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Only Managed One :-(

Only Managed One :-(

Postby Handknittedbagger » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:22 pm

Route description: Meall Greigh, Meall Garbh and An Stùc

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

Date walked: 09/10/2014

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 9.8 km

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Decided to climb these three Munros as a second choice after our meeting with authority in Glen Lyon, Invervar, detailed in my forum post on deer stalking.
Arrived at the Ben Lawers Hotel a little later than we would usually set out, due to the detour to Invervar, the car park was deserted!
Weather looked ok, although the higher slopes were in cloud. As usual it was Susan and I along with dog, Bo.
I had downloaded the route from this site onto Viewranger and followed the instructions to the start of the climb.
We had climbed Ben Lawers/Beinn Ghlas a couple of weeks ago and wish now that we had continued and done these when there, but decided to complete them today.
The climb started out fine with the instructions clear and accurate and the path well defined. Once out of the tree line and into the open however, the path quickly disappeared and we were left looking at the GPS constantly and deciding which sheep track was the path indicated on the map. we gave up this approach after a while and decided just to head straight up the mountain and although we crossed what should have been the path according to the GPS, we were unable to actually see any path. With the absence of a path, we were climbing across open grassland and actually felt it quite grueling and hard going. the sun was out and it was pleasantly warm, although the wind was getting up a little and there was always the potential for rain.
It was by far the dullest and least interesting climb that we have encountered yet, added to which the cloud stayed relatively low and we never caught sight of any of the summits around.
We reached the summit of Meall Greigh, took the obligatory pictures and after a brief discussion decided to head straight back down, back to the hotel and call it a day.
Whilst we are prepared that every mountain might not have a clearly defined path clear to the summit, this hill in particular had no path whatsoever apart from at the very outset. I would be wary of attempting it if there was poor visibility.
it is another one bagged, but not one that i would be rushing to return to.
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Re: Only Managed One :-(

Postby ronofcam » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:47 pm

Perhaps I can offer some observations which may make your future forays into wilder country a bit more pleasurable?

1. Try, wherever possible, to navigate using your instinct and not rely on GPS.
2. Try, wherever possible, to reach the summit without using a path. It's much more rewarding to summit using your own steam.
3. Walking up mountains can sometimes be gruelling and hard going. It's best to expect this as you move farther north.
4. Low cloud and zero views can be anticipated with certainty if you walk in Scotland. Even the most stunning hills with the most stunning views will look the same as any other in low cloud.
5. Attempting to walk up a hill in low visibility should not be treated with wariness, but with preparedness in terms of gear and equipment. In such conditions you will gather more experience than simple fair-weather walking.
6. A hill is only as dull as you make it. Even the supposed dullest (a term I disagree with) hill will have excitement if you only look for it.

If you are walking the Munros purely to tick them off then you'll miss the joy that each and every hill can bring. Good luck!
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Re: Only Managed One :-(

Postby rockhopper » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:51 pm

Handknittedbagger wrote:.....we gave up this approach after a while and decided just to head straight up the mountain....

yup - that's often the best way :wink:
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Re: Only Managed One :-(

Postby basscadet » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:35 pm

I have found that if the terrain is good to walk on, a path never develops, as the baggers all take a different routes over the easy ground 8)
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Re: Only Managed One :-(

Postby AnnieMacD » Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:33 pm

I totally agree with the others as I prefer not to walk on paths - it makes it much more interesting and fun. It's nice to carry a GPS but I would never survive without a compass and map.
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