Sun, Snow & Spindrift in Strathfillan
by basscadet » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:06 pm
Munros included on this walk: An Caisteal
Grahams included on this walk: Fiarach
Date walked: 31/01/2015
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 1300m3 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).
The Radio Scotland walkers forecast was dismal, and promised high winds. Oh well goggles at the ready..
In the morning, we decided to go up a local graham, which meant we could leave the car, and we set off down the west highland way.
We passed by a sign, that directed us down to the Holy Pool, where folk used to think the waters healed their mental health problems.
Just a short walk further along the WHW, and we were in familiar territory - the bridge at Dalrigh .
We continued along the track, through attractive woodland, the sun poking its face through to illuminate random hills
We reached a locked gate, which was where we were heading uphill anyways. It was a tough trudge up the side of the woods, but didn't take long.
The wind was getting up, surprising what a difference a couple of hundred feet make So we went into the woods, to try and find some shelter for a cup of tea. Unfortunately the wind was too strong, and by the time we had stopped for a couple of minutes, we had to get going again, just to keep warm.
The going got steep for a wee while as we left the forest behind us.
We got up to flatter ground, but the wind had got to almost insane levels by then
Luckiy it was coming from behind us, which made it just about possible to carry on.
We found some interesting tracks in the snow. Can't of been there more than a few seconds in that wind. Think it was maybe a stoat
We made good progress with the wind behind us and the consolidated snow being exposed by the wind.
We were soon nearing the summit, which consisted of a rocky fin. The wind was coming from our left, blowing spindrift everywhere now. Only a few more metres
We reached the summit, where I actually had to kneel down to stay still. I took a couple of photos, then ran back the way we had come trying to find some shelter.
Unfortunately, there was none to be had, so we huddled together while we sorted out more clothing and goggles. Been a long time since I was out in anything that crazy
We had planned a different descent route but in the chaos, it was all we could do to run back the way we had come, there was no way you could of got a map out in that..
It only took half an hour to get back to the track, so we had enough time for a lazy afternoon.
Despite it snowing all night, Sundays forecast was actually pretty good, so we thought we might try a munro. I had wanted to go back to An Caisteal for a while - looked like a good ridge up from the road, and I hadn't actually been to the castle part the first time that I did this hill, as I had approached from another way and well, it doesnt look like much from the summit
So we set off from the car at about 10. We got the last space in the layby, so looked like it might be busy. The car park was a sheet of ice - most dangerous part of the day, but we were on the track in no time, and up the glen to the well broken route up to the ridge.
The going was arduous, not because the snow was that deep, or the hill was tht steep, but because the ground underneath was a soft as a sponge, so lots of energy was lost.
We made it up to harder snow, and up onto the ridge. The conditions were near perfect, with just enough breeze to keep you cool, and wall to wall sunshine.
The ridge undulated a bit, and we stopped before the final climb to the summit for a cuppa. The breeze was cold, and with all the shelter drifted, there was not to be any long stops today. I put my crampons on, more out of a want not to carry them needlessly rather than for safety reasons.
We got up to the rocky bit, just below the castle, where there was a wee icy manouvre to get up on top.
It wasn't far to the summit from there.
The cloud was coming accross and the wind was biting, so we headed back.
We stopped in the same place to finish the flask, and then had fun descending steep icy slopes back the way we had come.
Another fine weekend, this has to be the best winter weather we have seen for a few years
by weaselmaster » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:17 pm
Winds were challenging!
I wonder if your tracks were otter? Saw very similar ones over at Ben Alder and reckoned that's what they were.
by basscadet » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:39 am
by weaselmaster » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:41 am
basscadet wrote:I can see why you would think that, its a blown up photo, but they weren't big enough to be an otter - about the size of a 20p piece including the claws.
Ah yes, knowing the scale helps!!
by PeteR » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:42 pm
It's been a while now since I walked these hills. I really should revisit sometime soon
by Fife Flyer » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:41 pm
Agree about the conditions, energy sapping is an understatement But we just love the snow
by onsen » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:47 pm
- Munro compleatist
- Posts: 283
- Joined: Oct 10, 2012
- Location: The Great Southern Land, Australia
by Graeme D » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:35 pm
by Collaciotach » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:24 pm
by Alteknacker » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:54 pm
I hope to be up there next week from the deep South (I'm a wimp..)
by Scotjamie » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:17 pm
Getting soft with the wigwam after your many camping exploits?
Great report and pics.
by basscadet » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:38 am
We seem to spend a lot of time in that area for some reason. My dad hasnie done 'em, so I'll definately be back at some point with him!
Somehow always seem to come back from that neck of the woods with the achiest thighs ever...
by Graeme D » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:58 pm
basscadet wrote: Somehow always seem to come back from that neck of the woods with the achiest thighs ever...
Bit too much information????
by kevsbald » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:14 pm
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