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The vertical grass king rides again

The vertical grass king rides again


Postby past my sell by date » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:46 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall Lighiche

Date walked: 20/04/2016

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 10.2 km

Ascent: 768m

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Another brilliant clear day, but horrific traffic jams on the A82 meant I was later than expected in Glencoe, so I chose Meall Lighiche as it seemed the shortest of the hills I had in mind.
Image
The impressive nose of Aonach Dubh a Ghlinne
I walked down the track across the bridge and bypassed the houses as instructed
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Meall Lighiche comes in sight with Sgurr na-h-Ulaidh behind
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Sgurr na-h-Ulaidh close-up
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Looking back to the Aonach Eagach
Rather than just go up and down, I thought I would follow the stalker's track South, and climb my hill from the col behind , but I soon became tired of the path which seemed to find every bog and boulder in sight, so I crossed the burn and set off diagonally across the slopes on its Western side
Image
Crossing the burn
The going was good and I thought I could get out above a steepening on the horizon - until I came round a ridge and realised I was going to have to drop qute a bit :(
However, above me was a broad gully - well actually twin gullies with a grassy rib between - which led up to the "plateau" above. The rib seemed quite broken up, so as I hate descending unnecessarily I decided to have a look at it.
Image
The Ben from the start of the rib
The going - over grass and moss ledges - was quite easy: there were lots of deer droppings and I found that where there were steep rocky bits the deer had created spiral paths that went round them I kept going up and up and eventually reached a flattening only about 30m from the top.
Image
Looking down the rib
Above however was a steeper section with no "deer path" :(
Oh dear - I really didn't fancy descending it all again. Why do I keep doing these things? - I really should know better at my age - but I always have and probably always will do - even in the Uni. Mountaineering club I had a bit of a reputation as "the vertical grass king" :lol:
So on I went: there were still a lot of flat ledges but further apart, and I had to tug judiciously on the odd tussock and even use the occasional knee :shock: :shock: But the angle soon eased and I was able to top out only 50m or so from the rocks of Creag Bhan :D . It really wasn't difficult and in the absence of the sobering drop below I should have just have romped up it.
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It does look quite steep from the side :lol:
Great views from Creag Bhan
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Looking up to Meall Lighiche
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Stob an Fhurain, Sgurr na-h-Ulaidh and Beinn Fhionnlaidh
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Beinn a Bheithir was almost snow free
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while Bidean was plastered
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Ben Nevis and the Aonachs -The Western Mamores - in front
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I walked on easily to the top, stopping to take a pic of Loch Linnhe and Mull. I seemed to have spent a lot of time on the rib, but made it in 2 hr 40 which is OK for me. Stunning views in all directions
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Bidean's other peak - Stob Coire Sgreamhach - appears
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The view North includes a bit of the Graham Meall Mor
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Down to Ballachulish -and the other Graham - Sgorr a Choise
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West over Meall an Aodainn to Fraochaidh - Ben More (Mull) on the L
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Loch Linnhe and Mull again
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Beinn Sgulaird
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Over Beinn Fhionnlaidth to Cruachan - Ben Starav on L
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Wider view East
I retraced my way to Creag Bhan and returned down the normal route to the car
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Purple saxifrage were everywhere
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Looking back
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Evening sunshine in Glen Coe
Postscript
Back home I looked at the SMC Corbett book - there in the picture of the hill, is "my" rib is standing out quite clearly . ( Sorry - the print doesn't scan too well).
Image

I don't think I'd have gone there if I'd seen that before :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Last edited by past my sell by date on Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
past my sell by date
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:29 pm

Enjoyed your report and loved the pictures.
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:16 am

Cairngorm creeper wrote:Enjoyed your report and loved the pictures.

Thanks C C. I do have a penchant for getting to odd places in the hills :lol:
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:55 am

Great report, mad route up. Enjoyed it, but glad it was from my armchair!
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby xslawekx » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:24 pm

Great photos and fun route choice :D

Did it the same way up last January - the steep buttress was so much fun covered in snow :thumbup:
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:46 pm

xslawekx wrote:Great photos and fun route choice :D

Did it the same way up last January - the steep buttress was so much fun covered in snow :thumbup:


that certainly sounds exciting: I would have thought either of the gullies would also go in winter -no significant pitches - (just slimy in summmer) though maybe less avalanche danger on the rib.
past my sell by date
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby xslawekx » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:56 pm

I would agree that the gullies would be doable, alhough they weren't in condition back when I was going up. The snow was deep and soft- ish, not very well bound at all. I also didn't use ice axes as they stayed in the car :lol: That way I found navigating my way up the buttress challenging enough :)

By the way, it does look scary in the old photo you posted :)
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:42 pm

xslawekx wrote:I would agree that the gullies would be doable, alhough they weren't in condition back when I was going up. The snow was deep and soft- ish, not very well bound at all. I also didn't use ice axes as they stayed in the car :lol: That way I found navigating my way up the buttress challenging enough :)

By the way, it does look scary in the old photo you posted :)

Yes the rib isn't all in the sunlight, so it looks narrower than it actually is :)
past my sell by date
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby malky_c » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:14 pm

Spectacular photos - I think I'll have to go up here again sometime :D

I have a similar habit of taking daft lines up hills - usually end up stuck on some chossy ledge halfway up wondering why I thought it was a good idea....but never learn :roll: . This way up does look quite ferocious though.
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Re: The vertical grass king rides again

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:33 pm

malky_c wrote:Spectacular photos - I think I'll have to go up here again sometime :D

I have a similar habit of taking daft lines up hills - usually end up stuck on some chossy ledge halfway up wondering why I thought it was a good idea....but never learn :roll: . This way up does look quite ferocious though.


It's nothing like as ferocious as it looks - quite a good way up actually - though I doubt it will ever become a standard :lol: remember I'm in my mid 70's!
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