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Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount


Postby Jaxter » Sun May 22, 2016 10:05 pm

Route description: Stob Ghabhar and Stob a'Choire Odhair

Munros included on this walk: Creise, Meall a'Bhuiridh, Stob a'Choire Odhair, Stob Ghabhar

Date walked: 15/05/2016

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 20 km

Ascent: 1950m

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After a bad sleep and a long day in Etive the day before, I slept like a log despite the cramped tent and cold temperatures outside. Hugh seemed less well rested....possibly something to do with me kicking him every time he started snoring.... :lol:

Setting off early we packed up, dressed and decided to have breakfast down the road to avoid waking others. It was just after 6, and it turned out that this was the perfect time to drive along the valley - everything looked amazing in the early morning light, and if I'd have done my homework on it, I would have suggested that it was a perfect day for the AE.... :shock:

Arriving at the Glencoe ski centre, we quickly boiled some water for tea and I made some sandwiches on the back of my car. Ready to go, we left Hugh's car there and I drove us to the start point of our walk. There were already plenty of cars parked and it looked like there would be lots of people out as it was shaping up to be another perfect day 8)

The start of the route was simple and negotiated largely without incident; the exception being where Hugh nearly led us onto the west highland way until I checked the map - a left turn was required :thumbup:

Looking towards the Etive hills
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This track led us to the mountaineering hut where we turned right alongside a burn which led us up the Glen towards our first target - Stop a' Choire Odhair. There were some bridges which were very dilapidated but easily stepped over, and as we gently climbed up the Glen we got some lovely views of our 2nd target of the day - Stob Gabhar.

The first 2 targets for today
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We reached the stream where we were to cross and to our relief it was full of water and in the shade! We stopped to take on plenty of water before having to make a choice...we could see the zig zags up ahead so could either go straight up towards them or follow the path a little further on a longer zig and zag to join up.

Looking back from the zig zags
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Across to Stob Gabhar
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As our legs were feeling tired from yesterday, we elected to follow the path, then joined the zig zags which brought us to a mini-summit; from here we were on a sort of ridge and the path continued all the way to the summit of Stob a' Choire Odhair where we were greeted by spectacular views all around.

Spoiling the view of Rannoch Moor
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Stob Gabhar, our next target
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The Orchy hills and Loch Tulla
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Rannoch Moor
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During the walk up and even here from the summit it was deceptive which ridge of Stob Gabhar the route went up so I was glad that I checked the map and instructions before we set off - we would have headed completely the wrong way! Fortunately the bearing soon found us a path which took us down towards the correct bealach where there was another small stream - huzzah!

Heading down
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From here the path started to climb and soon became very steep and it climbed up the side of the prow. Next came the bit I was least looking forward to - described as slippery scree - so away went the poles and I readied myself for some hands and knees action. At this point we were caught up by a father and son team who we were to see quite a lot of over the next few hours. We scrambled up the nasty section (nowhere near as bad as expected) and came out on the top to be greeted again by lots of sun and great views 8)

We could see along the "Aonach Eagach" to the summit; the ridge didn't look as fearsome as its more famed counterpart is rumoured to be so after slapping a bit more sun cream over myself (lessons learned from yesterday...) we got to it. The ridge was wonderful fun; nothing scary (for me, Hugh was less happy) but plenty of rocks to climb over so we negotiated it and the final climb to the summit without incident to be treated to some more special views.

The route ahead
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Back to Stob a'Choire Odhair
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Team photo
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Looking doon the crags to the lochan
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The "Aonach Eagach"
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The Etive hills
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We had a wee chat to the others - they were doing the same route as us but only had one car so would have a 11km walk at the end :shock: given our 2 car strategy, we offered them a lift back should we finish around the same time!

The others set off first and we followed at a slightly more leisurely pace. From the top of Stob Gabhar the traverse didn't look too long, our next target looked much closer than I had expected it to given the distance on the map. But once we started we realised that it was deceptive, the route bent round in a longer curve than what we could see.

Back to the summit of Stob Gabhar
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A window to the Buachaille
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Towards Etive
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There were smatterings of path but largely the traverse was easy to follow so we picked our route up and down, and finally down to the bealach before the horribly steep climb up to Clach Leathad - a Munro top that the Clachlet Traverse is named after.

