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.

Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.


Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:17 pm

Route description: Beinn Pharlagain, near Rannoch Station

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Pharlagain

Date walked: 12/12/2015

Time taken: 9.75 hours

Distance: 15.6 km

Ascent: 704m

11 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).

I had not been on a hill since the last WH meet at Torridon four weeks ago and was desperate to get out on any hill and with the overhead forecast good, showing clear skies and little wind Beinn Pharlagain near Rannoch Station was the hill chosen to try and get Theresa her second last Perthshire Corbett.
We had agreed to meet up at the park and ride car park just outside Perth at 0800hrs which I must admit thought was a bit on the early side seeing that the book and WH says it's a 4.5 hour to 5.00 hour walk for the single Corbett but at the back of my mind was maybe taking in the wee Sub 2 on the way back, that's was a joke, in hindsight.
For those who have not climbed in the winter before and considering such an outing, beware, this is a warning no matter what walk you are undertaking whether it be a Munro or Sub 2 it will take you a lot longer in full winter conditions especially if there are huge dumps of soft snow that cannot take your weight..
For awesome summit views and indications of underfoot conditions please read on. I had taken all the winter equipment I thought I would require, ice axe, crampons etc, I had also been to a recent lecture of winter walking by Heather Morning of SMC, and taken on board many good ideas, but there was one piece of equipment I did not take and probably should have had, a length of rope, as at one point I fell into deep snow and for the life of me had a very hard time getting out, it must of been hilarious to watch, luckily no photographs were taken, something the lone walker might be advised to consider before going out.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

1.JPG
After leaving the car on the roadside at the start of The Road to the Isles track before you come to Rannoch Station opposite Loch Eigheach. At the start looking up the Road to the Isle track
2.JPG
Looking back down towards the road to Rannoch Station
3.JPG
Further on up the track with a glimmer of blue skies showing how nice a day it was to become, looking good, well worth the early start. It should be noted that from Kinloch Rannoch to the start of the walk the roadway had not been salted I don't know if this is always the case and that from that point onwards the progress is slow with lots of icy sections
4.JPG
Now off the track at the second bridge and heading up the Southern slopes of Beinn Pharlagain towards Leacann nan Giomach. This is when the underfoot conditions changed to deeper snow and it was here that we saw another walker in front of us
5.JPG
We met up with David who was already about to quit but then decided to tag along with us
6a.JPG
Heading further up the Southern shoulder of Leaccann nan Giomach
7.JPG
Bright blue skies over the Carn Dearg ridge in the background
8.JPG
Then the going really changed with an enormous increase of loose powdery soft snow which made progress extremely slow. There were sections of crawling over the surface on hands and knees to enable forward movement
9.JPG
Every step was an effort with the soft snow surface giving way each time a step was taken.
10a.JPG
More hard work in soft snow
11.JPG
Now getting farcical, and very energy sapping. Shortly after this David said he had had enough and come back another day, so we bade him farewell
12.JPG
A sea of deep snow behind and in front with deeper to come
13.JPG
Looking back to where we had come and where we we have to follow in near total darkness on our way back. Follow the burn then onto the track then to car, a very long way
14.JPG
A ptarmigan changing its colour well camouflaged
15.JPG
Happy to make the summit ridge, decision made to carry on but knowing we were well behind schedule
16.JPG
More snow fields to be crossed
17.JPG
Snow sculptures on the summit
18.JPG
Another of the crawling sections, with more time being lost
19.JPG
The first sign of the summit
21.JPG
From the summit cairn looking back. We were there in 4 hrs 55 mins, when most books suggest the time should be 2 hrs 50 mins under normal conditions. Take note those that follow.
22.JPG
Both exceedingly happy to have reached the summit, but now the long walk out
23.JPG
Mountain Thyme, what an effort, a quick bite to eat then head on down towards the burn
24.JPG
If anything there was more snow on the way back, and by this time there was a hard frosted crust which had to be broken, which became very painful on the shins, bruises and scars to prove it.
25.JPG
Another area where you sank so deep it was difficult and exhausting to get out. No more photographs from there on in as mind was on auto pilot and with darkness falling and with the underfoot conditions even more undulating and tiredness setting in, it was a real struggle to get down off the hill. The walk along the burn seemed to go on and on for ever. I would say this was my most exhausting day ever on a hill and only one Corbett completed, so those that say Munros are the biggies get real, it is all dependant on underfoot conditions and weather. I certainly will never forget this day. I must go back sometime to checkout what the actual terrain looks like at the burn area when all the white stuff has gone preferably in dry conditions and who knows might just pick up the Sub 2 as well. Limited to 25 photographs on the original post, for those wishing to see more snow photographs turn to page 3 and Sara attachments.
Last edited by The Rodmiester on Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:34 pm

A tough day indeed, well done on getting it done, you both had some adventure there :clap:
User avatar
Beaner001
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 743
Munros:234   Corbetts:26
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Sep 17, 2013
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby pollyh33 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:44 pm

An amazing tale of determination, courage and sheer madness!!!!


Some cracking photos in there Rod, especially the one of Theresa up to her thighs in the white stuff :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol:

Hope you are both having a well earned rest after that!
User avatar
pollyh33
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2573
Munros:282   Corbetts:15
Grahams:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:51 pm

Beaner001 wrote:A tough day indeed, well done on getting it done, you both had some adventure there :clap:


Hi Beaner001, the hard days are the ones you remember the longest. Glad to be back though :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:52 pm

pollyh33 wrote:An amazing tale of determination, courage and sheer madness!!!!


