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"That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

"That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!


Postby Jaxter » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:41 pm

Route description: Hart Fell ridges horseshoe, near Moffat

Corbetts included on this walk: Hart Fell

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn a'Mhanaich, Beinn Chaorach

Donalds included on this walk: Hart Fell, Swatte Fell, Under Saddle Yoke

Date walked: 13/01/2018

Time taken: 9.35 hours

Distance: 27.72 km

Ascent: 2332m

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Saturday 13th January
Beinn Chaorach & Beinn a’ Mhanaich
11.95km
1051m ascent
3 hours 45 mins


Faslane Grahams.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I had work in Helensburgh on Saturday morning and the forecast didn’t look too bad for the afternoon, so I took the car through and drove the few minutes up the road to Faslane and up the A817 to the aptly named “Beinn a’ Mhanaich parking”.

It was chucking it down with rain so waterproofs went on straight away and I headed off down the track towards the dam.

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It was an easy walk until…around a corner I encountered a herd of cows :shock: They were pretty big but fortunately looking the other way so I managed to skirt around them without attracting attention 8)

Shortly before the dam I followed some footprints onto the open hillside. There was the inklings of a path to follow and it started to climb steeply uphill. I walked in a diagonal kind of direction aiming to hit the ridge shortly before the summit.

Looking back towards the dam
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There was a lot more snow than I’d thought there would be and I hit the cloud and snow levels around the same time :lol: The sprinklings of snow made the wet grass very slippery but soon enough I was walking on big expanses of the white stuff. I plodded on upwards – the rain had turned to snow and it was hitting me on one side. Yay numb half-face :lol:

Eventually the ascent started to level off and then I saw a fenceline and a trig point appear out of the clag – my diagonal line had been perfect :thumbup:

Summit of Beinn Chaorach
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Cold face!
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Sending a friend a photo he replied “That looks like Siberia!” Aye, it did :lol: It was not a day for hanging around so I took a quick compass bearing just to make sure before following the fenceline along into white snowy nothingness.
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Following this fenceline would ultimately take me all the way to the summit of Beinn a’ Mhanaich, which was handy as the visibility was appalling and I wasn’t in the mood for getting lost :lol:

Initially the descent was relatively gentle before getting steeper and steeper. Soon I was back into the slippery half-snow which made the steep descent interesting….

There was a lot of ice
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As I approached the bealach I began to come out of the clag.
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Reaching the bealach unscathed I crossed over a conveniently placed stile and contemplated the route ahead.
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The fence ascended to the right hand side of the burn and given the conditions I decided to follow it. It was quite steep but nothing too difficult.

The burn was quite impressive
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As I got higher I was back into the snow and the visibility went again.
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The summit of Beinn a’ Mhanaich was off to the right so I left the security of the fenceline and headed steeply upwards to the summit cairn.
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Wonderful summit views…. :crazy:
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The weather had got worse, the wind had increased and now I was facing into it. Wind blowing snow directly into my eyes made walking difficult so it was time to get out the trendy Primark sunglasses :lol:
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I got the map out to double check I was going in the right direction, which seemed like a really good idea until it blew out of my hand (I had forgotten my map case :roll: ) and I had to run after it and do a crazy flying leap on top of it. The map was safe but I landed in a big pile of snow and on my wrist. Whoops :roll:

As I headed down the ridge I met the Danger Signs :shock:
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However there were no flags or lights visible, so I continued down the ridge in my own little world….until I heard gunshots :shock:

I kept to the left of the signs just in case and further down there were flags up….reckon the ones higher up had probably blown away :lol:

Looking down the ridge
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I made my way back down to the road, walked the few metres back to the car and removed all my soaking wet gear…. Type 2 fun, but fun none-the-less :lol:


Sunday 14th January
Swatte Fell, Hart Fell & Under Saddle Yoke
15.77km
1281m ascent
5 hours 50 mins


Hart Fell Ridges.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



After the previous day I checked the forecast and it seemed to be implying that the Borders might be a shout, and it was to be much better from about 11…With that in mind I headed down the M74 to Blackshope. It was raining so again the waterproofs were straight on :lol:

I walked back along the A708 a few metres before heading through the gate, across a field and heading steeply up the hillside. There were the smatterings of a path to follow and height was gained quickly.

It was an impressive gorge
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Ahead – a bit claggy
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It was raining on and off and as I headed further up I was into the clag. Trusting in the forecast I prepared myself to weather the storm, literally, before it improved later :roll:

However, it got worse as I made my way higher… The spectacular views were definitely missing :lol: Eventually I picked up a more obvious path (it had probably been there the whole way) around about the 724 spot where I also met the fence line which led to the summit of Swatte Fell.

