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Ben Alder 6

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:30 am
by tombombadilio

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Cycle-in night before

Camp pitched by 1900

Up at 06:30 for 07:15 start and sunrise

Looking promising

Ascent directly behind bothy

Across to Loch Ericht

1st summit - Carn Dearg - 09:20

Stunning but gentle bimble to Geal-Charn

Loch an Sgoir

2nd summit - Geal-Charn - 10:53

3rd summit - Aonach Beag - 11:32

Sudden clearance revealed Carr Mor ridge to Beinn Eibhinn

4th summit - Beinn Eibhinn - 12:15

Drop down to Coire a Charra Bhig for slog to Ben Alder

Allt Coire a' Labhair, a lot of reascent ahead

Challenging to navigate in poor vis

5th summit - Ben Alder - 14:53

Sron Coire na h-Iolaire (Top) with Loch Ericht beneath

6th summit - Beinn Bheoil - 16:51

Long walk by Allt a' Bhealaich Bheithe back to bothy

Looking back to Leachas Ridge(?), possible future ascent


Next day - clear but wind picked up considerably

Blown back along Loch Ericht

First reattempt since Oct 2013, then without bike.

Screenshots of Metoffice and MWIS forecasts taken before cycle-in at approx 16:30 for camp spot by Loch Pattack at 18:30, food and bed by 20:00. Mild night, light winds, creaking trees. Intention to cycle out at end of next day.

Up at 06:30 for cycle to Culra Bothy. Fresh, with light showers for 1st summit. Then clearing to reveal some amazing views, would be otherwise tricky to navigate. Waterfalls into Loch an Sgoir amazing, great sense of isolation. Plateau for 2nd and 3rd summits in thick cloud initially, good compass practice. Then clearing again with path and land more ridge-like, so straightforward. First human encounter (fell runner) on descent into Coire a Charra Bhig. Spotted heavy horse for deer carcasses(?) and gamekeeper other side of Allt Coire a' Labhair. Gruelling section ahead for reascent to Ben Alder plateau, stopping often. Realised timings were gonna be way out and 2nd night camping would possibly be necessary. Great relief to reach plateau, very difficult in poor visibility but today, straightforward. Though cloud visibly moving in so pushing to get to summit before it was obscured. Sat out at Ben Alder cairn waiting for similar clearnance to earlier but never fully arrived. Descent in clag until emerging at about 1000m for easy walking to Top where excellent views along Loch Ericht before last pull up to final summit, anticlimactic in terms of views, but great relief. Very late now (16:51) so 2nd night locked-in meaning no rush back to bike. Some heather stomping necessary to ragain path but then excellent stalker's path back to bothy. Long day and ate plenty back at tent.

Largely clear next morning but winds strong, glad to not be on the hills. South-westerlies aided ride back along loch to Dalwhinnie, back at car in good time and feeling greatly satisfied, if not smug.

Start from tent: 0715
Return to tent: 19:17

Unsure of exact cycle times.