Heading for the bealach
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An impressively steep slope
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This looked like the hardest climb of the day - steep and path less and bathed in sunshine :shock: 8) We paused for a quick top up of jelly babies and sun cream before heading up. To begin with it wasn't so bad - there were big slabs of rock which could be walked up but as we got higher the gradient increased and it became much trickier. Bored of slogging up grass I found some rocks to scramble up; Hugh was unimpressed by my choice of route and continued elsewhere :lol:

Steadily climbing, we finally reached the ridge and found the others coming up behind us - turns out they'd stopped for a wee nap in the sun 8) :lol: Popping up onto the top of Clach Leathad to see the lie of the land, we could see our route out to Creise - a simple walk along the ridge, and then a scramble and walk along a narrower ridge out to Meall a' Bhurridh.

Now a party of 4, we headed out towards Creise together. They were lovely people and it was nice to have some company that wasn't Hugh... :lol: Reaching the summit we met 3 people who had come up via Sron na Creise; they described it as "steep". It was a magical place to be - the views were still incredible and I felt I could have stayed there for hours.

On top of Creise with Meall a'Bhuiridh behind
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Back along the ridge
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Meall a'Bhuiridh
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The buachaille and Nevis
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But we still had a way to go, so off we went. Heading back along the ridge we arrived at the descent point and it did look a bit like we were walking off the side of a cliff.... :shock: but there was a cairn and we could see the other two guys a way ahead of us.

Hugh demanded a fuel stop so we sat at the top of the scramble to eat our sandwiches, reapply sun cream and enjoy the views again. The ridge ahead of us stretched out in a banana shape and looked really great.

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Getting moving again, we took the plunge and climbed down the cliff - there was actually nothing remotely difficult about it - and began the trek along the ridge. We were overtaken by the group of guys we had met at the top of Creise; they were speeding along, although in our defence they hadn't walked as far as we had :lol:

Looking back up the scramble
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The final climb up to the summit was again an enjoyable one, plenty of rocks and a wee bit of scrambling if desired. The sun was beating down on us and we were very pleased to see the top where the guys ahead of us were enjoying the views. They kindly offered to get a picture so here is one that wasn't taken on a timer!

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And some marvellous views.
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The "wall" of Creise
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Rannoch Moor
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Orchy
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After a short rest, we figured we ought to head down - there was still a long way to go and then car logistics to sort out. Our 2 friends from earlier were nowhere to be seen so we assumed they had given up waiting for us! Heading across to the top of the ski lift, it was clear that this would not be the most attractive part of our day. However, seeing the pistes still full of snow was encouraging...

How to lose a lot of height very quickly!
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Hugh back on his feet
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Looking back up
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Unfortunately my shorts had no waterproofing whatsoever so I ended up very wet....it was too late by the time I remembered my river-crossing bin bags that I could have sat on :roll: Once we were out of suitable snow (this was discovered by Hugh falling through into a stream :lol: ) we picked up a track and then a very steep, dusty, slidey path which was not very enjoyable but got us the rest of the way down quickly.

Fortunately the cafe at the ski centre was open and we were able to cool down with ice cream and cold drinks before heading back to my car, many miles back down the road :D 8)

Lessons learned this weekend:
1. Sun cream needs to be applied to every piece of skin
2. Don't trust Hugh with navigation
3. I'm better with exposure than I thought was
4. Summer does exist in Scotland, occasionally 8)
5. Really don't trust Hugh with nav :lol:
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Jaxter
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby malky_c » Sun May 22, 2016 10:13 pm

Sunday was a really good day - looks like you made the most of it on those hills.

I can't have been far off crossing paths - I called in at the ski centre cafe on my way home from Arrochar. Must've been mid afternoon.

Didn't bother taking any sun cream with me for the weekend as there's nothing more depressing than carrying it around in the rain. Paid dearly for that decision though :lol:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby rockhopper » Sun May 22, 2016 11:19 pm

Great day for it - these four make for a great combination (Clachlet Traverse) - even better to have two cars rather than having to return to the start point :roll: - cheers :)
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Borderhugh » Mon May 23, 2016 12:57 am

Well done for completing the report.

Your criticism of my navigation is not only unfair but is completely inaccurate. :( I wasn't wrong at all and knew the way to Clashgour without having to resort to looking at a map like your good self.

The criticism seems a bit rich coming from someone who tried to drive to Garve Bridge directly up a track from Loch Laggan. From Jonathan's comments yesterday it sounds like you nearly walked off the ridge yesterday after 4 munros until he corrected you.

