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If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!


Postby Jaxter » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:16 am

Route description: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn, Loch Arkaig

Corbetts included on this walk: Fraoch Bheinn, Sgurr Mhurlagain

Date walked: 11/11/2017

Time taken: 6.22 hours

Distance: 15.63 km

Ascent: 1362m

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On Friday I had my first introduction to Loch Arkaig. Andy suggested another foray down there on the Saturday of the meet….why not, as we were right there :D After an unusually early night (for a Meet) I felt a bit more alive on Saturday morning and we were off relatively early for the long drive down “the road” :shock:

Several Walkhighlanders with experience of this road had warned that I was unlikely to hold onto my breakfast during the drive. However, having managed (unusually) to not boil over my porridge, I also kept it down :lol:

We stopped a couple of times for photos as the sun was rising above the hills making the loch look incredible 8)
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We passed a butterfly reserve (one for you stirlingdavo ;-) )
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And the light sun was shining through the trees as we negotiated the rollercoaster road
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As we approached the end of the road we found some incredibly tame deer that I got closer to than I’d ever managed before!
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We parked up and prepared ourselves for the day. At this point I learned why it’s very important to carry spare laces as one of mine snapped :shock: Fortunately I do always carry spares so other than Andy having to wait for me to faff around with it there was no harm done :lol:

And we had this view to enjoy while I was doing it 8)
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Finally I was ready and we set off around a gate, meeting a few people coming the other way (through the gate so they must have been important ;-) ) and along the road for a short distance. Soon we came to a large signpost with lots of options.
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Out came the map, only to realise that we were just off the side of it :roll: Common sense would probably have done the trick anyway but Andy’s electronic gadget confirmed our route. Up the track it was :thumbup:

The track climbed steeply making for easy height gain but I couldn’t stop looking behind me :shock:
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This is the back end of Streap (I think)
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This looks to be An Stac
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Streap & Sgurr Thuilm
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The track split and we took the boggier right hand fork. We squelched our way up a section of path that we thought would probably be a bit slippery on the way back down….leaving that to worry about later we continued up until we reached an outcrop where we could see all the way back down the loch.
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And a wee panorama
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Leaving my outcrop, we bogtrotted our way further along the “track” which was keeping to the right.

Looking up at Fraoch Bheinn, our second summit
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Eventually we needed to be on the ridge so we headed steeply uphill. We could see a snowy summit ahead and thought that it might be the summit of Sgurr Mhurlagain. Oh how wrong we were…. :lol: :roll:
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A sneaky look back….
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We climbed higher and soon we were into the snow line. A brief snow shower happened around this point and now we were on the ridge it was windy enough to be painful :lol: Hoods were up, buffs employed and sunglasses on. The shower blew through quickly and we continued upwards.
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This hill really is a story of false summits….every time we thought we were nearly there, another summit would appear, crushing our tired spirits. Ach we were moaning about it but we were really having an absolutely fabulous time :lol:

Gulvain
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Finally coming out what we thought must be the top, we then had to march along a wee spur to the right to reach the actual summit. But wow….was it worth it :shock:

The length of Loch Arkaig with the Loch Lochy hills at the other end
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Gulvain
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Yesterdays Corbetts (Geal Charn & Meall na h-Eilde) and the Loch Lochy hills
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Spoiling the view
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An Andy with a view
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Braigh nan Uamhachan, Streap and the Glenfinnan munros
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Ben Nevis in the background, Gulvain in the foreground
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Nevis and pals
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Glouraich & Spidean Mialach
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Andy decided to run out here so I could get a photo :lol:
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But I got bored and started taking photos of Ben Nevis 8)
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Loch Arkaig and Ben Nevis
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Gulvain all the way round to Sgurr Mor
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I’m not convinced this one worked :lol:
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Glouraich and pals (and Martin’s car keys were probably being ejected just to the right :lol: )
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A wee video


We were getting cold so wandered back over to a lump where I thought I would get a better view towards Knoydart 8)
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Druim Coire nan Laogh
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We had places to be….on our way up we had been scoping out our route up Fraoch Bheinn. We had decided that the Hutchy School of Navigation may actually be worth considering here and duly instigated Straight Line Syndrome; Smash it in the face 8)

Lochan with a view
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We safely made it down from Sgurr Mhurlagain (some slippery moments) and sloshed our way across a very boggy bealach. I’ve given up chocolate for November so Andy had great joy in enjoying a Mars Bar in front of me :(

Our target
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After the longest ascent ever (I exaggerate a little) up Sgurr Mhurlagain we knew that this was going to be quick and painful….we decided that we would be smashing it in the face :D
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Initially it was wet and slippery and very steep as we carefully wound our way in between crags. We both agreed that this would be a very dodgy descent and that a slip would not end well for either of us (Andy was behind me so at least I had half a chance of a soft-ish landing :lol: )

We reached the “rest area” half way up where it levelled off very briefly. After this, we were into the snow and it got steadily more difficult. Here followed some interesting language, a few route-finding issues and a healthy debate on what constitutes scrambling. Hands on rock, apparently. But hands (plural) or is hand (singular) enough? And if it’s hand on snow does that count? As we muttered away we gradually gained height :thumbup:

The snow got deeper as we climbed and we were getting quite warm as we were sheltered from the wind here. Smashing this hill seemed to be taking more effort than we thought… :lol:
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We could sense that we were nearly there…. We negotiated the final few obstacles and clambered out on the summit….the summit cairn itself was a few metres on but I stopped for a few photos first.

