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7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)


Postby GillC » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:21 pm

Route description: Moruisg and Sgurr nan Ceannaichean

Munros included on this walk: Moruisg

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgurr nan Ceannaichean

Date walked: 18/01/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 1000m

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I had promised myself a quiet weekend recuperating from a very busy Christmas, New Year, house move, Kintail trip et al, but the offer of a group meet in Torridon (less petrol money than a solo trip) was too much to resist. I began to get itchy feet on Thursday and by Friday, was looking forward to a trip North for Munro #65

All packed and off to bed by 9:30pm with the alarm set for 2:15am. Leaving home at 3am to drive to Quomans place, pick up Bryan Allan, Dawn Fotheringham and then sit back, letting Wullie take the strain lol
Quick meet up on the A9 with Jonny Mitchell, Campbell and Jeanettie Matthews just after 4am and we were on our way to Torridon.

We had a straightforward run north,,layby "comfort breaks" are none too comfortable when you have to go behind a gorse bush in the dark! OUCH! :shock:

We arrived at the start but realised we had lost the rear car, and then realised we were still a way from the start according to the sat nav, and THEN realised we had the wrong route punched in and were at Coulags, for the start of Maol Chean-Dearg OOPS! :? Finally Bryan got out his GPS and we realised we were not only embroiled in a long run of road works,,but were a full 12km past our start point,,,no wonder we lost the rear car, they knew where they were going lol

It was pretty much daylight when we arrived at the right layby, dry, bit windy and we managed to get over the jibes about missing the start blah blah. Booted up and off at 8:30am. After last weeks feet issues in my winter boots, I had taken time to cut toe nails, re-lace boots etc and hoped for more luck today.

The Corbett here. Sgurr nan Ceannaichean, is a demoted Munro at 913mtrs and could be seen off to the right but our initial target was right up the front of Moruisg

1 Dawn ready for the off.JPG
Dawn ready for the off


Passing through the gate, left then over the wide bridge crossing the burn flowing from Loch Sgamhain, the track was a bit rocky/boggy. Under the railway bridge, nearly came a cropper when my axe caught on the underpass, didn't duck quite low enough :lol: From here it got boggier and boggier. Through a fence and on up on a bump of land between two gullies.

As we climbed up,,looking back, we could see a pile of cars in the car par and about 3 different groups of walkers following up the path behind. On meeting some later, we found out there were 15 of them, in one group but they were spread across the lower slopes like a search party, maybe they just weren't too fond of each other!!! :crazy:
Nevertheless, met several of them at varying stages of the day,,friendly enough bunch.

2 A wee regroup on the lower slopes.JPG
A wee regroup on the lower slopes


Couple of rest stops as the ascent steepened, climbing closer to the ravine on the right with its waterfall cascading from a snow covered slope above.

5 Waiting for the tail markers.JPG
Waiting for the tail markers

4 Onwards and upwards.JPG
Onwards and upwards

6 A breather.JPG
A breather

7 Waterfall.JPG
Waterfall


Jeanettie was feeling the strain in her legs and we discussed only doing the Munro and back down, Wullie had mentioned if conditions were bad,,he would be up for the same. So we resolved to do just that. (read on) The climb from around 400 to 700mtrs was pretty steep so it was a slog up until it started to ease. The views over our shoulders to Torridon and the Fainnichs was great, cloud remained low over Liathach and Beinn Eigh directly behind us but we could see the sun shining further North East and even out over Loch Torridon to the West.

3 The Torridon hills make an appearance.JPG
The Torridon hills make an appearance


As ground conditions levelled, the weather above us started to close in, lots of low cloud/clag, snow cover and ice. I had a wee slip on an icy stone, pretty small stuff so no damage done,, back on my feet faster than I went down lol

A bit further on, a few of our 7 had crossed a snow field about 40-50ft, but it was very hard and icy so they shouted back to put our crampons on before continuing. We took this opportunity to get crampons on, axes out, mittens, extra layer etc as we were very quickly into pretty harsh conditions. The extra confidence from wearing crampons is great, only second time in them for me but loved it.

