Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

4 Hills, 3 P's, 2 T's and a skinned knee!!!!

4 Hills, 3 P's, 2 T's and a skinned knee!!!!

Postby Anne McNaughton » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:22 pm

Route description: A' Mharconaich and Geal Chàrn, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: A' Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain, Geal-chàrn (Drumochter), Sgàirneach Mhòr

Date walked: 04/08/2018

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 21 km

17 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

This is my 1st attempt at writing a walk report, so bear with me.....My daughter in law Karen & I completed the one day introduction to navigation skills course at Glenmore Lodge on 14th July and were both keen to practice , and see if we actually remembered anything!!! Well maybe more myself than Karen ….We have climbed a few Munros, always on good tracks or paths in reasonable weather but always felt slightly uneasy that we might get into trouble... :roll:
We decided to add to our tally of Munros by taking on the 4 on the West side of the A9 at Drumochter , partly because they are "relatively" easy ( if any Munro is actually easy) and also 4 to add to our bagged ones would be good.
The attachment $matches[2] is no longer available

We set of early from Bridge of Earn and proceeded to drive straight past our start point at Balsporran Cottage !!....oh dear not a great start...Cue navigation skills....... anyway decided to have a quick pit stop at Dalwhinnie prior to beginning our day ( 1st of the 3 P's !!) :wink:

We set off in good spirits as the weather although a bit cloudy didn't seem too bad and we were hopeful of good views..however quickly noticed that the summit of Geal Charn was not visible, oh well we would be able to practise with the map & compass.
1st Summit shrouded in cloud....

The way up begins with a clear path , remember to take the 2nd path to the right which eventually disappears into boggy ground....We made fairly good time although overtaken by a very fit young man who was almost jogging. Had a brief chat, and as his companions had the map, he decided to wait below the mist for them, he was followed by another young male and 2 others that we took to be possibly parents?? They were doing 2 hills and wished us well with the 4...
Smiley happy people...

43504255074_eccac21ab6_z (1).jpg
Young guy catching up fast....

Reaching the 1st cairn we could just make out the actual summit ahead.
29285986717_ec1b811168_z (1).jpg
Navigation skills required !!!

29285946997_968c7474a3_z (1).jpg
Karen at the summit of Geal Charn

29285979657_0a617239db_z (1).jpg
Summit Geal Charn...no view!!

A quick celebration and then work out which direction to take as visibility was really poor and our companions were disappearing into the mist ... Karen quickly came into her own , managing the map really well and off we set. At this point although pretty sure we were on the right track a little niggly doubt starts..eeek.. just at that the man upstairs lifted the cloud long enough to give us a quick glimpse of the next one A'Mharconaich quite close by confirming we were heading the right way...yay!! Soooo nice to get confirmation!!! :D :D
44173333052_30c67fc714_z (1).jpg
cloud lifting briefly and a glimpse of a mountain hare …..

It was fairly plain sailing up to the broad ridge and we did see the group ahead of us disappearing up to the summit. By the time we arrived they were long gone on their way down, their day over...
29286031527_093e26e97e_z (2).jpg
Summit selfie A'Mharconaich , just before the rain...

A quick refuel , the first T( as in cup of ) and unfortunately out with the waterproofs for the walk down. It easy going following the fenceposts which were very helpful given the conditions. The rain was heavy and the wind was getting up, we were both hoping this wasn't the weather for the remainder of the day....
The line of posts leads all the way to the 3rd summit Beinn Udlamain. Thankfully the clouds were now lifting and we were walking in sunshine!!!
44221773501_885506f3e7_z (1).jpg
handy line of fence posts...

Looking back we had clear views of our first 2 hills....oh so that's where we were and the path is clearly visible!!
29286077937_ed1966d154_z (1).jpg
looking back to Geal Charn

We decided to stop for lunch and the 2nd cuppa (T) before the summit as the sun was out but dark clouds were never far away and its nice to not have to eat in the rain!! There was then a need for the 2nd P....amazing how inhibitions disappear in the hills!!
44221778241_a4448a990e_z (1).jpg
looking back to A'Marconaich from Beinn Udlamain

Dark clouds ever present

Onward and upwards to the rather stony summit of Beinn UdLamain. Arriving at the large cairn we found it occupied by two guys , one Latvian and his pal ( I think) Spanish. After a brief chat, they were heading in the opposite direction from us, we set off for our last summit.
Summit selfie Ben Udlamain

Finally a view of Loch Ericht

We followed the fence posts down for a time visibility by now markedly improved which really helped us to navigate...A bit of the way down we decided to veer slightly left while continuing to descend keeping the fence posts to our right, there was a bit more grass between the rocks so easier to walk on. It might have been worth checking out the terrain to the right of the line of fence posts also...
Then...OH DEAR DISASTER... at this point I took a wee tumble on a rock, managed to right myself only to go down on my hands and knees..OUCH,,, :( ripped trousers and luckily no more than a skinned knee ( didn't really hurt till I got back to the car lol) I think Karen got a bigger fright than me.....We gingerly made our way down cutting over before Carn'lc Loumhaidh to ascend to the false summit of Sgairieach Mhor before heading up an easy slope on soft grass to the summit. Just before this my 3rd P had to be done....I must have been drinking too much T !!!!! :?
Eventually the 4th summit of the day ...feeling very pleased with ourselves!! a wee sloe gin to celebrate....Karen kept most of hers as she was driving, mine disappeared!! Cheers !!! :lol:
Summit 4 Sgairneach Mhor

Karen on Summit of Sgairneach Mhor

Cheers !! its been a long day...

We headed along the shoulder meeting 2 young ladies on their way up.... there is always something nice about confirming that there's not long till the summit esp. when you're done climbing !!! Karen found a narrow path down to cross the river onto the land rover track. It seemed to take forever possibly tired legs and the end of a long day coming into play....
Off along the shoulder to start the descent

This is when reality, sore knee and tired legs set in....having only brought one car we were faced with a 3 mile walk up the A9 to get our wheels.....both moaning and regretting not bringing 2 cars we heard footsteps behind us.... Cue many jokes about "well maybe its someone with a car here who will offer us a lift!!" They caught us up at the river which we had to ford at the end of the landrover track before the underpass for the railway. It was difficult to keep dry feet here despite the stepping stones and hot summer .....there was plenty of water, wouldn't like to see it after a lot of rain...…
Imagine our surprise to see that it was the two guys that we had meet on Beinn Udlamain!!!! They asked how we had got on; Karen did give them a sob story about having another 3 miles to go at which point they offered us a lift....WAY TO GO ….. Cannot thank them enough they made all the difference to us, going out of their way dropping us back at the car and then heading back down the road to Edinburgh, don't know your names but if you are reading this you know who you are ….. :) :)
And finally back at the car thank you so much guys for the lift !!!!

All in all a long, tiring but very enjoyable day...….bring on the next ones....
Anne McNaughton
Posts: 8
Joined: Apr 21, 2014

17 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Can you help support Walkhighlands?

Our forum is free from adverts - your generosity keeps it running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and this community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Munrosnmusic and 82 guests