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Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:34 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Glen Spean), Beinn Teallach, Chno Dearg, Stob Ban (Grey Corries), Stob Coire Sgriodain

Date walked: 25/02/2018

Time taken: 15.25 hours

Distance: 57.3 km

Ascent: 3688m

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A good weather forecast for the whole weekend, no avalanche risk just firm consolidated snow - well that's some good news - makes planning easier than usual. Only problems were - I was out at a gig with my boy on Thursday night and Allison was suffering from sinusitis as well as her flu-like illness that had started last weekend. From the description she gave of her health status mid-week it far from clear that she would be able to manage proper hills this weekend.

I'd selected some of the hills around Roy Bridge- had a lot to choose from around there including the hills either side of Loch Treig, the Creag Pitridh 3, Beinn Teallach (the smallest Munro of all) and Stob Ban, left over from the start of the year when it was way too snowy. We were setting off on Friday morning due to my attendance at Nice & Sleazy for the colossal Carlton Melton on Thursday night. Unfortunately I had imbibed one too many beers during the proceedings and woke on Friday with something of a hangover. Tsk. Roads were fine, we headed up past Spean Bridge and drove down the wee road to Fersit around 10.30. By this time I was feeling decidedly queasy :roll: Parked up at the end of the public road, where the signage makes it very clear that any sort of overnight occupation of vehicles is verboten. No mention of tents (although there were no camping signs by the gates a little further along. I don't think that tenting at the parking space would receive a warm reception.


chno2sim.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



We set off past the buildings and the farm, making for the knobble of Creag Dhubh - I'd decided to add the 2 Sims of Creag Dhubh and Meall Chaorach onto the walk. Crossing the field was squishy underfoot, the frozen conditions not exerting their full powers at this level. The sky was hazy, starting to blue-up as we climbed slowly upwards. Reaching Creag Dhubh in time for lunch I curled into a ball whilst Allison had her sandwich. The cold wind prevented a little nap being taken. Onwards, slowly onwards to Meall Chaorach. Crampons on now as the snow was crusted, fine for walking on. After an endless trudge we got to the summit of Chno Dearg - spared from continual elevation I felt a bit better as we traversed the white field to Meall Garbh.

Creag Dhubh to L
ImageDSC00702 by Al, on Flickr

Creag Dhubh summit
ImageDSC00704 by Al, on Flickr

Up to Meall Chaorach
ImageDSC00705 by Al, on Flickr

...and then Chno Dearg
ImageDSC00707 by Al, on Flickr

Struggling to stay upright
ImageDSC00708 by Al, on Flickr

Easains
ImageDSC00709 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn a'Chaorainn
ImageDSC00710 by Al, on Flickr

On to Meall Garbh
ImageDSC00711 by Al, on Flickr

Wind was blowing strongly against us as we laboured to the summit, whipping up little snowflurries. Sun shone powerfully on the splintered diamonds under our feet. Across to our right the twin peaks of the Easains, joined by a fine sinuous snowy ridge caught the eye. As did the cornicing on Meall Garbh. Up to the cairn then downhill to the multiple tops on Stob Coire Sgriodan. Sun and clouds swirled in a white haze, wind on our backs now. Three tops, the third the summit. Sudden, fine views of Loch Treig steeply below the final summit. My 200th Munro of this round.

Stob Coire Sgriodan, Easains behind
ImageDSC00712 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Garbh
ImageDSC00714 by Al, on Flickr

On to Sgriodan
ImageDSC00716 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00718 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Treig
ImageDSC00719 by Al, on Flickr


Descent - follow the footprints, quite steep down the Sron then over acres of peat hags to finally reach the track. Both of us exhausted. At the car we decide to drive back along the road a bit and see where we can pitch the tent - find an ideal spot, tent up, I retreat under the covers leaving Allison to cook her own tea. I did manage a small bit of apple pie and custard. A fine, cold, quiet night - only a distant owl for company. By morning I'm feeling much better - we have an audience of sheep gathered in front of the tent making quizzical noises and edging ever closer to find out what kind of a thing has arrived in their domain. It is another fine day - cold and crisp with pale blue sky.