8 Getting layered up for the cold clag.JPG
Getting layered up for the cold clag

9 Jeanettie out in crampons for the first time.JPG
Jeanettie out in crampons for the first time


The other party had grouped up to do the same and the hillside, although shrouded in clag, was bright and littered with people. Jonny and Wullie were a little way ahead of myself and Jeanettie at this point as we plodded on up the now less steep snow. We then heard a shout from Jonny Mitchell,, he was at about 914 mtr and could see the summit. Sure enough, a minute or two later and we could see the cairn, already a small crowd there and others coming in from various directions around us. The cloud base was low but we could see the hills around us, down over Glen Fhiondhaig to the S/SE. Even the Torridon hills were still visible under their own cloudy cap.

10  Happy 7 at the top of Moruisg.jpg
Happy 7 at the top of Moruisg

11 A pose from the boys.JPG
A pose from the boys

12 .... and smiles from the girlies.JPG
.... and smiles from the girlies


Fair bit of time spent on the summit, photos taken,,bit of a laugh, chat with the other party. It's amazing how the lift of reaching the top bolsters you. The Corbett was cleary visible, again under cloud but the ridge between the two was clearing by the minute. So the "lets go back after the Munro" decision was overturned by all and we headed off towards the fantastic ridge, falling away from the top to the South West and skirting round Coire Toll nam Bian.

13 Wullie striding out on the ridge.JPG
Wullie striding out on the ridge

14 Into the clag and heading for the Corbett.JPG
Into the clag and heading for the Corbett


The sheer volume of people here was slightly surreal, wee dots scattered all over the ridge, some a little too close to the cornice along the rim of the corry. careful now folks. :shock:

The ridge walk allowed good progress but it was such a fab day, we spent a while wandering round, taking different pics and just enjoying the day. Cloud levels lifting to reveal more of the surrounding hills yet again. We rarely lost sight of one or another fab view the whole time.

15 Posing on the broad ridge.JPG
Posing on the broad ridge

16 Views to the lands below.JPG
Views to the lands below

17 Liathach, Torridon.JPG
Liathach, Torridon

1525116_10201901220946825_489330952_n.jpg
Eyes towards the Fannaichs


As you drop down from the ridge to the bealach below the Corbett, a lot of the snow clears and lots of big rocks littered the route. Most of us kept our crampons on and just took extra care to pick our way through. Wasn't long before the snow built up again.

The snow field leading up to the Corbett looked like a ski slope, again people all over it. Some heading down and more of the party ahead going up. I know Jeanettie was seriously considering not going up but waiting at the bottom for us to come back. A woman from the other party had a slip here, one crampon not tied on properly had tripped her up, helped get her back on her feet, secure the strapping and off we went, heading for the last push up. I really enjoyed this,, was funny watching everyone push up then stop for a breather on a steep slope, feet at all sorts of angles, axes dug in etc.

19 The cloud clearing the corbett.JPG
The cloud clearing the corbett

20 The snow field up to the top.JPG
The snow field up to the top


I saw Wullie a little way ahead, sitting on the slope, myself and Dawn and Jeanettie stopped as he started to slide a bit. One of his crampons had been loosening off for quite a while and had now come off altogether, team effort and Wullie back on his feet and heading up.

21  Wullie having a bad crampon day.jpg
Wullie having a bad crampon day

22 Picking our way up the steep slope.jpg
Picking our way up the steep slope


Reaching the top, you are immediately at the first cairn , with the second a little way off. Both map and GPS show the further out cairn as the summit but there certainly isn't much in it. I'm not sure if I actually saw any of the other group at the second summit but we all went over, and again, a few pictures taken, bit of chat etc. It was pretty windy here on the edge of a steep drop down. We hadn't taken any proper stop for food, the odd fruit gum for me, a hurried half sandwich for one or two others but conditions were deteriorating now and it didn't seem sensible to hang around. We left the summit cairn at around 2pm and the snow was starting to fall.