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There was a fair amount of snow and as I followed the fence posts onwards it only got snowier! The visibility however did not :lol:
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It was very windy, snowing sporadically and I was very glad of the fence line in the white-out :crazy: On the final ascent to Hart Fell there were patches of ice and the side winds were blowing me off course and making walking very difficult :lol:

Eventually the summit was reached…
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The trig point was very icy and this was a bit precarious :lol:
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The weather was truly awful so I decided not to visit Whitehope Heights – I’d come back for the views on a better day – and got moving; sliding around and falling through snow as I made my way down. It was horribly exposed here at the head of the valley and the wind blowing snow around was brutal :shock:

Given the conditions I figured it would be wise to follow the fenceposts and cover some extra distance rather than cutting across snow and bog in a white out :crazy:

Once turning back south I was walking directly into the wind and the snow was blowing into my face, calling for the trendy Primark sunglasses to come out again :lol:
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I followed the fence most of the way to Upper Saddle Yoke before cutting up onto the ridge for the summit. The weather was horrible so carried straight on down the ridge.

There were some impressive rocks coming down the ridge
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The ridge narrowed as I climbed to Saddle Yoke itself and I could sense rather than see that it was impressive. It was a case now of putting my head down and getting on with it – it was very windy and as I dropped down lower the snow became rain and the snow on the ground became more and more slippery.

However, I made it down safely and was very relieved to be back at the car with a relatively easy drive home before the Mountain Film Festival to see films of people who had enjoyed better weather :lol:
User avatar
Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1322
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
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Sub 2000:80   Hewitts:52
Wainwrights:55   Islands:25
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:51 pm

Bonkers!

(Please note that this is actually a compliment in my book!)

Fair play for getting out when its that claggy. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Siberia is probably similar enough. But with vodka.
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Mal Grey
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby walkingpoles » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:58 pm

That looked like a great outing. Kudos for dodging the bullets. Walking there in bad visibility must have been spooky. If the flags are done similarily as on the parph at Cape Wrath, they basically can be ignored (like, they put them out a week early due to bad weather). But even though I knew that the maneouvres wouldn't start for another day I wrote an antisuicide note before I entered the red zone.

I never came back to Scotland in Winter. That report makes me regret. Well done. Nothing wrong with type II fun.
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Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby ancancha » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:25 pm

Take the glasses back and swap them for a pair of rose tinted ones, at least then it will seem like the views are fabulous :lol:
Nice reports Jaxter :clap:
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ancancha
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Posts: 989
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Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby dav2930 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:08 am

Two great walks there in some pretty bleak weather! Must have taken some will-power to see them through. Don't think I'd have much liked that firing range! :shock: :lol:
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Posts: 1420
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Location: Cumbria

Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby Jaxter » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:53 pm

Mal Grey wrote:Bonkers!

(Please note that this is actually a compliment in my book!)

Fair play for getting out when its that claggy. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Siberia is probably similar enough. But with vodka.

Thanks - I love that word bonkers. It describes me fairly often :lol: Vodka might have cured my freezy face right enough :lol:



walkingpoles wrote:That looked like a great outing. Kudos for dodging the bullets. Walking there in bad visibility must have been spooky. If the flags are done similarily as on the parph at Cape Wrath, they basically can be ignored (like, they put them out a week early due to bad weather). But even though I knew that the maneouvres wouldn't start for another day I wrote an antisuicide note before I entered the red zone.

I never came back to Scotland in Winter. That report makes me regret. Well done. Nothing wrong with type II fun.

Scotland in winter on a good day is awesome. On a crap day...pretty tough :lol: :lol: But aye, the bullets and seeing the lights from Faslane was definitely a bit spooky :shock:



ancancha wrote:Take the glasses back and swap them for a pair of rose tinted ones, at least then it will seem like the views are fabulous :lol:
Nice reports Jaxter :clap:

Genius :lol: :lol: Now why didn't I think of that :roll:



dav2930 wrote:Two great walks there in some pretty bleak weather! Must have taken some will-power to see them through. Don't think I'd have much liked that firing range! :shock: :lol:

Cheers - I love that feeling you get after a crap weather day when you get warm and dry because you know that you fought the weather and won 8) :lol:
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Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1322
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:59   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:80   Hewitts:52
Wainwrights:55   Islands:25
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby Andymac75 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:56 pm

:clap:

Yer hardy ! as we say in these parts.

Braver than I am these days. I'm a wimp now.

And ,I love those glasses :)
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Posts: 101
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Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby Jaxter » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:20 am

Andymac75 wrote::clap:

Yer hardy ! as we say in these parts.

Braver than I am these days. I'm a wimp now.

And ,I love those glasses :)

I don’t think you could be called a wimp after that day on Ben More :shock:
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Jaxter
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1322
Munros:205   Corbetts:125
Grahams:59   Donalds:46
Sub 2000:80   Hewitts:52
Wainwrights:55   Islands:25
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: "That looks like Siberia!" - A Wild Weekend!

Postby Andymac75 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:25 pm

Jaxter wrote:
Andymac75 wrote::clap:

Yer hardy ! as we say in these parts.

Braver than I am these days. I'm a wimp now.

And ,I love those glasses :)

I don’t think you could be called a wimp after that day on Ben More :shock:


Och aye, :) that was a bit of a day.
Don't think I've been up in similar since.
Just read your Torridon report ,and I salute your love of our hills.
Respect :)
Andymac75
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Feb 23, 2016

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