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Ben Chonzie from Invergeldie

Ben Chonzie from Invergeldie


Postby Driver84 » Sun May 30, 2010 4:34 pm

Route description: Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock

Munros included on this walk: Ben Chonzie

Date walked: 28/11/2009

Time taken: 7 hours

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Ok, 1 Munro under my soles, but that was 2 months previous and I was itching to get out. However, foolishly, I decided to go out by myself.

Please refrain from lectures as I received many upon my return and for the weeks that followed for my stupidity at being unequipped and lacking experience.

I set off early doors, around 6 am and once navigating the icy roads and very low level thick fog I had made it to Comrie, by which point the fog had cleared. This was an experience in itself. The road to Invergeldie from here was some what treacherous with black ice. It wasn't getting any better. Was this such a good idea?

The drive up to Invergeldie was good though with now clear, crisp skies and the views opening up in front of me were quite impressive.

Before long I was parked up and booting up getting set for my journey.
Off I set through the gate and followed the land rover track as it curved up.
P1050125.JPG
My 1st view of the Chonz


Passing over the small burn I continued up the path and by now the peaks of the Lawers(?) region were coming into view, heavily snow covered. Can someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not entirely sure, despite being up Lawers last weekend.
P1050141.JPG
Lawers region ?


As I was nearing the summit a small cloud was now beginning to form at the summit. On the way up I encountered my 1st pocket of snow, but it wasnt to be my last...
P1050156.JPG
1st snow of the winter

P1050161.JPG
walking into the cloud


The summit of Chonzie was blanketed in snow, and it was reasonably deep, hitting about 2 foot in some places. So the path ended as I started to follow the fence posts running to the summit. It was now nearing 11:00 and by this point I still had not encountered another being, so the noise of scampering mountain hare startled me.
P1050166.JPG
Mountain hare

P1050171.JPG
the sun trying to break through


by about 11:30 I had hit the summit with no views of the surrounding area, but the cloud wasn't to heavy and visability was alright, maybe about 200m.
P1050177.JPG
the summit


I stayed here for a quick bite to eat, and then not long after I had stopped I was joined by a group of 3 who came up to the summit before continuing right past it. Not sure where they were off to. However, I wasnt going to hang around up here, it was cold and I wasn't going to sit down. so back on with the pack and retraced my steps meeting a group of 4 on their way up. The cloud still hadn't lifted but I continued following the line of fence posts.
P1050178.JPG
snow on the fence posts


Before long I hit steeper ground with out snow, that I hadn't encountered on my way up: I had missed the adjoining path. Uh-oh! A rush of internal panic swept through me but that quickly changed into awe as I encountered a herd of deer passing in front of me. Before long, the panic hit in again. I wasn't going to back into the cloud and risk getting further disorientated and off path but however I was now out of the cloud and could see what lay before me. I walked around the top of Lurg Burn bypassing Meall na Seide and made a direct route towards the distant tracks in front of me. Again, over/across the top of Carroglen Burn to the track but not before encountering another 2 herd of deer. This was turning out to be an experience and a half.

I had made the track and followed it down to Carroglen fantically trying to find a way to cross the burn to enable me to get back to Invergeldie. However, thank you to one very kind resident of Balmuick, who had directed me to a bridge crossing the river, leaving me with a 3.5km hike back to Invergeldie (still better that following the road I was on taking me back to Comrie!). But again, thank you Balmuick resident.

Now on the correct side of the river I had plenty of time to reflect on everything that I had done that day:
1st outing by myself, 1st winter outing, with a no experience, an inadequate map and no bad weather navigation skills.
Only comfort that I did have when the initial panic had set in was that I had sufficient equipment with me should the worse had happened, and my route was left with people, but reflection was it was a stupid thing to have undertaken. Quite a severe learning curve and something I have not rushed into doing again. The grilling I received grinded on my own thoughts of realisation...


User avatar
Driver84
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 90
Munros:45   
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Apr 8, 2010
Location: Rosyth

Re: Ben Chonzie from Invergeldie

Postby mountain coward » Sun May 30, 2010 5:06 pm

Not sure you need a lecture for that - you went out alone and got back without too much help - any mistakes will go down to experience. We all start off something like that really unless we're fortunate enough to walk with groups regularly (which I rarely manage to do). You saw plenty of great wildlife :D
mountain coward
 

Re: Ben Chonzie from Invergeldie

Postby monty » Sun May 30, 2010 7:57 pm

Nice report Driver,
It can be a bit scary on your own when the clag comes in and we have all headed the wrong way on one walk or another :lol: Well done :D
monty
 

Re: Ben Chonzie from Invergeldie

Postby Driver84 » Mon May 31, 2010 5:16 pm

I think if I had done a few more byself, or even just more than one, I think I might have been alright.
Was just pretty daunting to have got "lost" on my first solo walk, but it was still a great day out.
User avatar
Driver84
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 90
Munros:45   
Grahams:1   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Apr 8, 2010
Location: Rosyth

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