walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Half way point on An Stuc

Half way point on An Stuc


Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:04 pm

Route description: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers

Date walked: 21/06/2014

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 15.2 km

Ascent: 1414m

8 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Summer hols 2014 started early for us, in the last week of June. Originally the plan was to tackle some of the more difficult Cuillin peaks, but we had a last-minute change of plans and went camping to Deeside for a few days - still had a few Munros to tick of on the eastern side and weather forecast seemed better for this part of Scotland. And no regrets whatsoever. The end of the week saw us popping up all over the Highlands - Glenfinnian, Torridon and eventually a flying visit to Skye. 6 trip reports to write altogether and what a week! Paaah... Now, I'm going to be a busy writer for the next few days :lol: :lol:

Before our camping trip east we decided to take a stroll down south. Kevin had an unfinished business with one peak from Lawers Ridge and I haven't done anything in this area so far. A plan was hatched then for one-day visit to Loch Tay :D
Many years ago, in 1994, Kevin climbed Meall Greigh and Meall Garbh, bud he didn't bother to continue to An Stuc as back then IT WAS NOT A MUNRO! It used to be just a top and was promoted to M status in 1997. Now, Kevin was forced to come back and correct his omission :lol: :lol: As for me, I hoped to be able to squeeze 3 Munros out of the day and reach my half way point - a good start to our walking week.
Weather was uncertain. Patchy cloud and a chance of showers, plus cold wind. Therefore, we made Lawers & Glas our "plan minimum" and would only continue to An Stuc if we had enough time and energy. As it turned out, we reached Lawers in less than 2.5 hours and had more than enough stamina and determination to add the third Munro to our little trip.

Track_BEN LAWERS 21-06-14.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


After 3 hours spend in the car (most of which with my stomach twisted and turned... motion sickness can be a terrible nuisance!) I was so eager to run up the path that Kevin had to keep me on a leash :lol: :lol:
We started traditionally from the National Trust car park and up the path leading through the nature reserve. One glimpse up made me sigh - cloud was still hanging low...
Image
We didn't give up our hopes for at least SOME views and rushed up the path... I must admit, I felt a bit guilty when we started overtaking people on the nature trail :lol: We marched quickly like two soldiers: left-right-left-right! :lol: :lol:
Marching up towards the cloud...
Image
At the top of the nature trail circuit, we stopped just for a gulp of water and a few snapshots. We could see Loch Tay below us and the cloud looked like it might lift after all:
Image
Panther ready to take 3-a-day...
Image
We passed the outer gate, left the nature reserve behind and started the steep-ish trudge up the southern shoulder of Beinn Glas. The angle may be a bit annoying, but we kept a good pace, overtook a few more people and didn't stop until higher up, where we had at least some views to admire:
Image
Across the glen, Meall nan Tarmachan sent us a wink :wink: Kevin has done it, I haven't. Another hill high on my priority list!
Image
There's not much to say about the climb to the first Munro. It's a yellow-brick-road type path and on a Saturday, as you can imagine, there were people everywhere. I managed a few quiet meows without attracting too much attention:
Image
This would be an ideal hill for me to enjoy in winter conditions. Such a shame we live so far away, it makes a winter trip to this area a bit impractical. Don't mind doing it in summertime anyway :lol:
Happy skipping-hopping cat almost on the summit (oh, and the clag was lifting!):
Image
View south-east towards Loch Tay from the top of Beinn Ghlas:
Image
North, past the small summit cairn, with a lingering shower on the horizon:
Image
Meall Corranaich to the north-west:
Image
Our second target was still in cloud, but the linking ridge looked interesting:
Image
Ben Lawers from the col:
Image
A glimpse back to Meall nan Tarmachan:
Image
As we started the ascent of Ben Lawers itself, we saw more people in front of us, some going up, some down. Busy like A9 :lol: :lol: These hills are definitely NOT a target for those seeking solitude.
Image
The well-worn path down Beinn Glass looks a bit like a scar on the mountain's green surface... Sadly, these hills are paying the price for being so popular. Notice the bypass path to the right - we used it on the way back to avoid the re-ascent of Beinn Ghlass.
Image
Yep, not my favourite style of hillwalking, step-by-step on a stony staircase...
Image
...but in a very good time of 2hrs 20 minutes I was posing by the indicator on the very summit of my Munro no.140.
Image
It was still cloudy on the summit, no hope for any views at the moment, just a lonely trigpoint in the mist :lol:
Image
We walked a short distance along the eastern shoulder, found a few rocks to sit on and waited patiently while sipping tea. And... surprise, surprise! The cloud started to disperse:
Image
Loch Tay and Lochan nan Cat (a very appropriate name for the latter, I must say :lol: :lol: ):
Image
The eastern shoulder can be used as a descent route, but we had other plans:
Image
View back to Beinn Ghlas:
Image
Someone mentioned a lonely trigpoint in the mist? :lol: :lol: Obviously not so lonely any more! People kept coming and coming... But none of them continued past Lawers to the next Munro...
Image
...which was exactly what Kevin wanted to do! He was desperate to add An Stuc to his statistics:
Image
From where we were standing, the view of An Stuc fully justified its name. The hill appears as a steep, conical lump, almost perfectly regular in shape:
Image
We started descending to Bealach Dubh and weather improved as we kept going :D Any chance for a smiling sun for my half way point?
Image
Views on the way down:
Image

