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The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100


Postby Beaner001 » Mon May 26, 2014 4:04 pm

Munros included on this walk: Gleouraich

Date walked: 25/05/2014

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1130m

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Having done 4 Munros the previous day (walk report to come once pics are collated) it left me and my mate Andy with the dilema of which hill to attempt for my 100th. I knew i wanted it to be North of the Great Glen as looking at my Munro Map i'd hardly experienced this section at all. Also having done the Mullardoch circuit the day before i knew we'd be feeling it a bit so wanted to go for a shorter route. Therefore Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach were a good fit. Weirdly i wanted it to be a one word Munro and one i could a) pronouce and b) remember. Gleouraich it was, so our route was the clockwise circuit.

The day started off with a drive from our B&B in Whitebridge beside Fort Augustus. It was lashing rain and i'd had a restless night as the Springers were with us and they couldn't settle in the foreign accomodation even though we all had a long day the previously. However a really good breakfast and easy enough drive over to Loch Quoich and we were raring to go, well only after missing the turn off to the C class road along the Loch and then missing the car parking spot and having to about turn at the bridge and returning to squeeze into a muiddy space. I luckily noticed the Grey Metal pole signifying the start of the stalkers path up towards Gleouraich so knew where to park and head off from. If anyone is going in the next few weeks there is a dear which has thrown in the towel and lies decomposing on the left of the path in the bushes (absolutely humming smell) and i was surprised the dugs ignored it. Followed the path out of the woods/shrubs and Rhododendrons and head uphill on a good stalkers path. There is a landrover track to your right heading up to a new hydro water scheme. I was finding the going quite easy as the path is good and you gain height very quickly using the token zig zig paths.
photo 1.JPG
Looking back to the start where you come out of the woods/shrubs

photo 2.JPG
Looking at the Stalkers path ahead as you come out of the woods/shrubs

photo 3.JPG
Hydro works and road to the right of the stalkers path

photo 4.JPG
The dog with a passion for rotten sheeps heads

Looking behind us Gairich was shrouded in cloud, however it looks an enjoyable walk so i am looking forward to coming back for it and the nice walk up the shoulder of it.
photo 5.JPG
Looking South over to Gairich, Shrouded in clag

You head off to the left of where you think you should be going but again it's all good path so no issues, the mist was down at around 500m and it would remain like this for the rest of the day :(
photo 7.JPG
The path ahead

photo 9.JPG
Andy heading up the Shoulder

photo 10.JPG
Angelic little sods

photo 12.JPG
Path curving left of where you think you should be heading

photo 13.JPG
Looking down to bridge over the North head of Loch Quoich

We kept following the path passing a wee cairn where you can sit and get a break from the elements before the steeper incline starts. Eventually we came accross a lovely couple from Halifax in West Yorkshire, the clag was real bad by now and both dogs were on the leeds as a precaution. We exchanged pleasantries with them and pushed onwards towards the summit. We reached the summit cairn rather quickly after a couple of wee undulations and rocky sections. 100 what a great feeling, this was the target for the end of the year so i was well chuffed, the only spoiling factor was no views but my mate Andy and the Springers (Roy & Lochy) were here so i was made.
photo 15.JPG
Gleouraich Summit No 100!!!

Soon Martin and Denise from Yorkshire appeared and we spoke and all decided that because the mist was so bad we'd team up and head off towards Spidean Mialach together, safety in numbers an all that.
photo 16.JPG
Clag awaiting us along ridge to Spidean

Off we popped South West along the ridge following a decent enough path, the dogs were still on the leeds here but i soon let them off as they were pulling and i did not want to risk a fall. They both behaved really well, they go on ahead but always pop back to check and i make a habit of calling them back every now and again with the reward of a piecee to keep them on their toes. We did not eat on the summit of Gleouraich so we decided to stop off on the Fiar Bhealaich where we would be out of the elements. The clag opened up for a few minutes here and we saw the land below the Bealach for the first time and our route accross the peat hags and wet ground below after Spidean.
photo 17.JPG
Views open up into Meall nan Cran for a few minutes

photo 19.JPG
Andy heading up towards the first of the wee Cairns

photo 19.JPG
Andy heading up towards the first of the wee Cairns

After refuelling we started the climb up to Spidean. We got to the first wee cairn and continued over another wee cairn/top and eventually came to what we believed was the summit Cairn. Glad, i took out my IPhone to get a pic and as the dogs were on leeds Roy pulled and i dropped my phone and it turned off and couldn't get it back on :shock:
Gutted but due to the horrible weather i was glad we'd reached the summit and were now to be on our way down.
Pic21.jpg
What we believed was the summit. What fools we were.....

