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Another epic stream wade....

Another epic stream wade....


Postby Jaxter » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:41 pm

Route description: Beinn na Lap, from Corrour

Munros included on this walk: Beinn na Lap, Chno Dearg, Stob Coire Sgriodain

Date walked: 23/01/2016

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1400m

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After another week of deteriorating weather forecast (why is it, however many times you check, it always gets worse and never better?!) we decided to just go for it. "Maybe the forecast will be wrong" we said. :roll: Anyway, due to other commitments and illness, it had been 2 weeks. Couldn't wait any longer :lol:

Arriving at Tulloch station just before 8, the weather was not pleasant. Visibility was rubbish (admittedly it wasn't quite light yet) and it was raining. Undaunted, we booted up and caught the 8.15 train to Corrour. We had a good laugh at the irony of driving 150 miles only to get on a train heading back to Glasgow Queen Street :lol: The train ride was only 15 minutes long, but the scenery improved markedly as we traveled down the valley. Alighting at Corrour, the most remote railway station in the UK, we met 3 other walkers who were heading up Beinn na Lap too.

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It was still raining but less so than before, so waterproofs were on straight away.

Jaxter at Corrour
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We headed off down the track. Staying positive, we kept on. Looking back to Corrour
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Light in the sky!!
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After a while we left the track and headed off up the grassy and very boggy lower slopes of Beinn na Lap, heading for the ridge. It was very sloppy with water everywhere, but at least the rain had now let off.

The hills all had their tops in the clag but the visibility was generally better too. The views down Loch Ossian were lovely, and we used this as an excuse to keep stopping. Even Stob Ban was sort of visible in the other direction.

Loch Ossian
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We reached the snow line before the ridge, and this actually made conditions underfoot a little easier. The ridge itself was pretty easy to follow and we trudged along, now in the clag. Eventually reached the summit cairn, and were nearly blown off! :crazy: I was struggling to stand upright :lol: It had taken us just over an hour and a half from the station; longer than we had anticipated but nothing to worry about just yet.

Beinn na Lap
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After some speedy summit photos we consulted maps and GPS and headed (we hoped) down the long whale-back of Beinn na Lap.

Clag-bound
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The snow was quite deep and the going fairly tricky in places. Eventually we came out of the clag and the worst of the wind. The views towards the Alder hills was just stunning, and as we got further down the sun actually came out! Looks like the weather forecast had been correct about better conditions further east after all.... :roll:

Me posing in front of Loch Ghuilbinn
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It got pretty steep towards the bottom and we could see the Allt Feith Thuill that we were going to have to cross. My heart sank; it looked ferocious even from high above....
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We headed for what looked like might be a possible crossing. It wasn't. I got out my bin bags (never go out without them after Chonzie!) but they were nowhere near big enough. Sighing, off came gaiters, boots, socks and trousers, rolled leggings right up and I went barefoot into a river for the 3rd time in under a month! :shock: :crazy: The familiar sensation of cold followed quickly by numbness ensued and I wobbled my way across the deep fast flowing river. Eventually, I scrambled out the other side! Wooohooo! :D

Safely across, the river looked less scary now!
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I discovered here that I should have taken the leggings off too as they had got a little damp - the water had come up even higher than I'd thought. Annoyed at myself, but not wanting to be wet all day, I decided to take them off and make do with one trouser layer. This turned out to be a mistake. :shock:

It was cold so after getting redressed a quick march was instigated up towards the coire before stopping for some food. The sun was out, 8) the views were spectacular, we had already climbed one summit and waded a river. As we climbed up into Glas-choire we could see the ridge we were aiming for. Things were looking good! :D

Looking East to the Alder hills
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Climbing into Glas-choire
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We stopped for a quick sandwich. The top of the Coire looked steep and snowy, potentially icy and we opted to head up the right hand side onto the ridge a bit lower down to avoid any danger. This was a lot steeper than it looked! :shock: It was very hard work as the snow was very deep and soft in places, but also quite slippy and wet, resulting in wet gloves, lots of slipping and sinking and slow progress. :?