ImageDSC00722 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00723 by Al, on Flickr

Easains
ImageDSC00727 by Al, on Flickr

Sgriodan
ImageDSC00728 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00729 by Al, on Flickr

A fine morning
ImageDSC00730 by Al, on Flickr

Easains
ImageDSC00731 by Al, on Flickr


It's pretty windy - that decides us against trying the Easains with their narrow, corniced ridge. Beinn Teallach/ Beinn a'Chaorainn seems a better bet. We drive along the road a few miles to the forestry gate - which already has several cars parked there. We drive to the layby a little further along and prepare our kit. There's a lot of snow on the ground going through the trees, sheltered from the winds. A vehicle has driven up the track, leaving a fair bit of its undercarriage along the way. We follow the track to the end of the tree-line and turn right to begin ascending Beinn a'Chaorainn, overtaken by a fit looking young guy. I remember back to doing these hills before and being ill climbing up here (don't think that was self-inflicted however :wink: ). At least I'm feeling better today, unlike Allison who is having major sinus pains. We pass another guy who has dropped his compass as the Coastguard Helicopter begins the first of several sorties.

Beinn a'Chaorainn
ImageDSC00732 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00734 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00735 by Al, on Flickr


On reaching the first top the view along the ridge-line is superb. A small group of folk are at the summit and there are a couple of guys rather near the cornice between this top and the summit. As we walk past we see they have a massive snow anchor and one is being lowered over the cornice edge. The guy we met earlier, who'd lost his compass says they're MRT members - I guess they must be searching for the body of Jim Stalker (and I see since returning home that his body was indeed found on Saturday). A grim task.

First Top
ImageDSC00736 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00737 by Al, on Flickr

Over to Creag Megaidh
ImageDSC00738 by Al, on Flickr

MRT guys (don't try this at home)
ImageDSC00739 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00740 by Al, on Flickr


We get to the summit and continue along the ridge to the final Top before tracking down west to Beinn Teallach.It may be the smallest Munro, but it has a re-ascent of more than 300m :roll: On the way down there's a pretty view of Loch Treig flanked by its mountains. We climb back up Teallach slowly and steadily, the sun brilliant in our eyes. Mountains, white mountains stretch away as far as the eye can see. Wind is strong - indeed it is challenging to stand at the summit cairn when we finally reach it. A long gentle descent down the back of the hill, firm snow underfoot, the occasional mountain hare's burrow opening. Across the river and back through the trees to the car - a fine day out.

ImageDSC00743 by Al, on Flickr

Those Easains again
ImageDSC00745 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Teallach
ImageDSC00747 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Treig
ImageDSC00749 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00751 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00752 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00754 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Teallach
ImageDSC00755 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00757 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00758 by Al, on Flickr


We check the forecast for Sunday - another fine day but strong winds again in the morning. och well - it's Stob Ban, not the Easains then. We drive back to Spean Bridge and along to Coire Choille - I've wanted to camp up here for a while. We find a perfectly flat bit of grass and pitch the tent whilst the last couple of cars leave. Gusts of wind rattle the tent occasionally, but it becomes stiller as the night falls and we have a very peaceful night indeed. Yet another beautiful morning - alpenglow on the top of Aonach Mor.

ImageDSC00759 by Al, on Flickr



stobban2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts




We chat to a couple of guys in a campervan at the upper parking space and set off along The Laraig. Not quite as easy as usual - the wind has found us and there's icy snow underfoot - an Argocat or similar has been up leaving corrugated tracks which have frozen hard. After walking for a while we see the full profile of Stob Ban - scalloped edge rising to an impressive peak. The Lecach bothy is beautifully situated beneath this queenly mountain.

ImageDSC00763 by Al, on Flickr

Stob Ban
ImageDSC00765 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00766 by Al, on Flickr


We start up the hillside, seeing a group of half-a-dozen guys ahead of us - quite reassuring on such a steep hill. However we overtake them after the 769m cairn where they've stopped for refreshments. It looks steep, and it is steep, particularly the final 80m cone before the summit, which needs a bit of kicking steps to climb up to in the firm snow. But the views from up top are marvelous - across to the Grey Corries, down to the Mamores and the Glencoe hills, which look stripped of snow from here. I had planned to continue on to the Sim of Meall Bhuiridh but wonder if Allison is up for that as her sinus problems continue - turns out she's quite happy to continue with the plan, not least as it means a much less steep descent from the summit. Instead of having to backtrack down very steep glazed snow we can trot down a scree littered slope NW for the gently rounded Meall Bhuiridh, a couple of km away.

