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Fear and Clothing in Caithness

Fear and Clothing in Caithness


Postby litljortindan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 8:33 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Maiden Pap

Date walked: 17/12/2018

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 7 km

Ascent: 334m

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Had originally intended a walk to Scaraben or Morven but cloud on both got me revising plans and aiming instead for Maiden Pap.
Set off from the car park at the end of the road at 7.15am. After a mile and a half on the fine gravel track I was pleasantly surprised to find a decent path up to the foot of the gully on the north side.
The way up looked ok but I could see it might be steep at points.
From about half way up I encountered frozen and icy spots and an unhelpful combination of concave slopes and vegetation that was layered at heights beyond what I could comfortably span. I used poles as far as I comfortably could and then it was a matter of employing everything to hand to maintain progress; handfuls of heather to pull myself up and occasional use of the knees! My hands soon got pretty cold so I donned my gloves and soon found them not to be as waterproof as I had thought. I dispensed with those once they'd got quite wet and switched to slowed progress, again using my bare hands but stopping from time to time to warm them up in my pockets. Needless to say I didn't take too many photos on the way up.
I must admit I didn't feel too comfortable over the last part of the ascent, regardless of how short this was, and regretted not bringing my microspikes which I am sure would have made things feel a bit more secure. On the plus side, occasional disco leg helped to warm up a bit!
Once out of the gully thing got enjoyable again with fine early morning light over Caithness and, just visible, Hoy as well as Morven and other hills further west.
The forecast was for light winds at dawn followed by quick deterioration but it was already quite breezy and cold at the top so I didn't hang about for long.
Thankfully, the descent south was a lot gentler than the ascent and there was a good path looping back round to the start.
Need to get some new gloves I think.

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Bens Griam and Berriedale Water

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North over Caithness and Hoy.

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Maiden Pap's small summit with the Girams beyond.

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North again with Hoy just visible.

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Zoom to Old Man of Hoy. Stromness to Scrabster ferry possibly just visible on left.

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Tundra.

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According to my wife this is me giving the V sign to everyone. Well perhaps V for small hillwalking victory, I'd prefer to think!

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Morven in and out of the cloud.

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Klibreck.

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litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Fear and Clothing in Caithness

Postby gld73 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 7:28 pm

I fancy getting up to Morven, Maiden Pap and Scaraben sometime this winter, I've heard frozen in winter or dried out in summer are the best 2 conditions for them?!

Hope you get some good gloves for Christmas :D
gld73
 
Posts: 463
Munros:124   Corbetts:50
Grahams:39   Donalds:6
Sub 2000:60   Hewitts:30
Wainwrights:35   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

Re: Fear and Clothing in Caithness

Postby litljortindan » Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:15 pm

gld73 wrote:I fancy getting up to Morven, Maiden Pap and Scaraben sometime this winter, I've heard frozen in winter or dried out in summer are the best 2 conditions for them?!

Hope you get some good gloves for Christmas :D



I imagine those conditions would be the best though I didn't encounter too much bog around Maiden Pap. That doesn't say anything for the vast acreage around its neighbours though. No new gloves yet sadly...
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

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