walkhighlands

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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.

Stob Ban and a spare tube in the grey corries

Stob Ban and a spare tube in the grey corries


Postby scottishkennyg » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:17 pm

Munros included on this walk: Stob Bàn (Grey Corries)

Date walked: 11/12/2013

Time taken: 4 hours

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A short walk in the grey corries to climb Stob Ban. The temperature was 13.5C for mid-December, mental. The really early start and low cloud made it impossible to see up to the snow line so I packed the mini crampons and set off on the bike. The wee minister let me pass without a donation, ironically I‘ve had two pound coins in the car to donate into the Lochaber Mountain Rescue for 8 months. So I did not earn the good fortune for travellers and bad luck might befall me later. Interesting local research on the “wee minister”can be viewed at http://www.cali.co.uk/highexp/news.asp?newsid=22 Not surprised the ministers wife found the statue eerie in the blacked out garden during World War1.
The cycle in was over a sound track but the going was tough for me as it was into the wind and I am no Sir Bradders. I was off the bike more than on it and still have not mastered the middle cog yet.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I can use the lever to decrease, but when I change levers I drop a full 8 gears. Why will it not decrease incrementally 15 to 14 rather than straight to 8? Anyway at the top of the pass the gradient changed and it was nice to get a wee rhythm to the empty single storey Lairig Leacach bothy about an hour after starting.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I parked the bike to the rear and noticed a large sectional roof ladder. It seemed way too big for the wee bothy. I could do with a wee loan of that for my own roof but I binned the notion as I did not fancy cycling back in and out porting a ladder.
I turned right at the edge of the bothy and set off up that side of the stream in preference to crossing the wee bridge and going up the ridge as the cloud was still low. The going was wet and boggy which encouraged the DIY rubber glued Meindl Goretex boots to sieve in water. Squelched on up to the corrie and got some glimpses of the shiny quartzite slabs and connecting ridge.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
No way was I scrambling up those wet slabs with webbed feet.
I followed the main line up to reach the ridge crossing a wee stubborn lump of snow to avoid some wee boulders.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
On the ridge I took out the etrex 10 to have a go.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Aye it was really helpful…I had loaded on waypoints I created from WH gps map using gpx files. Then recalled I had walked a different route. Still not got to grips with the gadget, but sourced the satellite icon to confirm accuracy to 3 metres on the os map, just a shame I do not know how to segment one inch squares to optimise a 10 figure grid reference.
I planked the ruck sack secured with an anchor rock just in case there happened to be scavenging birds seeking a crunchie or another strong wind to blow the rucksack down the glen as happened before a la Strathfarrar four..
I took a new compass bearing from the 10 figure grid reference and headed up steepening slopes over loose stony terrain. I managed to lose the eroded path and ended up heading up some wee gaps between crags.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I spooked a big hare who looked embarrassed in full white winter coat, it looked like a ghost in the eerie fog. He duly vanished before I got the camera out so I climbed up to the small summit to locate the wee cairn, a little over two hours after setting off. I took the money summit shot then sat down out of the wind to scan the etrex gadget.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
There was no sign of any cloud clearing so I took another bearing and headed back. This time I followed the path, it was pretty bad in some sections and called for some dodgy scree skiing.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I exercised due caution when I heard stones tumbling down as I did not fancy clattering anyone coming up in the rush hour.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I relocated the ridge, grabbed the rucksack and set off crunching down the wee bit of snow. The main descent was wet and slippery so there were plenty of unrehearsed body movements. Oddly my feet were steaming away nicely in the boots, so much so the foam frothed from the Vietnamese goretex with each step.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I escaped the clouds and chanced a slightly higher route of descent on the left hand side of the ascent path. On the final section near the bothy I fell, rear over chest, more a full slide rather than a micro slip, which resulted in a soggy southern region. I got up and continued nonchalantly like the unwilling drunk, nice practice for our Christmas night out.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I entered the bothy 50 minutes after leaving the summit for a wee nosey. (lovely view over to sgurr Innse)
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I had a quick poke about then signed the log book.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Image
StobBanDec2013 043 by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Wondered what the wee red tabs in the bag were, some legal psyche uppers for the weary walkers? Not!
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

I retrieved the bike and set off downwind for the return leg. The sun was trying to peek through and the breaks in the clouds offered some great views of the glen and surrounding hills, dominated by the impressive rocky summit of Sgurr Innse.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
The majority of the return leg was downhill and it was easy to get coasting speed up with minimum effort. I had to slam on the disk brakes when a blue rinse sheep with big horns wandered onto the road.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
As soon as I took out the camera it bolted.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr

So it was off again downhill over the very stony surface. Then the wee minister cast some low level bad luck and the back tyre blew out at speed. Metal rims do not provide shock absorbing properties.
After I had stopped counting my blessings I turned the bike upside down and set about a repair. Chuffed, that I had carried a spare tube and a pump.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Back on the road it was freewheeling all the way. I passed by a couple who were heading up the track and then bid a final farewell to the wee minister
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
before arriving at the car four hours after initially setting out.
A nice short outing, another one down and only 12 more to do to compleat this round….
I drove back along the pot holed track recalling the earlier image of the heavy logging lorry rumbling over the road which no doubt would contribute to the pot holes in the road. Still at least we still have the option to take vehicles up this track to the gates.
The second section after the gate.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
The first section after the lodge seemed to be the worst for my car.
Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
I went back to the Fort for a quick session in the gym and a warm shower before lunch.
On the drive home there was time for a nice image of the grey corries, Aonochs, and Big Ben with very little snow in contrast to the winter walk I enjoyed in April over the CMD to BB.

http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30516

Image
. by scottishkennyg, on Flickr
Last edited by scottishkennyg on Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stob Ban and a spare tube in the grey corries

Postby NickScots » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:08 am

Nice slabs for rock climbing.

All that stuff on the table is from UK issue army ration packs. The red things are just boiled sweets.
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Re: Stob Ban and a spare tube in the grey corries

Postby scottishkennyg » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:22 pm

NickScots wrote:Nice slabs for rock climbing.

All that stuff on the table is from UK issue army ration packs. The red things are just boiled sweets.


Cheers Nick
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Posts: 645
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