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Sgurr Eilde Mor on a wonderful winter day

Sgurr Eilde Mor on a wonderful winter day

Postby petejkenny » Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:41 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Eilde Mor

Date walked: 06/02/2015

Time taken: 9.45 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1010m

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As I approached my last 100 Munros towards the end of 2014 I thought I might write a report of each on here, leading to a hopefully magical conclusion on Schiehallion sometime in late 2017.

So a whole year and 42 hills have gone by without a word being written, such are our plans sometimes!

In the spirit of New Years, new starts, I thought I'd go back and write about some of them at least.

This ascent of Sgurr Eilde Mor was my first of 2015. My idea was to do the three eastern Munros.

I stayed at the Glencoe Youth Hostel and was up and out by 7.00, driving round to Kinlochleven in the dark. I found the car park by St Paul’s Church and was on the path by 8.00, still in the dark.

It was cold and clear. I was feeling pleased with myself for an earlyish start and confident of nabbing the three. Half an hour later I was sure I wouldn't get three and wondering if I'd manage any hills at all.

The path was thick with soft snow, occasionally there'd be a nice firm crust and then I'd find myself at least knee deep. I floundered, I cursed, I waded through it with my thighs starting to burn and swiftly remade my plans.

I thought that I'd get up to Loch Eilde Mor at least and "see how it was". I find this idea is sometimes a useful half way house to giving up entirely!

As I struggled on the morning brightened and the sun shone from a beautiful clear blue sky. Apart from my misery in the drifts and troughs of snow on the alleged path, it was a wonderful winter's day.


It was 11.30 before I reached the Loch, making my way carefully around the frozen shore to the boathouse on the north shore where I took a break, drank some coffee, ate some chocolate and thought about what to do.


The day was magical, the views would be great, I should go up something. On the other hand I was knackered, it was taking ages and at this rate I'd be on the hill in the dark. I looked at the map and decided Sgurr Eilde Mor looked best and then thought that I should at least go up to the bealach and see how the time was then.


It was hard work up to the bealach but easier than the path, there seemed less snow and it was firmer. I was at the bottom of the hill by 1.00 and decided to go for it. As long as I was on the path before dusk I thought I'd be fine.

Given how slowly I had been going it felt as if I pranced up. I climbed the south east ridge with the frozen Lochan far below.



The snow was firm and not too much of it. I had my crampons on hand but they were never needed. I was at the summit by 2.15, the sun already heading down.


It was worth every sweary, sweaty yard. I could see for miles in the crisp cold air with marvellous view over to Ben Nevis and to Glencoe. There was not a breath of wind as I watched entranced at the cloud spilling between Binnein's Mor and Beag.





I stayed a good 45 minutes, eating my lunch, thinking that views like this were hard won and rare. At about 3.00 I headed down, the afternoon feeling as if it was about to end as the sun fell lower.


I was dreading the return walk, the hot, hapless floundering about. I wondered if I had any special curses I hadn't used yet!

However it was not so bad. It was nearly dusk as I reached the boathouse, at about 4.15. A quick snack and I set off. I had my tracks to follow and also the snow had firmed up. It had been cold, under zero all day I guess, so I made good progress and I was back at my car by 5.45 and then off looking for chips!

As I ate them sat in the car with the heating on full I was exhausted, my legs were hurting, my feet were icy cold but I was exultant. Stunning views, a great day and only (!) a hundred more to go.
Posts: 36
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Re: Sgurr Eilde Mor on a wonderful winter day

Postby jacob » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:17 pm

100 more reports like this?
No problem, I think we can handle that :wink:
Good luck with them all and stay safe. :thumbup:
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Posts: 470
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Joined: Mar 4, 2015
Location: East of Felixstowe ;)

Re: Sgurr Eilde Mor on a wonderful winter day

Postby dogplodder » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:54 pm

Wow what a day - great photos! :D
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Posts: 3613
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