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Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice


Postby Petr Dakota » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:34 pm

Route description: Bynack More from Glenmore

Munros included on this walk: Bynack More

Date walked: 21/02/2016

Time taken: 9.22 hours

Distance: 25.4 km

Ascent: 995m

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RK_gpx _2016-02-21_0741.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Something different from my last clear sunny winter mountain's trip :lol:
Finally my two days off on weekend, but the weather forecast sounded bad for most of Scotland...rain, heavy rain or snowing with a gales in the hills, poor visibility :roll:

I had a company for this trip, my work mate Mark wanted join me for a mountain's trip :D He also has the passion for outdoor and hillwalking. Before this trip Mark had done 5 Munros and some more hills - walks in the beautiful scottish nature, mostly on his own. He sounded be very interested about to discover more and more hills and also to get the experience in variety conditions in the mountains 8) I recommended him to register in this WH web site and use all the advantages and opportunities to get more about the hillwalking. His big hobby is weather forecasting and he is really dedicated to the nice sphere and all about :thumbup: We planned the weekend's trip long time before as it was rarely the same days off work for both of us...a good opportunity for a walk together, bad luck we got the bad weather as a couple days before the weather was great for walking in the hills, but we were working at the time... :( :? :crazy:
Despite the weather forecast we were determined to go and try to do some Munro(s) :D 8)
We arranged to meet at 04:00 am on sunday morning and then to drive towards North. I prepared some routes and also plan B and plan C as it all was depended on the very recent weather and the roads conditions, but it looked between Drumochter or Cairngorms ( options from Braemar or Glenmore or Cairngorms Mountains Centre )...final decision kept for the morning to see the real conditions.
Mark was reliably arrived at 3:55 as I was leaving the house exactly the same time so we met in the rigt - same time :D Rain showers welcomed us in the morning and also during the driving, changed to sleet and then snowing around Drumochter. We stopped at the layby which is starting point for Carn na Caim and A'Bhuidheanach Bheag just to see how it looks there...it was still darkness, snowing in the area, but the snow was soft and wet, not the best for walking there and get wet from beginning. We decided to continue to Glenmore and see how it looks there. We can do Bynack More and maybe also one of the two nearest Corbetts depends of the conditions and the time
if the snow gate will be closed or we can try the Mountain Centre carpark and try Ben Macdui and Beinn Mheadhoin. The Bynack More sounded as a better option as the weather can change even during the day so better to saty before the snow gate anyway :wink: If the weather would be worse there we can still turn back to Drumochter and to do these two :?
The weather and also the conditions on the road and around was much better after @ 12 miles going from Drumochter - no much surprised as the Drumochter area is usually worst in winter time.
We arrived to Glenmore on wet road, there was a short queue before the closed snow gate so we just turned into the car park along the road. Parking fee £2 per a day. After quick preparation we started our walk with full of expectation :D :wink: 8) :lol:


All the walk is in the video below - incl. photos and videos and also the difference between the conditions on the bottom and in higher levels:



In the videos included in the movie above ( some photos always between - made by the timeline ) you can see how strong and powerful the wind was...but the real feelings can't be showed or described...


In his report Mark wrote:
"On Sunday, 21 February 2016, my friend Petr Kolegar and myself took off from a rainy Cumbernauld at 4am for the Cairngorms, despite a poor weather forecast, I wanted to experience what winter had to offer in the Scottish mountains. Without the experience and knowledge of Czech born, Petr, I would not have attempted this myself. We both knew the dangers.
Strong WNW winds driving ocean modified Greenland air across the Northern UK along with hefty sleet, hail and snow showers, rain to low levels of Central Scotland. 850mb (5,000ft) level temperatures between -5 and -10C.
After driving 2 hours up the A9 we crossed over snowy Drumnochter Summit as daylight slowly began appearing in the wind, snow and darkness".......



