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New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin


Postby tomyboy73 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:07 pm

Route description: Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 01/01/2014

Time taken: 5.45 hours

Distance: 10.9 km

Ascent: 1087m

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Not done a Munro for 6 months and a New Year`s Day walk was planned, we wanted it to be quick and easy to get to, so Beinn Narnain was the lucky hill for the day. It was me & Jim again, and we were joined this time by his cousin, Claire. She was over visiting for the christmas holidays from Holland and actually fancied doing a Munro. I was a little worried that she may be put off by the conditions, but she was well up for it. :) We headed off early knowing that bad weather was to arrive in the afternoon. It was a pretty decent morning, just getting cloudy as we arrived at the Succoth car park. We were glad we hadn`t been there a few days earlier, going by the state of it, looked like the loch had risen right into it, leaving driftwood & debris all over the place.
We took the WH recommended route, which Jim & I had both done twice before anyway, so we knew where we were going, this time. The first time we did this, along with Ben Ime, was November 2011, our first outing on the hills without anyone holding our hands and with low cloud like today`s, we stopped and celebrated at every small cairn we found thinking we had reached the summit, only to see more mountain appear in front of us when the cloud shifted. :roll: We never saw a thing that day, and the same thing happened when we both climbed it again separately. Maybe today would be different ? Aye, right.
We climbed the path/stream , which wasn`t as fast flowing as we expected. Claire took it in her stride, no problem.
We were now emerging from the tree line and couldn`t really see much of the mountain in front of us.
6892749-P1210286-1.jpg
no cloud yet

We looked down behind us at what would be the last views of the day.
DSC_0100wh.jpg
Arrochar & Loch Long



It was now on to the hill proper, with twisting, climbing paths and some boggy steps along the way.
About an hour and a half into the walk, snow patches began to appear and become more abundant and by about 700m the whole place was a misty, winter wonderland. The path had disappeared under it and we decided to set a bearing on the compass. We followed this and some footprints in the snow. Visibility was really poor, but at least the rain or snow had stayed off, and the wind wasn`t too bad.
DSC_0110wh.jpg
Jim & Claire make their way up

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Claire falling in the snow

The climb then eases for a bit giving you an a bit of a rest after going over Cruach nam Miseag, around about 800m before the next climb up towards the Spearhead.
DSC_0113wh.jpg
Rocks

The next rocky section led us into a craggy area filled with huge rocks and we clambered around them taking us towards a huge rock which i mistook for the Spearhead.
DSC_0119wh.jpg
Heading for the false spearhead

in this settlement of rocks we found a tree growing, sheltered from the wind in a wee grotto like cove.
We then slowly climbed up this narrow gully, which was a bit hairy at first, an icy rock had to be negotiated first before digging steps into deep snow. I already had my ice axe out and Jim noticing how dodgy this was, got his out for Claire, insisting she take it and we showed her how to use it for climbing through the snow and, in case she fell. There wasn`t much height to fall but any slip would have resulted in a head knock or a twisted leg and most definitely it would have been curtains for Jim ! But the snow was taking our weight and i led with Claire following and Jim taking up the rear. We just had to throw ourselves over the final lip of snow and i was glad to see we were in a safe place.
6892830-P1210337-1.jpg
snow climbing

We then had a less steep climb up through the snow, but we had found the path again and it was a simple climb until you looked down.
6892832-P1210339-1.jpg
Don`t look down

I shouted at Claire to look back at what she had climbed up, because for someone on her first Munro, she had coped excellently and wasn`t afraid at all. :clap:
We were now approaching the Spearhead and the last climb of difficulty of the day.
DSC_0128wh.jpg
Spearhead

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Gully

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Up the Gully

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Ice rimed rocks

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Looking down the Gully

DSC_0130wh.jpg
Jim & Claire in the Spearhead Gully


The climb up here was really easy compared to that last one. Only the wind was getting stronger now. There was an icy blast in the air, which could be seen by the ice building up on the surrounding rocks.
Jim and claire walked up on top of the spearhead.
DSC_0134wh.jpg
on top of Spearhead

It was now just a case of following the compass, fingers crossed, to the summit as it was a complete whiteout. The trig point emerged from the cloud, and we were only a few degrees off with our bearing. We let Claire reach it first.
6892850-P1210356-1.jpg
Claire about to bag her first Munro

We joined her at the summit for some icy photographs, and then headed off for the drop off on the other side quickly, the icy wind was too much too bear.
6892852-P1210358-1.jpg
Summit pose

