The Cairnwell 3 - A Winters Tale
by Jockstar » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:04 am
Route description: The Cairnwell Munros
Munros included on this walk: Carn a'Gheoidh, Carn Aosda, The Cairnwell
Date walked: 21/11/2010
Time taken: 5.5 hours
Distance: 11.5 km
Ascent: 595mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
As we parked there were a number of cars already there but as there was no skiing the ski
centre was eerily quiet..almost like a ghost town. Also comforting (?) was the sight of the mountain rescue landrovers and their members who set off on the eastern side to do a training exercise…or was it for real?
Anyway we got prepared for the walk and set of up the path to the Café and nearly slipped after the first few yards hence setting the tone of the walk. We had decided to do Carn Aosda first so we set off between the two ski lifts and found it quite hard going but made steady progress, meeting a couple on the way down. They were part of a walking club who had come out for a loosener after there annual dinner on the Saturday night. We were excited by their news that once on the ridge ahead we would be only a 10 minute walk to the top.
So with a bit extra in the legs we covered the snowy path and once on the ridge turned right for an easy 10 minutes to the cairn. The snow had drifted but gave for a windy but satisfying start. Once we took the pics it was back the way we came and seeing a group in front earlier go towards Carn a’Gheoidh decided that this would be our second munro.
Even although everything was covered in snow we could make out the path and followed that until we approached Loch Vrotachan which was frozen over and made some amazing patterns in the ice. As was suggested we carried on away from the Lochan and headed for the slope up from the Bealach. From there it was a quite straightforward walk along the ridge making sure we were away from the edge. We passed a small frozen Lochan and all along this walk was done in low cloud so was constantly checking the map and also avoiding, where possible ice, but now and again had the odd stumble as we stepped into the snow only to disappear up to our knees. Su had already had a tumble but managed to get up and keep going and with the circumstances found our speed was slowing but the cloud cleared for a minute and we saw the top appear and so set off to bag our second monro.
It was blowing quite fiercely now and with the pics done headed back the way we came. It was easier to follow our tracks in the snow and made good progress back towards the Bealach between The Cairnwell and Carn a’ Gheoidh. However we aere passed by two walkers who appeared out of nowhere and sped on towards the ridge at the top of the Ski lifts.
As the time was going on we had to make a decision whether to go for The Cairnwell or call it a day. We headed for the fences that marked the top of the ski lifts and had a quick bite to eat. The light was still quite good but I knew we had only about an hour before we lost the light.
We decided that we would give it a go, so after eating a sandwich and getting some sugar from our chocolate bar we made a good effort to get to the top of the chairlift. Once we were there we had a clear walk to the top and we quickly ascended to be greeted by the hut and transmitter mast..YUK !!!!!!!!!!
Once we touched the top we took some pics as the light was super towards the west.
However, we were sheltered there but realized that we still had a sharp descent and so headed back to the chairlift but chose to go further along the ridge until we had to descend steeply.
Hugging the fence I cut a ‘staircase’ out for Su and we reached the café and then the car park and pleased with our walk happily drove off towards home.
by Alastair S » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:24 am
More snow predicted for the next few days so we'll be able to see how things progress with the Glenshee web cams.
Good report. Nice to see these three with some snow on them.
by Stretch » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:06 am
by Jockstar » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:34 am
by suhowfar » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:44 am
Thanks Stretch for giving Jockstar an idea, but lucky for me, we are down from there now I am sure Jockstar will find a scramble for me this weekend
by suhowfar » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:48 am
by gammy leg walker » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:05 pm
by nathan79 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:07 am
Did you see many/any hares? They were all over the place when i was up there. Although judging by how they looked then, they might be in their full winter white and rather difficult to spot.
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by Jockstar » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:59 am