Some cracking photos in there Rod, especially the one of Theresa up to her thighs in the white stuff :roll: :roll: :lol: :lol:

Hope you are both having a well earned rest after that!


Hi pollyh33, still recovering from the epic, wonderful :D :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby ancancha » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:24 am

Fabulous snow scupture photo at the summit :clap:
An energy sapping trek, well done for carrying on :!:
Didn't realise there was that much snow in Scotland so far this year 8)
User avatar
ancancha
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 986
Munros:84   Corbetts:3
Grahams:1   Donalds:1
Joined: Jun 30, 2014
Location: Killadysert

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby Tomsie » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:42 am

Looked tough going lads, ye certainly got the deep stuff, well done for pushing through it :clap:

Some nice clear photos, liked the sastrugi ones :D
User avatar
Tomsie
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1161
Munros:119   Corbetts:58
Grahams:34   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jan 8, 2011

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:41 am

ancancha wrote:Fabulous snow scupture photo at the summit :clap:
An energy sapping trek, well done for carrying on :!:
Didn't realise there was that much snow in Scotland so far this year 8)


Thanks ancancha, and neither did I re the snow that is :lol: :lol: It must be my longest time taken for a single blue balloon, a very hard day indeed :crazy: :crazy:
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:42 am

Tomsie wrote:Looked tough going lads, ye certainly got the deep stuff, well done for pushing through it :clap:

Some nice clear photos, liked the sastrugi ones :D


Tomsie that was hard work, still feeling the old legs, they must be telling me something :lol: :lol:
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:19 am

I know how it feels to be off the hills for a few weeks... The desperation growing inside... :wink:

Fantastic day out you had. I'm still to do this Corbett and the two Munros next to it, looks like a good big round for summertime!

We had exactly the same conditions a bit further north on Carn an Fhreiceadain, waist-deep snow, blue sky and mountain hares everywhere. The circuit which takes 4 hours usually, took us 6.5 to wade through the white stuff. And the whole route was on a track! :lol: Well, supposedly, because the track was covered with snowdrifts and we could hardly see it :lol: Will be posting my TR later today :D
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3154
Munros:258   Corbetts:162
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby Guinessman » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:20 pm

Epic, I had loose plans to do the two munros behind from Rannoch on Sunday but changed my plans after experiencing the snow conditions on Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil on the Saturday. Great effort. :clap:
User avatar
Guinessman
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1064
Munros:282   Corbetts:41
Grahams:26   Donalds:89
Hewitts:143
Wainwrights:214   Islands:13
Joined: Dec 28, 2009
Location: NW Durham

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:24 pm

BlackPanther wrote:I know how it feels to be off the hills for a few weeks... The desperation growing inside... :wink:

Fantastic day out you had. I'm still to do this Corbett and the two Munros next to it, looks like a good big round for summertime!

We had exactly the same conditions a bit further north on Carn an Fhreiceadain, waist-deep snow, blue sky and mountain hares everywhere. The circuit which takes 4 hours usually, took us 6.5 to wade through the white stuff. And the whole route was on a track! :lol: Well, supposedly, because the track was covered with snowdrifts and we could hardly see it :lol: Will be posting my TR later today :D


Hi there BP, well you know how it feel like, just about getting over it now :lol: :lol: look forward to reading about your adventure, any nice snow shapes? :D Good call on the Summer round of the 2munros and Corbett by the way and don't forget the wee Sub 2 to the South :lol: :lol:
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby dav2930 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Yes those conditions are incredibly energy sapping - it takes real determination to plough on to the summit. A pair of snow shoes might have come in handy! I've had similar experiences on Beinn Sgulaird and Stob Ban, among others. I prefer to avoid these big dumps of fresh powder early in the winter if possible; I'd rather wait a bit until the snow gets more consolidated. But that was a great effort indeed; well done! Great photos too. :clap:
User avatar
dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1272
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:10   Donalds:37
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:161
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:00 pm

Guinessman wrote:Epic, I had loose plans to do the two munros behind from Rannoch on Sunday but changed my plans after experiencing the snow conditions on Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil on the Saturday. Great effort. :clap:


Hi Guinessman, you definately did the right thing doubt you would have made the train :( Like you I thought another couple were heading over to the two Munros but they to decided there would be insufficient time. I had no idea there was as much snow fallen up there, the worst I've seen at this time of year :crazy: :crazy:
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Epic Day, Deep snow, might catch you out.

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:03 pm

dav2930 wrote:Yes those conditions are incredibly energy sapping - it takes real determination to plough on to the summit. A pair of snow shoes might have come in handy! I've had similar experiences on Beinn Sgulaird and Stob Ban, among others. I prefer to avoid these big dumps of fresh powder early in the winter if possible; I'd rather wait a bit until the snow gets more consolidated. But that was a great effort indeed; well done! Great photos too. :clap:


I can imagine Beinn Sgulaird catches a lot of snow. I honestly don't think I would get value purchasing shoes for the small times I would use them in Scotland and I don't go abroad to climb, rather spend my money on something I would get more use of ie an upgrade of GPS :D
User avatar
The Rodmiester
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 3388
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:75   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

11 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).
Next



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: IreneM and 19 guests