6892854-P1210360-1.jpg
mountaineers


We went off track for a bit and disaster struck when Jim`s sole almost completely came off his boot, should have got new boots sooner, instead he wanted to wait for the january sales :lol: We tried tieing it up with straps off our axes but it wouldn`t hold, just as well i had my crampons with us. He put one of them on and that held him together till we got back to the car.
A few other people came down off the hill as we waited for him to sort himself out, and this reassured us that we were back on track, either that they were as lost as us ! Oh yeah, this is when i got a phonecall from my wife, I answered the call, "what have you done to the wallpaper in the living room?" she asked i laughed, and replied "so you haven`t phoned to ask if i`m safe, but to ask about wallpaper ?" Jim and Claire just laughed. :lol: I think i had squeezed between the dining table and the wall to switch a lamp off on my way out, with my rucksack on, which also had my ice axe strapped to it , doh .
So we carried on , slipping and sliding in the snow sometimes deliberately (bumsliding) but mostly by accident, till we got to the fenceposts crossing the bealach between Narnain & Ben Ime. Seeing these, we changed direction back towards the cobbler which was when we could finally start to see below the cloud again. It wasn`t until we reached the path coming off the Cobbler that we could see clearly . All along on the way back we kept looking back at Ben Arthur to see if it would pop out of the clouds, but to no avail.
DSC_0153wh.jpg
cobbler

I stopped for a bit to answer a call of nature and the others carried on. As i ran back to catch up with them i nearly ran into a man with two huge dogs, who were giving me a bit of a growl. That was a bit harsh i thought, then i realised what the dogs must have seen , a guy in a balaclava wielding an ice axe running towards them and there master !

I caught up with them and Claire was telling us how much she loved her day on the hill, another Munro lover in the bag !


A link to Jim`s everytrail page and more pictures
http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=2539795
Last edited by tomyboy73 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby jogilv16 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:31 pm

if this was me on my first munro ,id be well chuffed with myself,well done claire.
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby doogz » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:34 pm

You and your pal have winter gear and you take someone up a munro in WINTER without any proper gear............??????????????????????????????????????? :clap:

Please tell me those arent JOGGING bottoms she has on

In fact why would you take a novice walker onto a Munro when the weather has been so dire /
The fact that she had no knowledge if by some terrible accident youd been split up in the mist or a fall
The fact that the girl had no gear in that kids bag

unbelievably naieve.....
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby gammy leg walker » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:40 pm

Cracking TR Tommy and well done to Claire on bagging her 1st Munro. :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:47 pm

Great stuff Tommy!

Photos were a big help to us doing the Cobbler today.

Well done Louise- hope there will be many more!

Jim, are you still super mega fit with all the running?
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby jogilv16 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:39 pm

Ha ha Pauline you kidding me. To much food over crimbo. Think you would kill me on a run just now,,,,
How was your walk on cobbler. Looked good up there to. Happy new year to u and family.
Will try get myself a little fitter in the new year.
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:53 pm

Ooooft Jim just realised I called Claire, Louise!!! Apologies!!!

Ha ha I think you could defo thrash me at the running.

Cobbler was smashing- lots of larking about. All laughs and bum slides!!
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby tomyboy73 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:05 pm

doogz wrote:You and your pal have winter gear and you take someone up a munro in WINTER without any proper gear............??????????????????????????????????????? :clap:

Please tell me those arent JOGGING bottoms she has on

In fact why would you take a novice walker onto a Munro when the weather has been so dire /
The fact that she had no knowledge if by some terrible accident youd been split up in the mist or a fall
The fact that the girl had no gear in that kids bag

unbelievably naieve.....


oh oh here come the mountain fashion police tut tut brigade

Everything about this walk was carefully calculated from the choice of hill, done twice before each, with no obvious exceptional dangers, to the timing of the walk for weather conditions. If something happened the very sensible and fit girl knows how to work a telephone and call for help, which is as much as any experienced walker could have done. We had two minutes of anxiety out of 6 hours walk, yes she had JOGGING bottoms on over a layer of thermals underneath and waterproof walking boots no less. And her kids bag had plenty of food & layers in it which she had stripped off ten minutes into the walk. And there was no chance of us being split up as we stayed together for the entire walk. I always write my reports a bit tongue and cheek and wondered when i would incur the wrath of someone who knows better, so thanks for your input but i would have taken it a bit more sincerely if you had been more polite about it.
By the way she absolutely loved it and can`t wait to come back and do it again.
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby tomyboy73 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:09 pm

thanks Gammy and Polly, glad you enjoyed your walk today, but cut out that larking about stuff, someone might get injured
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:21 pm

[socialhiking[/socialhiking]
tomyboy73 wrote:thanks Gammy and Polly, glad you enjoyed your walk today, but cut out that larking about stuff, someone might get injured



Aye, we were defo splitting our sides laughing!!!!!
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby Moriarty » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:39 pm

A report in the WH tradition.