Here is the Photo story:

DSC00254.JPG
Snowgate closed as we expected, it meant just a short extra walk to the car park - start point for Bynack More
IMAG0488.jpg
We started optimistic as the weather and the conditions was gentle on the beginning at the bottom...just a sleet sometimes...Mark on the right, me on the left ( Mark's photo )
:) 8)
IMAG0494.jpg
The nice foot bridge... ( Mark's photo )
DSC00272.JPG
Some deeper steps...
:lol: :lol: :lol:
DSC00273.JPG
...deep snow in some places, but icy snow on the tops
DSC00275.JPG
Approaching the final slope ahead...poor visibility and the ground is icy and slippery
DSC00278.JPG
The snow was very icy...and the wind was stronger and stronger in higher levels...visibility poor...the right time for crampons
:crazy: :roll:
DSC00279.JPG
Starting the ascent, the wind is stronger and stronger with every step up
DSC00283.JPG
Looking back...Mark is bravely following. Another climber behind us.
DSC00284.JPG
higher...
DSC00285.JPG
Bad visibility, icy slippery ground and the gale is getting stronger and stronger
DSC00286.JPG
...more higher ! Our faces was red - blue - purple...but our willpower was still strong enough to keep us moving ahead against all the obstacles. Hard to hear each other in that noise
:crazy: :roll: :lol: :crazy:
DSC00287.JPG
...and more higher...keeping going ! Determined !!!
DSC00290.JPG
The walker behind us was really seriously struggling to get to the first top...after a time, we saw him get there to the horizon behind us...we saw him fell down in the strong wind on the slippery - icy ground and then we saw him turning back down. It was about 300 m to the summit I think - hard to estimate ( now backward ) in that poor visibility and also by the slow pace in the conditions
DSC00291.JPG
Closer to the summit


I'm not an weather expert, but here is what Mark - the weather specialist, described in his Weather Website:

Mark says:
"Once on the long, icy climb (ridge) summit-bound, we were buffeted by an icy gale with snow flakes hitting our face which resembled tiny needles which worsened with each step as we entered bare, treeless mountain terrain.
With no weather station on top of Bynack More, I checked conditions on neighbouring Cairngorm and did an estimate of what the wind, temperature and wind chill conditions would be on Bynack More summit.
As of 12 noon, air temp: -4C, Sustained wind: 40-50 mph, Gusts: 70-75 mph, Wind chill (in strongest gusts): -15 to -20C.
70 mph gusts may not be the worst but on an exposed rime ice covered rocky ridge 3,580ft up and blowing snow creating a white out, these conditions sucked the energy out of my body. This was likely the worst conditions I've ever experienced.
Combined with near hurricane force winds in the last 100ft from the top, 1-2 inch thick sheets of ice made it tough to stand. Sudden gusts produced zero visibility with Petr just metres in front, disappearing!"


DSC00293.JPG
Near the summit
DSC00295.JPG
Peaceful thoughts in the final sections
:)
DSC00297.JPG
...very close ! ...but the real summit is not visible yet
:D
DSC00299.JPG
Always removing gloves when making pics each other...but getting frozen quickly
:lol: :roll:
DSC00301.JPG
The summit of Bynack More
:D :D :D
DSC00306.JPG
Done !!! happiness and satisfaction...but it's only half way - time to think about descending
DSC00310.JPG
Mark lost one crampon on the way up, there was a scary moment as he fell about 12-15m down on the icy slope - fortunately he managed to stop...We also saw one walker following us who fell down and then we saw him turning back before the final ascending to the summit...the conditions was really challenging. Because all of this we decided to try a different way for descending, but the visibility and snowdrift made it difficult...
DSC00317.JPG
Back in the safer lower level...it's like a different world often
DSC00325.JPG
We made it !!! Good team work
:D 8) :D

Another great day in the mountains and another great experience. Mark is a brave man who did it despite all the obstacles :clap: :clap: He was a great company and we decided to do more trips together in the future if we will be lucky with the same free days out of work. :D
I'm also happy that we can welcome another WH member who seems to be a dedicated to the hillwalking, he did not lost the interest even after this harder experience...not surprised he passed in this winter test.......
thanks to your great attitude Mark ! :clap: :thumbup: :D
Last edited by Petr Dakota on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:58 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Petr Dakota
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby Jaxter » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:51 am

Nice effort! I thought our conditions were tricky on Sunday but I think yours were worse. Well done for getting to the top :clap:

It's great when you find someone awesome to walk with :D
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:17 am

That looks pretty wild up top there Petr, just as well most of the snow held your weight or that would have been a real struggle. Pity you missed the good weather earlier, work getting in the way, tough at the top. The weekend earlier was superb but no doubt you know that, with all the reports on WH, never mind your turn will come, good effort pity about the lost crampon though.
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby hopper68 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:44 pm

