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by Rossco » Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:50 pm
Route description: The Tarmachan Ridge
Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Tarmachan
Date walked: 18/03/2012
Time taken: 6.11 hours
Distance: 13.1 km
Ascent: 1101mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
We started at the usual car park for the route on the road up past Ben Lawers. I use the term ‘car park’ loosely. I remember struggling to find a space that resembled anything other than a collection of large rough rocks!
And away we went! There was still the odd patch of snow on the tops we could see but not enough to warrant calling this a winter walk so the ice axes were left behind and the sunglasses were taken in their place. We started by following the land rover track which is part of the intended route but when we had to leave the track from a smaller path, we cut the corner instead. We saw someone ascending the south ridge of Meall nan Tarmachan from the bottom and thought it looked a long way around for not a lot of reason so we decided to ascend in our own masochistic way and head almost straight up toward the summit directly.
As usual, we started too fast and this steeper gradient probably caused us more pain than necessary but that was the least of our worries when the lace of Jamie’s fairly new, barely worn in boots snapped in two! A quick fumble about and he managed to salvage something out of it to keep his boot tight for the rest of the day so it wasn’t a complete disaster. I have however started to pack a spare pair of laces now in case this ever happens to me. I can’t imagine it would be enjoyable for that to happen on a gruelling dawn til dusk walk in the summer. Or worse yet, in freezing winter conditions.
We finally reached the main ridge and managed to overtake the other walker we seen starting from the bottom. (Not that it’s a race! ) A small section of snow on a steeper part of the ascent was concerning when we saw it from a far but once reached we realised it was not a problem and sauntered up it no bother. This was perfect time for a stop to take some photos and enjoy the views over Lochan na Lairige and Ben Lawers with a light dusting of snow on top in the background.
We pushed on to the top with a few more brief stops on the way and had reached a milestone 5th Munro for Jamie and 2nd for Peter. Still a fair few to go though! We were greeted to some brilliant views across the rest of the Tarmachan Ridge now and could see the snow which had blown down from the north covering one side in light patches while leaving the south side untouched.
A bit of cloud and mist rolled in at this point as we pushed on to walk the rest of the ridge. Hats and gloves were soon thrown on as the wind and snow visited us for a short time to keep things interesting and the tradition of experiencing four seasons in a day on the hills of Scotland!
The weather soon calmed down again by the time we had reached a section that required a small scramble to descend. There was some faffing around at this point as the walker in front of us didn’t seem too comfortable and couldn’t find an easy way down. Being the experienced and helpful mountaineers that we are, we were happy to lend a helping hand to the guy though and seen him safely down the scramble and we went on our way.
Nearing the end of the walk the sun came back out and moods were high. We had a bit of fun trying to take some photos on the edge of rocks to make it look like we were teetering over a high drop. This was the best we managed!
We then had a long walk of about 3-4 miles down the land rover track back to the car. It was a nice way the finish the day off on flat terrain and talk about the events from the last few hours.
So, it was another brilliant day in the hills. This was my first foray in the region near Ben Lawers and I look forward to ticking off some of those hills at a later time. The Tarmachan Ridge was an easy-going but enjoyable walk. I imagine it would be even better on a proper winter’s day in the hills if it was completely covered in snow, making a brilliant wee ridge with amazing views even better. It’s definitely one I will visit again in the future in these conditions.
28 down, 254 to go…
by davetherave » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:04 am
Edit.... forgot to mention but both times we done the route in reverse to yours.
by Rossco » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:57 pm
by Silverhill » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:12 pm
by Rossco » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:21 pm
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