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Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe


Postby Mountainlove » Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:33 pm

Route description: Meall Buidhe

Munros included on this walk: Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon)

Date walked: 16/02/2014

Time taken: 5 hours

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'I will climb a Munro with you, if I can take my Skis'. To ski down a Munro had been on Marcos list, since I dragged him up his first winter Munro a couple of years ago and if Skiing would be the motivation needed to drag him along, I was happy with the challenge :D

Finding a suitable mountain, which I had not climbed and not too far away took some time, but eventually we agreed on Meall Buidhe.

The drive up to the starting point is a challenge in winter, as the quickest route coming from Loch Lomond is impassable in winter (at least with my wee car). So the long de-tour was the only option and not even got us to the car park as thick ice and snow covered the last 2 km. :? But whats a 2km walk. :D We parked at the side of the road and unloaded the gear. Marcos idea was to walk in his skies all the way up to the top of the Munro starting from the car. :shock: :crazy: :roll: I had learned that some nifty stuff and skins can make skis into walking gear, I was a bit skeptical but supposingly he had done it 20 years ago in the Alps....

We set off from the car and by the time we had reached the car park and official starting point, Marco had realized that walking in Skis somehow got harder since his last outing 20 years ago :lol: and decided to carry the Skis to the top- a wise decision! :thumbup:

I lead the way up the mountain and unfortunately the snow was deep and soft. It looked lovely, but it was hard going. Marco was struggling with the weight of his gear, but refused any help for the first 45minutes. When he finally accepted my offer to carry his Skies for while, I realized that carrying 6 kilo Skis, any length of time up a hill is a big pain in the backside!!! :sick: :thumbdown: :sick: The only way to help in the long was to carry one Ski each. It will definitely not go down as something I have to do again, but using the Ski as an awkward walking pole (a very heavy one I might add) was the only way.

We finally reached the top, after a much longer time than planned, but the views were spectacular.
At least for the last bit we were able to dump the gear at the first cairn and make the way without the baggage.

For the ski down part I can not write much about it, but listening to Marco he said it was a great experience, so I will let the pictures speak…

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The starting point before the road got too bad

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Setting off

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Sheep in the deep snow- struggling as well

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On the way up with views over Loch nan Damh

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On the way up, by that time we had one Ski each

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The non advisable walking pole!

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The lovely Loch nan Damh

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Having a rest during a snow shower - luckily the only one that day

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Towards the dam

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Great snow drifts

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The top comes into view

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The view from the top

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Skiing can begin

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On my way down

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Loved the pink sky

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Check out the huge avalanche on the mountain in the back

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That one...we never saw it happening, but it must have went down while we were up there.
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby lomondwalkers » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:08 pm

Great rewards for the effort of carrying the skis up :thumbup: The mountains are stunning just now, but that avalanche photo is a reminder of the dangers that come with the beauty :sick:
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:53 am

Great stuff :D :clap: ...defo much more fun than walking down :D
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby Tomsie » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:33 am

That looks fun think I might prefer the ski tow though :)
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby gaffr » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:42 am

While since I have into Glen Lyon area. Had to get my head around which Meall Buidhe it was...907 or 932...ok now!
Just to say that that looks like a full depth Slab avalanche.....wonder what triggered that one off? Maybe the folks at the SAIS would like to know the exact location of the slide for their records. I think that they are contactable though their site.
My own daughter is an 'off piste' type of skier and skinned into Glas Tulaichean last week-end for a run down....good conditions
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby Benjaminnevis » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:50 am

Good bit in the sunday mail seven day pull out on ski mountaineering. the mountain skis have a non slip skin for going up hill which is removed for flying off doon hill. Probably best if you can Ski before trying tho just in case you need to stop :crazy: .
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby BoyVertiginous » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:25 pm

That last shot of the loch (with added avalanche) is a beaut.
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby AnnieMacD » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:55 pm

Fantastic photos and great report. I can't believe you carries a ski up the Munro! How heavy is it? I have trouble with my camera gear...
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby Shug » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:08 pm

