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One in the mist beats two with too much risk ...

One in the mist beats two with too much risk ...

Postby scotdavid63 » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:17 pm

Route description: Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich

Munros included on this walk: Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)

Date walked: 28/12/2016

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 22.24 km

Ascent: 1115m

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So, weather supposed to be settled, not too windy and there's not been too much snow/freezing weather recently, thought we might try the two in here using bikes to the dam above Badour coming back off Beinn H (or S depending on which book/map) back to that point rather than doing the WH circuit - just too long at this time of year.
Drive up from Edinburgh to the end of the Glen Lochay road was great, not much traffic at this time of year and Callander is dead at 8.30am. However by the time we got to the parking area and got bikes out etc we set off at 9.30am and that's just too late if you want to be able to enjoy a walk this long when it's dark by 4pm.

The bike up the zig zag path to get to the junction to turn left to Badour/Batavaime etc is tough going on a bike, pretty steep, certainly gets your leg muscles working. The landrover track heads over a wee dam and that track is a very easy/simple ride across. It's 6.1km to the Badour dam so that eats a lot of the walk in. I reckon some of the reports inc the WH report are short on the distance, however, more of that later ... Parked the bikes at the Badour dam, if you look at an OS map, coming down here from between Stob an Fhir-Bhogha and Beinn H over Crag Bhuidhe, avoiding Creag na Achalarich then that's the shortest route and one or two other posters have done the walk this way I notced. When you look above the Badour (Allt Bad Odhar) dam it's just what you'd expect, a grassy hill albeit perhaps a wee bit steeper that some might like.
2km further on and past Batavaime the gate as per the WH walk is right there so follow the deer fence as per the WH walk. By the time you start up the hill that's 8km already and easy walking which makes the hill a bit of a shock to the old muscle memory ! Clear visibility to about 600m but no more, complete clag/mist above that. Decided we'd def bash the one and hope that the weather improved.
Opted for the direct route, no snow as such at this level and dog now happy to show off who is the daddy on the hill having had to trot beside the bikes for the first 6km. The female in our group was not feeling great and our speed (amplified by the late start) meant that doing the whole walk as planned was looking unlikely. After a short chat we were minus one as she decided to head back before getting too high up. Good decision. as we were still not at 600m at that point and the track was clearly visible. No gentleman points for me though !
I was in the mood and in my zone but my son has spent too many late nights on his xbox over Christmas so he was struggling as well. By the time we got into the mist he was not happy but still keen to do one at least. He is usually a mountain goat !
So, to the walk, once at the end of the deer fence basically head up an easy gully which is visible above you. That leads you onto a couple of options and a second gully with a bit of scrambling (certainly at this time of year to avoid snow etc). After that we found the path pretty easily even with patches of snow covering it. Pretty windy by now but the temperature was not bad (had been 6-7 degrees in Glen Lochay, stupidly warm for the season). The path meant the map and my OS app could stay in my pockets which helped keep hands warm !
Several short sections of having to bash footprints into snow but, as expected, not much snow so not bringing crampons was a sound decision. This hill must be different in clear weather as we came across a few false summits/tops and had to use the map to work out the top.
At the top we could see the general route off avoiding the crags - as per the WH walk, kept the map out though to avoid adding distance or finding crags. Once down 200m we could see across to Sron Tarbh and it looked damned imposing noting we could not see the top. So here we are, 1pm, 2.5hrs or so (noting conditions) until dark, 350m to get up to get the second Munro - not been doing our usual speed so all a bit tighter than I would have liked plus the boy was not in the mood :( :( If I had been on my own I would have done it - both he and I very happy hopping down grassy slopes at speed so coming down quickly was not the issue. I think he was happy to have got out of the mist and had lost the will to get his engine going properly :crazy:
The bail-out option was to go through the bog (thankfully not as bad as it must be in summer) and follow Allt Bad a Mhaim (Batavaime) down to the track. Reluctantly I decided this was the best option (the thought of driving back here and another long walk in was in my mind especially noting that Beinn H is poorly rated).
Having made the decision off we went, fairly quick going and if you keep to the left of the Allt then follow the deer fence it takes you back to the track to the East of where you start up Creag Mhor - ie on the side of Batavaime nearer to Badour. By now we'd done 16km.
Not much else to report, easy walk and bike back out, back at car at 3pm - 22.24km in total and I had estimated 23km if we had done Beinn H as well so I def underestimated this walk and our route is shorter than the round trip in the WH walk so I recommend that you plan accordingly - one trip report says 27km !
Thinking ahead, it still looks like coming up at Badour is the shortest route for Beinn H but biking up the other landrover track/road over the Glen would make this a different walk and you start up the hill from higher so that's probably what we'll do.
Mountain Walker
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