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Possible danger

Possible danger

Postby deadmike » Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:35 pm

Route description: The Tarmachan Ridge

Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 24/07/2016

Distance: 12 km

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i walked the ridge yesterday and i thought it best to add a comment sorely missing from the walk guide. it says:

"there is a rocky scramble which heads down diagonally to the right. When dry this is not too difficult and best tacked direct, though it is probably possible to avoid it by heading to the right a little earlier down steep grass."

This part of the walk is actually quite dangerous. Certainly we all accept theres an inherit danger with all hillwalks, more so with ridge walking. Yet, i would point out that this part of the walk is out and out crazy.
What i encountered yesterday was more like stepping down a sheer cliff face with no way of knowing where the next 6 foot drop step was. the rocks are quite eroded and often tilt away from the hill wall, so if you land on a step and lose your balance... your dead.

The grassy verge just right of this part of the walk is easily traversable, takes no extra time and will keep your very much alive.

If you are climbling up then its far easier as you can see the steps, but what you might not see is people kicking loose rocks down!

What i witnessed yesterday was a mature hillwalkers club, rushing each other down the edge, using ski poles to support one another down. I am amazed no one was killed.

Other than that the ridge walk has a well troden path and is relatively safe to enjoy.
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Re: Possible danger

Postby teaandpies » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:51 am

There's much much more dangerous Scrambling sections out there.

I bypassed it the other day heading up. It doesn't add anything to the walk so I found doing it pointless, unnecessary effort.
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Re: Possible danger

Postby skawt100 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:38 am

This was my second munro a few years ago. I did it in terribly wet conditions and whilst it was "interesting" I didn't feel like it was anywhere near life threatening, if in doubt at sections people in our group bum shuffled with ease. Due care should always be taken in the hills and the walk description does recommend the grassy bypass when conditions are wet.

If you are new to hillwalking you will realise that there are many short scrambles that walkhighlands does not mention in great detail because in reality they are nothing compared to what you face on some hills. When there is a well trodden path there is usually always a good line with reliable foot and hand holds and it's just about slowing down and thinking it through logically and if you are really not comfortable go back to where you were last comfortable and assess your options.
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Re: Possible danger

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:11 pm

I can understand why you found this short scramble disconcerting and am glad you found an alternative route and were able to continue on your walk.
I am sure many people when reading walk descriptions do not realise that the term scrambling is used to refer to easy rock climbs and even short sections of easy scrambling can be very exposed.
I find Walk The Highlands walk descriptions far more reliable than most guide books for highlighting difficulties you may encounter on a walk but you still need to be wary of the word scramble unless the term very easy is in front of it.
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