Loch Arkaig :D
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Andy contemplating approaching the summit
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Taking the final few steps to the cairn we were finally there. The views into Knoydart were unreal….I really was lost for words :shock:
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Towards the biggies of Knoydart, just a wee bit cloudy
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I got very excited when I could see an island (initially I thought it was Skye before realising that a) I was an idiot as we were too far South and b) that it was nowhere near pointy enough) Nope, this is Rum :D
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“I’m going to get the big lens out” I said. Andy braced himself for a wait (sod it, serves him right for that Mars Bar :lol: )
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Streap
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An Stac, Eigg & Rum
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Sgurr na Ciche
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Andy on the summit of Fraoch Bheinn
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Me on the summit
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Eventually it was time to go (it was freezing :shock: ) We headed down the ridge, falling around in the deep snow and staying just below the ridge to keep sheltered from the wind. The loch was looking stunning with a wee arc of cloud over it
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Glenfinnan hills
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Gulvain
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We dropped below the snow line which actually made things even more difficult as we were slipping and sliding all over the place. I laughed a lot as Andy repeatedly went flying and karma must have been too busy elsewhere as I managed to stay on my feet :lol:
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A final steep section of grassy mush brought us back down to the outward track, a fence that was flattened in just the spot where all the walkers will have emerged (suspicious…. :roll: ) and a stag
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It was a steep descent down the track and there were plenty of interesting moments but we both made it back in one piece. Aside from a short shower which never came to anything (other than hurriedly tucking the camera inside my waterproofs) it had been an almost perfect day. Arriving at the car we looked back….
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We had a quick bite of some very well-travelled sandwiches (not really picnic weather on the tops :lol: ) before negotiating “the road” without incident and heading back for the quiz.

What an area though….I am so in love with Loch Arkaig and am already making plans to go back :D 8)


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Last edited by Jaxter on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:27 am

Wonderful photos of what looks like a fine route!

I was recently staying for a week in Fort William. I took the week off for some writing I'm doing, not walking, which was fortunate because it was a week of relentless rain and wind! One day cleared towards evening, too late to do a walk, so I just did a drive out to Loch Arkaig which I've always wanted to see.

Even from the inside of a car, it was a wonderful place to be. Hope to get back there one day and do some walking - your photos have helped motivate me!

TIm
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:10 am

That looks like a superb day out, wonderful views.

The adventure of The Road is enough for many (too much for my mate's car's underside, and I would not fancy it after an evening "hydrating"), but to then get a day like that tops it all.

Just for clarification; hands on snow does not mean scrambling. No, that makes it Mountaineering! :lol:
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby malky_c » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:27 pm

Friday's hills good, these ones even better 8) . Fraoch Bheinn in particular gives me good memories. Is it you or Andy who is chasing Corbetts in particular (seems to be your theme for the weekend)? Great looking day out either way :D .

A' Chuil bothy is a handy spot for further exploration in this area - had a couple of good nights in there before.
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby PeteR » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:26 pm

You'll need to return and do Fraoch Bheinn again........as you missed the best bit of the hill (in my humble opinion :lol: ). The walk along the ridge from the summit to point 854 and then the drop down Bidean Mhic Iain Ghlais is fantastic. Gives a completely different perspective of the mountain. Then up onto Mhurlagain :wink:

My personal preference aside :lol: ...........it did look like a superb day you both enjoyed there, with some great wintery views :clap:
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby walkingpoles » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:35 pm

I second A'Chuil bothy. Great area for big days.
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby londonwalker » Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:09 pm

You smashed the walk report as well, Great title . Might be a new hill walking term smashing instead of bagging :D
The only way to make great hills into bad hills is the company. These were two of the best in my mind :)
See you next time I'm up and hopefully find something equally as good to walk. Well done again on capturing the day perfectly.
Even the car spolier is still attached after negotiating the rollercoaster !!
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby weaselmaster » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:00 am

Oh nice photos, Jackie - a fine day out :D
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:07 pm

These two are on the radar for next spring - looks like a cracking walk :D

I will remember to bring my puke bag for the Arkaig road :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby Jaxter » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:20 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Wonderful photos of what looks like a fine route!

I was recently staying for a week in Fort William. I took the week off for some writing I'm doing, not walking, which was fortunate because it was a week of relentless rain and wind! One day cleared towards evening, too late to do a walk, so I just did a drive out to Loch Arkaig which I've always wanted to see.

Even from the inside of a car, it was a wonderful place to be. Hope to get back there one day and do some walking - your photos have helped motivate me!

