walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

High Fives for new friends on Lawers

High Fives for new friends on Lawers


Postby Jaxter » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:49 pm

Route description: Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 16/10/2015

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 18.9 km

6 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).

After my terrible day of navigation and decision making on Ben Lui in the clag 2 days ago, I felt that, with another day off another walk was the perfect solution – getting back in the saddle. I’d had my eye on the Ben Lawers range for a while, since doing the Glen Lyon horseshoe earlier in the year and having read a few reports of it on here. I had a plan, with a plan B and even an ‘escape route’ in the middle just in case.

However, I had a terrible night’s sleep – I was going over in my head what might have happened the day before and it kept me awake a lot of the night. The alarm went off at 5.15 and I nearly turned it off. But I didn’t. I soon thought that maybe I should have as, leaving Glasgow, this was my view:

Fog-tastic
Image

And driving down the M80 it got worse, thick thick fog – I could barely see the white lines on the road, it was very very cold and of course dark. An auspicious start. However, the forecast was for wall-to-wall sunshine, and we all know that the forecast in the mountains is always right, don’t we....?

I eventually got to the Ben Lawers turn off and as I headed up the track to the nature reserve car park, I suddenly rose out of the cloud and witnessed the most beautiful sunrise and cloud inversion combination. Unfortunately I failed to photograph it.

I parked the car and started to get my bike out of the boot – as I was doing this solo I was to leave the car in the car park at my ‘end’ point, cycle 6 miles to the start at Lawers Hotel and then walk my way along the ridge, picking up the bike afterwards. As I was struggling with bike in boot, another car pulled up beside me and out piled 4 friendly Liverpudlians. We very soon realised that we had planned the same walk, and since we now had 5 people with 2 cars, the rest was obvious. I put the bike back in the car jumped into theirs and that was that. We headed to Ben Lawers Hotel for the start of the route. I love it when a ‘plan’ comes together!!

We headed down the road to Machuim Farm and headed up the path. We were back down in the cloud again but soon came back out of it. The sky was blue, the mountains were starting to emerge and my new friends were turning out to be excellent company.

Image

Image

Image

Image

We followed the path up to the dam (hindsight told us we may have been better taking the ridge) and as the sun was shining there was plenty of talk of going for a dip in the reservoir. We decided to slog up the grassy slope to Meall Greigh as it was the most direct route. This was not the most enjoyable part of the day but it did get us there quickly and we hit the ridge with only a hundred metres or so to the summit – there was munro number 1!

Looking across to our next targets
Image

Meall Greigh summit
Image

I’ll agree with everyone else who has written about this route – this is not the nicest mountain; in fact it’s a big grassy lump but the views were fabulous – the cloud sat atop Loch Tay but the sun was beaming down on the tops and we could see our route ahead.

Image

Loch Tay
Image

Image

Image

After a quick refuel we set about the long walk towards Meall Garbh. It was a long way but as we were now on solid paths we stormed along, up the ascent and after only just over an hour we were atop number 2 and enjoying hot chocolate brought by the guys.

Looking ahead to An Stuc
Image

Our route to here
Image

The next part was the bit I was worried about – I’d read several accounts of cat gully, varying from ‘an easy scramble’ to ‘don’t ever go there on your own, it’s deadly’. Fortunately I was no longer on my own, but the thought of it still filled me with some trepidation. I have wee short hobbit legs so sometimes reaching for holds isn’t so easy for me as for others blessed with longer limbs! That being said, it was actually fine. The path leading up to it is steep, and the gully itself is slightly exposed but there are plentiful hand and foot holds so long as you take your time and look around. An Stuc (fortunately, rather than un-stuck) has to be the quickest munro in history; something to be said for very steep ascents and descents!

Summit
Image

Image

We checked our time and decided that if we kept on at this pace then there was potential for munro’s number 6&7 too - something that was in the back of my mind when planning, but if I’m honest I wasn’t expecting to be able to do them. We laughed and decided to hold that decision until Beinn Ghlas.

