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Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting


Postby HighlandSC » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:35 am

Munros included on this walk: A' Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain, Geal-charn (Drumochter), Sgairneach Mhor

Date walked: 23/03/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1145m

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Date - Tue 23/03/10
Title - Drumochter - 4 Munros
Hills - Geal Charn, A' Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain, Sgairneach Mhor
Route - Anti-clockwise circuit starting at Balsporran Cottages. Finishing 4km South (had another car in this layby - layby 81)
Weather - Good start…then cloud came in. Intermittent views. Wind chill at times
People - Me, SiBorg, Sid0995, Ewan, Barry - with Gaffr bumping into us on the 2nd summit
Time - 7.5 Hours
Distance - 21km
Ascent - 1145m
Max Altitude - 1011m



23-03-2010-drumochter4-GPStrack.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



drumochter4GPSprofileimage.jpg
Route Profile


5 of us (via the Caberfeidh Munro Baggers) had planned a jaunt round the Drumochter 4 for today.

A mixture of existing, new, and old school mates meeting up in the hills :)

We began at Balsporran Cottages, crossed the railway, and ascended up the East ridge of Geal Charn. The day began with extremely promising weather - we knew a southerly wind was waiting for us, but at least the skies looking bright and sunny.....it didn't last long. The 5 of us had varying experience but are all relatively new to the hills - 2 of the guys were losing their Munro virginity this morning. Sid and Siborg were following on from their recent epic weekend bagging the far north Munros (Hope & Kilbreck), and myself, having only done low level wanders the last 3-4 months was about to get a sharp reminder that going uphill is a different task! Soon enough the pain barriers were well and truly broken through on all accounts, with Barry on his first hillwalk proper (there was a story about 6 cans of beer and an ancient failed Ben Nevis trip getting told) racing ahead consistently after we'd left the first summit. Anyway...Geal Charn was summited in good time, the hotdog made it's first appearance of the day, and we moved on.

Starting point - Balsporran Cottages
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Thoughts quickly turned to a quicker way of getting round the circuit
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Ascending Geal Charn
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A' Mharconaich from Geal Charn
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We did 4 Munros - the mileage this dog did she must have done about 15! Boundless energy
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Sid approaching the top of the first Munro, using up the last of the blue sky at the same time
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Bye bye blue sky, hello gloom. Geal Charn
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Ben Alder Lodge
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Loch Ericht
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There was still a good bit of snow cover on A' Mharconaich and it seemed to alternate between hard ice and leg eating soft stuff. By the time we got to the summit of A' Mharconaich the cloud had either engulfed us, or was only just above us. The wind had picked up. We had a very quick sandwich, took a pic and were getting ready to move on - but a sole figure was spotted and Si's dog Breagha shot off to give him a welcome. He met us at the summit, thanking us for providing some steps up the hill, and kindly took a pic of our group :D Turns out our plans were the same and we headed off toward Beinn Udlamain. Visibility was poor but there are fenceposts to follow all the way to the summit.

Barry; hammering up his 2nd Munro
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Ewan ascending A' Mharconaich (Geal Charn in background)
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Another glance over to Loch Ericht and what you can see of Ben Alder and co
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We push on to the summit of A' Mharconaich
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A' Mharconaich summit
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Gaffr makes his first appearance - greeted by Breagha
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It was on the way to the 3rd summit, Beinn Udlamain that I started getting cramp in one of my legs and found myself struggling a little - time to break out the walking poles and I kept going; eventually working through the cramp and back on top form :D There had already been a brief mention of WalkHighlands (I forget why/how?) and on the summit of this hill I asked our new friend if he used the forum - well it turned out that it was Gaffr who'd met us back on A' Mharconaich! We knew him and he knew of us - small world on the hills eh :D The trademark Caberfeidh guys attire was donned, pics taken and it was decided to descend out of the wind, down the south ridge of Beinn Udlamain and we found a less windy (could almost be called sheltered but that'd be pushing it) spot for lunch. The squad was full of interesting characters with endless life stories and tales to tell, not least the gaffr having spent a lifetime on the hills - I think we all picked up a few tips from this mountaineering master. We repaid the favour, perhaps, by giving him an insight into high tech mobile emailing/phone GPS/and silver cars :lol:

