walkhighlands

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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.

A new challenge this winter...

A new challenge this winter...


Postby Andy74G » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:04 pm

Route description: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers

Date walked: 13/12/2014

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 15.24 km

Ascent: 1214m

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An early start today as I was planning to be at the Ben Lawers car park just before first light. As I turned off the A827 you could see immediately that the minor road was covered in a layer of thick ice and compacted snow, as I rounded the first corner a car was already stuck ahead and was trying to reverse back down the track, forced to stop a safe distance away I was now also stuck, and it was beginning to look like the day was over before it began and I was stationary right at the Y fork in the road
law1.jpg
Thankfully I'd come prepared, I went into my boot and grabbed the snow socks that I'd bought last winter for my car and after about 10mins they were on and I was on the move again but not before 3 other cars failed to make the climb.( not helped by where I was stationary)
law2.jpg
I only managed to get half way up the road before being forced to turn around and park up as tbh the socks aren't anywhere near as good as chains and almost an hour had been lost With it looking like no one else was making it up the track today I was preparing to head home as I know its a risk walking in winter alone especially since this is my first "proper" winter walking season. But back down the hill, walkers were walking up the road so the day was back on. :D After kitting up it was a 15min walk to the car park area and the start of the WH route. The snow was at it's deepest at the start of the route and I was glad a path had already been cut in the deep snow through the trees.
law3.jpg
Looking up towards Beinn Ghlas
law4.jpg
back towards Loch Tay
. Ahead of me were a pair of walkers and after a bit I'd caught up and we had a chat. His name was George but I'm ashamed I can't remember the lady's name ( I'm terrible remembering peoples names :( ) They were two very experienced walkers and I was happy to spend time talking to them. Time lost this morning parking meant the clock was against me if I was to make it to the summit of Lawers toady and back off the hill in daylight, goodbyes were said and off I went. Two groups were ahead of me on the hill, With a full bag of kit and winter boots on my pace slowed on the accent , I'll admit this first trip was turning into a slog, not helped by not taking any breaks on my route to the summit of Beinn Ghlas . I arrived just before lunchtime and with the wind picking up and the route ahead covered in clag/spin thrift I was planning my next move. At this point George had caught me up and after a short discussion he kindly offered to accompany me to the summit of Ben Lawers and off we went .
law9.jpg
Within the hour we were at the top and I'll admit I was ready for a rest but this was not the place to have it. Only stopping to put on crampons we were off back down the icy path. George's friend had by now caught us up and was waiting for him, at this point we said goodbye and I stopped behind a boulder for a much need rest and my lunch.
law5.jpg
Me on the summit of Ben Lawers
law11.jpg
law10.jpg
This Montane Ninja balaclava came in handy on the decent into the chilly wind.
law12.jpg
Looking back towards Beinn Ghlas,
George had suggested the lower path to the right for my way back instead of back over the top of Beinn Ghlas. So I checked my map and off I went.
law6.jpg
Looking back
. It took a while to cover the ground on the lower route due to the deeper snow , but people had cut a path thought some of it and it was just a case of marching on.
law7.jpg
Before I set off this morning I'd filled my water pouch with 2ltrs of water but most of it had leaked out on the drive here into my car boot and all I had was a spare 500ml bottle of water in the car,this had started to freeze during day and I was now paying the price of lack of water as my leg mussel's were cramping up when I was walking through the deep snow :? will need to find a better way of storing my water .Finally I was back at the car glad it wasn't parked at the bottom of the access road.
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Andy74G
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby Bubba Ribeye » Sun Dec 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Well Done to 'bagging' your 1st winter trek of the season;-) I'm gagging to get out there and get a winter Bubba-Q in...ain't had a winter one since last November. The snow is late this year :-(.
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Bubba Ribeye
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby dogplodder » Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:12 pm

Well done on getting out there. That's an impressive balaclava and ideal for horizontal sleet, hale and snow! :D
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby Andy74G » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:46 pm

Cheers , it's certainly helped on the decent whilst in the wind.
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Andy74G
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby jonny616 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:10 pm

Well done on getting out there. Good hills for winter. I'm surprised about that stretch of road.It is usually kept clear to the head of the loch by the power company past the Lawers car park.
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jonny616
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:13 am

I enjoyed this report, all the more so from being in the comfort of my home. It looks wonderful, but it can be challenging doing it, right?
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Alteknacker
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:30 am

Nice one, well done for persevering :clap: :clap:

I can sympathise with how hard the going can get, at least you had footsteps to follow - makes you feel sorry for the first one to negotiate the fresh snow :lol: :lol:
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby RTMcB » Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:03 am

You are my WH twin!
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RTMcB
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Re: A new challenge this winter...

Postby Andy74G » Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:33 pm

"You are my WH twin!" :D :clap: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Andy74G
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