23 Summit of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean , looking back to Moruisg.JPG
Summit of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean , looking back to Moruisg

24, Getting ready for the path down, snow falling.JPG
Getting ready for the path down, snow falling



The WH route off the hill has you heading down the shoulder towards Creag a' Chait, before turning sharply right with a steeper descent, crossing into nam Bian and across the river at a ford. We however, reach a'Chait , where the snow, while still falling, was clearing up on the ground. We sat down to remove our crampons then just kept heading down. Bad side of this was, the ground immediately below was hidden under some crags and we soon realised we had removed our crampons just a little too early. A bit of a slip from Jonny Mitchell had us reaching for the axes again. The 2 following snow fields were again frozen hard and it was tricky then digging in, trying to find the softer snow or thinner ice around rocks and grass.

Upside of this, some of the group used this to practice their self arrest. Was a bit worried when Jonny, above me on the slope decided to use this method for a quicker descent,,but he was literally above me and heading my way, so I had to pick my way out of his path a bit and carry on down. I chose not to try out a self arrest, not sure why, just wasn't sure of myself.

The snow was still falling and I was keeping an eye on how my toes were going to handle the descent, so far so good. As part of my attempts to prevent the sore toes, I had opted for thinner socks and my feet had been a bit colder most of the day, not bad, just not as cosy as normal. Still, I prefer a wee bit nippy to a BIG bit sore.

As the snow was turning to rain and the slopes eased off a bit, I was feeling the heat,, comfort break behind the only rock over 18" tall and a chance to swap from my fabby new Christmas mitts (thanks Tomsie :wink: ) back into my fleecy gloves. Caught up with the group at a very high fence, 6-7' Chivalrous Quoman kindly helping me over. No jokes guys, about our 'moment' lol

The hulking corner of Moruisg loomed above us to the right as we dropped down to the burn Alltan na Feola and we could see what we now know, was the path we should probably have been on.

The burn was pretty low but we still had to pick our way over a bit, some rocks a bit slippy, and well,, rocky. I had my refitted yetis on, so wasn't too bothered about being in shallow water at least.

We were then on the path which ranged from gravely, muddy, peat bog, puddle etc and it curled, climbed and dipped downward. We caught glimpses of the road in the distance but this was one of those times where it never gets any closer. The path changed direction so much you felt as though no progress was made. Also, by now, toes were doing ok but the balls of my feet were on fire. Seriously painful and it just got worse.

As we had crossed the burn, Wullie hung back with Jeanettie as she removed plasters from an already painful toe, this was really giving her a lot of pain and they soon caught up with me as I was stopping regularly to ease the sole burning. the rest of the group were a little way ahead and spread out. Painful slog on the last hour and even more soul destroying when Jeanettie and I,,now regularly huddling together in pain, saw the track head AWAY from the cars. WTF!!!! It got boggier, sorer, wetter and we were both pretty miserable by now, but, we could see the cars, the underpass at the railway and the bridge between. Dig in girlies,,dig in. :crazy:

Finally back at the car. deep joy.

I managed to get out of my trousers, boots, dry trousers on,,socks and dry shoes in hand,, grabbed all my food and 2 cans of red bull for the journey home.

Wullie must have been shattered, so I had offered to take a turn driving but after coffee and red bull, he was buzzing lol still, offer was there, no point in 1 person pushing it too much. (I'm kind a glad he didn't need me, I was in the back of the car, barefoot with my trousers rolled up from Torridon to Dunblane when we dropped Dawn off lol :D , bliss, massaging my sore soles on the top of my shoes )

Anyway,, all back, drove home from Falkirk and with the pain dissipating, only memories of a fab fun day with a smashing group of people. Totally shattered but cosy, safe and fed. Forced myself to stay up til midnight as I didn't want to be up at the crack of dawn as I normally am, bliss, 8:40 wake up, positively lunchtime for me lol
and a relaxing day ahead.

