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Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros


Postby Kay10 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:56 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Corranaich, Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 01/09/2017

Time taken: 8.84 hours

Distance: 28 km

Ascent: 2717m

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My maiden blog post ever..on any site for that matter..and here it goes.....
(Got to say this.. it took me 3 times more time to blog than the time i took to complete this walk :lol: )

This was my first solo 8 Munros target. Having done 2 Munros in a row earlier (in total 9 in the bag so far), I was too naive to think (daydreaming)...
Yes I Can! 8)

8MunroMap.png
The ambitious 8 Munro game plan..walk in the order of numbers

...Well as the story goes, in retrospect it was over-ambitious :crazy: but I appreciated it only by the end of my journey (or I must say when I was humbled by the mountains). A lesson well learned, it made me take in more humility :angel: .

Completely underestimated the mountains and overestimated my ability and planning.
Anticipated the physical and mental challenge ahead...just couldn't sleep well..got a bit anxious the night before, anyways my legs were well rested.

Started at 9:20 from home, 80 miles to go....
Arrived at Ben Lawers Car Park at 11:10. Greeted by excellent weather condition 15oC, very mild breeze & Sunny.

What's in the Bag :?:
1. Water 1.5 ltr
2. Tesco Meal deal :D Chicken Salad Sandwich + 0.5 Ltr Diet Coke + Tyrrell's Veg Crisps 40gm
3. Running Wind Cheater + Fleece Cap + Fleece gloves
4. Kitkat Bar 48 gm + Mars Bar 48 gm + 2 Strawberry Fruit Sticks 3 gm each
5. Camera (across the chest) + Phone + Wallet + Car Keys
6. 3 Bananas :)
7. Pack of Asda Paracetamol 500mg Tabs - pain relief.. just in case :wink:

GetSetGo.jpg
Get-set-go @ 11:20 (smile please .. why so serious?)

Starting from the Car Park, followed the regular trail of Meall nan Tarmachan. A well maintained, almost bone dry trail. Started to sweat profusely with the sun almost overhead, no wind and no cloud cover. Not that I'm complaining, Vitamin-D is always welcomed.. felt like a workout. :)

Got a peek at the nicely lit summit of Meall Garbh from the Meall nan Tarmachan trail.
Meall Garbh.JPG
Meall Garbh (of Tarmachan Ridge) from the trail of Meall nan Tarmachan

After loads of sweating, huffing & puffing arrived at Munro 1: Meall nan Tarmachan.
Treated myself with 0.5 ltr of water and a KitKat :wink: (was getting a bit hungry). Reminded myself to take it slow- conserve energy and supplies for the long way ahead.
M1.JPG
Bagged Numero Uno of dream 8 (actual 5) @ 12:24. 10-sec timer pic ;-)


Looking at the Lawers range I made a mental map of the undefined trail that I would follow to reach target no. 2
Meall Corranaich. From Munro 2 to Munro 3: Meall a'Choire Leith would be on the regular trail over the ridge as it would supposedly appear from Munro 2 on wards.
mentalmapm212.jpg
Mental Trail Map to Meall Corranaich from the Car Park (View from Meall nan Tarmachan)


Keeping the shortage of time in mind, took a short :-P bum-sliding shortcut below the summit of Meall nan Tarmachan. It was a kind of prep for more slides to come :wink: .
m1short111.jpg
Almost a bum-slide down..

Next, to avoid the ascent again after crossing the stile, walked on a faint sheep track starting few meters on the right of the stile crossing.

Also took another short one further down the trail as one can see from my route map :shh: .

Back to square-one , starting from the Car Park walked on the road towards the dam to reach my mental marker point at the base of the hill. Descent is such a knee killer started to just feel it a bit, did some stretching and refueling (1 banana) before leaving the Car Park.
start2.jpg
Back in the Car Park @ 13:37 (point a wee right man)


As I left the road to start the ascent, initially had to navigate through the grass but at one point not very high up, i caught a faint sheep trail. Kept sheep trail hopping as far as I could. After some scrambling, short vertical climbs, bog avoiding and slipping.....
m2asort.jpg
Some of the terrain encounters

Finally caught up with the regular trail to Meall Corranaich....

