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Beinn Narnian white out

Beinn Narnian white out


Postby ChrisG » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:38 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Narnain

Date walked: 29/03/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 7 km

Ascent: 981m

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This was meant to be a day out in the hills two Munros and a Corbett. But as you can see from the map things didn't quite work out like that.


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Everything started off fine lovely walk up to the start of the rock outcrops but after that the mist came down and that was it for the day at best navigation was hard at worst it was impossible. We had GPS, Compass and map and we do have a good idea of how to use them but when there are no features at all in view it gets difficult (for me anyway).

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We met a couple on the way up they were going a little quicker than us so they soon disappeared into the mist but ended up behind us following our footsteps in the snow. They said they had lost the path for a while but had seen our footsteps and followed them. We had a little chat, they decided they would come along with us as they hadn't got a map or GPS. We went on for a while and the going got a little harder, they decided they didn't want to go on and were going to follow their footsteps back the mist had lifted a little and we felt confident they would be ok.

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In Fact the mist came down again and we plodded on scrambling about following a quite clear path using the GPS to keep us on the straight and narrow. We were making quite good progress for a white but in the dense fog ended up below the summit with a big wall of rock in front of us. We turned back hoping to find the point we went wrong. This was when we bumped into a very nice young man from Glasgow who was also lost and following our footsteps. He had a map and a good idea how to use it so between us we got to the summit where we thought it would be a straight forward task to get back down below the mist to something we could orientate from. Unfortunately this was not quite so simple as my GPS failed just after the summit and we couldn't find the path down. With absolutely no points of reference we put the trig point behind us and started slowly downwards until we heard voices just below.

10150655_10152288717004367_1846017233_n.jpg
The mist lifts slightly


Two walkers came out of the gloom and told us they had just come up from the bealach and we should follow their tracks down and we would be ok. this would of been fine if we hadn't passed the snow line before we got below the mist.

We ended up over shooting the route down the valley between Narnian and the Cobbler before the mist clear.

10153785_10152288717189367_33538653_n.jpg
The mist clears


At last the mist cleared and we followed the valley down to the road and safety.

10153716_10152288716894367_1364314921_n.jpg


All in all we had a great day out and got home safely and help a few others on the way We also added to our experience and learn't a good few lessons
Last edited by ChrisG on Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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ChrisG
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby GillC » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:51 pm

Well done on Narnain,,great hill but tricky in bad conditions,,,I lost out on Ime twice up there due to weather,,got it eventually though. You should save the Cobbler for good visibility,,hes worth it! :D
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby ChrisG » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:44 pm

GillC wrote:Well done on Narnain,,great hill but tricky in bad conditions,,,I lost out on Ime twice up there due to weather,,got it eventually though. You should save the Cobbler for good visibility,,hes worth it! :D


Thanks for the well done, yes we will be getting out there again hopefully in better weather.
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby BigT » Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:04 pm

Good stuff. Clag and snow obscured path. Conditions I refuse to go on in. One or other is fine.
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby jmarkb » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:17 pm

Well that was an adventure! I hope it has inspired you to learn some navigation: some straightforward map and compass skills would have got you down the right way OK!
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby Silverhill » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:14 pm

Good effort Chris, given the conditions.
I wonder whether I would have fared any better with visibility that poor :?
How did you get back to the car? That must have been a long day!
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby ChrisG » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:00 pm

jmarkb wrote:Well that was an adventure! I hope it has inspired you to learn some navigation: some straightforward map and compass skills would have got you down the right way OK!


Interesting comment, your right I suppose, but I would be interested in your advice on navigation with zero viz
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby ChrisG » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:02 pm

Silverhill wrote:Good effort Chris, given the conditions.
I wonder whether I would have fared any better with visibility that poor :?
How did you get back to the car? That must have been a long day!


thanks we did our best under the circumstances but I will be getting some more navigation training soon I think. I hitched a lift to the car off a very nice American gentleman :D Who by chance was a navigation instructor in the states he said we had done exactly the right thing. Head downwards carefully until the viz improves.
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby Longlallies » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:39 am

ChrisG wrote:
jmarkb wrote:Well that was an adventure! I hope it has inspired you to learn some navigation: some straightforward map and compass skills would have got you down the right way OK!


Interesting comment, your right I suppose, but I would be interested in your advice on navigation with zero viz


Fixed location (trig point), compass bearing and pacing = all you need (so long as you know and can confidently use those skills).

