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

The cloud stayed and I headed off down the ridge and across to Srob a Coire Leith, Stob Coire Cath na Sine, Caistel, 1065m
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GreyCorries30Nov13 050 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 054 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

then final pull up to ScaL summit at 1145.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 064 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 067 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 071 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

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GreyCorries30Nov13 076 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
The cloud was dense and I was not too keen to set off on a bearing to SCE. I got the new etrex 10 out to check location and I could not get it to work. I must get a copy of GPS for dummies. I then caught a glimpse of the route ahead confirming the compass bearing to be correct. I set off and caught a view of the big descent on the other side of Stob Coire Easain but could not see the last munro. I reached the nice cairn on top of SCE at 1205
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GreyCorries30Nov13 094 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 097 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 104 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
and confirmed the ultimate exit route North via Beinn na Socaich. I continued along the ridge and negotiated the icy sharp boulders and noticed that the pro walkers had broken. The rubber had snapped and the coils unsprung. Pants as I forgot that they are not good for travelling over boulders. Still the crampons were in the bag and available for use although walking over wet boulder with them is as close as I am likely to get to wearing high heels. Respect for the ladies who climb into them. This section needed some hands on scrambling and careful negotiation to avoid any falls.
At 936m lunch was required. A crow circled above but it had no chance of any scraps. Refuelled I set off for the steep pull up SCM NE ridge.
At the upper section the sun pierced the clouds and the views ahead were superb. (the gap in the rocks...)
Image
GreyCorries30Nov13 112 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 118 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 121 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I came across a section of hard ice and it was quite steep with dodgy drops so I donned the crampons, grabbed the ice axe and continued along the ice and snow.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 128 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

Conditions had improved excellent. The sun was shining above the cairn with the dominant backdrop of the Aonachs with views back across walk.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 131 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I reached the summit at 1245 and nominated this as my preferred top of the entire ridge. Well worth the extra effort to sit on top of this on.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 132 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

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GreyCorries30Nov13 135 by
scottishkennyg, on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3783/11177093086_1d5ce9618a_b.jpg[/img][/url]
GreyCorries30Nov13 139 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

After some time I descended back to the ridge and binned the idea of contouring the W face of SCE.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 142 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Across to ScaL
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GreyCorries30Nov13 145 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
So it was up and up to the red cairn and some de ja vu. Still the visibility had improved and I could see over to SCaL.
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GreyCorries30Nov13 147 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

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GreyCorries30Nov13 152 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I still could not see any sign of the two gentlemen who had set off on the bikes. By this time there was only about 1.5 hours of daylight left. But I did see a small bird..think it was an artic bunting..
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GreyCorries30Nov13 148 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

View from SCE back over to SCM
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GreyCorries30Nov13 156 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
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GreyCorries30Nov13 169 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr


I set off on a N bearing and walked over the tops along the ridge
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GreyCorries30Nov13 161 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
before descending into the forest. I passed the krypton factor challenge to open the new gate and continued down to the forest track. Took a bearing and set off for a picnic in the woods. It was eerie walking through the tall pines with dimishing light, thought about the lord of the rings and the Ents. I passed the tree harvest beast machines then encountered a cross roads. I chose the right lane and climbed up the hill to catch the disused tramline. It was now dark and still no sign of the two men. Final hurdle to negotiate..

Image
GreyCorries30Nov13 187 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I followed the path and it led right to the car park at 1630. The other car was still there so the two men had not returned. I looked around searching for head torches but could not see anything. I put on my headlights and flashers for a minute to provide beacon light. Then I remembered that one of the men had said that they were in no rush as they were here for two days so perhaps they were not coming back to the car tonight.

Headed off with full beam on and reached the A82 with the car intact. Safely back in Inverness at 1815 in good time for another Charlie Chan special Chinese meal in readiness for a few well earned pints.. :wink:
Last edited by scottishkennyg on Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby heatheronthehills » Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:36 pm

Bbbbrrrrrrr, looks chilly in the early pics. Looks like a stunning day out though. The photos are fantastic :)
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby mgmt! » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:27 pm

Interesting report, from your photo,s it doesn't look like you needed the ice axe and crampons on, the snow looks soft and the freezing level was above the summits. ?
But what really perked me up was the football comment ? In football nothing is guaranteed, no club has any right to victory against any other they may feel above. The cup game gives these lesser teams a chance to test themselves against those in leagues above them. The guys who play for the mighty rovers are professional footballers who play part time. Scottish football needs all these lesser teams to nurture and help the bigger teams. I mean were would we be without the great Motherwell ?????
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:20 pm

Big day for this time of year, but it looks like the weather was pretty kind to you! Some grand photographs for your records, thanks for posting. This has been some spell of weather, after all it's Scotland, looks like your making the most of it :)
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby scottishkennyg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:24 pm

heatheronthehills wrote:Bbbbrrrrrrr, looks chilly in the early pics. Looks like a stunning day out though. The photos are fantastic :)

Thanks Heather, very cold at start then got better toward the end as the sun poked through..
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby scottishkennyg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:35 pm

Cheers Mgt..
were would we be without the great Motherwell ?????[/quote]

liked that..when you have kicked a ball with them and supported them like me then you know they are hardly ever great!! And having been born and bred in the Lanarkshire area I hope that the “Wee Rovers” get a profitable run in the cup and bring in some decent revenue. I would still have taken the wages off the Motherwell players for managing only one shot in 90 minutes. Lol. Still not a football pundit site so will remove the final chapter.

it doesn't look like you needed the ice axe and crampons on, the snow looks soft and the freezing level was above the summits. ?

Excellent observation regarding the final summit which was indeed free from any “alpine” or “water” ice to offer M13 physical or technical challenges for the “experts” out there. However the north ridge had a large exposed section of ice which as a former guide I would not have let anyone in my group traverse without the proper precautions, especially at the end of a walk. One slip, one fall..good bye. Still the photo sitting on the cairn with grass and crampons with grass!!! is a bit contradictory... :crazy:
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby scottishkennyg » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:38 pm

[quote="The Rodmiester"]
Thanks Rodmiester, the weather was great, cold and windy to start then warmed up slightly toward the end and some nice views...We must be due for a big dump of snow soon and a sharp drop in temperatures... :?
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby mgmt! » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:57 pm

Wow, when did you kick a ball with Motherwell Kenny ? And what guiding qualification do you have ?
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Re: Grey Corries with a snow white undercoat

Postby scottishkennyg » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:28 pm

Long time ago on both accounts and unfortunately not good enough to make any money from either..lol cheers
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