From here Munro 2: Meall Corranaich was not far off.
P1130765.JPG
Munro 2: Meall Corranaich @ 15:04. (Timer pic)

Next the path to Meall a'Choire Leith is clear and straight forward, just keep walking - just keep walking - keep counting steps 1 to 100 in a never ending loop (I know..its one of the weird things that goes in my mind while walking - I guess, keeps the mind focused :lol: ) . Promised me grumbling stomach :-x of the meal deal at Meall a'Choire Leith :thumbup:
The wind started to pick up some steam but not very much, albeit quite refreshing.
m31.jpg
Trail to Meall a'Choire Leith from Meall Corranaich

After see-sawing descent-ascent-descent-ascent arrived at the flat summit of Munro 3: Meall a'Choire Leith. Time to rest me legs and treat me tummy!
P1130776.JPG
Munro 3: Meall a'Choire Leith @ 15:52 (Timer pic - ironically, camera not well positioned on the flat top)

Ate lunch here (Sandwich + 0.5 diet coke + 1 banana). Got high on 2 paracetamol tabs :wink:, knees were alright but needed to keep any painful distractions away for the descents ahead.
P1130779.JPG
The Table Top

P1130771.JPG
From the flat top looking back at Meall nan Tarmachan

The meal made me feel a bit cold and it got really breezy on the flat top. Put on my windcheater and in a short while out came the cap and gloves too.
20170901_160904.jpg
Pointing to upcoming destination An Stuc (via Ben Lawers to the right not visible in the frame)

One crazy thought came to my mind...
Go straight down the slope from here into the valley and climb up to An Stuc :crazy:

...but when I looked down reality struck :shock: , its not something I would dare to do...
crazyidea1.jpg
One crazy Idea... easy-peasy... roll down the slope like a stone

So falling back on initial plan..go back to Meall Corranaich and cross over to Ben Lawers slope cause at this point the valley is relatively shallow. Which i eventually did with a bit of cheating to avoid ascent and reduce distance. Thanks to all the sheep, discovered their 0.5 ft wide neat trail hugging the slopes somewhere before ascending Meall Corranaich and eventually joined the western slopes trail to Ben Lawers.

sheepytrail.jpg
My cheat sheep trail looking back from Ben Lawers trail

Wind got very strong, bringing in a chilly windchill on the way up to Ben Lawers and it lasted till the way back to the Car Park. At last, made it to the half way point, Munro no. 4: Ben Lawers!
20170901_175440.jpg
Munro 4: Ben Lawers @ 17:54

Time, day light and energy all were running out with knees a bit soar but bearable. It was almost 18:00, started off to next stop Munro 5: An Stuc and subsequently to no. 6 & 7 and be back by Ben Lawers by 20:00 .... well that's what I thought :-| !
20170901_175458.jpg
Pointing to An Stuc .... Come on!! Not again!!... Still haven't got the aim quite right

Off I descended almost to the trough in a zippy, a bit more descent still left. When I looked up at the ascent to An Stuc and the remaining trail..:wtf: ,
gameover.jpg
Almost there...but never there..Absolutely no go

It gave me a pretty good estimate of what's in store ahead :think: . In a good physical state perhaps would need anywhere between 3 to 4 hours to cover the 3 Munros: An Stuc--Meall Garbh--Meall Greigh and be back at Ben Lawers again.
My heart said sheepishly...
Let's do it :shifty: ! But me mind knew..shut-up and walk back, Game Over buddy! :thumbdown:

20170901_181519.jpg
GAME OVER!!!

Pacified myself with a Mars Bar and some water looking down at Lochan nan Cat . It looks like a giant tear drop isn't it?, well all the pain and disappointment made me feel that way :(.
Hey there..still some joy left...Beinn Ghlas is on the way back remember? I could at least make my first 5 Munros in a row :-P. Got enthusiastic again :) .
P1130799.JPG
Me giant tear of sorrow...just kidding...it's Lochan nan Cat

Ascended back to Ben Lawers. Time check 18:41. Next stop Beinn Ghlas & finally the car park.
20170901_184139.jpg
Back on Ben Lawers aiming at Beinn Ghlas. Time check 18:41.

