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Creag nan Dapmh A wintry wander up the NE ridge

Creag nan Dapmh A wintry wander up the NE ridge


Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:12 pm

Munros included on this walk: Creag nan Damh

Date walked: 29/01/2017

Time taken: 6.75 hours

Distance: 8.4 km

Ascent: 905m

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Creag nan Damph, a fine wintry walk, with an unimposing but stylish start, a disorienting valley, an extensive coire and an atmospheric ridge walk to the summit.
The weather reports were, sadly, optimistic and the excellent visibility never materialised but at least some of the snow had returned from its winter holiday in Europe :lol:.
IMG_6459.JPG
The route

We set out at 9:30 walking a short distance along the road to the Eas nan Arm Bridge, then ducked under the safety barriers to pick up a very muddy path running along side the Allt An Fraoch Coire. Before long we reached a most unusual stile that tipped you upside down towards the river gully, and left me staggering around a bit before locating my treking poles :lol: and a second awkward stile that resembled a bit of recycled fencing :lol:.
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Styles straight from the catwalk. Unusual but not very comfortable

After the stiles the path improved remarkably and wandered in and out of hillocks before arriving at the footbridge.
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Looking out to the west.

There did not seem much point crossing the bridge to recross further along so we followed the path traversing the steep bank and before long reached the Y where the rivers joined.
IMG_6435.JPG
Am Fraoch Choire from below

The terrain in the valley was complex, the coire expansive and I felt very small. Our planned route and the path went up the hills in front of us but from below it looked like it would be impossible to make the next necessary crossing of the Allt An Fraoch Choire if we went this way as it appears to fall directly down the cliff in a steep gully. We considered crossing the Allt lower down and then following its left hand bank but this would involve traversing some very steep ground. So we meandered around, checking and rechecking our map and GPS position. We then headed up the slopes, still feeling very unsure about the route and taking a different line to the path, but, to our surprise :roll: we met the path on some level ground and it led to a very easy crossing near a waterfall. :)
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Approaching the easy crossing

My advice to any one going this way is to stick to the line of the path like a limpet and trust your map :lol:.
Our plan, at this stage had been to make our way up the coire wall to see if this was a viable route to the South Shiel Ridge and then descend via the NE ridge of Creag nan Damph. But we had spent so long on our unnecessary faffing with the map and the visibility was worse than expected and deteriorating, so we decided to just follow the ridge up to Creag nan Damph and return by the same route.
We crossed back over the burn and after a broad start we established ourselves on the right hand edge of the ridge.
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Established on the right hand side of the ridge

It was very atmospheric in the mist and soft snow with some dramatic drops,
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The views should have been superb

a couple of nice narrow sections
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Some narrow sections

and a steep incline near the top where the ice axes came in useful :D .
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Steep section
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13:15 approaching the summit
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Could be anywhere but it is Creag nan Damph

We wondered about getting the steep section of the descent over and done with before stopping, but then decided it would be easier if we were fortified by food and caffeine.
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Steadying the nerves with a brew

We took out time hoping the cloud may clear, but there was very little wind and that just wasn't going to happen :( .
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It's 14:00, get a move on

We donned light crampons for the way down, it seemed a bit OTT but there was the potential for a serious slide and they did grip well in the soft snow and at times through to the mud :lol:. The descent proved much easier than we had feared and we were surprised to find ourselves past the steep section without noticing it. :lol:
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The way down.

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Crampons making light work of the descent

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Through the rocky notch

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Past the narrow section

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Looking back

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Below the snow line
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Afternoon sun across Kintail

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Still steep in places

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Am Fraoch Choire

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Back across the waterfall

From here it was straightforward to follow the path back and even the interesting stiles were avoidable by walking down the inside of the deer fence. :lol:
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Final look back.

Back to the car for 16:30 after another good day out in Kintail :D even if the snow is not up to usual winter standards and the sun forgot to shine.
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Cairngorm creeper
Scrambler
 
Posts: 690
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Grantown-on-spey

Re: Creag nan Dapmh A wintry wander up the NE ridge

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:56 am

Wonky stiles, my favourite obstacle :lol: Sometimes it is no stile at all and scrambling over wobbly fences.

We were lucky to have some fun in the snow last weekend, now it's going back to Europe... Must be the first effect of Brexit :wink: They will take away all the snow and send us all the cloud instead.

I love the idea of separate walks up single Munros of SGS :D Creag nan Damph is probably one of the less interesting tops when you do the whole bunch in one go. I wonder if it would be possible to return via the north top, Sgurr a Chuillin? Following a fence marked on 1/25k map? Something to keep in mind for future outings :D
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3464
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
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Sub 2000:48   
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Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Creag nan Dapmh A wintry wander up the NE ridge

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:48 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Wonky stiles, my favourite obstacle :lol: Sometimes it is no stile at all and scrambling over wobbly fences.

We were lucky to have some fun in the snow last weekend, now it's going back to Europe... Must be the first effect of Brexit :wink: They will take away all the snow and send us all the cloud instead.

I love the idea of separate walks up single Munros of SGS :D Creag nan Damph is probably one of the less interesting tops when you do the whole bunch in one go. I wonder if it would be possible to return via the north top, Sgurr a Chuillin? Following a fence marked on 1/25k map? Something to keep in mind for future outings :D


I am definitely blaming Brexit for the strange weather :lol But it looks like we may get snow again for the next w/e :D
Exploring the different routes up to the Munros on the South Shiel Ridge is turning out to be an interesting project and a good way to cope with the fickle weather :D . The route down Sgurr a Chuillin does look like it would make a good round walk.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Scrambler
 
Posts: 690
Munros:140   Corbetts:21
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Grantown-on-spey

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