I was up there a couple of weeks ago in similar conditions, crampons were a must for the final push to the summit. Cheers good TR
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby katyhills » Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:24 pm

You're a real glutton for punishment Petr!
Great pix - as always - hard work in that deep snow. A huge amount of willpower :D

That was an epic trip. Has it put your friend off? :wink:
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby Happyfeet » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:17 pm

looks like it was blowing a hoolie :shock:
good effort for both of you :clap: :clap:

you can see why it is good to wear red in winter!
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby jamesb63 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:31 pm

Well done Petr :clap: :clap: You certainly work to chalk this one off the list :lol: :lol:
Some really great pics also
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby Guinessman » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:21 pm

Great effort :clap: It took me three attempts to do this hill, first one failed due to deep snow, the second because of high winds that moved the location of the Bynack stables. Well Done
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby Petr Dakota » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:36 pm

Jaxter wrote:Nice effort! I thought our conditions were tricky on Sunday but I think yours were worse. Well done for getting to the top :clap:

It's great when you find someone awesome to walk with :D

Thank you and well done on yours Mull expedition too :D :clap:

The Rodmiester wrote:That looks pretty wild up top there Petr, just as well most of the snow held your weight or that would have been a real struggle. Pity you missed the good weather earlier, work getting in the way, tough at the top. The weekend earlier was superb but no doubt you know that, with all the reports on WH, never mind your turn will come, good effort pity about the lost crampon though.

Thank you Rod :D We missed the best sunny days because of our work schedule, oncoming weekend looks promising too...but again - we will be at work :( But hoping in some great clear days ahead too or another challenging adventure which is always a good experience :lol:

hopper68 wrote:I was up there a couple of weeks ago in similar conditions, crampons were a must for the final push to the summit. Cheers good TR

Thank hopper :D Maybe will meet you again in some hill this year :wink:

katyhills wrote:You're a real glutton for punishment Petr!
Great pix - as always - hard work in that deep snow. A huge amount of willpower :D

That was an epic trip. Has it put your friend off? :wink:

Thank you Katy :D Willpower and determination really needed there in the time :D

Happyfeet wrote:looks like it was blowing a hoolie :shock:
good effort for both of you :clap: :clap:

you can see why it is good to wear red in winter!

Thank you Emmelie :D Hope no any situation where the colour will be useful in an search case :wink:

jamesb63 wrote:Well done Petr :clap: :clap: You certainly work to chalk this one off the list :lol: :lol:
Some really great pics also

Thanks James :D welcome back in the hills by the way :clap: :D

Guinessman wrote:Great effort :clap: It took me three attempts to do this hill, first one failed due to deep snow, the second because of high winds that moved the location of the Bynack stables. Well Done

Thank you Guinessman :D , sorry for the two attempts before the final one...hope the 3rd was a satisfaction in great day with views around and I guess that it was more appreciated then... 8)
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby ere1 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:15 pm

You are diehards! :clap:
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby Petr Dakota » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:36 pm

ere1 wrote:You are diehards! :clap:

Hi Peter, when you will come to Scotland again and what is your trip plan ?
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby dogplodder » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:58 pm

I tend to think of that as an easy hill - but what a difference winter makes! :shock:
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby ancancha » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:32 pm

Quite a day for you and your chum Petr :!:
Bynack More was on my biker hiker list, but not in those conditions :(
Well done for keeping going :clap:
Bet the hot shower when you got home felt great :lol:
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby ere1 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:20 pm

Hi Petr, In the weekend of Easter I will be in the neighborhood for a few days. First I’m going to Fort William where I want to climb Aonach Beag and Sgurr a’Mhaim. After that I want to climb the Crianlarich Munros Beinn a ‘Chroin, Cruach Adrain and Beinn Tualaichean. At the end of April my youngest daughter will be joining me for a week in Glen Shiel and we’re planning to hike on Skye. As you can imagine we’re looking forward to it! What will be your next Munro? Cheers, Peter
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Re: Crampons,ice-axe & willpower versus gale,snow & ice

Postby dav2930 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:58 pm

Great report and pics of an epic effort in truly appalling conditions! :shock: Well done both of you for seeing it through to the summit - no mean feat. I'm amazed you were able to stand up on the cairn! :o

I felt sorry for the chap who got blown over and turned back 300m from the summit. :(
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