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Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil - a test of friendship!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:13 pm
by JimboJim
This was an early start - for me. Never sleep well when wife on night shift anyway and the prospect of a walk next day, seems to waken me buzzin' way too early. No point waiting for daylight, however it was still black when I made my way down Glen Dochart, so took a few stabs to find the right start point. Must admit I found it quite exhilerating, to be heading off into the dark, at 7.30am.
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Dark 7.20
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Moon over Ben More.

I had discussed my route, with good friend and mentor, Big Jesper who had suggested taking in the hills in a clockwise circuit. The night before, my various reading made me think, more folk seemed to do it the opposite way. Knowing BJ, I was sure his assertion that the climb up from Lairig a Churain, to Sgiath Chuil, was not as steep as it looked in his photo's, would be true!
Anyway, I followed the north pointing signpost, to "hillwalk" and made my way up various tracks, onto the boggy, (very boggy) ground, rising towards Meall Glas.
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Early sun on Meall Glas.
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Ben Challum
I chose to skirt to the west of Meall Glas Beag, but I think one could equally divert round to the east. As the light came in, it was great to see views of Ben More, Lui and Challum, as I neared the top. There had been little sign of feared snow, but taking a meander across a patch, wakened me to the risks of it being turned to ice - solid and slippy!
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Meall Glas cairn to Sgiath Chuil.

Took me just under two and a quarter hours to the first top, where the views extended to Dorain and hills of Glen Lochay and Ben Lawers to the east, though getting ever more hazy. There's quite a well worn path from here, over to the trig point on Beinn Cheathaich, where I started to have serious doubts about the chances of my friendship with Big Jesper, lasting much longer! It sure looks steep from here!
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The "not too steep" climb up Sgiath Chuil.
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Beinn Dorain.
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Ben Lui.

Winding my way down to the lairig, I met a hardy soul heading up, with his dog leading the way. He was obviously making faster progress than I, but strongly suggested I don't go straight up, but instead head, almost east and onto the ridge, to the north of Meall a Churain. Sensible advice, one would say, especially as my legs were feeling the pace, however I soon knew that me, being me, would probably just do things the difficult way and so it was.
Much gnashing of teeth and blaming Jesper and myself, ensued as I zig-zagged my way up the steep slope, however I was rewarded and delighted to find a wee Ptarmigan, watching my struggle, as I finally made it onto the level. I made it to the top of Sgiath Chuill in four and a quarter hours.
I was looking forward to a more relaxing descent, however I think my general relief to have got the worst of it out the way, lowered my guard and I foolishly never paid enough attention to keeping to track on the way down, drifting way eastwards onto terrible terrain, thick tussocks of grass, heather and decaying bracken , as well as bogs and more bogs.
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Distant Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin.
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Ptarmigan, distinctly unimpressed by my efforts to get up Sgiath Chuill.
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Sgiath Chuil from South.
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And Ben More & Stob Binnein through the haze.
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Meall Glas and Ben Challum, looking west.
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Ben More and Stob Binnein
Agh! I must have added about an extra mile and half hour to my journey, finally getting back to the car in six and a quarter hours and very tired! Still, it was a good day out and still pals with Big Jesper - for now!

Re: Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil - a test of friendship!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:18 pm
by Big Jesper
Hi Jimbo, glad to see that we are still friends as i remember it as an quick easy wee wander up sciath chuill. Looks like you had a good day anyway. PS going by you're time, looks like the fitness levels fitness have slipped a wee bit. Will be tested in january.

Re: Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil - a test of friendship!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:31 pm
by JimboJim
Thanks, Jasper. Yes, I forgive you. It was no quick, easy wee wander for me. Getting outta shape. My careless descent easily cost me half an hour, if not more and took a lot out me - what a wally! Saying that, I was still below the stated time of 7-9 hours. No' bad for an old codger! You better get yourself in shape, or I'll leave you behind on the next one, fatty!