I had expected the ascent to Ben Lawers to be a bit tough and it was. On and on it went (or so it felt) and when we arrived it seemed like the whole world was there too! We had a good long stop here as the sun was shining and the views were magnificent. The cloud had finally cleared from the Loch and the sun was glinting on the water. I again realised how amazingly lucky I am to live in such a beautiful country.

Image

The guys on Ben Lawers
Image

I took a panorama
Image

Image

Ahead to Beinn Ghlas, no5
Image

After soup and sandwiches, we set off down towards number 5, Beinn Ghlas. Ben Lawers is a big tourist destination, and although there isn’t yet a pub at the top, the paths are built and stepped and made for far less pleasant walking than the previous, less popular hills.

Image

Number 5! We took this on a timer and running back into the shot was painful :lol:
Image

With Beinn Ghlas in the bag, we decided that we were pretty tired and that 5 munros in one day is a fairly respectable total and headed down. Had I been on my own I probably would have done the extra 2 as the daylight was holding up, but I’m also pretty sure I would have regretted it!! The walk down through the nature reserve felt like the longest walk ever. Our knees and feet were screaming by the end and we collapsed at my car, all of us very glad not to have to walk any further!

Heading down
Image

Looking back up
Image

It was a brilliant day, just what the doctor ordered for me as I now feel like I can do anything! I love how you can meet people completely randomly and have a fantastic day together in the mountains, in a way that just wouldn’t happen anywhere else.

Sun starting to set on the slopes above Ben Lawers Hotel
Image

Now to go make my Lawers munros blue and plan for Monday, my final mountain day for the foreseeable!
Last edited by Jaxter on Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1001
Munros:199   Corbetts:103
Grahams:40   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:53   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Chris Mac » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:51 pm

A great report and cracking photos! It looks like you and your new friends had a fun day out and good on you for persevering as you got a great day for it. Probably best to call it quits when you did by the sounds of things but I understand the temptation to bag another one or two!

I'll have a similar decision to make tomorrow but will see how I feel at my "add another hill or head home point" later on in my route...! :D
User avatar
Chris Mac
Scrambler
 
Posts: 452
Munros:22   Corbetts:16
Grahams:7   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:39   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Sep 11, 2014
Location: Glasgow & Brodick

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby jamesb63 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:24 am

Cracking report Jaxter and some very nice pics :clap: :clap:
I done this the opposite way round a couple of months ago in the clag
and opted for the long walk back over the moors :lol: :lol:
to be honest it wasn't that bad http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=55176
User avatar
jamesb63
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 397
Munros:215   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 14, 2015
Location: Alexandria

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Jaxter » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:40 pm

Chris Mac wrote:A great report and cracking photos! It looks like you and your new friends had a fun day out and good on you for persevering as you got a great day for it. Probably best to call it quits when you did by the sounds of things but I understand the temptation to bag another one or two!

I'll have a similar decision to make tomorrow but will see how I feel at my "add another hill or head home point" later on in my route...! :D


I know it's so easy to just 'do it while your're there' isn't! Until your body starts screaming at you and it gets dark anyway...

jamesb63 wrote:Cracking report Jaxter and some very nice pics :clap: :clap:
I done this the opposite way round a couple of months ago in the clag
and opted for the long walk back over the moors :lol: :lol:
to be honest it wasn't that bad http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=55176


I read your report while I was preparing for yesterday!! But figured the bike would save me a bit of time with daylight issues on long walks at this time of year. Fortunately I didn't actually need it after all. Love it when a plan comes together :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1001
Munros:199   Corbetts:103
Grahams:40   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:53   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: High five jaxter it was a great day and enjoyed your com

Postby jwillo » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:57 pm

jamesb63 wrote:Cracking report Jaxter and some very nice pics :clap: :clap:
I done this the opposite way round a couple of months ago in the clag
and opted for the long walk back over the moors :lol: :lol:
to be honest it wasn't that bad http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=55176
jwillo
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3
Munros:86   
Joined: Jan 7, 2015

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby happyfut » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:14 pm