TIm

Cheers :D It's a stunning place, I'll definitely be back.



Mal Grey wrote:That looks like a superb day out, wonderful views.

The adventure of The Road is enough for many (too much for my mate's car's underside, and I would not fancy it after an evening "hydrating"), but to then get a day like that tops it all.

Just for clarification; hands on snow does not mean scrambling. No, that makes it Mountaineering! :lol:

Fortunately I was hydrating with tea :lol:
Mountaineering sounds good, I like that 8) :D



malky_c wrote:Friday's hills good, these ones even better 8) . Fraoch Bheinn in particular gives me good memories. Is it you or Andy who is chasing Corbetts in particular (seems to be your theme for the weekend)? Great looking day out either way :D .

A' Chuil bothy is a handy spot for further exploration in this area - had a couple of good nights in there before.

They're fantastic aren't they :D Not chasing Corbetts as such, just enjoying the less busy hills in more secluded areas 8)



PeteR wrote:You'll need to return and do Fraoch Bheinn again........as you missed the best bit of the hill (in my humble opinion :lol: ). The walk along the ridge from the summit to point 854 and then the drop down Bidean Mhic Iain Ghlais is fantastic. Gives a completely different perspective of the mountain. Then up onto Mhurlagain :wink:

My personal preference aside :lol: ...........it did look like a superb day you both enjoyed there, with some great wintery views :clap:

Ach I'll just have to go back again...what a shame :lol: :lol:



walkingpoles wrote:I second A'Chuil bothy. Great area for big days.

Noted! I'll check it out next time I'm heading that way, hopefully soon 8)



londonwalker wrote:You smashed the walk report as well, Great title . Might be a new hill walking term smashing instead of bagging :D
The only way to make great hills into bad hills is the company. These were two of the best in my mind :)
See you next time I'm up and hopefully find something equally as good to walk. Well done again on capturing the day perfectly.
Even the car spolier is still attached after negotiating the rollercoaster !!

Cheers Andy, glad your car survived :shock: It was an excellent day out, thanks for the company :D



weaselmaster wrote:Oh nice photos, Jackie - a fine day out :D

Cheers Al 8) :D :D



BlackPanther wrote:These two are on the radar for next spring - looks like a cracking walk :D

I will remember to bring my puke bag for the Arkaig road :lol: :lol: :lol:

They're absolutely brilliant, enjoy 8) 8)
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:47 pm

Jaxter wrote:
Mal Grey wrote:That looks like a superb day out, wonderful views.

The adventure of The Road is enough for many (too much for my mate's car's underside, and I would not fancy it after an evening "hydrating"), but to then get a day like that tops it all.

Just for clarification; hands on snow does not mean scrambling. No, that makes it Mountaineering! :lol:

Fortunately I was hydrating with tea :lol:
Mountaineering sounds good, I like that 8) :D


Effectively I stole it from Martin Moran's Scottish Winter Mountains book, which has a quote something along the lines of "There is no such thing as Scottish Winter Hillwalking only Scottish Winter Mountaineering", thus emphasising the potentially serious nature of even the simplest of hill walks in the colder months (i.e. August to July :lol: )

With judicious use of staged photography on any white bits you find, you can make any walk into mountaineering anyway... :wink:
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:43 am

Another fantastic set of pics - just superb :clap: :clap: :clap: .

Getting that million pound camera certainly seems to have paid off...

Didn't we just have a brilliant 3 days of weather, notwithstanding the met office's prognostications to the contrary???
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Re: If Carlsberg did hill days.... Smashing it in the face!

Postby Jaxter » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:02 pm

Mal Grey wrote:
Jaxter wrote:
Mal Grey wrote:That looks like a superb day out, wonderful views.

The adventure of The Road is enough for many (too much for my mate's car's underside, and I would not fancy it after an evening "hydrating"), but to then get a day like that tops it all.

Just for clarification; hands on snow does not mean scrambling. No, that makes it Mountaineering! :lol:

Fortunately I was hydrating with tea :lol:
Mountaineering sounds good, I like that 8) :D


Effectively I stole it from Martin Moran's Scottish Winter Mountains book, which has a quote something along the lines of "There is no such thing as Scottish Winter Hillwalking only Scottish Winter Mountaineering", thus emphasising the potentially serious nature of even the simplest of hill walks in the colder months (i.e. August to July :lol: )

With judicious use of staged photography on any white bits you find, you can make any walk into mountaineering anyway... :wink:

:lol: :lol: :lol: That is very true...the camera can lie after all 8)



Alteknacker wrote:Another fantastic set of pics - just superb :clap: :clap: :clap: .

Getting that million pound camera certainly seems to have paid off...

Didn't we just have a brilliant 3 days of weather, notwithstanding the met office's prognostications to the contrary???

Thankyou - fortunately not quite a million quid...got a very good deal and still using my pals lenses (I'm hoping he's forgotten I've got them :roll: )
It was such a good weekend wasn't it, can't always believe the forecast (and it's not usually worth checking til the day before :lol: )
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