Image
Back to Lawers:
Image
Lochan nan Cat (Meow!):
Image
The ridge drops to 942m and then the steep slopes of An Stuc give a good workout. Here, the ascent path can be seen:
Image
A quick break below the crags of Creag an Fhithich - this is an enchanting spot... And it feels more remote as well. We met a few people heading up to Ben Lawers, but it was much quieter here than on the first two Munros...
Image
Past the bealach, I picked up speed again and started marching up with the sole aim to get to the summit as quickly as I could. I felt like I grew wings - ha! My half-way point is waiting up there! Not a pot of gold, but certainly worth the sweat!
Image
In just over an hour since we left Ben Lawers, I dropped my rucksack by the small cairn of An Stuc, kissed it (the cairn, not the rucksack :lol: :lol: ) and shouted WOW! I made it!
There was another group of walkers nearby (ascending from Lochan nan Cat) and I didn't want to make a foul out of myself with too much wild meowing :lol: :lol:
The summit of An Stuc was quite windy so in my "50%" picture I look... well... a bit untidy:
Image
The wind had an unpleasant, cold edge, so I quickly pulled on my windproof jacket, hat and gloves, and went on celebrating, jumping, hopping and climbing small rocks around :lol: :lol:
Image
Kevin congratulated me and then said, happy to have eventually ticked off his "omission":
"To be honest, what is it here to celebrate? You still have another 50% Scottish mountain to climb!"
I just laughed. HE IS JEALOUS, because it took me only 5.5 years to do 141 Munros, he needed 23 years to do the very same thing :lol: :lol:
But his joke made me wonder - why do we celebrate all these round numbers - 50, 100, 200, half-way... Did sir Hillary have a celebration half-way up Everest? Does Hussein Bolt get his medal half-way the 100m distance?
Maybe it's the way us, hillwalkers, see the 282 Munros - as a long-term challenge. If we didn't set ourselves short-time targets, would we bother to finish?
This could be a subject for a discussion on the general forum. Now, philosophical debates aside, let's return to An Stuc and the lovely views this mountain has to offer. After the steep climb, when one arrives on the summit, there are good panoramas in every direction, starting from back to Ben Lawers:
Image
The glen of Allt a'Chobhar and Beinn Dearg beyond:
Image
The ridge continues to Meall Garbh...
Image
...and then to Meall Greigh. If we had transport arranged, we could take in all five Munros in one walk, but we had to return to National Trust car park, so these two have to wait for another time:
Image
Cloudy weather on the northern horizon:
Image
The south also looking grey, but we were basking in sunshine... Thank you, weather gods, wherever you are!
Image
Lochan nan Cat, Cat Gully... Ain't it a purrr-fect place for a Panther to have a small celebration?
Image
Kevin with a big smile, so glad to finish Munros in this area. But no pain no gain, he'll have to re-do them all with me now :lol: :lol:
Image
Eventually, we set off on our way back. We considered skipping the summit of Lawers, but the western slopes looked steep and unfriendly, so we ended up re-climbing BL on the main path. My knees started sending warning signals at some point and I wondered why - it wasn't such a strenuous day after all!
This time when we landed by the trigpoint, it was clear and we could enjoy the views we missed earlier.
Back to An Stuc:
Image
Down to Beinn Ghlas:
Image
Just to save time, we took the bypass path below Beinn Ghlas, walking in the shadows of the crags in the western corrie:
Image
The bypass path eventually joins the main route just above the nature trails. We returned to the car park after 6.5 hours, good timing, I thought. But only after returning home I checked our recorded GPX route to find out, that we ascended over 1400m that day :shock: :shock: B**dy hell, no wonder my knees were protesting! Funny, it didn't feel like that much at all!

It was a superb day even considering the cloudy start and sore knees towards the end, well worth the long drive from Inverness. Now I started counting my Munros "downhill" rather than "uphill" - how many left to do? :lol: :lol:
Of course completing the M's is not the most important issue, it's as much about enjoying the days out and meowing with utter happiness on every step of my way! Meow!

The next couple of stories will be from Deeside - Panther's Dee Days :wink:
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3099
Munros:254   Corbetts:160
Grahams:110   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby jmarkb » Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:25 pm

Congratulations on the half-way! :clap:

One wonders if An Stuc would have been promoted in 1997 if it was known then that it is actually 6m lower than Meall Garbh http://www.rhb.org.uk/reports/sco20130808.pdf instead of them being equal height, as on current OS maps.

