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East Glenshee Six - My first Report!
by Happy Snapper » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:06 pm
Route description: Glas Maol Munros circuit, Cairnwell Pass
Munros included on this walk: Cairn of Claise, Carn an Tuirc, Creag Leacach, Glas Maol, Tolmount, Tom Buidhe
Date walked: 29/07/2014
Time taken: 12 hours
Distance: 28.2 km
Ascent: 1438m25 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).
I've been on a few walks now but i've never written up a Walk Report as I'm a bit of a novice. However my older and wiser other half JP (jupe1407) thought I should do one for this particular walk as it was a brilliant day out and a big achievement. It will be nice to look back on them on years to come too so here goes!
After a couple of weeks holiday and a fab time at the WH meet at Nethy Bridge, I was feeling a bit more confident after managing a couple of hills in consecutive days and after a bit of a chat about where to go next JP suggested the hills on the east side of Glenshee, as they gave me an option of either doing the 4 from Carn an Tuirc to Creag Leacach, with the possible addition of Tolmount and Tom Buidhe, in JP's words "pretty boring hills barely worth doing on their own". JP had done these six munros in 3 "doubles" and also quite fancied the alternative route of doing them all in a day. We looked at the weather forecast and decided that Tuesday would be the day. Sunny with some cloud and a breeze to keep the evil midge away! The damn midges still got me!
We started a bit later than planned and got to the Car Park north of the Ski Centre at about 9am-ish and were off in about 15-20 minutes towards Carn an Tuirc, the first of the day's munros.
JP warned me that the path was mostly OK, but could be a bit boggy in places. The first part was OK, with a nice wee waterfall to be seen on the way
Soon we reached some old shielings and continued, although the path kept disappearing. JP assured me this was fine, before looking for some sympathy by telling me what a boggy trudge his previous visit here was. I was struggling a wee bit on the ascent (the first climb always hurts!), but we soon reached the rockier upper slopes, before finally getting to the summit cairn and nearby shelter. The views were awesome!
I felt quite good about no longer being on the unlucky number of 13 munros!
We stopped for a while to have a bite to eat. I made what i thought was a good suggestion of alternating the pieces and chocolate on each summit, JP agreed in his typical fashion of shrugging his shoulders and saying "yeah, cool"
We started heading out to the next one, Cairn of Claise, which looked like an easy climb on a path to meet a landrover track. We saw a landrover heading across the track towards Cairn of Claise. A few minutes later we were amazed to be passed by a minibus!! It was some sort of Highland Safari with a family in the back. Definitely the weirdest thing I've seen on the hills so far, although there would be a weirder sight later on (it was quite a day!)
We also chatted about the option of adding on the other two "T's". JP gave me an idea of what was involved distance, ascent and terrain-wise, summed up neatly in his words as "4 extra miles of likely pathless trudge, for 1 decent hill and 1 crap one". I'd have a think about it and see how I felt on the next summit. This summit arrived pretty quickly and it's hard to believe it's a separate munro.
I was feeling quite positive, and wanted to do the other two, not only to avoid an extra and unnecessary trip to bag them on their own, but also for the bragging rights to be able to tell people I'd done 6 in a day This would also be my longest walk so far with most ascent.
We set off towards the two "extras", deciding on Tolmount first.
The first part was quite nice, we just just went cross country on dry crunchy grass. JP soon found faint track and we followed it as well as we could down into the peat hags. Luckily the good weather had kind of dried these out and the approach was no problem. We were soon on the summit of Tolmount, my third of the day
The view from here is not bad, with views down to Glen Callater and back to Glen Doll. We could also see the likes of Broad Cairn etc clearly. They didn't look all that far away!
Progress had been slow due to the weather, with constant changing into and out of fleeces etc and we decided not to stop for long and headed down to the muddy section between Tolmount and Tom Buidhe.
The ascent to Tom Buidhe wasn't very difficult and I arrived at the cairn. It's not a very exciting hill and even the Cairn looks a bit half hearted.
JP hates this hill, after suffering both a bogtrot to it last year, then sunburn and finally a bogtrot back to Jock's Road. He touched the cairn half-heartedly and after a quick bite to eat, we headed off back up the expanse of grass and dried mud towards Cairn of Claise.
To say I really didn't enjoy the tramp back up the hill is a bit of an understatement! It was a never-ending boring slog up a long grassy slope. It felt like I stopped every 10 metres to have a moan and ask "is the path near yet?" but JP tried to encourage me by repeatedly telling me the track was "just up ahead". I've become accustomed to the fibs he tells me to get me up hills
I also felt a bit like calling it a day here and asked JP what the remaining 2 hills were like. Glas Maol would be no worse than climbing Tom Buidhe and he assured me Creag Leacach was a great hill and I'd love it. Really?!!? After coming so far I didn't want to give up and the stubborn part of me really wanted to outdo anything I'd done before so I dug deep and kept going.
After what seemed like ages, we finally reached the track to Glas Maol. I felt good again here. It was nice being on a path with a flat, then gentle downhill. The climb was hardly noticeable, probably because I talked a lot (according to JP). After a while we left the track for a short pull up to the summit, with a nice view back to the day's first two munros.
The sun had dropped behind a huge cloud by now, and the wind got up. It was freezing! We had a seat in the summit shelter and ate chocolate. Nom nom nom!
It was nice to get a seat, but I could feel myself seizing up and by now my feet and hips were getting pretty sore, but I was determined to complete the 6, although JP suggested an exit plan if i needed to. I was feeling quite determined though and we headed off towards Creag Leacach, the 6th and final summit of today. By then it was rather windy and I took one shot of Creag Leacach and then put my camera away in my bag, shock horror!
