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Ghlas,Lawers & An Stuc on the hottest day of the year (?)

Ghlas,Lawers & An Stuc on the hottest day of the year (?)

Postby Driver84 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:39 pm

Route description: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers

Date walked: 22/05/2010

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All week the weather forecasts had said it was gonig to be a cracking weekend, perhaps to good a weekend, for heading out on the hills. An early departure meant we pulled up at the visitor centre at the back of 8 with clear blue skies and the heat from the sun already warm. Boots laced, rucksacks on and of we went...

The girls dad had been up Lawers before, but like (almost) everyone else had real shoddy weather. The other killer from his previous visit was that An Stuc was still classified as a top, and as such his group decided against doing it as they done the Lawers 4.

But as we made our way up the boardwalk, there was no sign of any bad weather - the sky still clear and the sun beginning to beat down, so much so that within about 20 mins we had to stop. The trousers were getting turned to shorts and a base layer was coming off.
Beinn Ghlas 001

Making our way up Beinn Ghlas was become a real slog as the heat picked up and the fluids were quickly being drank - hope I have enough to last the day. Stopping occassionaly on the ascent, we enjoyed the views as a haze started to develop and with the height advantage we could now see clouds in the sky, but nothing that would threaten to spoil the day. Reaching the lower plateau on Ghlas was greeted with some welcome relief as we could ease the pace for a bit.
Ghlas 002

And it was here we were greeted by some remaining snow - quite a significant amount, that did require us to cross it. But first, time to fill up one of my now empty bottles with some snow which I would be using to keep cool later! 8)
Ghlas 003

After a quick crossing of the snow and about 10 mins later we were at the summit of Beinn Ghlas.
Ghlas summit

Time to stop for a couple of photos only and straight off towards Lawers. The clouds now moving in forming a grey and white patchwork in the sky but still nothing to worry about.
Lawers from Ghlas

Ascending Lawers we were met with some more snow, and slogging our way up the "stairs" and gravel we were at the top of Lawers in almost no time.
snow on Lawers

me on Lawers summit

Again, time for some more photos but this time we stopped for some food and sat there, in front of the snow, enjoying the views that were still visible eastwards over Loch Tay.


While re-fuelling we discussed going on to An Stuc. From the top of Lawers it looked a fair hike there, and we knew we would also have to come back. We couldn't be so close and not go. Sod it! lets go. the descent off the back of Lawers was almost as quick as the ascent and we were making up good ground.

A slight misread of the map and we nearly walked off Creag an Fhithich so a quick scan of what was ahead and we came off safely and looked back in awe at we nearly came off! :shock:


Soon we were heading up the steepening slopes of An Stuc and were quickly at the summit.


Sat at the summit it was time for a serious fluid intake as the sun kept bursting out from the clouds and was beating down hard. We sat contemplating our next move: onto Meall Garbh/Meall Greigh and face a serious hike back to the visitor centre or re-trace our steps. Re-trace our steps it is.

Back off An Stuc, and making a quick ascent up Lawers in the now constant sun... what a day it is, but the heat is a little excesive. As we were nearing the summit of Lawers (the second time today) we could see the tour buses were in as the summit was hoaching. Just shy of the summit, and to avoid the chaos, I found myself chilling out in a small snow pocket. Never before had I found myself in shorts and a tee rolling around in snow and ice, but damn did it feel good.

Now with ice burn kicking in, we made the short hop up to the summit, having to fight our way past on the path as some of the tour bus crew were sat on it/blocking it.

As soon as we hit the summit we were straight back off it, heading quickly to the bealach between Lawers and Ghlas, amazed at the people we passed carrying no water what-so-ever.


At the split in the path we decided to take the split and go around the north of Ghlas, avoiding the re-climb. The path appeared endless: whether it was because it was featureless, or the heat, or a cruel mix of both.

Eventually we were back at the car in the now hoaching car park filled with one small coach and several mini-buses. The liquid refreshment stored in the coolbox brought some much needed fluid: dehydration and sunburn taking it's effects. But from things I have heard I appeared to be one of the lucky ones to have done Lawers and had great views on the 1st attempt. Sunburn aside it was a great day, with awesome views, and much enjoyment was had at hitting the 10th highest twice in one day.


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Re: Ghlas,Lawers & An Stuc on the hottest day of the year (?)

Postby chris_c201 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:35 am

Good report... i done the 5 of them from the hotel working back to the visitor centre on Monday the 14th and luckily had similar weather....

Great views and Lawers is surprisingly "easy" considering how big it is!
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Re: Ghlas,Lawers & An Stuc on the hottest day of the year (?)

Postby mountain coward » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:43 am

Yeah, I found the climb up Lawers really quick and easy too - didn't find it quite so easy going back up it after An Stuc though - took forever! We didn't have any views at all when we did it though until we were re-descending Lawers. Toyed with the idea of that track round the back of Meal Ghlas too as it looked nice but, as Beinn Ghlas was just emerging from the cloud, thought I'd get better (my only) photos if we went back the way we came :D Love the lolling in the snow pic! :lol:
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