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We need to talk about Kevin

We need to talk about Kevin


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:05 pm

Route description: Sgurr Eilde Mor and Binnein Beag, Mamores

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr Eilde Mor

Date walked: 09/06/2016

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 14.2 km

Ascent: 1112m

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When it comes to hill walking, there are different types of mountain creatures, me being an example of high altitude mad cat :lol: Some of us bag hills at the speed of light, some savour them at lower pace, it all depends on attitude and personal circumstances. In my decade of climbing, I met all kinds of people: persistent baggers, hilltop maniacs, crazy animals like me, but there is no category to pin my husband to. Kevin... well, he is just Kevin.

He keeps laughing that he started climbing when I was still in my nappies, well, not exactly, but it makes for a good joke :lol: Kevin's love for the hills stems from his roots, with both parents Munro compleatists it would be hard to run away from the family tradition! Yet my chum has a weird approach to mountaineering. In his younger years, when he climbed with his parents, he was making good progress through the list of Munros, but once he began to do it solo, instead of new Munros, he would walk over the same ones multiple times, especially in Torridon. He wasn't that fussy about compleating, what he wanted was to enjoy the hills. That meant, when I joined the club, he was on ninety something M's and about 30 Corbetts, but with a long list of repeated ascents.

I must say, I pushed the idea of list ticking. Poor Kevin had to repeat all the hills he had done once more, this time with me trudging behind, with my tongue out and begging him to slow down a bit :lol: :lol: In statistics, I was catching up quickly and currently, I'm only 11 Munros and 1 Corbett behind. Kevin didn't care. He laughed that once he finishes the first round, he will be immediately half way through his second :wink: Over the last decade, I witnessed his 100th Munro, his half way point, his 100th Corbett, now he was only a step away from another milestone - double ton.

Looking back to my husband's best moments...
The cliffs of mighty Nevis, Kevin's first Munro, 1988 (repeated 4 times I think):
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Guiding me through the mist to my first Munro, Mam Sodhail in Affric, 2008 (another one done 3 times):
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On his first ton - Ben Klibreck, 2010:
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Half way point - Beinn a'Ghlo, 2013 (coincidentally, it was also my 100th M):
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On his beloved Beinn Alligin, 2014 (how many times? I give up!)
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So the list is long and the memories are countless. I only hope we'll both stay fit and healthy to complete the M's at some point. The finish line is now less than 100 tops away 8)

For the 200th, we wanted something relatively easy, something we both could enjoy at slower pace and celebrate afterwards, rather than dropping unconscious into bed in the evening :lol: I suggested Sgurr Eilde Mor as a separate trip. Most folks combine it with the other Munros in Mamore ridge, but we have done everything else here apart from Binnein Beag, for which we have our own sneaky plan... more of that later. It left Sgurr Eilde Mor on its own and I was originally saving it for winter, but the idea of celebrating Kev's 200th on this fantastic wee mountain with superb views was irresistible.

The day began sunny and very humid, so we didn't even entertain the possibility of adding Binnein Beag as that would mean over 1500m of ascent and in such temperature we simply didn't fancy a sunstroke. We drove to Kinlochleven, parked at the usual car park for the southern Mamores, got ready and started the climb up the eroded path through the forest.
Our plan was to traverse Sgurr Eilde Mor from south to north and return down the main path:

