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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.
Dark 7.20
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.
Early sun on Meall Glas.
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!
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!
The "not too steep" climb up Sgiath Chuil.
Beinn Dorain.
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.
Distant Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin.
Ptarmigan, distinctly unimpressed by my efforts to get up Sgiath Chuill.
Sgiath Chuil from South.
And Ben More & Stob Binnein through the haze.
Meall Glas and Ben Challum, looking west.
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!