Martin had taken a bearing and we followed that bearing South West off the Summit and hoped to find the path which skirts past Loch Fearna, no sign of the path (strange). However we thought we were just missing it due to the clag. We ended up on very wet, steep and grassy slopes so Martin took out his GPS and we found we'd come too far and were actually on a dangerous slope. We decided to head on down to the left and joined the stream running down into the ground below. Eventually we got to the floor and headed accross the peat hags and wet marshy ground. It was here that doubts started to arise in my mind on whether we had actaully reached the summit as the bearing we had from the summit should have taken us to the path and we could not work out where we'd went wrong. Eventually after walking South West we came accross the path and were happily on our way down to the car. It was here i had a Mexican stand off with Lochy (my black and white Springer) over a sheeps head, little sod would not give it back and kept running off with it, eventually i got it and hid it and we carried on. Little sheet went back for it and found it and appeared with it, both dogs back on the leads till far enough away. Easy walk down to the road and back to the car after that. Stopped at the Dam and sent the dogs into the loch to clean off and headed back along the road to Aberdeen after a really great weekend in the Hill North of the Great Glen.

Footnote:
I was not convinced we had reached the summit of Spidean Mialach so checked others summit pics when i got home and just could not work out if we had or not as we spent so little time on the summit and the clag was so bad we did not see anything. Also there was no path carrying on ahead like the one we'd been following, however in reading other reports and looking at the map i now believe we reached the 977m top and wrongly thought it was the summit. Gutted as Martin had a GPS and i should have gotten him to check but i was not thinking and simply had my mind on getting off the hill and home to Aberdeen. Martin may be able to confirm/disagree but i will be going back to do it again to be sure, also want to get it on a nice day :D

Moral of the story:
1) Always double check summits when in the clag!!!
2) Always double check summits when in the clag!!!
3) Always double check summits when in the clag!!!
4) Always double check summits when in the clag!!!
Attachments
photo 18.JPG
Denise at the Fiar Bhealaich
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Beaner001
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby guspattullo » Mon May 26, 2014 4:18 pm

Well done on reaching 100 :clap: Hope to be at that milestone soon as well.
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon May 26, 2014 7:30 pm

Enjoyable read & we will all sympathise with your 'despair' :wink:

Funnily enough we had fun in the clag yesterday if you see 'Brothers in cloud' :lol:

Some people dislike cairns & trig points but I am not one of them, when walking in cloud they can be vital, especially as seeing high ground nearby is not possible :wink:

PS: Well done on reaching 3 figures :clap: :clap:
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Beaner001 » Tue May 27, 2014 10:02 am

guspattullo wrote:Well done on reaching 100 :clap: Hope to be at that milestone soon as well.


Cheers Gus, it's been a while coming, i was sat on 50 a year and a half ago so quite pleased. Look forward to hearing about your Hunner account soon!!
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Beaner001 » Tue May 27, 2014 10:06 am

Fife Flyer wrote:Enjoyable read & we will all sympathise with your 'despair' :wink:

Funnily enough we had fun in the clag yesterday if you see 'Brothers in cloud' :lol:

Some people dislike cairns & trig points but I am not one of them, when walking in cloud they can be vital, especially as seeing high ground nearby is not possible :wink:

PS: Well done on reaching 3 figures :clap: :clap:


Good read that FF, i've still to head over there.

I tend to agree with you mate, i normally always check pics online of summits so i know what they should look like but i guess i just switched off and got a bit complacent :(

You learn more from the bad experiences than the good ones eh, i was furious with myself yesterday but it gives me a reason to go back now, in good weather! 8)
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Mountainlove » Tue May 27, 2014 10:44 am

Well done for reaching 100 :clap: :clap: :clap: Lol I had situations like that as well...celebrating the wrong summit :roll:
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Beaner001 » Tue May 27, 2014 11:49 am

Mountainlove wrote:Well done for reaching 100 :clap: :clap: :clap: Lol I had situations like that as well...celebrating the wrong summit :roll:


Cheers Mountainlove, the 100 mark is whats dragged me through the torment! Haha.