I got a bit of a second (or third or fourth) wind here and we made quick work of the descent and started up the very stony last hill. We talked about how great it would be if the wind dropped and the sun came out just for half an hour. JP assured me this was the best hill of the 6 by far. We got over the first couple of small false summits, dropped down then started up the final approach.
I felt great here, despite the pain and made the summit of today's 6th and last munro! I'd not managed this many in a day before and I felt all warm and fuzzy and basked in my achievement! Even better, just as we'd hoped the wind dropped and the sun shone
Creag Leacach is definitely my favourite of these hills. The views all round were awesome. We sat against the wall and ate our remaining cheese pieces and chocolate and enjoyed our achievement. Just then, we met the second weird sight of the day. About 6 or 7 single propeller planes flew by. I know 6 munros is a good achievement in a day, but a fly-past was taking it too far Did anyone else see them? We think they were heading North West to an air show or something like that.
Anyway, we took advantage of the nice break in the weather and took some photos.
After 30 minutes or so it was time to reluctantly drag ourselves off this fab summit and start back down to the road I told JP I must have had loads of adrenaline rushing through my body as my hip flexor pain had melted away but then he reminded me it was more than likely the caffeine tablets he'd put in my juice to help stop the lactic acid build up. Well done that man! Little did I know that my summits for the day weren't over as we then had to negotiate Creag Leacach's munro top. Thanks for keeping that one quiet JP! To be fair, after all we'd done, that was over in no time at all.
Then it was time for the long slog back to the car. I felt OK at the start, but by the time we got to the burn at the bottom, I was beginning to suffer, and after deciding to take the lower path to the car park, I was really feeling the pain and I was almost completely wiped out. We'd been out for 11 hours by now and still had another 4 or 5K to reach the car. The long endless walk up the road towards the ski centre was horrible. My feet hurt, my hip flexor was agony and I was shattered. There were no passing cars to realistically get a hitch from and I'm sure any that did pass were having a good laugh at me limping up the road. As we got nearer the ski centre we decided that I'd wait there while JP jogged down to collect the car. Thankfully he remembered to come back for me
After he'd left, I slowly trudged up, but got one last amazing sight of the hundreds of deer about the centre. They were everywhere
A few minutes after sitting at the ski centre, my chariot arrived and I virtually collapsed into the car. We drove back to Forfar just in time for a very unhealthy but VERY satisfying takeaway.
It was a long, tiring and painful day, but I absolutely loved it. When I got back in the car I said I was never doing 6 munros in a day again (and then promptly fell asleep!) but now after a few good sleeps I can't wait to get back out in the hills! It's amazing how quickly you forget about the pain you've gone through once you've recovered haha! I'm told i'm doing the South Glen Shiel Ridge soon
A big thanks to JP for a really fantastic day out. The stats updates he provided in terms of ascent and distance to go to each summit were invaluable and even when he was at times untruthful, I knew what he was up to and it still worked! Looking forward to the next one!
by SAVAGEALICE » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:19 pm
by Happy Snapper » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:25 pm
SAVAGEALICE wrote:Well done! You'll find going out to do 1 Munro an absolute pleasure now after doing a long day like that! .. I'm interested to hear more about the caffeine tabs in your juice and what it helps with ...? .. Do tell!! ..chocolate on every summit definitely the way to go!!
Thanks! Yeah I can't wait to get back out to do one Munro and hopefully find it easy now
The tablets are called High5 Zero sports drink tablets. You pop one into your water or juice and they're supposed to help with fatigue. A little bit of chocolate is a good incentive to keep going!
by Johnny Corbett » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:25 pm
by Sick Kid » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:29 pm
by scottishkennyg » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:32 pm
by Happy Snapper » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:09 am
Johnny Corbett wrote:That's a fair old trek, well done. Porkie pies are allowed when out hillwalking, it's called encouragement
Cheers! It totally works too!
by Happy Snapper » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:11 am
Sick Kid wrote:Well done you! Sounds very similar to the day I took my hubby out on these very same hills, he really enjoyed it and it was the most he'd ever done in one day.......keep it up girl but 1 munro in a day won't be enough for you anymore
Thank you! Now that I've a real taste for it I'm sure I'll take on bigger challenges in the future. Hopefully I'll do 1 on its own and find it easy from now on haha!
by Happy Snapper » Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:13 am
scottishkennyg wrote:Good read and some nice images too, brings back happy regal memories for me that set, well done..
Thanks so much. I'm a better photographer than writer but I thought it was about time I started recording my walks so I can remember them. It was a challenging day but I loved it!
by Giant Stoneater » Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:31 am
- Giant Stoneater
- Posts: 576
- Joined: Aug 2, 2014
by mountain thyme » Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:57 pm
by Happy Snapper » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:14 pm
Giant Stoneater wrote:These hills take a bashing but when linking them all together give a excellent days walking and 6 smiley faces gives testament to that,well done.
Thanks so much! It was certainly the most I've ever done in one day so shattered by the end of it. Haha, the big smiles on summit 5 hid so much pain
by Happy Snapper » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:15 pm
mountain thyme wrote:Well done Anne. Good going and great pictures as always
Cheers ma dears! One of these days I'll be able to keep up with everyone else
by Graeme D » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:27 pm
Happy Snapper wrote: "4 extra miles of likely pathless trudge, for 1 decent hill and 1 crap one"
I can just hear JP saying this now!
by jupe1407 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:57 pm
Graeme D wrote:Quite a shift there Anne!Happy Snapper wrote: "4 extra miles of likely pathless trudge, for 1 decent hill and 1 crap one"
I can just hear JP saying this now!
My exact words would be censored. I quite like Tolmount, but I can't of a single redeeming feature of Tom Buidhe. And i've done the damn thing twice