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Lochnagar

Lochnagar


Postby Rodds1 » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:16 am

Route description: Lochnagar from Glen Muick

Munros included on this walk: Lochnagar

Date walked: 08/12/2008

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Saturday th December - My first winter walk.

My intention for today was to complete more than one munro however as we entered the car park at Glen Muick (0730) it became clear that was very ambitious given the amount of snow on the ground. Even though you could not have asked for better weather conditions, clear blue sky and mild temperature, we knew we had to adjust our route.

Having never completed a proper winter walk we decided to follow the Lochnagar circuit and leave the others for a better day. We got ready and set off at around 0820, heading down the reserve path towards the estate cottages - heavy snow followed by rain and freezing temperatures had left the path incredibly slippery so the first part of this walk was not fun to say the least. Upon reaching the path through the woods our pace picked up and we clawed back some time, until we broke through the tree's to discover 6-8 inches of snow covering the pathway to Clais Rathadan - walking through this depth of snow was seriously affecting our pace. Things got from bad to worse as we turned onto the path towards Meikle Pap to find the snow had increased in depth to around 12-15 inches - much more in places, it was not uncommon to find myself waist deep at times. We eventually reached the foot of "the ladder" and stopped for a well earned drink.

We seemed to be the only hikers on so far, everyone else was taking on a variety of ice climbs. This meant that there was no "path" up the ladder. After serious consideration we decided it was to good a day to turn around and set off up the edge of the ladder - not the most comon route however it had the most rocks and was best for judging snow depth, which had now increased to an average of around 18 inches. Carefully treading our path we made our way up using walking poles to test snow depth and checking for secure footing. After about 45 minutes we reached the top of the ladder. As we reached the top we could see no foot prints in the snow, we were the first today. Usually the path towards Cac Carn Beag diverts away to the left and cuts back in towards the summit, today we decided on an alternate route. We set off keeping a line alone the ridge of the corrie (roughly aroung 15 metres) and slowly made our way towards Cac Carn Mor before eventually reaching the summit of Cac Carn Beag at about 1300 - a break has never felt so well earned. By now there were a number of groups following our route up the mountain so we decided to set off and remain ahead.

Facing a dilema, do we head home or head to Carn a' Choire Bhoidheach? Sense prevailed and we headed off towards the waterfall at Craig Moseen. As the path was covered by about 12-14 inches of snow we had to best judge our route to the bottom, generally we followed the river down to the bridge. This however was a complte nightmare, never knowing what you were standing on, never knowing how deep the snow was(waist deep in many areas) and endlessly falling over risking breaking legs. It took us 2 hours to reach the little bridge that crosses the river before you begin your descent by the side of the waterfall. After another hour we had finally reached the woods at Glas-allt-Sheil, 1600 and all between us and the car was the "easy" walk in along the path aside the loch. Again the pathway was hard ice and near impossible to walk on - coming to the car took us 80 minutes! Finally at 1720 we were back at the car completely knackered.

As we sat n the car we noticed 11 cars still parked and 1 car of guys getting suited up - this was mountain rescue, the groups behind us (apart from 1 that had passed) were all still on the mountain. The car told me the temperature was -2, without a doubt it was colder up there and it was now pith dark. We set off homeward and hoped we did not hear about any incidents on the news.

Winter walking is certianly not for the feint-hearted and I would advise that your physical conditioning is at it's peak - even as I sit now my legs are still agony. I cant ever remember them feling this sore? Having said that, I cant wait to get out there again.


*Photo's to be uploaded during the week
Rodds1
 
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Rodds1 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:03 am

Finally received the pics from our trip last weekend;

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Rodds1
 
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby doogz » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:15 am

good set of pics there........been twice saw nothing at all TWICE...ah well look at these and try to imagine what might have been.. :( :( :( :( :(
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:33 am

Great pics. The right hand side of the Ladder is usually the best way when under snow.

Do you want your pics to show in your post rather than having to click on them? If so, you can edit your post, select each image location and click the 'Img' button. If you can't edit your post let me know and I'll make the photos appear in it.
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Rodds1 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:35 am

Cheers Paul, that'd be grand if you could. I have more pics on the way emphasising just how deep the snow was in places.
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:41 am

Done it - but the photos seem to be too wide to be shown in full. Might be worth asking another of our photobucket users how they are showing their photos - is there an option to paste in a bit smaller image?

The photos are stunning - I don't think Lochnagar can look much better than that.
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Rodds1 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:46 am

I will check if I can adjust the picture size in any way. I think these pictures are pretty impressive given they were taken on a mobile phone, just wish I had checked my camera battery the night before . . :( :shock:
Rodds1
 
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby canisp » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:05 pm

Great photo’s Rodds, like the 3rd and 4th from last best, great perspective.

Paul Webster wrote:Done it - but the photos seem to be too wide to be shown in full. Might be worth asking another of our photobucket users how they are showing their photos - is there an option to paste in a bit smaller image?

I set the size on photobucket to 640 x 480 just before uploading, this seems to give the best fit.
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Doug Tulloch » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:15 pm

Paul Webster wrote:Done it - but the photos seem to be too wide to be shown in full. Might be worth asking another of our photobucket users how they are showing their photos - is there an option to paste in a bit smaller image?

Paul, I copied one to my computer and found that they are being displayed distorted on rodds1's post. They are actually standard screen dimensions. I can copy all of them, reduce them to, say, 500 pixels and email them to you if you like. Not often you see that much snow!
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby wandererjon » Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:29 pm

Fantastic pictures, especially if they've been taken on a mobile!!!! Ah, the advances of modern technology :lol: . I really like the sunset (rise) one, the others have great perspective and you can almost feel the cold!!!
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Rodds1 » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:31 pm

Amazingly it wasn't that cold, I only had my fleece on when I stopped for lunch, guess I must have been working up a sweat :o The view of the sunset is when we were making our way back to the car - note how icy the road looks, it was a #*!% to walk on.
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Re: Lochnagar

Postby Doug Tulloch » Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:14 pm

Yes, I've walked down that road at the end of a long day many times, and it seemed to get longer every time! Must have seemed interminable covered in ice, no wonder your legs ached. Great photos, Rodds. With that quality from your mobile, looks like cameras that are just cameras will soon be out of date. Phones that are just phones already are, I suppose.
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