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If only they could predict the days events as the weather

If only they could predict the days events as the weather


Postby tall-story » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:29 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall a'Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr nan Each

Date walked: 01/03/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Ascent: 1320m

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Well we had been waiting for a weather widow like this, as with most other outdoor types for ages. and here it was :) The BBC seemed to have it correct for a change, the drive to inverness the night before was just as it said, and the next day was also turning out just as forecast. If only they could predict the days events with as much accuracy! We parked up at the usual parking spot just at Loch a`Bhraoin got kitted up and were soon on our way at around 9am. The cloud was low but I had great faith in the forecast as it was to clear up mid morning. We were heading for Meal a` Chrasdaidh but as we were marching on we missed our turn off, but this was no big deal as there was a fairly swift wind blowing in our faces and we decided that it may be better to follow the Allt Breabeag and head for Sgurr nan Each and have the wind at our backs on the way back.
Soon we were at the base of Fluich Choire and started our climb to our first target of the day, just around the same time the weather started to lift :D as per forecast and the snow line soon became more defined but this was actually a good thing as it is better walking in fresh snow than that soft slushy stuff. Soon we were at the ridge and the views south to nan Each were superb with blue sky and fluffy clouds around what more could anyone want.
The snow was good very compact and easy to walk in but just as a safety measure we put our crampons on which made things an awful lot easier under foot. It was stunning with a good covering of snow and some fantastic shapes and contours with the cornices it was just braw. As I had been up here before I knew that there were some pretty quick drops to the East and we had to take a bit more care than normal with our path making to avoid cornices etc. So on we went summit photos taken and the wind now at our backs we headed for Sgurr nan Clach Geala this was a bit of a slog with the snow a bit softer here it went from knee deep to ankle deep with almost every step, hard work but after around an hour, I guess, we were almost there :D just a wee walk, a 100 Mts or so and that would be that, it was stunning fern was running around like spaniels do, I was walking ahead as we thought that a summit photo showing the scale of things might be good, so well back from the massive cornice that was very obvious (10-15mts back at least) I carried on on my own with Louella waiting for the perfect photo of me and Fern when Disaster happened :shock: !
This next part must be every ones worst nightmare while walking in the winter, if you can imagine standing at a road ready to take your last step onto the pavement and all of a sudden it makes a loud cracking noise (like thick ice on a frozen pond) then you look at your feet and realise that you are on the wrong side of this crack and its moving, in the time it takes to blurt out F########K I had to move and before I know it the crack is around 3" or so wide and I have to jump :shock: because the cornice that I didn't realise I was standing on has just broken, It had dropped about 3ft in the blink of an eye and how I am here today to write this is quite a miracle! Some how I managed to scramble on to the solid snow and then wondered where fern is :shock: . That's when Louella who has just about witnessed her boy friend fall from a mountain arrived to tell me that fern did go over, and that's where a bit of panic set in, oh god NO, not my walking partner for the last 7yrs come rain or shine she was there always with a wagging tail. That's when a bit of panic set in an we had to see if there was any hope of finding fern, so we had to go over the summit and around to the bealach between us and Carn na Criche opposite to try and see if we could see anything and that was when I realised that given the scale of this mountain and the distance the cornice had fallen fern had no chance :( . There was so much snow (the cornice was approx 50mts long and 8-10mts wide) that there was absolutely no way we could even think about going over the edge to have a hunt in the debris we could see most of the debris and there was no sign of anything black especially a dog, we looked at each other and just cried, realising that she was gone we had no choice but to leave her, and that was very very difficult. So in a very sombre mood we walked away and back to the car which we had another 2.5hrs of walk to think about it all, that was so upsetting as everytime I looked back half expecting fern to be there I would catch Louellas weeping eyes and that would just stir things up for me and I just could not believe what had happened on what was planned to be a great weekend in the hills both here and at Loch Carron on the Sunday. As you can imagine the drive to Loch Carron was very weepy as was the drive of 4hrs on the sunday back home. A week later and I have tried to contact gamekeepers etc using my local contacts with a vision of going back in a month or so when hopefully the snow level has lifted, we can have a look via the Fannich Lodge road on the other side if the hill. Very sad indeed, but the moral of this story is not to stop going to the hills in winter but to treat them with the greatest of respect and keep a very close tab on yer dogs. Colin
Attachments
01-The Eastern Fannaichs 082.JPG
The Cornice was approx at the marked spot
05-P1020970.JPG
The weather lifting on what should be a perfect day
09-P1020989.JPG
On the way to Sgurr nan Each Summit
10-P1020992.JPG
Our Last summit photo, Sgurr nan Each
11-P1020999.JPG
Stunning Day
13-P1030003.JPG
5 minutes later.
15-P1030007.JPG
Hoping she might be there.
03-Table Mountain etc Wales (16).JPG
Such a loyal dog
tall-story
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:04 am

That's a really sad experience. Feel for you.
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby basscadet » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:59 am

Really sad to hear of your loss.. :( *hugs*
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby scottishkennyg » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:02 am

Sympathies at this time TS..
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby tweedledog » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:02 pm

So sorry.
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby rockhopper » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:41 pm

sorry to hear that - it's quite a reminder of what can happen even when we're most prepared for it
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:00 pm

Really sad day out, but a big thank you for posting this - its a timely reminder, and has stopped me feeling bad about being such a feartie when it comes to dogs and snow. :( :(
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Oh no, not little Fern. I was so upset reading this - I can only imagine how you feel. My sincere condolences.
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby CharlesT » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:06 pm

Very sad and a timely if sombre reminder to us all. Words are hardly enough but my condolences all the same. Best wishes, Charles T.
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby lomondwalkers » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:11 pm

What a sad day :(
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby KennyW » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:29 pm

So heart breaking.
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby Longlallies » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:21 pm

My condolences, what a heart breaking story. I was up that way the day after your walk, went up Toman Coinnich, A' Cailleach and Sgurr Breac just to the west of your route, and there were some really horrendous looking cornices there, too.
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby gilroy1973 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:14 pm

So.so sorry for your loss
Heartbreaking
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby tall-story » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:35 pm

Thanks very much for your kind words guys :)
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Re: If only they could predict the days events as the weathe

Postby goth_angel » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:52 pm

Such a tragic accident - so sorry. :(
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