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Plan B and lots of white stuff

Plan B and lots of white stuff


Postby Fife Flyer » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:08 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Vrackie

Date walked: 17/01/2015

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 10 km

Ascent: 730m

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This was my first outing of 2015 and it hasn't been easy checking the forecast daily and seeing the same diabolical weather, wind, rain, rain and wind. So when the this weather window appeared I told Mrs F, I had to get a good dose of fresh air :lol:
I was initially thinking of heading south again to check out some pastures new, but the weather wasn't too be as good in the borders so I decided to head up the A9 (again) and stroll up The Sow of Atholl and her neighbour. I checked the 'live' camera's last night and there was certainly plenty of snow at the road side, but a bit of snow doesn't deter me :lol:
Set off from Fife in the dark at 7.30, scooted up the M90 to Perth and then once north of Perth the temperature started to drop and snow was at the road side. Reached Blair Atholl and -5deg, noticed that the guy who has his camp just south of House of Bruar is still there, got a much bigger tent and quite an encampment :roll:
When the section of dual carriageway was reached south of Dalnaspidal the snow at the side of the carriageway was certainly a bit deeper and all the layby's were not accessible, I was fearing the worst :(
I was planning to park in the last layby before the turn off and my fears were confirmed, no access, so I thought about turning down the side road to Dalnaspidal, however there was a bank of snow across the entrance and 2 cars abandoned at the end of the road covered in snow :(
I didn't have a Plan B but was determined not to drive back to Fife still covered in cobwebs, so I thought Ben Vrackie 8) Was up there in the summer a few years ago and remember it being a superb hill, so I had to use plenty of brain cells to remember how to get to the car park :lol:
Set off from the top car park at 9.30 and was hoping I would be able to exit the car park later on :wink:

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Choice of spaces, there were 11 cars in the car park when I returned

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The way up


I remember from the last time I was up Vrackie, the path out of the car park seemed to be the hardest and steepest, however that turned out to be a scoosh compared to what was in store later :lol:

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The first nice wee bridge

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The 2nd nice bridge

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A flavour of the snow depth, initially

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First glimpse of the summit

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Everywhere is white, the path/foot steps are becoming less obvious


Just before I reached Loch a Choire I caught up with Brian (from Perth) and he was heading up Vrackie for the umpteenth time, was up 61 times last year 8) A short time later we in turn were caught up by another chap (Lindsay) and he apparently is also a Vrackie regular and apparently holds a record, was up Vrackie every day during the last leap year - now that is commitment :roll:
Just before reaching the Loch the fresh dumping of snow has obliterated the path, so let the trailblazing begin and to say it was hard going at times is an understatement :lol: There aren't too many days when your gaters fill up with snow, but as there were times when the snow holes were up to my thighs.

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Next summit view - look at the sky!

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Loch a Choire looking frozen with a nice sprinkling of snow

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Brian trailblazing on all fours

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Loch a Choire from on high

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Pitlochry in the distance (if you look closely)

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Looking south, note the big shiny thing in the sky!


Once past the loch the usual path was covered with drift snow so we trailblazed up to the right heading towards the minor peaks, the going was really tough, mainly because I am not used to lifting my feet so high :lol:
After plenty of toiling we reached the summit, it was bitterly cold and lunch was taken in a sheltered spot out of the wind. The views were stunning, every hill, hump and bump was a lovely shade of white 8)

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The north

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North east

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Pitlochry

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Summit pose

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Nice icicles

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Interesting rock formation - Indian Chief?


The descent was quite good fun as anyone who has descended in snow will verify, it was made even better by seeing loads of fellow walkers struggling ascending like we did earlier. Naturally I had to mention how grateful they should be that the we created the path :lol: :lol:

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Interesting snow formation


For anyone who has not ventured up Ben Vrackie, hopefully a few of these photo's will tempt you, it really is a superb walk and day out and I can see why there are quite a few Vrackie regulars :wink: Hopefully there will be a few more quiet weather days in the near future :wink:
Next :lol:
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby malky_c » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:15 pm

Can't go wrong with Ben Vrackie - been up it 8 or 9 times myself :) (which is nothing compared to the guys you met). Never had snow quite so deep on it though.