Lovely pics. Kudos on carrying up the skis!
I once hiked from the car park up to the top of the white lady cos all the lifts were shut due to high winds. Swore never to carry skis up a mountain again after that! Was ok on the way down tho. :wink:
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby malky_c » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:15 pm

Great photos, and a bit of a cumbersome approach to skiing :lol: . Looked like it was well worth the effort for the descent though (for Marco at least :wink: ).
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby Mountainlove » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:54 pm

lomondwalkers wrote:Great rewards for the effort of carrying the skis up :thumbup: The mountains are stunning just now, but that avalanche photo is a reminder of the dangers that come with the beauty :sick:

Yes I agree and Avalanches are something I prefer to see from far away! Saying that I yet have to see one coming down.

SAVAGEALICE wrote:Great stuff :D :clap: ...defo much more fun than walking down :D

I have to say I was a bit jealous, but my skiing skills are defo not up for this.

Tomsie wrote:That looks fun think I might prefer the ski tow though :)

Lol it was on my mind the whole time too :lol:

gaffr wrote:While since I have into Glen Lyon area. Had to get my head around which Meall Buidhe it was...907 or 932...ok now! Just to say that that looks like a full depth Slab avalanche.....wonder what triggered that one off? Maybe the folks at the SAIS would like to know the exact location of the slide for their records. I think that they are contactable though their site. My own daughter is an 'off piste' type of skier and skinned into Glas Tulaichean last week-end for a run down....good conditions

I will still have to add it to the website - thanks for bringing it to my attention! I think I have to give the skinning a go myself.

Benjaminnevis wrote:Good bit in the sunday mail seven day pull out on ski mountaineering. the mountain skis have a non slip skin for going up hill which is removed for flying off doon hill. Probably best if you can Ski before trying tho just in case you need to stop :crazy: .

Lol I think if I would try it any walker would have no problem overtaking me. Going downhill fast just scares me.

AnnieMacD wrote:Fantastic photos and great report. I can't believe you carries a ski up the Munro! How heavy is it? I have trouble with my camera gear...

Many thanks :D The whole gear was 11.5 kilos. One ski is about 3 kilos...not too bad, but rather awkward to carry due to the width of it.

Shug wrote:Lovely pics. Kudos on carrying up the skis!
I once hiked from the car park up to the top of the white lady cos all the lifts were shut due to high winds. Swore never to carry skis up a mountain again after that! Was ok on the way down tho. :wink:

Thank you...luckily we decided the same...ski lifts are a great invention :thumbup:

malky_c wrote:Great photos, and a bit of a cumbersome approach to skiing :lol: . Looked like it was well worth the effort for the descent though (for Marco at least :wink: ).

Lol I am sure it was for him...although being able to walk with only a backpack and walking poles was great for me as well :lol:
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby jmarkb » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:53 pm

I'm somewhat mystified that your friend has ski touring gear but (a) can't skin uphill and (b) doesn't know how to carry a pair of skis on a rucksack! :wink:
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby Mountainlove » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:03 pm

jmarkb wrote:I'm somewhat mystified that your friend has ski touring gear but (a) can't skin uphill and (b) doesn't know how to carry a pair of skis on a rucksack! :wink:


Lol I think the main problem was that he did not ski or ski toured in 20 years and decided to give it a go again...
There is a way to carry skis on a backpack? I think I need to google the how to (and tell him for the next time) :wink:
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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby jmarkb » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:43 pm

Mountainlove wrote:Lol I think the main problem was that he did not ski or ski toured in 20 years and decided to give it a go again...
There is a way to carry skis on a backpack? I think I need to google the how to (and tell him for the next time) :wink:


Good on him for having a go!

You need a sack with straps on the side (two each side preferably, but you can manage with one). Fasten one ski to each side, bindings facing out with the lower strap done up under the binding, and the other round the toe end of the binding. Then tie the tips together with a strap, (or piece of cord, spare bootlace, etc.) to make an A shape, like this:

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Re: Off piste skiing down Meall Buidhe

Postby scottishkennyg » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:15 pm

Nice one ML...some good iamges in there..Think I would need to be Hawf Piste to try carrying skis up a big hill, so well done for helping Marco out there..think he got a good deal on the day with the ski down. :wink:
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