Track_SGURR EILDE MOR 09-06-16.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Walking through the woods, we had to face a well organized black army :shock: Obviously, midges found out about Kevin's 200th and came out to celebrate with a drink :lol: :crazy:
Once out of the forest, we managed to break free from the wee suckers - what a relief! It was getting hotter and hotter, and though forecast didn't predict any storms that day, we wondered if perhaps another pot of thunders was boiling somewhere up in the north... In the meantime, we admired the view down to Kinlochleven - one of my favourites:
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We had already climbed Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean from this side, so we knew our route well and I remembered that at some point the path crosses a stream. We intended to refill our bottles there, as the sun was now merciless and we sweated out like marathon runners...
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We crossed the track and continued up the well worn path. Some cloud gathered around the peaks to the south, but "our" ridge was cloud free. I was glad we didn't pick AE that day :lol:
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By the time we reached the stream (Allt Coire nan Laogh), half of our water was gone, so we were thankful for the refill point :lol:
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It took time, but because this was not an epic multi-Munro, we did it at slower pace. It wouldn't be possible to run up the path in this heat anyway. At the moment, the best views were to the south, down to Loch Eilde Mor:
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We reached the flat bottom of Coire an Lochain and stopped for a snack break. The steep slopes of Sgur Eilde Beag loomed over us:
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To the north, we could just about see the pointy tip of Binnein Beag and some dangerously looking cloud above:
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"Our" hill, Kevin's milestone, didn't look too inviting at this moment. So steep and craggy, and the heat was becoming unbearable...
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WH route goes up and down the northern side of the hill, but we decided to climb up the southern slopes and it turned out to be a good choice. The southern side is more grassy and we could just about follow a path, worn by hundreds of feet.
To begin with, it wasn't even too steep:
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...but as we gained height, the angle became more acute:
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In a couple of places, the path goes up large boulders, some very easy scrambling:
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A cloud showed up as we neared the summit and gave us some shelter from the killing sun. We enjoyed the scramble-ish ascent:
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It's about 200m of steep push, before one can claim the summit. I got there first and made a short video of Kevin getting to his 200th Munro :D
Congratulations, honey!
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I was only on my No. 189, but I'm glad to have less than 100 left now! :lol:
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If I had to pick the best viewpoints in the Mamores, Sgurr Eilde Mor would be one of the top choices. On a good day like we had, it offers superb vistas in all directions. To the west, the rest of Mamore ridge is obscured by Binnein Mor...
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...but just to the right of it, the wee Binnein comes into view, with Ben Nevis and the Aonachs behind (the latter partly obscured by cloud in my photos):
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The "cooking pot" effect in the eastern corries of Aonach Beag:
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Due north, the Grey Corries:
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The Easains:
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And to the south, the hills of Glen Coe, especially the Big Buachaille:
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A few panoramic snaps...
Blackwater reservoir:
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The Binneins:
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To the North, from B Beg to Corrour:
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South to Aonach Eagach:
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I could go on like that forever, the panoramic function on my camera is getting overused these days :lol: :lol:
We rested on the summit for quite a long time, but I was concerned about the cloud to the north and west, suggesting maybe a storm was coming, so we began the descent eventually, following the obvious path to a little outcrop, where I couldn't resist a "veni, vidi, vici, miaow" pose:
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This wee spot offers superb views down to the lochs below, if one does not suffer from vertigo, that is:
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The path descends the northern side of the mountain and from the very beginning it gave me headaches...
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Maybe not so bad on the ascent, but when moving downhill, the horrible scree offers very little support for feet. I felt like skiing down the slope:
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Once on the grassy ground, the descent became more pleasant, still with lovely views around:
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The dark cloud was just passing above, but no sign of storm:
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The path passes to the north of the largest loch in Coire an Lochain:
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The two smaller lochs, though marked on 1-25k map, were now just a couple of dried puddles:
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The cloud has passed over and the sun came back with double strength. Binnein Beag didn't look too far away, but we only laughed at a thought of adding it to today's route. We were running out of water again and I really wanted this day to be fun, not torture!
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Sgurr Eilde Mor from the path across the corrie:
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A superb hill by its own right:
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We followed the path all the way down, walking at a lazy pace. We stopped for a breather by Allt Coire nan Laogh, refilled bottles again and prepared for the battle with the wee black army. But luckily, the enormous heat must have discouraged the midges and they all went away, wherever midges go when they don't suck us dry :lol:
As we descended, we discussed options for Binnein Beag, our last unclimbed Mamore Munro, and at the moment we fancy climbing it from Glen Nevis. I remember reading somebody's report on such approach and I'm sure, as long as Water of Nevis is not in spate, it should be possible.
It was a great day regardless of the hot, humid air and I was so happy to see Kevin smile on his 200th Munro, a milestone he had been looking forward to. One more step forward to the compleation... If ever :lol: :lol:
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Thursday was the last day of good climbing weather, so we spent the end of the week walking low level walks, watching dolphins from Chanonry Point and visiting a certain Old Man. The next TR will come soon.
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3190
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
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Re: We need to talk about Kevin

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:48 pm

Hi BP - I must be in the same non-category as Kevin (does that mean it is a category???). I get a hill in my head and have to just go and climb it, don't care if I have never been near it or if I've already climbed it 15 times (my current record). Doesn't do much for the stats (climbed 111 Munros, been on the top of a Munro over 250 times).

Looks like a nice hill this one, maybe I'll climb it one day, then again, maybe I won't :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Gordie12
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Re: We need to talk about Kevin

Postby dooterbang » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:31 pm

Great read, great hills...and a great film, one that I've repeated ;)

Well done Kev :clap:
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dooterbang
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Re: We need to talk about Kevin

Postby goth_angel » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:18 pm

Cracking report and well done Kevin! Looks a cracking hill to do it on. One that is high on my to do list because it looks like it ought to be a volcano. Poss was millennia ago :shock:
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Re: We need to talk about Kevin

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:14 pm

I'm another, like Kevin was, who's done a good number of Munros and Corbetts twice. Especially those around Torridon/Coulin, most of which are at least 3 times and some 4. I've even done the In Pin twice. And Nevis about half a dozen times I guess.

I'm definitely still in denial about every actually attempting to compleat...I guess the number may one day creep up high enough to be an unavoidable target, but I seem to be down to about 1 a year at the moment!

Looks like a great day that one, I'm all for leaving the odd peak for a later day, just adds to the number of excuses for going back to a favourite area.
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Mal Grey
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: We need to talk about Kevin

Postby BobMcBob » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:56 pm

Mal Grey wrote:I'm another, like Kevin was, who's done a good number of Munros and Corbetts twice. Especially those around Torridon/Coulin, most of which are at least 3 times and some 4. I've even done the In Pin twice. And Nevis about half a dozen times I guess.

I'm definitely still in denial about every actually attempting to compleat...I guess the number may one day creep up high enough to be an unavoidable target, but I seem to be down to about 1 a year at the moment!

Looks like a great day that one, I'm all for leaving the odd peak for a later day, just adds to the number of excuses for going back to a favourite area.


Lol, yes, this. While I'd always rather do a decent walk twice than 2 bad ones once, I know the compleation bug is in me and being repressed :)
Perhaps you've brought the best out of Kevin BP ? :) And a cracking hill to choose too. One that I've done twice... :D
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Re: We need to talk about Kevin

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:15 pm

Many thanks from me and from Kevin, too :D :D
I'm pretty sure I got him up to speed. Had we concentrated on Munros only, we would have completed by now, but we just keep doing what we like, if it's a Corbett or a Graham day, we're just as happy to be out and about. Kev counted that he's done well over 500 mountain ascents so far, the record - Ben Wyvis (around 15 times, no exact count).

I guess a new category must to be created for those Kevin-like, maybe a Lazy Bagger :lol: :lol:
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BlackPanther
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Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

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