Amusingly there is way more there than on the Cairngorms. Down low is similar but up on the plateau it has mostly been scoured away by the wind, and all that is left is some icy crud from about a week ago.
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:13 am

Aye thigh high snow been there done that today :D

Looks a grand hill :clap:
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby Beaner001 » Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:58 am

Nice day out for a plan B there :clap:
My dad and I came across same problem at Dalnaspidal earlier in December....we got half way down the wee road then realised we'd not get back up so managed to reverse back and head elsewhere as did not want to get stuck there after our walk.....
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby MunroMadMen » Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:12 am

Absolutely stunning pics Martin, nothing worse than being off for 7 days and it does nothing but rain, start back to work this weekend and you see pics like this.........

Roll on Wednesday and hopefully I can get similar weather for a jaunt up the mountains

Crackin pics
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby Sunny Speyside » Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:39 am

Lovely photos as always Martin, glad you had a good day out. Ben Vrackie is still a 'to do' for me and it has just moved a couple notches nearer the top of the list.
The views we had from Meall Chuaich today were equally stunning though not nearly so much snow :D
Cheers
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby PeteR » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:20 pm

I'm not jealous Martin..........well, not much :mrgreen:

Looks stunning 8)
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby dooterbang » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:16 pm

Cracking photos :thumbup:

Looked a belter of a day.

Glad you got the car out safely.

The Moulin Inn is always good for food and a nice beer/ale :)
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:38 pm

We did this one in similar conditions a couple of years back, perfect hill for a "white quickie" :lol:

Glad you enjoyed it, too :D
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:51 pm

Thanks for all the kind comments.

Sunny Speyside wrote:Lovely photos as always Martin, glad you had a good day out. Ben Vrackie is still a 'to do' for me and it has just moved a couple notches nearer the top of the list.
The views we had from Meall Chuaich today were equally stunning though not nearly so much snow :D
Cheers

Thanks Evie, I was almost tempted to continue north and join you, Meall Chuaich is my favourite in the area :wink:

BlackPanther wrote:We did this one in similar conditions a couple of years back, perfect hill for a "white quickie" :lol: Glad you enjoyed it, too :D


Wouldn't exactly call it a white quickie, took me 2 hours longer than when I did it a couple of years ago :lol: :lol:
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:25 am

Superb stuff there Martin, glad to see your getting out, time I got my finger out :lol: Many years since I last did this hill, but it's even better in the snow, but as you say a good fitness test, the soft snow takes a lot out of you and fairly adds to the time total, but worth every step in these conditions. Wonderful, what a start to 2015 :D
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby Mantog » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:47 pm

Sunny Speyside wrote:Lovely photos as always Martin, glad you had a good day out. Ben Vrackie is still a 'to do' for me and it has just moved a couple notches nearer the top of the list.
The views we had from Meall Chuaich today were equally stunning though not nearly so much snow :D
Cheers


We might have seen you up on Meall Chuaich on Sunday. There were 3 of us, we caught 2 people up then they swapped places with us at the summit around lunchtime. It was perishing cold up there! Didn't see anyone else all day.
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Re: Plan B and lots of white stuff

Postby Sunny Speyside » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:26 am

Mantog wrote:
Sunny Speyside wrote:Lovely photos as always Martin, glad you had a good day out. Ben Vrackie is still a 'to do' for me and it has just moved a couple notches nearer the top of the list.
The views we had from Meall Chuaich today were equally stunning though not nearly so much snow :D
Cheers


We might have seen you up on Meall Chuaich on Sunday. There were 3 of us, we caught 2 people up then they swapped places with us at the summit around lunchtime. It was perishing cold up there! Didn't see anyone else all day.


Sorry Mantog...wrong girl . It was sunny Saturday we were on MC :lol:
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