Stob Innse
ImageDSC00767 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00769 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00771 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00772 by Al, on Flickr

Looking down
ImageDSC00774 by Al, on Flickr

Summit pano
ImageDSC00776 by Al, on Flickr

Mamores
ImageDSC00779 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00780 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00783 by Al, on Flickr

Down to Meall Bhuiridh
ImageDSC00784 by Al, on Flickr

This venture reveals a fine view across to Aonach Beag, the pointy fin of Sgurr a'Bhuic and the smaller fin of Sgurr choinnich Beag readily identifiable. South, the Mamores delight, the Ring of Steall looking inviting. Oh for another few weekends of this weather! We reach the cairn on Meall Bhuiridh, drop back to the bealach and start to contour round the southern snowy slpoes of Stob Ban, making for the track at Druim nan Sac. Some skirting of heavily corniced waterways is required then it is back along the track, still frozen and slippy underfoot. We stap for a drink of icy river water and make it back to the car by 4pm, which seems good going after a slow pace the previous two days. Driving down the road we see that the Glencoe hills are indeed bereft of much of their snow. As we head down to Achallader, the Etive mountains are suffused in saffron as the sun sinks. A most glorious day, indeed a glorious weekend.

Sgurr Choinnich Mor/ Aonach Beag
ImageDSC00785 by Al, on Flickr

Grey Corries pano
ImageDSC00786 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00787 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00788 by Al, on Flickr

Aonach Beag
ImageDSC00791 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00792 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Bhuiridh
ImageDSC00793 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00795 by Al, on Flickr

Easains and Moon
ImageDSC00796 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00797 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00798 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC00799 by Al, on Flickr
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weaselmaster
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:29 am

It was a superb weekend weather-wise! A bit windy and hazy on Saturday, but the best weekend in 2018 so far! You are brave to venture into the land of cornices :D Thankfully, snow conditions are so much better, it's hard now so with crampons easy going!

We were just east of you on Sat, doing one of Glen Spean Grahams, and the Coastguard helicopter flew over us as we walked along the ridge... We wondered if there had been another accident...
Image
Hats off to the MRT members, they must be busy this winter. Looking for a body, knowing that the person you're searching for is beyond any help, must be very daunting. Hopefully the other two missing guys are found soon, too.
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:08 pm

Wow, wow, wow! What superb conditions, and pics to match! :clap: :clap: :clap: I was supposed to be in Glen Shiel on the weekend with my brother and friends, but a combination of family commitments and an as-yet-undiagnosed shoulder injury put paid to it :( .

I don't see how a weekend like that can be beat, initial hangover notwithstanding :D .

Sobering stuff though, with all the missing folk, and fatalities. My extreme fear of cornices ain't perhaps so irrational...

PS when I click on your panos, they don't expand to full screen size (are you saving them as reduced size files??).
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:16 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Wow, wow, wow! What superb conditions, and pics to match! :clap: :clap: :clap: I was supposed to be in Glen Shiel on the weekend with my brother and friends, but a combination of family commitments and an as-yet-undiagnosed shoulder injury put paid to it :( .

I don't see how a weekend like that can be beat, initial hangover notwithstanding :D .

Sobering stuff though, with all the missing folk, and fatalities. My extreme fear of cornices ain't perhaps so irrational...

PS when I click on your panos, they don't expand to full screen size (are you saving them as reduced size files??).


Shame you missed out - hope the shoulder fixes quickly.
I just load the panos into flikr - if you click the link under the photo rather than the photo itself that should help?
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weaselmaster
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:36 pm

weaselmaster wrote:....
I just load the panos into flikr - if you click the link under the photo rather than the photo itself that should help?


Yep, can see them now. And am an even more sickly shade of green....
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby malky_c » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:56 pm

Stob Ban in particular looked great there, but all good 8)
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby dav2930 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:48 pm

Marvellous! What superb conditions. Those photos are a real feast for the eyes with all that glistening, icy snow and blue skies. Some fantastic shots there. :clap:

weaselmaster wrote: Sun shone powerfully on the splintered diamonds under our feet.

A lovely description that really encapsulates the conditions! :clap:
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Re: Perfect Snow for some Roy Bridge Munros

Postby litljortindan » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:29 pm

Excellent photo of Loch Treig from Sgriodain. The lower level haze really adds to the scene.
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