Sun attempting to shine through the approaching clag
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As we climbed higher the clag came back in, the wind picked up and the steep slope went on a lot longer than we had thought. We struggled on. :crazy:

Not sure where this is, but I'm smiling :lol:
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As we came over the top, we consulted the maps and realised that we were actually about 30m from the summit of Chno Dearg. So with a huge sense of relief, we dragged ourselves a few metres to the summit cairn. No views, lots of wind. Not a place we wanted to hang around. Photos were taken very quickly and maps out.

Me on Chno Dearg cairn
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The summit of Chno Dearg is big and flat so it would be very easy to go wrong here! Following a compass into the wind and the white we plodded slowly downhill. Eventually we found a set of footprints which was comforting, especially as they were coming from the direction we were aiming for! But they were intermittent so we were still largely reliant on the compass. We were walking directly into the wind, it was very cold and I was cursing my decision to go legging-less after the river. :shock:

Trying to take a photo of some clag :lol:
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But we were in the right place, heading the right way. We found the wee lochans, passed over the 924m bump, the 958m bump and just as we were heading down before what should have been the final ascent, a miracle happened.

"I've just seen a thing!" I shouted.

"Huh?!" (it was still very very windy)

I pointed dramatically over ahead, and, as if by magic, the Easains and Loch Treig had appeared from nowhere! :D Whooping with delight, I scrambled for the camera. Too late it was gone. :( We carried on up and a few metres from the summit, it cleared again. Prepared this time, we snapped a few shots, but no photo will truly represent the beauty of that view, and how glad we were to see it. The magic of the moment will live long in my memory! :D

Magic moment!
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Back in the clag, we walked the final few metres to the summit of Stob Coire Sgriodain, and after struggling with the pronunciation, we settled for "Groin Strain". Trying not to get too close to the edge (very strong winds and steep drop) we snapped a summit picture or two and headed down the ridge. If was well after 3.30 and we were very aware of the daylight hours running out. :shock:

Me on the summit
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The visibility had gone but route finding was easier here, the ridge was narrow enough to follow and the mysterious yeti footprints were evident in places.
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Still smiling!
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Turning right off the ridge at what seemed like a good place (we found footprints further down too) we slid down (and into) deep snow, before heading down towards the farm and sheepfolds which were now visible.

Looking back to (now visible) Coire an Lochain
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Across to previous conquests, the imposing Easains
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It was getting late and we pushed on, anxious to get off the hill at least before it got too dark. It was very boggy now, but miraculously feet were still dry! And now, out of the wind, my legs were warm too. :D

There was one dodgy moment where I fell into a hole and was worried I'd broken something....but all seemed to be ok, if a little sore, and we carried on a little more carefully. The views down the valley towards Creag Pitridh, and across to the Creag Meagaidh hills were beautiful in the (rapidly vanishing) evening light.

Creag Meagaidh hills
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When we reached the farm and headed down the track it was properly dark. We could smell wood fires from the cottages and it was a lovely feeling to be down off the hills after such an epic day. :D

Head torches out, there was now a decision to be made....do we walk 4-5 miles round on the road back to Tulloch station? Or walk down the track and then (illegally) finish along the railway line.... :shifty:

Fortunately, as we were attempting to decide, we looked into the sky and saw Han Solo and Chewbacca waving from the Millennium Falcon. They stopped by to give us a lift back to Tulloch and the car to save us doing anything illegal. :angel: Phew.... Back at the car at 6, we had time to de-boot and jump in the car before it started raining heavily. Timed to perfection. :thumbup:

We drove off back down the road munching on my experimental chocolate orange brownies, and ordered a pizza when we were 30 minutes from home. It arrived 5 minutes after we did. :lol: :D
Last edited by Jaxter on Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby ancancha » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:50 pm

Water moccasins anyone :lol:
A fun read, the Allt Feith Thuill does look a bit deep and fast flowing :?
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:49 pm

Great stuff Jaxter thats a good hual at this time of year and in poor weather :clap: :clap:
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby malky_c » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:24 pm

Excellent route :) . Must do this sometime, preferably with less wind.
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby Borderhugh » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:49 am

The hospitality on the Millennium Falcon was second to none and just what the doctor ordered at the end of an epic day in those conditions. Hopefully u will learn next time what to take off BEFORE the river crossing. :lol: It was a great day with a good wee report :clap:
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby Petr Dakota » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:55 am

Great trip ! :clap:
Great adventure, effort and fun ! :clap: :D
Great enthusiasm and great team ! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Well done both of you :clap: :D 8) :clap:
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby Jaxter » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:26 pm

ancancha wrote:Water moccasins anyone :lol:
A fun read, the Allt Feith Thuill does look a bit deep and fast flowing :?