Thanks everyone, Campbell, Jonny, Wullie, Bryan, Dawn and Jeanettie for great company and a memorable day. you're invited to add anything to this report by way of your own experience on the day, pics . I missed out the dodgy conversations, innuendo, and downright fnar fnar moments,,but you know who you are!!!! :lol: etc, :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
25 Campbell and an amazing panorma of the Torridon hills from the ridge..jpg
Campbell and an amazing panorama of the Torridon hills from the ridge.
Last edited by GillC on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GillC
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby mrssanta » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:23 pm

Great stuff Gill, tho I'm worried about your feet.
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby GillC » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:26 pm

mrssanta wrote:Great stuff Gill, tho I'm worried about your feet.


seem to have cracked the toe bit,,now looking into gel insoles for the "burning balls" lol only had this since started wearing the scarpas, as with most things,,might be trial and error (and co codamol)

Cheers,,
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GillC
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby jonny616 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:45 pm

Good account of the day Gill. And a great day it was. Fun and frolics.
Looking forward to the next walk. Must remember to bring a fiver :lol:

:clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:06 pm

Wow, that's what mountains are all about :D
These two hills suffer from bad reputation, said to be boggy and boring, but they have the best panorama of Torridon. One of my fav winter walks so far. Glad you had fun, too!
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby quoman » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:34 pm

Smashing report you captured it well, the red bull does work lol

Jonny. "Must remember to bring a fiver" is it not a pound a head :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby Munchie » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:03 pm

Well done everyone, that's a day 'n a hoff ;o). Love the colourful photo "Happy 7 at the top of Moruisg". Shocked at the amount of people oot n aboot ..... I will continue to enjoy reading about these mental adventures :D :D
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby PeteR » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:28 pm

So it's not just me that can't always locate the start of a walk :lol:

Looks like a proper winters day up there.

I still have to return to do the former Munro, as I only managed the official Munro last year. My plan is to do the route round the back and then up and over. Seeing your report has put an idea in my head for this weekend perhaps (so long as the weather plays ball......it probably won't.......it hasn't done recently :roll: )
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby mrssanta » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:23 pm

make sure you post a TR Pete as one of my longterm schemes involves something like this.
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby goth_angel » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:45 pm

Great report and sounds a good day.

Re the Scarpa issue what boots are they? I had exactly the same issue with a pair of Scarpa Mantas which it turned out were about half a size too small - fine on ascent and the flat but absolutely killed my toes on the descent.

Now have new non-Scarpa winter boots (Brashers) which are half a size bigger and fine on my toes but kill my ankles - the fact there are relatively few winter boots available for women is not helpful. Mammut have a new winter boot out though which is pink and silver :lol:
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Re: 7 do Moruisg (and an ex Munro)

Postby GillC » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:13 pm

goth_angel wrote:Great report and sounds a good day.

Re the Scarpa issue what boots are they? I had exactly the same issue with a pair of Scarpa Mantas which it turned out were about half a size too small - fine on ascent and the flat but absolutely killed my toes on the descent.

Now have new non-Scarpa winter boots (Brashers) which are half a size bigger and fine on my toes but kill my ankles - the fact there are relatively few winter boots available for women is not helpful. Mammut have a new winter boot out though which is pink and silver :lol:



Hey there,, thanks for your reply

My boots are Scarpa Cristallos size 5, ,,shoes i tend to wear 4.5 - 5. They feel totally fine, even with 2 pairs of socks,,but only an issue,,as you say,,on the way down. My MANY pairs of summer, leather and fabric boots give me no issues whatsoever...Im going to get some good insoles and try them out,,maybe locally first,,before hitting a big day out...dont want to nip anyones ear by my yelping lol
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