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We should probably have stuck to the path....

We should probably have stuck to the path....


Postby Jaxter » Fri May 04, 2018 7:48 pm

Route description: Creag Meagaidh circuit

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Glen Spean), Beinn Teallach, Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh), Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair

Date walked: 21/04/2018

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 28.74 km

Ascent: 2078m

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Ribs appeared to be on the mend and Michael was on the hunt for a pal as he had the Creag Meagaidh munros on his radar. Why not, I figured…. A horribly early start but a relatively easy drive later (the less said about the near Petrol disaster the better :shock: ) and we had met at the end point, shuffled cars and set off from the start point on foot. What could possibly go wrong? :lol:

It was an easy start along the track and followed the route easily with no mistakes whatsoever :roll: until we found the wee path branching off up Carn Liath. It was boggy and indistinct in places and there was lots of vegetation that kept grabbing hold of things and slowing us down, but we couldn’t help but wonder how much worse it would be once the bracken was growing :shock:

Looking back towards the Ardverike hills and wee Binnein Shaus
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Soon enough we were on open slopes and although the path didn’t improve, the lack of vegetation (and dead vegetation :lol: ) made progress easier!

Looking down the glen towards the impressive Creag Meagaidh
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With more height gain the views opened out further – Loch Laggan and the Fersit Hills joining the spectacle
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Creag Meagaidh
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We lost the path on many occasions and sometimes found it again, but the way was clear and although the hill just kept on going, eventually we found ourselves at the top of Carn Liath.
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It was very windy and some unwanted and unexpected clag had gathered over Creag Meagaidh so we hunkered down behind the large cairn to shelter from “Scottish Summer” 8)

It looked like it would blow through and we had a long way to go so we continued along the ridge.
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Mike wrapped up warm and the ridge ahead
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It was a nice walk along the ridge despite the strong winds and biting cold (extra layers and gloves had been added at the first summit :lol: ) as we made our way over the intermediary summits of Meall an t-Snaim and Coire a’ Chriochairein.
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Looking back to Carn Liath – a bit of an outlier!
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Off I go….
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Impressive and pointy and lots of cliffs 8)
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There was no mistaking it was a fabulous ridge!
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We found a good viewpoint and messed around with some photies. Unfortunately it was crazily windy here and my hat blew off 3 times :lol:
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Standing on a rock
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Lochan a’ Choire
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Ahead to Creag Meagaidh – now clear of cloud!
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By now we had started to get very cold and it was time to march on to our second summit of the day Stob Poite Coire Ardair. It was extremely windy and I was struggling to stand (Mike had slightly better balance skills :lol: )

The Loch Lochy hills were looking bonny
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It was not weather for standing around so we headed off down the path, Mike taking a weird diversion either because of his apparent dislike of paths or because he was after a photo :lol:

Approaching the “Window”
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Doing his thing 8)
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Quite a lot of snow at the “Window” – an avalanche hotspot :shock:
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Me playing catchup after a photo
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It was actually relatively sheltered here so we grabbed the opportunity to pause for some scran – no doubt the wind would hit again once we were back on the ridge…. Sandwiches enjoyed and extra layers donned in preparation, we made our way up the easy path onto the large summit plateau of Creag Meagaidh.

Mike searching for a photo
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There was a lot of snow here and it made walking difficult as it was squishy and slushy. We were trying to work out how such a large expanse of snow had survived being in direct sunlight :shock:
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The summit of Creag Meagaidh reached we were treated to an impressive vista of all the hills in the area!

