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Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH celeb!

Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH celeb!


Postby Jaxter » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:24 pm

Route description: The Tarmachan Ridge

Munros included on this walk: Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 05/12/2016

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 783m

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I had arranged to meet new friend from work David to tackle the Tarmachan ridge. Agreeing to meet at 7.45 at Callander, I as usual, arrived early. At 8am David arrived....he'd thought it was only half an hour... :lol: I jumped ship and a little under an hour later we were parked up at the Lawers car park.... It was heaving - clearly it was going to be a busy day on the hills. We booted up and I was ready for the off before David announced he needed food. I got some photos while I was waiting...

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It must have been well after 9 before we got moving and it was a strange feeling after so many early starts and solo walks to have company and a lazy start. Not bad, just different :lol:

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We followed the track then the path which took us steeply up onto the ridge. We caught up with a few people and chatted briefly. After a slightly nervous week of knee-related twinges (trying my first run may have been a little premature :shock: ) I was trying to be careful but so far it seemed to be standing up to the challenge.

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I had to keep stopping for photographs as the scenery was just wonderful in the winter light.

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Now the sun was out it was getting warmer too and we were starting to work up a sweat. We could see several groups of people ahead of us.

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Reaching the ridge, it took us easily to the first objective of the day - the 923 summit. We stopped to reduce layers as it was hot work. David ate more food.

The views were still clear but we could see we were about to get into the clag. No matter, I was convinced it would clear. I felt lucky after my experiences on Bidean last weekend!

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We met a large dog somewhere around here which David was excited about. I am scared of dogs and ran away… :shock:

Heading downwards we crossed a stile and started heading back upwards. It was a steep climb here and there were bits of snow and ice around to make it interesting. We were caught up by a lady we had passed earlier in and ended up walking with her for a while; she turned out to be Emmanuelle from WH. As we reached the top of the climb the wind suddenly attacked us and it was time for jackets on before we strolled the last few metres to the summit.

Looking ahead to the summit....
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There was a man there when we arrived and in typical Jaxter fashion we started talking...his voice seemed incredibly familiar and I was trying to work it out. Finally it clicked - he was wilkiemurray and I recognised his voice from his fantastic videos. It was fantastic to meet a WH celebrity :D it is a very small world in the Scottish hills :lol:

A photo Emmanuelle took of Murray and I
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After a while he headed down as it was very cold and there were no views. Emmanuelle continued along the ridge while we stopped so David could have some food and I could take a few photos.

David doesn't quite have the hang of this posing lark...
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Showing him how it's done
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A wee selfie on David's camera
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Soon we decided we had waited long enough. It was very cold and as we were following the ridge, we would be high for a while in case it cleared or we were treated to an inversion.

Following the ridge, we dropped into a wee hollow filled with snow. As it was nice and sheltered here we decided to stop and act like kids for a while, playing in the snow.

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We came across a wonderfully atmospheric little hollow that felt like something out of Lord of the Rings. Many photos were taken...

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We then found a random bollard... :shock:
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Continuing along the ridge, we encountered someone coming the other way... "are you being a rebel or retreating?" I asked. It turned out that the bad step was iced up and he hadn't fancied it. We figured we may as well go and have a look. We passed over the pointy top of Meall Garbh and Just as the ridge narrows we caught up with a three more people, 2 of them trying to encourage the 3rd along the narrow bit.

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Just as we got over it, we met Emmanuelle coming back the other way. She had thought it was going to clear and had come back...sadly she was mistaken but the 6 of us became a group and continued along the ridge together, The banter flowing as we reached the bad step. It was definitely iced up and there was no way we could get down it without crampons. However, the steep grass to the side looked doable. I stopped to put away my poles and suddenly left out a cry - my camera was rolling towards the bad step. David in front of me turned only to see it roll off the edge into the abyss.... it seemed we would have to get down as It was now a rescue mission... :shock:

First man down must have had the eyes of a hawk as he spotted and retrieved the camera which had landed very conveniently close to our route. Thinking I must be the luckiest person I was very glad to get it back. I'd have been very upset to lose it, and the pictures from today.

My joy was short lived as it turned out the screen wouldn't work...still, it seemed to take pictures, even if couldn't see what of... :lol:

What my camera had just fallen down
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The way ahead
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We continued over lumps and bumps, finally reaching the final top of Beinn an Eachan. Still no views and it was cold, so we dropped down to the bealach, where we finally got views!

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A snowy patch called for more childish behaviour :lol:
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Everyone was hungry and we had come out of the clag so we found a sheltered-ish spot and hunkered down for some chow.

This was a quick lunch stop as despite our relative shelter is was very cold! We could see the ridge continuing up to the final and optional top of Creag na Caillich and as it was clear it looked very enticing.

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But we were all tired and cold and with still a good way to go back we decided to leave it out. A good excuse to return...

Pointing my camera in this general direction... some pretty red sky
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Dropping down from the bealach we followed a vague path across sloppy and hummocky ground. We had come slightly off course and three of us realised this at the same time, three maps came out and we all agreed! Group navigation at its finest :lol:

Looking back
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Heading towards where the quarry should be, we rounded a hillock and there it was, with the track leading away from it.