To jacker just to let you know the scouserneers done 6&7 hope my singing never put you off the mountain looking forward to bumping into you again also thanks for the lovely words on your forum
happyfut
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 18, 2015

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Jaxter » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:54 am

happyfut wrote:To jacker just to let you know the scouserneers done 6&7 hope my singing never put you off the mountain looking forward to bumping into you again also thanks for the lovely words on your forum


Yass so glad you found me! Was a cracking day :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1001
Munros:199   Corbetts:103
Grahams:40   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:53   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Petr Dakota » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:45 pm

You had a great day in the Lawers range, nice adventure :clap: :clap: :clap:
Glad you got the beautiful clear views, especially after the fogy start from Glasgow 8)
I had similar conditions when doing the East part from Ben Lawers hotel - very fogy start and then clear sky with inversion everywhere around in summer 2014, but clear blue sky with a sunshine on Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas when walked it in November 2013 in heavy snow and freezy condition...

Well done :clap: :clap: :clap: Keep walking...and keep reporting ! :wink:
User avatar
Petr Dakota
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1090
Munros:231   Corbetts:27
Grahams:6   Donalds:4
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:8   
Joined: Sep 3, 2014
Location: North Lanarkshire

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby GeorgiePorgie » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:54 am

Nice one Jaxter - at last some summit photos not in clag! Nice report and cracking pics. Planning your first 3 soon but dreading the ascent to An Stuc as I'm an old stiffy. Should have done it from the other side when I did Beinn Ghlas and Lawers last year.
User avatar
GeorgiePorgie
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sep 24, 2015
Location: Auchterarder

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Jaxter » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:29 pm

Petr Dakota wrote:You had a great day in the Lawers range, nice adventure :clap: :clap: :clap:
Glad you got the beautiful clear views, especially after the fogy start from Glasgow 8)
I had similar conditions when doing the East part from Ben Lawers hotel - very fogy start and then clear sky with inversion everywhere around in summer 2014, but clear blue sky with a sunshine on Ben Lawers & Beinn Ghlas when walked it in November 2013 in heavy snow and freezy condition...

Well done :clap: :clap: :clap: Keep walking...and keep reporting ! :wink:


Thanks - yes I feared the worst when I set out but was a brilliant day!

GeorgiePorgie wrote:Nice one Jaxter - at last some summit photos not in clag! Nice report and cracking pics. Planning your first 3 soon but dreading the ascent to An Stuc as I'm an old stiffy. Should have done it from the other side when I did Beinn Ghlas and Lawers last year


I know, what a relief!!
I wouldn't worry too much, yes it's fairly steep but it's very quick - same as the ascent up An Stuc, gets it done very quickly :D I was a bit worried about Cat gully but actually it was good fun, wouldn't like to come down it though :shock: :shock:
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1001
Munros:199   Corbetts:103
Grahams:40   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:53   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Silverhill » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:01 pm

Lovely pictures, especially the one of the inversion over Loch Tay. :D Nice to have such a positive experience to even out your slightly scary one on Ben Lui. :thumbup:
User avatar
Silverhill
 
Posts: 1242
Munros:277   Corbetts:3
Joined: Jan 13, 2013

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby Jaxter » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:44 pm

Silverhill wrote:Lovely pictures, especially the one of the inversion over Loch Tay. :D Nice to have such a positive experience to even out your slightly scary one on Ben Lui. :thumbup:


Thankyou! I wish I were a better photographer, but with a day as nice as that, even an idiot with a camera can take good shots :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1001
Munros:199   Corbetts:103
Grahams:40   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:53   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: High Fives for new friends on Lawers

Postby wilkiemurray » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:18 am

glorious weather and the pictures looking over the fog are amazing - must get back here again!

ATB

Murray
User avatar
wilkiemurray
 
Posts: 1245
Joined: Jan 26, 2012
Location: Perthshire

6 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free.

Can you help support the site and community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andrewmcc, Coop, dannk23, JimmyJo941, maxie23, PhilipPolmont, yahoorsur and 55 guests