No use telling you this now, but others might find it helpful to know: there is an OK, if rather faint, path which connects the Bealach Dubh to the Beinn Ghlas bypass...
jmarkb
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3533
Munros:241   Corbetts:86
Grahams:74   Donalds:27
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:15 pm

Great report BP and congratulations on you half-way mark. It's so nice when the weather clears when you are still up on the ridge. Looking forward to your other reports - it's good when they come in dribs and drabs!
User avatar
AnnieMacD
Walker
 
Posts: 789
Munros:25   Corbetts:15
Grahams:13   
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Jun 25, 2013
Location: Applecross

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:43 pm

Another nice well written report, congratulations on your half way too :lol:
We seem to be keeping up with each other, I will be easing off over the next 6 weeks as Mrs F is now off for the school holidays, so my freedom is somewhat restricted :( :lol:
Having said that am off up to Nethy Bridge & plan to make the most of the weekend & turn one or two Gorms from red to blue :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2293
Munros:151   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:83   Hewitts:2
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:01 pm

Well done on getting your 141, BP
You're right - these hills definitely look their best in winter coatings...only been up this range in snow.
Will wait the account of the rest of your travels with interest
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1716
Munros:203   Corbetts:157
Grahams:60   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:163   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby dooterbang » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:09 pm

Well done on reaching halfway :clap:

Thought you may have done the whole lot at Lawers seeing your fitness must be tip top :wink:

Weaselmaster could provide you with information to bag the rest in less than 5 years :shock: :lol:

Great photos and read once again.

Cheers.
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:53
Grahams:17   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:44 pm

Congratulations on getting halfway, BP :clap: - a great way to do it and a cracking set of photos as usual - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6184
Munros:282   Corbetts:187
Grahams:59   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:21 am

Many thanks everybody :D :D It feels fantastic to have half of them in the bag :lol: I'll be posting following stories as soon as possible. Not easy to choose photos for a report if you have to sift through 300-400 of them for every day (Kevin just keeps snapping them... Aaaah, the freedom of digital :lol: ).

jmarkb wrote:there is an OK, if rather faint, path which connects the Bealach Dubh to the Beinn Ghlas bypass...

:evil: :evil: :evil: Wish I had noticed it, but too late now. Going over BL was not a tragedy though, some additional workout.
Interesting stuff about An Stuc. I think regardless of its height it deserves to be a Munro, it is so prominent and shapely peak. Beinn Ghlas on the other side of Lawers is just a "lump on the ridge" and yet it is also a Munro, why should An Stuc be worse? :lol:

dooterbang wrote:Thought you may have done the whole lot at Lawers seeing your fitness must be tip top :wink:


We would have done the whole ridge if we had transport arranged or more time to spare. We were only on a single day trip so we needed to leave time for the return drive home, which took 3 hours :roll: I think I'm reasonably fit, I run a few miles every day, as for Kevin, he's fine if he stays away from dairy.

Fife Flyer wrote:We seem to be keeping up with each other, I will be easing off over the next 6 weeks as Mrs F is now off for the school holidays, so my freedom is somewhat restricted :( :lol:

We are slowing down, too... Kevin used all his summer hols, so from now on we are restricted to weekends. We have two more weeks off in October but will spend them with my parents abroad. But half-way was my target for 2014, I have reached it and can now sleep tight :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3099
Munros:254   Corbetts:160
Grahams:110   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby SecretSquirrel » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:01 pm

That was a good read, congrats on reaching half-way. Looking forward to the rest of your reports.
User avatar
SecretSquirrel
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 418
Munros:124   Corbetts:26
Grahams:24   Donalds:76
Sub 2000:10   
Joined: Jul 2, 2012
Location: Hamilton

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:22 pm

BlackPanther wrote:But his joke made me wonder - why do we celebrate all these round numbers - 50, 100, 200, half-way... Did sir Hillary have a celebration half-way up Everest? Does Hussein Bolt get his medal half-way the 100m distance?
Maybe it's the way us, hillwalkers, see the 282 Munros - as a long-term challenge. If we didn't set ourselves short-time targets, would we bother to finish?

Many congrats on reaching the halfway point, first and foremost :clap: :clap: ! Nice report with some lovely pics - it's always great when the weather improves as the day goes on.
It's an interesting point that, though. I've yet to reach the ton myself, let alone the 141 mark, but I remember the excitement of even getting the first ten in the bag, then Number 40, Number 50, and (bizarrely, but that's just me :lol: ) Number 71 which is the quarter-way mark... It's very Zen, I reckon: it's all about the Power of Now :D . The full 282 just seems too far away, so for motivational reasons we find ourselves almost inadvertently breaking them up into manageable chunks with achievable short-term targets. Anyway, the half-way mark is definitely a biggy - congratulations again!
What's your projected target date for reaching the 200 mark, then?
User avatar
bobble_hat_kenny
Walker
 
Posts: 324
Munros:183   Corbetts:33
Grahams:34   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:2
Joined: Sep 3, 2011

Re: Half way point on An Stuc

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:33 pm

bobble_hat_kenny wrote:What's your projected target date for reaching the 200 mark, then?


Well, that's a good question. I'm beginning to run out of new hills within reasonable driving distance, and for winter walks I'll be doing more repeats. Plus cost of petrol and time to spare for longer walks... In recent years, I managed around 30 M's per year, that would mean reaching 200 by the end of 2016... See how it goes.

Kevin will get to 200 first, he only needs mere 23 Munros... :wink:
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3099
Munros:254   Corbetts:160
Grahams:110   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

8 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests
cron