Never mind the H + S nonsense.....jist git oot there. :clap:
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby lomondwalkers » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:35 am

Looks like a cracking day was had Tommy. Well done to Claire on her first, especially in those conditions. Great way to kick off the new year
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby doogz » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:01 pm

tomyboy73 wrote:
doogz wrote:You and your pal have winter gear and you take someone up a munro in WINTER without any proper gear............??????????????????????????????????????? :clap:

Please tell me those arent JOGGING bottoms she has on

In fact why would you take a novice walker onto a Munro when the weather has been so dire /
The fact that she had no knowledge if by some terrible accident youd been split up in the mist or a fall
The fact that the girl had no gear in that kids bag

unbelievably naieve.....


oh oh here come the mountain fashion police tut tut brigade

Everything about this walk was carefully calculated from the choice of hill, done twice before each, with no obvious exceptional dangers, to the timing of the walk for weather conditions. If something happened the very sensible and fit girl knows how to work a telephone and call for help, which is as much as any experienced walker could have done. We had two minutes of anxiety out of 6 hours walk, yes she had JOGGING bottoms on over a layer of thermals underneath and waterproof walking boots no less. And her kids bag had plenty of food & layers in it which she had stripped off ten minutes into the walk. And there was no chance of us being split up as we stayed together for the entire walk. I always write my reports a bit tongue and cheek and wondered when i would incur the wrath of someone who knows better, so thanks for your input but i would have taken it a bit more sincerely if you had been more polite about it.
By the way she absolutely loved it and can`t wait to come back and do it again.





Your site has a warning on every page placed by Mr Webster himself



""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. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

i never ever went to fashion school

i merely pointed out your friend was under equipped to be on any scottish mountain

fact...temp at 900m was -14 or worse in winds ,taken from MWIS
Fact...MRT are an emergency service not for finding new walkers with noidea where they are
fact.. a 10l bag wont have enough equipment to save herself in an emergency..which thankfully she didnt have
fact....experience and knowledge of YOU was never questioned
fact ..your taking a walker with no experience of even scottish routes and weather changes at this time WAS queationed
fact ..you really do know that the girl should never have been up that route when there is a sloped route you could have done

FACT.........every year walkers of HUGE experience come to grief either minor or sadly lose their lives on the scottish hills

I should know its one year almost to the day since my friend was KILLED on a scottish mountain and he knew EVERYTHING about winter walking, climbs,,guiding and MRT ...

So there you go , from the "fashion police tut tut brigade " most offensive thing written on this thread

i never wrote i knew better at any point , what i do know is that joggers and a furry jacket arent winter equipment and i believe YOU knew that too
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby tomyboy73 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:51 pm

Doogz,
I don't have a problem people telling me I'm taking a risk, and I really don't want to go on and on about it, but your manners leave a lot to be desired, that is my only problem with anything you have wrote.
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Re: New Year`s Day walk for Munro Virgin

Postby goth_angel » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:25 pm

tomyboy73 wrote:Doogz,
I don't have a problem people telling me I'm taking a risk, and I really don't want to go on and on about it, but your manners leave a lot to be desired, that is my only problem with anything you have wrote.



Hi,

I don't think doogz was in any way trying to be rude - he was simply concerned for your friend who on the face of it was on what could have been quite a dicey route in full on winter conditions and high wind.

I've done the hill in question and although it is a straightforward winter hill that does not make it a cakewalk.It is easier up from the bealach which is how we did it in winter.

Your friend did appear to be in less than suitable clothing - hopefully there were waterproofs etc in the bag but my biggest concern on reading the report was the lack of ice axe and crampons. OK your friend lent her his axe but that left him vulnerable particularly on the steep part of the route. None of you seemed to have crampons unless I have misread.

Nobody is perfect and I am no expert but it did seem as though the envelope was pushed a bit much. Great she enjoyed it though.

No offence intended by my comments. I am one of life's risk averse people including on the hills.
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