Loch Tay
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It was a nice easy stroll back to the car park where we said our goodbyes after a wonderful day and went our separate ways.

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A much more sociable day than expected, thanks for the company and cracking banter everyone! :thumbup: :D
Last edited by Jaxter on Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:54 pm

That's a proper WH meet on Tarmachan Ridge! :lol: :lol: Looks like there was more snow on the southern hills than up north - Glen Affric area was almost snow bare on Saturday!

We also did TR in winter conditions when crampons & ice axes were necessary. We didn't meet any celebs but had more luck with views :wink:

Since I started regular posting here, I do get recognised on the hills as well (mostly because of the blond braids I think), though I don't feel like a celebrity at all, quite the opposite :lol: It's always great to bump into people you sort of know from the forum, as not everybody comes to WH meets.
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby wilkiemurray » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:25 pm

Hi Jaxter

Great to meet you on the TR. A bit embarrassed by the celeb notion tho :lol: haha -

It was a great wee trip , looking at your photos I mayhave been on the narrowing ridge as you were headed up as there are some patches of blue in your photos which disappeared as the day progressed :( However a perfect excuse for another visit when the views open up :)

maybe see you on another summit sometime again:)

ATB

Murray
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby teaandpies » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:18 pm

wilkiemurray wrote:Hi Jaxter

Great to meet you on the TR. A bit embarrassed by the celeb notion tho :lol: haha -

It was a great wee trip , looking at your photos I mayhave been on the narrowing ridge as you were headed up as there are some patches of blue in your photos which disappeared as the day progressed :( However a perfect excuse for another visit when the views open up :)

maybe see you on another summit sometime again:)

ATB

Murray


Some random person in my work was talking about your youtube channel so the Celebrity thing may may be right :lol:
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Alteknacker » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:20 am

Some cracking pics there, especially at the start. This is one I still have to do - I ran out of time and energy when I was doing others in this area. I will do it though - I've always thought that it looked like a great ridge, and likely to be extra-special in a white coat!

You must have been a bit frustrated taking the 3rd last pic and seeing the clear top ... :roll:
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:46 am

We did this in summer but it looks great with frosty toppings. Good pictures, I hope your camera recovers from its mishap.
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Jaxter » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:29 am

BlackPanther wrote:Since I started regular posting here, I do get recognised on the hills as well (mostly because of the blond braids I think), though I don't feel like a celebrity at all, quite the opposite :lol: It's always great to bump into people you sort of know from the forum, as not everybody comes to WH meets.

Yeah it's cool isn't it! I get recognised all the time, more than I recognise others. Can't imagine why as I'm so quiet and introverted..... :roll: :lol: :lol:



wilkiemurray wrote:Hi Jaxter

Great to meet you on the TR. A bit embarrassed by the celeb notion tho :lol: haha -

It was a great wee trip , looking at your photos I mayhave been on the narrowing ridge as you were headed up as there are some patches of blue in your photos which disappeared as the day progressed :( However a perfect excuse for another visit when the views open up :)

maybe see you on another summit sometime again:)

ATB

Murray

Thanks! Definitely a celebrity :wink:
Let's hope for better weather next time :D
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Jaxter » Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:00 am

Alteknacker wrote:Some cracking pics there, especially at the start. This is one I still have to do - I ran out of time and energy when I was doing others in this area. I will do it though - I've always thought that it looked like a great ridge, and likely to be extra-special in a white coat!

You must have been a bit frustrated taking the 3rd last pic and seeing the clear top ... :roll:

It's a fantastic walk! Haha frustrating yes, I wanted to go up there but was trying to be sensible :? :lol:



Cairngorm creeper wrote:We did this in summer but it looks great with frosty toppings. Good pictures, I hope your camera recovers from its mishap.

Thankyou - turns out taking out the insurance cover is a good idea....phew :lol:
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby kevsbald » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:37 pm

Enjoyed that but I definitely detected a theme of your friend 'wanting or eating food'.
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Jaxter » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:53 am

kevsbald wrote:Enjoyed that but I definitely detected a theme of your friend 'wanting or eating food'.

Haha aye he has a reputation :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Emmanuelle » Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:41 pm

Such a promising start too! I've been up to Meall nan Tarmachan 5 times now and only twice have I had clear weather. We gave the weather a real chance to clear but it didn't, pffft. Lovely to walk with you, David and the Hamilton three.
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby simon-b » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:19 pm

A nice walk, and well worth doing the ridge. At least you found your camera and so managed to keep the photos.
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Re: Pied Piper of Tarmachan & surprise encounter with WH cel

Postby Jaxter » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:17 am

Emmanuelle wrote:Such a promising start too! I've been up to Meall nan Tarmachan 5 times now and only twice have I had clear weather. We gave the weather a real chance to clear but it didn't, pffft. Lovely to walk with you, David and the Hamilton three.

It did didn't it! Oh well, it was a fantastic day anyway, thanks for your company :D


simon-b wrote:A nice walk, and well worth doing the ridge. At least you found your camera and so managed to keep the photos.

Definitely! Thanks - currently at the camera hospital so fingers crossed for a speedy recovery :lol:
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