At this point, the wild thought of not finding my Car in the Car Park in one piece was going crazy in my mind. I couldn't see anybody far and wide, didn't want to be the lone person walking back in the dark :-? . Well there were the darling sheep to keep company.

Finally made it to Munro 5: Beinn Ghlas. Mist started to roll in from the west.
20170901_191624.jpg
Munro 5: Beinn Ghlas @ 19:16 (Ben Lawers in background)

From this point on it's a simple descent all the way to the Car Park. Descended almost jogging up to the Car Park. Ate a Banana and popped in 2 paracetamol tabs as it got a bit painful in the knees and needed to be fit to drive back home another 2 hours or so in the night.
P1130849.JPG
Moon in the twilight as seen from the Car Park @ 20:14. Time to say Good night & Adios!


Took a head shower with the reserve water in the car at the same time fighting the midges :-x . Did some stretching, was quite painful. Munched on the reserve Banana stowed in the car and off i went @ 20:34 driving in pain, a bit disappointed but happy as well. Even though i couldn't hit the bulls-eye, this experience was not that bad after all :D .
Perhaps some other time on another range :wink:
Arrived home safe and sound @ 22:34 very tired and extremely hungry. Couldn't wait to do anything else, heated the pasta i had prepared the night before and finished it off like a dog. Had me shower and slept like a log till 10:30 next morning.
Now left with a torn shoe and soar knees, the weekend will be all about recovery :wink:

That's all folks :wave:
trailmap.png
The actual route map..more or less
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Kay10
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:07 am

Wow, pretty impressive anyway, that was a very ambitious plan to include Tarmachan as well! Good effort.
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Kay10 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:37 am

Hi Mal, Thanks very much for your kind encouraging words. Cheers!!!
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Scottk » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:40 am

Great effort and report. Nothing wrong with having an adventurous plan as long as you are prepared to change it if conditions / time etc dictate.
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:23 am

Certainly ambitious :clap: but no harm in cutting it short, all part of the learning, but great effort :D
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Kay10 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:49 pm

Thanks all for your comments. Has been a great learning experience!
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Magoo82 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:59 pm

Oh to be that fit again! :lol:

Great effort :clap:
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Kay10 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:41 pm

Yes of course :) .
Thanks dear!
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:45 am

Enjoyed reading that, it was certainly different - especially all the little extra touches.

As mentioned before you should have started on the Lawers group first and left Tarmachan, but hindsight is great.

Great effort, if you like conquering multiple Munro's Glenshee is the place, I was there yesterday and managed 6 in under 7 hours.
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Sick Kid » Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:47 pm

Good effort!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
That was an interesting route choice and no shame in cutting it short at all.

Were you off doing six Munros from Crianlarich this weekend cause I'm pretty sure we met you going up to Cruach Ardrain?
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:05 pm

Hey- good route and attitude - I like it. And an enjoyable report with a nice touch in illustrations too.
Given that we met you when you were off bagging another 6 around Crianlarich this weekend I think I'm going to enjoy watching your progress :clap:
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:51 pm

I enjoyed the style of your report and an impressive tally without the extra three Munros, I felt tired reading it :lol: .
Your route up Meall Corranaich brought back some memories, we took a similar line up it and I seem to remember it involved vertical grass as well as the features you mentioned. :crazy: .
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Re: Dreamt of 8... ended up with my first solo 5 Munros

Postby Kay10 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:39 am

Hello all. Many thanks again for all the nice comments. Glad you found the report interesting.

Sick Kid & weaselmaster: Hello guys - It was nice meeting you that day. You have made quite an impression on me :D. I'm inspired - thanks for your guidance the other day!

Fife Flyer - Yes i would like it! "Glenshee is the place" Thanks for sharing - looks very exciting :D !

Cairngorm creeper - Great to know this made you had a visit down memory lane :D
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