Now im itching to get back out and scratch that one off!!
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby jmarkb » Tue May 27, 2014 1:32 pm

Congratulations on the ton up!

The first time I did these I very nearly made the same mistake! The 920m ring contour is obscured by crag symbols on
the 1:50k map, so it's easy to think that the true summit is the second top you come to on the ridge when it is actually the third.

For your return visit, you could do another route: the east ridge looks like a nice alternative.
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby BlackPanther » Tue May 27, 2014 1:52 pm

Well done on the 100th :clap: :D Now only 41 left to the halfway point...

We did these two M's last month in similar conditions, but luckily for us the cloud lifted as we reached Spidean and we could actually see along the ridge, otherwise we might have made the same mistake!

A couple of years ago, when we did Slioch, I witnessed a group of walkers reaching the trig point (which is not the true summit). They uttered a few celebratory shouts, posed for photos, then... turned back! We were watching them from the true summit cairn and wondered - did they realise they didn't reach the top?

I guess everyone of us has an experience like that. I climbed the wrong mountain in the clag once! :lol:
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby audreywaugh » Tue May 27, 2014 2:24 pm

Congrats on reaching number 100, Gleouraich was my 100th also, in similar conditions didn't see much until the end of the day. Real shame about missing out on the top of Spidean Mialach, at least you have the clag as an excuse. We watched a group of walkers on a perfectly clear day get to the first cairn on Creise, take some photos and then head back down.
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby jmarkb » Tue May 27, 2014 3:39 pm

BlackPanther wrote:A couple of years ago, when we did Slioch, I witnessed a group of walkers reaching the trig point (which is not the true summit).


Yes, Slioch regularly catches folk out too.

Other ones also known to get "missed":

Beinn a' Chroin - older maps/guidebooks still have the 940m E top as the summit
Carn nan Gabhar (Beinn a 'Ghlo) - there is a cairn on an outcrop, then the trig point and then finally the true summit.
Beinn Achaladair - summit is the smaller cairn.
Ben Vorlich (Lomond) - summit cairn is 200m N of the trig point
Ben Dorain - N top has a large cairn
The Saddle - top 100m E of the trig is listed as the Munro (unclear which is higher)
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby pigeon » Tue May 27, 2014 7:06 pm

Well done on reaching 100,drove along that road on Sunday and the cloud was sitting down low right enough,you'll get a better day for your return :wink:
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Beaner001 » Thu May 29, 2014 9:53 am

Mountainlove wrote:Well done for reaching 100 :clap: :clap: :clap: Lol I had situations like that as well...celebrating the wrong summit :roll:

It's a right b*gger Mountainlove. I wouldn't mind but it's the distance you travel for these days out, thats the game were in i suppose :lol:
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Beaner001 » Thu May 29, 2014 9:54 am

jmarkb wrote:Congratulations on the ton up!

The first time I did these I very nearly made the same mistake! The 920m ring contour is obscured by crag symbols on
the 1:50k map, so it's easy to think that the true summit is the second top you come to on the ridge when it is actually the third.

For your return visit, you could do another route: the east ridge looks like a nice alternative.


Cheers jmarkb, i think we'll have to come up with a plan like that for the return to the scene of the crime :lol:
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Re: The Joy and Despair of reaching my 100

Postby Beaner001 » Thu May 29, 2014 9:56 am

BlackPanther wrote:Well done on the 100th :clap: :D Now only 41 left to the halfway point...

We did these two M's last month in similar conditions, but luckily for us the cloud lifted as we reached Spidean and we could actually see along the ridge, otherwise we might have made the same mistake!

A couple of years ago, when we did Slioch, I witnessed a group of walkers reaching the trig point (which is not the true summit). They uttered a few celebratory shouts, posed for photos, then... turned back! We were watching them from the true summit cairn and wondered - did they realise they didn't reach the top?

I guess everyone of us has an experience like that. I climbed the wrong mountain in the clag once! :lol:


Yeah i guess this happens a lot and people don't even notice. Thats the next target, 141!! Haha, cheers
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