walkhighlands

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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

The Perfect Day

The Perfect Day


Postby Steven001 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:59 pm

Route description: Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor

Munros included on this walk: Ben Starav, Glas Bheinn Mhor

Date walked: 10/01/2018

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 17.7 km

Ascent: 1550m

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I was disappointed by last week’s failed attempts at Ben Choznie and was itching to get back out in the snow. I looked at the forecast and saw that Sunday looked to be absolutely perfect, with almost 100% chance of cloud free summits. I quickly put in for a last minute day off for Sunday and decided on Ben Starav and Glas Bheinn Mhor.
I set off from work in Glasgow at midnight on Saturday and drove straight to Glencoe. I arrived in Glencoe a few hours later and managed to avoid hitting the deer on the verge of the road. The iconic “Buachaille” looked spectacular in the moonlight.

20180107-DSC_3537.jpg


I drove down Glen Etive and arrived at my parking spot at 0250 hours. This was only the second time I had camped in the car and once again it was absolutely baltic! It was -5 outside and felt much colder inside my metal box. I tossed and turned in a semi-damp sleeping bag for a few hours before “finally” getting up at 0645 hours.
I set off before sunrise and within a few minutes the tips of my fingers were numb with the cold. I dug out my trusty German army mitts from my rucksack and within a few minutes I could feel the blood flowing back into them. Ben Starav starts off with a steep ascent up to the main ridge and offered amazing views over Glen Etive and the surrounding mountains.

20180107-DSC_3623-Pano.jpg


After an hours or so of walking I reached the snow level and really began to enjoy myself. Winter is my favourite time of the year to be on the mountains and I promised myself I would dedicate more time to the outdoors this winter. By now the sun was high above the horizon and the sky was a beautiful azure blue. I’ve only ever dreamed of walking in the Alps, but this is what I imagine it would look like in a perfect day.

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As I reached the main ridge I got out my ice axe and donned my crampons.

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After 3 hours or so of walking I reached the summit and the view was absolutely incredible; 360 degrees of cloud free sky’s and mountains covered in snow. I could’ve stayed there for hours taking in the view, but I was only half way through my walk and the winter light doesn’t hang around for very long. I sat down for a quick bite to eat and soaked up the views for 10 minutes before heading off towards the next top, Meall nan Tighearnan.
I got a bit of a surprise when I saw the narrow ridge which connects the plateau of Ben Starav to Meall nan Tighearnan, it was narrower than I expected and looked intimidating in the snow. On reflection, I should really have taken my crampons off at this point, but it wasn’t until I was on the ridge that I realised how deep the snow was. I had to continually cross over my feet over each other and annoying put a nice clean tear in my trousers!
After the ridged I removed my crampons and brought back out my walking poles to quicken up my pace. It seemed to take forever to get to the summit of Glas Bheinn Mhor, but I got there eventually.

As I soaked in the views I spotted two people about 1 hours behind me on top of Meall nan Tighearnan. I normally walk on my own and recently I’ve wanted to include people in my photographs to show a sense of scale. So when I the two climbers on top of Meall nan Tighearnan I quickly snapped a photo before they moved on. Can you spot them?

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It was 3 O’clock by the time I reached the summit and the low sun cast a warm glow over the landscape.

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I made my way down the ridge and began the long walk down the glen while watching the deer grazing on the hillside. I arrived back at my car at 1630 hours just as the last of the light disappeared. It was an incredible day out and a much welcomed change from the wind battering weather I normally experience. I can’t wait to get back out again!

20180107-DSC_3696-HDR.jpg
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Steven001
 
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby Jaxter » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:24 am

I love Glen Etive, it’s a wonderful place and you certainly picked a good day for it! 8)

It always takes me by surprise how evening light starts at lunchtime but it makes for some great photos 8) :clap:
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby Steven001 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:42 pm

Jaxter wrote:I love Glen Etive, it’s a wonderful place and you certainly picked a good day for it! 8)

It always takes me by surprise how evening light starts at lunchtime but it makes for some great photos 8) :clap:


That's what I love about winter, the sun is always lower in the sky which makes it much more pleasing for photography :)
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:45 pm

Sensational day on sensational hills. Lucky you :mrgreen:
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:31 pm

Fine photos of a grand day out. Was wondering what the snow cover was like on Starav at present - though I suspect the existing snow will be topped up by this weekend.
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:00 pm

Lovely, great ridge lines in the snow. Has made its way to near the top of my list, I reckon.
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Mal Grey
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby dav2930 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:57 pm

A fab winter round, great weather, great photos - nice one! :clap:
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Re: The Perfect Day

Postby ancancha » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:21 pm

Some fabulous vistas there :!:
Thanks for posting :clap:
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