I can't believe people go out without any navigational equipment, assuming they can just follow paths and footprints. Stupid!
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby jmarkb » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:04 am

ChrisG wrote: Interesting comment, your right I suppose, but I would be interested in your advice on navigation with zero viz


Sorry, that clearly came across as a bit cheeky!

The basic skills you need are:
Keep track of where you are on the map.
Plan a series of legs to get you to your destination.
Take a bearing of the map.
Walk on the bearing.
Estimate distance travelled by pace counting and/or timing.
Identify features on the map which you should be encountering on each leg (including knolls, cols, spurs, re-entrant changes in slope angle and direction) and check these off as you go.

GPSs are great, but as you discovered a back-up is essential!

This is a good book on the subject http://micronavigation.com/the-book/ , but going on a one or two day course would get you off to a good start, and practise lots, even on days when you can see where you are going!
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby ChrisG » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:55 pm

Longlallies wrote:
ChrisG wrote:
jmarkb wrote:Well that was an adventure! I hope it has inspired you to learn some navigation: some straightforward map and compass skills would have got you down the right way OK!


Interesting comment, your right I suppose, but I would be interested in your advice on navigation with zero viz


Fixed location (trig point), compass bearing and pacing = all you need (so long as you know and can confidently use those skills).

I can't believe people go out without any navigational equipment, assuming they can just follow paths and footprints. Stupid!


Calling people stupid is unhelpful and harms the reputation of this forum. I am open to all constructive comments but please keep your negative ramblings to yourself.
Last edited by ChrisG on Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby ChrisG » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:10 pm

jmarkb wrote:
ChrisG wrote: Interesting comment, your right I suppose, but I would be interested in your advice on navigation with zero viz


Sorry, that clearly came across as a bit cheeky!

The basic skills you need are:
Keep track of where you are on the map.
Plan a series of legs to get you to your destination.
Take a bearing of the map.
Walk on the bearing.
Estimate distance travelled by pace counting and/or timing.
Identify features on the map which you should be encountering on each leg (including knolls, cols, spurs, re-entrant changes in slope angle and direction) and check these off as you go.

GPSs are great, but as you discovered a back-up is essential!

This is a good book on the subject http://micronavigation.com/the-book/ , but going on a one or two day course would get you off to a good start, and practise lots, even on days when you can see where you are going!


Hi thanks for the advice. We did a winter skills course last year which touched on the navigation side of walking in bad conditions. We did use the map and compass to orientate ourselves in the right direction by putting our backs to the trig and lining the map up. We knew we had to do a slight dog leg to avoid some rough ground. We managed to get ourselves going downwards safely when we heard the voices below. When we met up with them we were slightly off their course but the direction we were going in would of got us to the right place. Having got good bearing from the two coming up we decided the best course of action was to follow there route. Our mistake came when we reached the snow line and the footsteps stopped. having followed the steps and not the map and still being in the fog we had no way of finding our position so we decided to keep going down until we got below the fog. When it cleared we realised we had walked down to far and had gone passed the place we should of turned left. We decided that a clear escape route down to the road was a better option than going back up into the mist to find the correct route. Not perfect but we all got home safe and well.

We will be looking into a dedicated Navigation course soon :D
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby jmarkb » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:51 pm

ChrisG wrote:Our mistake came when we reached the snow line and the footsteps stopped.


The situation where you are doing your own navigation, and then come across a feature that you can follow but isn't marked on the map (e.g. a line of footsteps, or a path, or a fence) is a tricky one. You mustn't immediately assume that the feature is going the right way, or that it won't just run out, so you need to keep navigating. Watch the compass to work out which way you are deviating from your planned line, and by how much. Keep looking for features that will place you on the map.


So, I guess the snow line was above the bealach? You should have been expecting to cross the main path to Beinn Ime at some point but somehow missed it? In which case the fact that the ground leveled out and then steepened again should have alerted you!
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby tomyboy73 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:25 pm

well done , a great hill, one i`ve still to see on a good day ! some people will say this and that, but you used your limited skills to get you down and i`m sure you`ll learn from it, just like me :lol:
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Re: Beinn Narnian white out

Postby ChrisG » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:28 pm

tomyboy73 wrote:well done , a great hill, one i`ve still to see on a good day ! some people will say this and that, but you used your limited skills to get you down and i`m sure you`ll learn from it, just like me :lol:


We will learn from it, Thank you
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Location: Colne, Lancashire

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