You know what, they might actually help - less slippy than bare feet on the rocks and maybe a wee bit warmer :lol:


Collaciotach wrote:Great stuff Jaxter thats a good hual at this time of year and in poor weather :clap: :clap:


Thanks - it felt like an epic! :D


malky_c wrote:Excellent route :) . Must do this sometime, preferably with less wind.


Definitely recommend less wind and better weather. Was a great day! :D


Borderhugh wrote:The hospitality on the Millennium Falcon was second to none and just what the doctor ordered at the end of an epic day in those conditions. Hopefully u will learn next time what to take off BEFORE the river crossing. :lol: It was a great day with a good wee report :clap:


Live and learn, eh. Here's to next time :wink:

Petr Dakota wrote:Great trip ! :clap:
Great adventure, effort and fun ! :clap: :D
Great enthusiasm and great team ! :clap: :clap: :clap:

Well done both of you :clap: :D 8) :clap:


Thanks! Yes, it was great fun, despite the weather :roll:
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby huwthomas » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:55 pm

Thanks for a great trip report.

I've got a train booked up to Corrur in early April, where I hope to back these three and return to the Ossian Youth Hostel. I can't quite decide whether it's better to follow the route you did, but then return from Stob Coire Sgriodain via Garbh-beinn, and down to the railway, or alternatively, descend steeply NW from the summit of Beinn na Lap, up Grabh-beinn, bag the 2 northern Munros, then descend East off Chno Dearg and follow the track in a long loop along the river and Loch Ossian back to the YH.

Hopefully by April the water levels will be lower, but any idea of your approximate grid reference when you crossed the stream? And do you know if the stepping stones/track bridge (not clear if it's both or one and the same) marked on the OS map further East actually exists on the ground?
Thanks!
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby IndoorMunroist » Thu Jan 28, 2016 2:56 pm

Fabtastic photographs, and the story brilliantly told.

'After spending about an hour blowing up an air bed' heh

'Groin strain' double heh.
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby Borderhugh » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:36 pm

huwthomas wrote:Thanks for a great trip report.

I've got a train booked up to Corrur in early April, where I hope to back these three and return to the Ossian Youth Hostel. I can't quite decide whether it's better to follow the route you did, but then return from Stob Coire Sgriodain via Garbh-beinn, and down to the railway, or alternatively, descend steeply NW from the summit of Beinn na Lap, up Grabh-beinn, bag the 2 northern Munros, then descend East off Chno Dearg and follow the track in a long loop along the river and Loch Ossian back to the YH.

Hopefully by April the water levels will be lower, but any idea of your approximate grid reference when you crossed the stream? And do you know if the stepping stones/track bridge (not clear if it's both or one and the same) marked on the OS map further East actually exists on the ground?
Thanks!


Hi Huw,

We crossed just by a small island on the river. You'll see this on the map as a small island. Its approx. 500-600 up from the stepping stones. I think at this time of year those stones will be under water.

Rgds

Hugh
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby happyfut » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:27 pm

Nice read Jaxx keep smashing dem der hills
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Re: Clothes clash at Corrour and yet another epic stream wad

Postby Mountainrunner1981 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:43 pm

(Just passing through)

Jaxter; take this as advice, given you've crossed a river three times and done so in the completely wrong manner in every instance:

Firstly - read up on river crossings - you're putting your life at risk. Not by crossing a stream/river - but by your manner of crossing.

As a starter for ten:

1) Keep your boots on (not necessarily your socks - but your boots)
2) Loosen your shoulder straps and unbuckle your chest straps
3) Face the correct way

Don't take this post personally - consider it basics to potentially save your life - and possibly more importantly (if you are in fact willing to take risks based on ignorance) - you're going to put our MRT boys at risk.

Your present approach is a potential disaster waiting to happen.

Respectfully,
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