Be careful what you write/post on this forum. Criticising people's navigational skills doesn't make particularly great reading and this divisive topic has been vented before on this forum.
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Jaxter » Mon May 23, 2016 10:25 am

malky_c wrote:Sunday was a really good day - looks like you made the most of it on those hills.

I can't have been far off crossing paths - I called in at the ski centre cafe on my way home from Arrochar. Must've been mid afternoon.

Didn't bother taking any sun cream with me for the weekend as there's nothing more depressing than carrying it around in the rain. Paid dearly for that decision though :lol:

It was, wasn't it :D I think we were down about 5 so probably just missed you! Stupid thing was, I had the suncream with me all day Saturday, just didn't use it on the right places :shock: Lessons learnt eh :wink:



rockhopper wrote:Great day for it - these four make for a great combination (Clachlet Traverse) - even better to have two cars rather than having to return to the start point :roll: - cheers :)

Aye would have been a long walk back :shock: Definitely one to do with company :lol:



Borderhugh wrote:Well done for completing the report.

Your criticism of my navigation is not only unfair but is completely inaccurate. :( I wasn't wrong at all and knew the way to Clashgour without having to resort to looking at a map like your good self.

The criticism seems a bit rich coming from someone who tried to drive to Garve Bridge directly up a track from Loch Laggan. From Jonathan's comments yesterday it sounds like you nearly walked off the ridge yesterday after 4 munros until he corrected you.

Be careful what you write/post on this forum. Criticising people's navigational skills doesn't make particularly great reading and this divisive topic has been vented before on this forum.

I never said I was perfect :shock: I was more commenting on your habit of wandering off without checking - sometimes right, often not. I've made enough mistakes in the past to try to check before going wrong :wink: I thought you could take a joke, but I apologise if I've gone too far :)
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Knuckledragger » Mon May 23, 2016 1:47 pm

Can you two take your domestics off line please? :D :D
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Jaxter » Mon May 23, 2016 1:49 pm

Knuckledragger wrote:Can you two take your domestics off line please? :D :D

:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby ancancha » Mon May 23, 2016 2:13 pm

Very continental shades of tan for the Jasters :lol:
A fun read and sounds like you both had a fun time as well 8)
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby PerthAlly » Mon May 23, 2016 6:09 pm

First class day out. I wasn't man enough to tackle all 4 in one sitting :lol: . Isn't MaB a mess? It's an awful hill :?

Pity about the "falling out" ! :crazy:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Graeme D » Mon May 23, 2016 8:38 pm

A very entertaining report. Looking at these pictures (not to mention the title), it's hard to believe that my attempt of the whole traverse ended in man eating snowdrifts after Meall a'Bhuiridh a year ago this month! :shock:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Jaxter » Mon May 23, 2016 10:24 pm

PerthAlly wrote:First class day out. I wasn't man enough to tackle all 4 in one sitting :lol: . Isn't MaB a mess? It's an awful hill :?

It did feel like a big day :shock: :lol: You're right, it's a shame about MaB, especially as it's so attractive from the other side with the curving ridge and pointy top :wink:



Graeme D wrote:A very entertaining report. Looking at these pictures (not to mention the title), it's hard to believe that my attempt of the whole traverse ended in man eating snowdrifts after Meall a'Bhuiridh a year ago this month! :shock:

Man-eating!? If I'd known that I never would have ventured there! :shock: It's funny how the weather can be so varied isn't it....keeps us guessing :wink:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby ancancha » Mon May 23, 2016 10:44 pm

Looks and sounds like a fabulous day for both of you :clap:
A real bluebird day as they say 8)
I really enjoyed Stob Ghabhar & Stob a'Choire Odhair when I did them, still bring back happy memories :wink:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby Jaxter » Tue May 24, 2016 10:00 pm

ancancha wrote:Looks and sounds like a fabulous day for both of you :clap:
A real bluebird day as they say 8)
I really enjoyed Stob Ghabhar & Stob a'Choire Odhair when I did them, still bring back happy memories :wink:

Thankyou - yes it was! :D They are fabulous hills :D
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby StevieC » Wed May 25, 2016 11:20 am

I was up Stob Ghabhar at the weekend and it was tempting to just go off wandering along the ridges...looks like a great route if you've got your transport logistics sorted out :clap:
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Re: Sun-cream-gate on the Black Mount

Postby jamesb63 » Wed May 25, 2016 6:21 pm

Well done when I done the Traverse last year I never seen much at all
just rain and clag :lol:
ps I love all the handbags at dawn :lol: :lol:
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