2 toughies and saying good bye to my 30s
by Mountainlove » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:00 pm
Route description: Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Heasgarnich, Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)
Date walked: 12/10/2014
Time taken: 9.8 hours
Distance: 24.6 km
Ascent: 1614m18 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).
2 toughies and saying good bye to my 30s ...does that mean I am over the hill (s)?
Since I completed some serious long days up the hills, I had wanted and needed something easy in good weather to make up for the hardship. A few busy weekend away from the hills had passed and a promising weekend appeared just a week before it was time to say good bye to my 30s and enter the age of the UHU (Under HUndred)
Not keen on another solitude hill walk, I was glad when Spiderwebb (already an UHU) said he would join me.
We met at the car park in Kenknock at 10am on Sunday and set off into the beautiful morning. I had done some research and decided to follow the so called bog free route.
Chatting away we walked along the easy path and crossed numerous new gates. Ben Challum was rising in front of us and Dave told me that he had originally planned to do Beinn Heasgarnich and Creag Mhor as part of a group of 4!
The path with Ben Challum in front
Around an hour into the walk we checked the map, discussed our options and decided to head up Beinn Heasgarnich first. The path we were on was so dominant, that chatting away we were soon way past the bit we had wanted to climb up. Neither of us had seen a path either and stopping we checked the GPS. Mmm walking back would be annoying, but since we needed to climb 2 Munros anyway, we just set off to climb them in a clockwise order, making Creag Mhor the first Munro of the day.
If there was a path we certainly did not see it and so we just picked a spot and climbed up towards a gate in the fence. Crossing the fence we looked up and even though it would have been a exciting scramble, the rock was wet and so we decided on a very faith path along the fence. Climbing higher and higher the path continued, but did not lead up the hill. Checking the map we had to leave the path and cut across the rough ground to the top . There was a short distance of path on the map, which we aimed for, but which annoyingly did not get any closer.
Looking back towards the gate and the way we came up
Part of Beinn Heasgarnich and the walk along the fence
Dave on the way up
I am not sure how long we had climbed by that time, but not being able to see the summit was rather de-motivating!
Huffing and puffing we climbed higher and higher until we reached the first flatish area and were finally able to see the summit. Dave suggested a coffee break and sitting down next to a huge boulder we gazed into the distance and tried to figure out the names of the hills we could see...pretty unsuccessfully!
Having a rest
The top of Creag Mhor
Getting up we made our way to the top of Creag Mhor and looked across towards Beinn Heasgarnich. From our viewpoint it was one of these rather un-inviting hills, for which you have to loose a lot of height only to climb the same height again on the other side. The bottom between the two was also covered in peat hags and I kept my fingers crossed that we would escape boggy ground.
View from the top towards Ben More
No point hanging around, we followed a path down which seemed to lead away from the mountain we had to climb. Confused we discussed if it would be better to drop to the right, but I remembered from the map that we would have to walk a loop. Just as well, as when we reached lower ground and looked up the hill, steep cliffs would have made the climb down near impossible.
On the way down Dave shamed me by falling into a light run down hill. One thing I will never be able to do! Following slowly I reached the peat hags were he was waiting for me. They had seemed worse from above and yet again our feet stayed dry while we navigated a walk across it.
One successful stag and part of his harem
One still searching
The path had yet again stopped and the only sound we could hear was the rutting sound of the stags in the distance. Having another break to eat some food we looked up the final hill. A faith path lead up the steep slope and when we set off, we were happy to follow it. It seemed endless and knowing that there were 2 blind summits did not make the walk any easier. I was glad that I had company, as chatting away made the steep path less noticeable. When we reached the first blind summit the top was still some distance away, but at least we seemed to have covered most of the height we had to climb. Walking along was pleasant especially when the views opened and we could see towards the Lawers range.
On the way up looking back towards Creag Mhor
Having a rest
Views towards the west
By the time we had reached the final summit of the day, golden evening light highlighted the hill site around us. It was one of the most stunning views I had experienced and I don't know how long we stayed up the summit taking photos.
Dave on the summit
Sunset with Ben Alder in the background
From a bit further away
The approaching sunset made up realise that it was time to leave and setting off we made our way down to the path. Again if there would have been a path we did not spot it and the climb down took a lot longer than we both expected it. It was relentless and discussing which way would be the best way up, we decided that it was probably good we had missed this one in the morning as it seemed worse than the one we climbed up.
On the summit looking west
The way back
When we finally reached the path, the sun had set and darkness was approaching fast. Thinking we would be close to the cars, we checked the GPS systems. Daves said it would be 3 miles, mine said 3 kilometers. Confused we walked along until I realised that mine missed the last 1.5 kilometers...so 3 miles it was. Soon we had to drag the head torches out and continued the last part of the path in near darkness, only to arrive at the cars nearly 2h later as planned
The way back
But with lovely views all day, I could not have wished for a better day and last Munro before I start feel like this...
by jepsonscotland » Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:48 pm
I had been planning these two with Challum, but couldn't face the enormity of the task.
Now I think this is the way to go with it.
Great photos, as always.
It was a cracking day, we were at the Ben More 7, just over the road and stayed to watch that beautiful sunset.
Well done UHU.
PS. Happy Birthday!
by kev_russ » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:32 pm
by dooterbang » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:35 pm
I did these in winter due to being pathless, still remember it hard going though.
Don't worry about turning 40. I'd my best year when I turned 40 many years ago, I broke my PB for half marathon & 10k run, climbed over 80 munros, felt really fit, and then....turned 41 and been downhill ever since
Happy 40th when it arrives
by rockhopper » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:01 pm
Happy birthday when it comes - the 40s aren't that bad - cheers
by Fife Flyer » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:40 pm
I still remember that walk for all the wrong reasons & it was over 10 years ago, long day & wet underfoot
by Silverhill » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:17 pm
by Huff_n_Puff » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:03 pm
Your report really made me laugh, we did these 2 hills the day after some friends gave Roger a really magnificent birthday meal, with lots of wine . I kept sober, I was the nominated driver and next day we set off to do these 2 and Ben Challum. Well it took us ages, due to poor nav, to get up Beinn Heasgarnich, we made it over to Creag Mhor by about 4 pm and just gave up on Ben Challum. But then we had to navigate the crags down ...
Thanks for bring back the memories
Oh and happy birthday
by Collaciotach » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:16 pm
Good report and cráicing pics of golden colors
by baggervance » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:57 pm
Sunday was a cracking day for the hills ~ I was opposite you on Meal Glas and Sgiath Chuil ~ stag city and not the partying type.
I remember the cliffs you talk about on Creag Mhor. I ended up directly under them when my GPS went haywire, luckily Marley picked a way up as she followed the sheep and she got us back on track just before the summit. Dogs can be handy at times
by KeithS » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:45 pm
I did these two a few weeks ago and they certainly made a great circuit.
And a Happy Birthday from me as well
by spiderwebb » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:42 am
by Beaner001 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:22 am
Happy b'day for when it comes Maja, you certianly don't look 40, must have had a easy paper round
by BlackPanther » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:30 am
I'm very close to UHU age as well so I hope the roaring forties ain't bad
Beautiful photos of an area I haven't visited yet... Long drive down south for us, but I see, the mountains are worth it.
by Mountainlove » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:27 pm
Glad to read that I was not the only one who thought the hills were tough...kind of hoped for an easy day... wishful thinking I guess.
Regarding the cliffs it is easy to head down them ...specially with the map showing a fence line down them