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straw man

straw man


Postby litljortindan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:19 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sron a'Choire Ghairbh

Date walked: 29/01/2017

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 900m

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This should have been a report about the lower lying hills on the other side of the loch but they were so cloudy I switched to an attempt at Sron a' Choire Ghairbh instead because at least there I'd have a path to follow through any cloud.
I wasn't at all confident about my ability to complete the walk and might have headed more north west if it wasn't so late in the morning (10am). At the parking spot I still delayed my start, waiting for a miraculous parting of the cloud across the loch that never materialised. Oh well, maybe I was in for an inversion. No such luck!
Part of my doubt stemmed from this being my first winter Munro in four years and I thought I would struggle with carrying the extra weight. I also had an aching side, a wee bit of a twinge in the back and an intermittent hernia to contend with. Still, only one way to find out how my body would react.
I decided to decide on whether or not to continue at each of the end of the forestry track section and the bealach and to leave my rucksack at the bealach if going for the top. In the event though I found this to be a surprisingly easy ascent.
Arrived at the sign posted path off the forestry track feeling good and stopped at the stream just beyond the woods where I tested my water filter but had trouble getting it to work. Sussed out the problem now though -just needed to give it longer in the water before drinking from it.
Pretty easy ascent up to the bealach on a good path. Was passed on the way by a group of two and then a group of about seven. The group of seven were sat eating at the bealach so had a wee chat and was happy to follow in their wake once they got going. In fact the group of two could be seen making short work of the zigzags above which gave me even more confidence in deciding to carry on.
I'd pretty much say I'm a fair weather walker and I suppose this was still fair weather of a sort but nae views. Still, I now felt a sort of nostalgia for my early hill career gloomy winter day exploits. The fact that I didn't need the ice axe or crampons or microspikes helped me with that day dreaming. An Irishman on his way down had assured me that it was plain sailing to the top. However, two others had turned back before the summit because of the cold and concerns about descending so I wasn't totally relaxed about things.
I'd elected to carry everything to the top as I was managing very well up to the bealach. Just a wee bit more effort needed once into the relative cold and wind on the summit ridge but I was very pleased that my legs were still obeying orders. Didn't hang around at the top for too long though and managed to follow a false trail down north of the zigzags. That was the only slightly uncomfortable part of the day, contouring over the softish snow back to the relative safety of the zigzags. Even there though I probably should have donned crampons just for a bit of extra security as it was indeed a bit slippy on the descent and enough of a slope to facilitate a big painful tumble.
Met the group of seven again at the bealach and had another wee chat with one of them. Then the hares were off again and this tortoise followed but with no chance of catching up.
All in all a strangely satisfying day though in retrospect I should've done that last minute weather forecast check; would still have preferred a view!

ImageDSCN0088 by John Little, on Flickr
nice waterfall near the start of the ascent

ImageDSCN0089 by John Little, on Flickr
some brightness up ahead gave me hope for an improvement in the weather

ImageDSCN0095 by John Little, on Flickr
pretty good path most of the way, though this is probably an unrepresentatively extra good part

ImageDSCN0100 by John Little, on Flickr
no grand views today but what there was to see was sometimes quite fine

ImageDSCN0102 by John Little, on Flickr
figures in a landscape

ImageDSCN0109 by John Little, on Flickr
a bit of brightness above the bealach

ImageDSCN0113 by John Little, on Flickr
my pacemakers zooming ahead up the zigzags

ImageDSCN0114 by John Little, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0116 by John Little, on Flickr
me at the summit after a surprisingly easy ascent of the last 300m

ImageDSCN0119 by John Little, on Flickr
time for the sunscreen

ImageDSCN0120 by John Little, on Flickr
on the way down

ImageDSCN0142 by John Little, on Flickr
the tortoise catching up with the hares? no chance!

ImageDSCN0144 by John Little, on Flickr
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litljortindan
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Re: straw man

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:26 pm

At least it cleared up a bit towards the end.... :roll:

I fear this is what awaits me in a couple of weeks' time....
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Re: straw man

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:31 pm

That looked like a good walk and looked quite atmospheric in the mist. I know what you mean about the security from crampons they seem to make quite a difference to a descent even when the conditions suggest they shouldn't.
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Re: straw man

Postby litljortindan » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:54 pm

Alteknacker wrote:At least it cleared up a bit towards the end.... :roll:

I fear this is what awaits me in a couple of weeks' time....


Yes, not a total disaster for the eyeballs but really walking in a whiteout isn't my cup of tea. Good luck for your trip/weather.
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litljortindan
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Re: straw man

Postby litljortindan » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:06 am

Cairngorm creeper wrote:That looked like a good walk and looked quite atmospheric in the mist. I know what you mean about the security from crampons they seem to make quite a difference to a descent even when the conditions suggest they shouldn't.


I did enjoy it but don't think I'll be actively seeking out more cloudy tops to walk in. In retrospect definitely should've stuck crampons on for the descent but maybe I'm just getting old and over cautious.
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litljortindan
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Re: straw man

Postby rockhopper » Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:15 am

Good to get out though - this hill and its neighbour do make for a good winter walk in good conditions. Wouldn't worry too much up not checking the forecast - I did just that yesterday morning, a lot worse than the night before but still went anyway :roll: - cheers :)
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