Following the fence posts toward Beinn Udlamain (Ewan & Gaffr)
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Beinn Udlamain summit - complete with hotdog
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Lunch over, it was time for the final assault on the 4th and final Munro of the day: Sgairneach Mhor. Visibility was poor and we all plodded up, with odd leg lost in the snow, to the west top, and onward to the summit. It was on this last summit that the gaffr put on the 'suit' - I don't think he even noticed the chill anyway (did he ever put gloves on in the -10 (?) wind chill?....perhaps...eventually)....regardless, he was suitably impressed with the insulating properties of the hotdog and remarked it was made of much finer threads than any of the spare clothing he carries. The hotdog is definiely hot! Pics were taken of the squad, including the gaffr in his new suit.

Lunch over - time to move off
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59PmM71Z9cc[/youtube]

Moving over some parts proved difficult...
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bry4l7DfSKo[/youtube]

Arrival at Sgairneach Mhor summit
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Hotdog Gaffr - Sgairneach Mhor
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Sgairneach Mhor summit....
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.....pic taken by a hotdog
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There was still a bit of snow around on Sgairneach Mhor, and to my novice eye there was a bit of cornice/ledge over the drop into Coire Creagach. This was easily avoided and we descened the NE ridge toward Coire Dhomhain. During the day Sid had been eyeing up the Sow of Atholl, us all being aware this was a potential add-on to the circuit. It was certainly a possibility for all concerned at the start of the day. I didn't hear it mentioned near the end!...but then I was trailing at the back of the group on the descent, my left knee having decided to remind me of the mileage travelled and the lack of regular walking in the last few months. 2 days later it has accepted my apology and both it and I are looking forward to being out again this weekend :D

Descent from Sgairneach Mhor
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The track back to the A9. Sid pointing to the Sow, giving it a final warning?
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Eventually we picked up the path and made our way back to the layby in the A9, all grateful that we'd taken measures to avoid a soul destroying plod next to the road all the way back to the start point. 5 mins and 1 shuttle run later we were all back at the starting car park, posing for a group photo and a few last laughs before heading our seperate ways.

The Squad
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SiBorg, Ewan, Gaffr, Barry, Sid0995, Me

A great day in the hills :D
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HighlandSC
 
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Re: Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Postby ewanmcconachie » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:39 am

Excellent report thanks Scott, both informative and funny. A grand day was had by all and meeting Gaffer with his knowlege and experience was an extra bonus. Many thanks all.
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Re: Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Postby Stretch » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:58 pm

Hotdogs on hills, I've seen it all now :lol:

Looks like you lads had a good day, regardless of the clouds. We had similar visibility conditions on these four late last year, but it's a nice walk.
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Stretch
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Re: Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Postby Graeme D » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:08 pm

Stretch wrote:Hotdogs on hills, I've seen it all now :lol:


I think I'd probably rather take my chances and have an encounter with the Bikini on the Ben! :lol:
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Graeme D
 
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Re: Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Postby monty » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:17 pm

very enjoyable read. well done. Nice pictures. Its always nice to bump into a walkhighland guy. (not literaly :lol: :lol: :lol: )
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Re: Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Postby Stretch » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:19 am

Trust me Graeme, the thought of climbing Nevis every weekend in July or August did cross my mind haha.
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Re: Drumochter 4 - A day of hotdogs and a surprise meeting

Postby takoronga » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:00 am

Hah, this is funny AND useful, thanks for that! And a route profile...which is what my friends require to be convinced it's a birthday outing to agree to. Have you really moved to Americaaaaaaa?
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