Ben Nevis peaking out behind the Aonachs
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The Grey Corries & the Aonachs
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The Easains backed by the Mamores
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The many Carn Deargs of Glen Roy
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The whole Nevis range
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Normal service resumed – Creag Meagaidh summit pose!
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Although the wind wasn’t quite as brutal as before, it was still a chilly breeze so we didn’t hang around too long before dropping off Creag Meagaidh towards Beinn a’ Chaorainn which looked impressive ahead of us
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Looking towards the Loch Lochy hills
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The Beinn a’ Chaorainn ridge and corries as we approach
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Our ascent route – doesn’t look too bad at all!
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As we climbed we could see cornices drooping from the ridge
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And as we gained the ridge the cornices were clearly about ready to give way :shock:
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There was a wee bit too much haze around but the Nevis range still looking stunning
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Loch Treig with Chno Dearg & Stob Coire Sgriodain and the Easains
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The Grey Corries
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Nevis and the Aonachs
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Loch Treig and the Easains
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We really hoped this wasn’t the summit :lol: Although I’ll definitely return to this ridge and walk it in it’s entirety – it looks awesome 8)
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Loch Treig again
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Cornice :shock:
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From here we walked the few metres around to the summit (fortunately it was the first cairn :lol: ) and we could see our walk so far!
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We reckoned the hill at the end of Loch Treig in the distance was the Bookle
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Beinn a’ Chaorainn summit
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I think this is Loch Arkaig in the distance
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We left the summit of Beinn a’ Chaorainn and in hindsight it would have been better to stick to the ridgeline but we cut a diagonal line across the hillside towards the bealach. Mike caused great hilarity (for me) as he sunk into a pile of snow and went flying, saving his dignity a little as we turned it into a bumslide :lol:
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Wee Beinn Teallach had looked like a mere pimple from Beinn a’Chaorainn but looking up from the bealach it was beginning to look like Everest :shock:
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We refuelled on jelly babies before having at it….initially steep….
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Before we found a path and things improved :D My breathing really went here and I was struggling with my ribs. Fortunately it was over quickly :lol:
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On the ridge we could see our whole route
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On the summit at last – or maybe not….there were two cairns!
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Beinn Teallach – conquered!
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Loch Treig
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The Easains
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Looking down Loch Arkaig
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The Garva Bridge Corbetts
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Number 5!
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It was time to go – we followed our noses and bits of path off the summit. The views were still awesome 8)
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Dropping lower we were out of the wind and far too warm :lol: Unfortunately we were also in something of a bog and any hopes of dry feet were dashed.
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We picked up something of a track alongside the Allt a’ Chaorainn which was marginally less boggy and this led us to the burn itself – there was no chance of getting across this dry so we both stashed our cameras in dry bags before sloshing across :lol:
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From here it was an easy couple of kilometres back to the road where Colonel Mustard was waiting for us. And look – I still had my keys :lol:
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Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
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Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby malky_c » Fri May 04, 2018 9:44 pm

Good mountain - still haven't really seen as well as that, so must go back.

Paths are overrated......unless you've smashed your ribs recently :lol:
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Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby mrssanta » Fri May 04, 2018 11:06 pm

oh fantastic!
We did that in reverse last year, in drippy weather, but we took two days over it!
Coming down Carn Liath with tussocky heather thigh deep in places was surely better than going up :D
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Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby Jaxter » Mon May 07, 2018 9:05 pm

malky_c wrote:Good mountain - still haven't really seen as well as that, so must go back.

Paths are overrated......unless you've smashed your ribs recently :lol:

Yeah...turns out "taking it easy" doesn't include beasting round 5 munros :lol: :lol:



mrssanta wrote:oh fantastic!
We did that in reverse last year, in drippy weather, but we took two days over it!
Coming down Carn Liath with tussocky heather thigh deep in places was surely better than going up :D

Eww that doesn't sound like a good ending to your trip!! :shock:
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Jaxter
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Location: Glasgow

Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby mrssanta » Mon May 07, 2018 9:30 pm

Jaxter wrote:
mrssanta wrote:oh fantastic!
We did that in reverse last year, in drippy weather, but we took two days over it!
Coming down Carn Liath with tussocky heather thigh deep in places was surely better than going up :D

Eww that doesn't sound like a good ending to your trip!! :shock:

It was dreich weather all week but at that point the weather cleared so actually it was quite good. :) we just sort of fell down and bum slid
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mrssanta
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Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby Mal Grey » Tue May 08, 2018 10:10 pm

That's a big day out! Nice one.

Not made it up there yet, but been up towards the Window in rubbish weather...
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Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby Jaxter » Sun May 13, 2018 10:24 am

Mal Grey wrote:That's a big day out! Nice one.

Not made it up there yet, but been up towards the Window in rubbish weather...

I know what you mean - I've driven past these hills so many times but had never been up until now. Definitely worth the effort :D
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Jaxter
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Re: We should probably have stuck to the path....

Postby Alteknacker » Sun May 13, 2018 2:15 pm

Very entertaining report as usual; and particularly interesting for me having recently planned a route for this lot, albeit going clockwise, and starting near Bray Roy Lodge to include Carn Dearg. Means I'll get the boggy path at the end of the day I guess, but it's a long link for the bike ... :roll:

It looked from the map as if it would be a great ridge route, with excellent views, and your report certainly confirms that - what a superb day for a ridge walk!

Presumably there's no charge for the car park at Aberarder?
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