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Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre

Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre


Postby smalltounboy » Tue May 27, 2014 9:11 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Ben Lawers, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 24/05/2014

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 19.2 km

Ascent: 1500m

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I had made an early morning attempt on Ben Lawers (via Beinn Ghlas) in early May but was thwarted by blizzard conditions 100m from the summit, not one to be easily defeated I was soon planned a future trip for a few weeks later, this time a circuit of Lochan nan Cat would be the itinerary finishing with Ben Lawers.

The weekend plans were originally to head up to Glen Affric with my mountaineering club but that all fell through when my boss asked me to work the Sunday (I'm still new in the job so couldn't really decline) this gave me the perfect opportunity for my second attempt on Ben Lawers.

I'd left Ardrossan early on Friday evening and arrived at the Ben Lawers hotel a few hours later, as I planned to set off in the early hours of Saturday morning I thought I'd best to ask permission to use the hotel carpark (and consume a couple of lovely local beers at bar).

I caught a few hours sleep in the car before setting off at 3:45am, although it was dark there was enough light to easily see where I was going.
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Heading up the track past Machuim Farm at 3:45am

Within half an hour I'd passed the the tree line and the light levels had increased more giving me my first view of the morning of Loch Tay....
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Loch Tay comes into view at 4:15am

......and my first view of the route ahead
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First look at Meall Greigh

The sun was starting to come up as I traversed into the shadow of Meall Greigh
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Just before sunrise at 5am

Within a few minutes the first rays were illuminating the more southernly hills
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Sunrise on Ben Lomond

Then it was Ben Lawers turn
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Ben Lawers, An Stuc and Meall Garbh at 5:15am

I reached the Summit of Meall Greigh at 6am, a mist was starting to accumulate and the temperature was dropping but I was busy searching the depths of my rucksack for snacks............then I looked up and saw this
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Brocken Spectre at the summit of Meall Greigh

The remainder of the route was shrouded in clag but was still an enjoyable walk
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Meall Garbh summit

.......especially the scramble up to the top of An Stuc
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An Stuc summit

After lunch at the bealach between An Stuc and Ben Lawers the clag lifted slightly and finally gave me a view of Lochan nan Cat
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Lochan nan Cat

I reached the trig point at Ben Lawers at 10:30am, unfortunately still bathed in thick clag
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Ben Lawers trig point

I took a compass reading and headed south emerging out of the clag to views of Loch Tay
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Loch Tay from Ben Lawers

...and a close encounter with a Ptarmigan
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Ptarmigan


I ended the day back at the Ben Lawers hotel with a cracking lunch and got home with time for a few hours sleep before heading out for a well deserved night on the town..............slàinte mhath


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smalltounboy
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Re: Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre

Postby snowgoose » Wed May 28, 2014 9:51 pm

Well done - there's dedication for you. Stunning pic of the Brocken Spectre - could so easily have missed it.
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Re: Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre

Postby mrssanta » Wed May 28, 2014 11:09 pm

That's the best Brocken spectre picture ever!
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Re: Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre

Postby smalltounboy » Thu May 29, 2014 7:05 am

mrssanta wrote:That's the best Brocken spectre picture ever!


Thank you, took my breath away when I first saw it, just glad I got a photo before it disappeared
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smalltounboy
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Re: Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre

Postby londonwalker » Sat May 31, 2014 3:20 pm

Have to agree with Mrs S - love the broken spectre shot and the selfie on lawers is a real cool shot too
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Re: Lochan nan Cat circuit with a Brocken Spectre

Postby Fife Flyer » Sat May 31, 2014 8:08 pm

Nice one, agree with previous comments re the BS :clap: :clap:

Setting off in the dark is real dedication :lol:
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