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Double ton - the milestone achieved
by BlackPanther » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:22 pm
Route description: Beinn Sgulaird
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgulaird
Date walked: 04/09/2016
Time taken: 6.5 hours
Distance: 13.8 km
Ascent: 1235m6 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
At some point in 2016 I wasn't sure I would achieve the double ton milestone before summer runs out... Injuries, travels abroad, crappy summer... But after bagging Angels and Demons I found myself sitting on 199, not a very comfortable number! Bring on 200!
Taking advantage of the last spells of summer weather, we drove south to Appin, to climb Beinn Sgulaird. No particular reason why I picked this Munro for the round number, other than it's a nice ridge with good views all round. The ridge was fun, the views not as much due to lingering cloud, but in the end, we had a good day and I'm now officially a "double tonner"
We used the standard route up Sgulaird, from Druimnavuic. Left home very early and were the first to park in a small layby just east of the village.
The morning was cloudy but forecast suggested bright spells later on, so we kept fingers crossed, the clag would disperse as we climb.
On my way to 200:
Through a couple of gates and about 100m up the bulldozed track, the initial stage of this walk would be boring but for very nice views down to Loch Creran, even with mist still lingering:
The day was still and midges soon became quite vicious, plus keds came out, a few of them trying to wriggle into Kevin's hair and behind his ears (they seem to like him more than me ). It looks like keds are not deterred by deet, but at least they are not likely to bite. Still, plucking them out of your hair and clothing is not the most pleasant experience!
Upper Coire Buidhe misty...
The track offered easy going and we were reluctant to leave it, so we continued into the corrie for a bit longer than the walk description suggests. Eventually, we had to tackle the wet, slippery slopes. We found a faint path and followed it to the first dip in the ridge, just east of the 488 m top.
The air was humid and I found myself gasping for breath very soon:
The "dip" is cut across by a low fence, on the other side we located the main path, now navigation was easy.
It's up there somewhere:
The 488m top from higher on the ridge:
Sadly, weather didn't show any signs of improvement at the moment, the clag was still stubbornly holding on:
At least going was easy now, an obvious path and though the slope was steep in places, I was desperate to enjoy my experience today!
The ridge of Beinn Sgulaird has 3 tops, the summit being the last one. This offers the walker a magnificent if tiring traverse. Shame we didn't get the views but I didn't dare complain.
After a snack break on the eastern top (863m) we began the careful descent to the first col. The drop is less than 100m but the terrain is quite rocky and in descent, the eroded path felt a bit unstable. I can imagine the amount of traffic on this hill on a good summer day! We were alone at the moment, but that because we began our walk very early, we expected to see other people later on.
The 863m top from the col:
The middle top, Meall Garbh, offered us some mild scrambling on the way up and a wobbly descend down a rocky "chute". I wonder, how it is that I always have to step on the one wobbly rock among dozens of stable ones? Panther's curse again!
Me posing with the "chute":
We didn't bother stopping for photos as there was precious little to photograph in the mist, we pushed on for the summit. The final ascent is rocky but straightforward. A young bloke caught up with us just before we touched the cairn. Wish I could run up hills that fast, I thought. Not that I'm jealous, but I'd happily swap knees with him!
He was nice enough to take our summit snap. For Kevin, it was no. 208, for me... 200! Double ton, ta-daaaa!
The young man left the summit very quickly, whereas we streched our legs, dug up our sandwich boxes and celebrated my milestone with a cup of well deserved tea!
The cloud was thinning and we even managed to catch some views. West to the 909m top (there should be Glen Coe panorama behind it):
The wee lochan near the summit:
Meow! Black Panther posing with a gap in the cloud:
The gap zoomed
We were all happy and cheerful despite the lack of panoramas, not even put off by the vision of re-ascendidng the two tops on the way back. As we returned to the first col, we met a group of walkers heading for the summit. Two more groups were on the summit of Meall Garbh as we passed, and one more on the second col. Suddenly, the hill was alive with the sound of people talking and laughing
Meall Garbh from the initial descent from the summit:
The cloud was much higher now and during the return traverse, we saw at least some views. Kevin was interested in a distinctive little peak to the west of Sgulaird:
It's called Beinn Mheadhonach and its only about 20m shy of being a Graham.
At least now the cloud was lifting and we could indulge in taking pictures of the ridge itself
Views through the mist to Glen Creran:
Beinn Sgulaird from Meall Garbh:
One more "dip" to tackle and the final re-climb back to the eastern top:
Looking back up Meall Garbh from the second col:
From the last top it was now all down and though my knees did ache a bit towards the end, it was nowhere near as bad as on Angels and Demons. Still, over 1200m of ascent is quite a lot as for single Munro! At least I can say, I worked hard to reach my double ton!
The lovely pano down to Loch Creran from the final descent:
The tops of Sgulaird from the final "dip" below the 488m top:
View north towards Fraochaidh, I'm hoping to celebrate my half way point on Corbetts on this one.
Simply gorgeous... This view accompanied us for the rest of the walk down the ridge. We stayed on the main path this time so we could enjoy the view for a bit longer.
I was surprised that we returned to the car in less than 7 hours... There is life in the old cat yet!
Maybe it wasn't the best of summers, maybe we were unlucky this year, but we managed to hit the 200 target, both of us. At this pace, compleation is still years away but I'm not desperate to break any records. I'm enjoying myself and the splendid Scottish mountains. It's being out there that counts
by Gordie12 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:26 pm
Not sure why, I seem happy doing local Corbetts so I haven't done any new Munros.
Off to the Borders tomorrow for another Corbett (and hopefully a couple of Donalds).
Hope you get decent weather if you are out this weekend.
by dav2930 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:35 pm
I agree that enjoying the fantastic environment is the important thing. Can't see much point in getting them all done as quickly as possible. It took me a lot longer than 8 years to reach 200; my first Munro (Sgurr a' Mhaim) was in 1979!
Nice report and great shots of the clearing mist revealing superb views. I went up Sgulaird by same route as yours in December 2012 and it took me an hour to get from SW top to summit, wading through thigh-deep snow.
by Huff_n_Puff » Fri Sep 09, 2016 8:47 pm
by PeteR » Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:25 am
I recall that being a tougher hill than I had expected it to be......especially as you have to retrace your steps.
by Blokewithastroke » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:50 am
by Cairngorm creeper » Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:17 pm
by Alteknacker » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:52 pm
BTW - the best thing by far about Sgulaird is the pronunciation - apart from the S at the beginning, bearing no relationship whatsoever with the spelling
by BlackPanther » Sun Sep 11, 2016 3:44 pm
Having reached the milestone, we turned lazy yesterday and instead of mountains, we went to finish off Dava Way. Low level is just as entertaining as hills sometimes, especially when weather smiles.