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The pensioners first outing with a Bletherer

The pensioners first outing with a Bletherer


Postby Fife Flyer » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:28 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgorr Dhearg (Beinn a'Bheithir), Sgorr Dhonuill (Beinn a'Bheithir)

Date walked: 04/01/2019

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 1490m

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The first outing of the year and hopefully many more to follow, we co-incided the walk with a visitation north of the Border by Martin. We had a 2 day window and the forecast was slightly more favourable on the Friday, so decision made. Next where to go, I knew we only had a limited amount of daylight hours so the biggest day we could probably squeeze in would 2 Munros. One thing I must mention is our lack of fitness, Martin (the youngest) hasn't been out since Torridon but he doesn't have an excuse as he is the youngest. George however doesn't have that excuse and as usual struggled on the ascents.
I had a look at Parminder & Martin's red balloons, we had a few options but I decided to head to Ballachullish to tackle to two Sgorr's. As the two hills would take about 7 hours we decided to start at first light, having said that because of the cloud cover it didn't get light until after 8.30am.
I volunteered to drive and asked Parminder to try and arrive on time at 5.45, yet again he was LATE. Next stop was Dunfermline to uplift George. We planned to meet Martin at the Green Welly and have a coffee and a bacon roll. It was a good plan that went pear shaped as the Welly wasn't open, oh dear. I hadn't had any breakfast so where are we going to get fed. I suggested the garage in Glen Coe and that worked a treat, they didn't have bacon rolls but the did have sandwiches and hot coffee - panic over.
We had a really cunning plan to utilise the two vehicles at our disposal (George's idea), we planned to leave Martin's car at South Ballachullish and once we eventually the entrance road we left Martin's car in the golf club car park. George was entrusted to look after Martin's keys after his recent mishaps.
Once kitted up, no ice axes or crampons, but we all had spikes which turned out to bea good idea, we set off at 8.40am.

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Almost ready to hit the road

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The walk through Ballachullish was very pleasant and FLAT, the first hill has her hat on

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Shinty, not played everywhere

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Not much further on tarmac

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The guddle that sort of doubles as a gate

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Low level shot looking back down on Ballachullish

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A bit higher up and a few wispy bits of cloud

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Martin enjoying the uphill trudge

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Loch Leven a bit further west, almost in cloud now

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Higher still

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Parminder dressed as if he was recently in Paris and can be seen miles away, even in the clag

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Western end of Loch Leven

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The Pap of Glencoe just underneath the cloud

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What Loch Leven looks like through a bit of cloud

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George & Martin lurking in the background, Parminder and I knew they were there as we could hear one of them

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Parminder nearing the summit, it was about this point, 50m or so from the summit that the underfoot conditions became much more challenging, very icy and slippy

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The summit cairn (of sorts) on Sgorr Dhearg

On the summit we met a young lady originally from the Netherlands and a chap from down south. Our group of 4 decided to don our spikes, whilst we were putting on our spikes the other 2 headed off the summit. Once we were ready without thinking we decided to follow them, the trouble was the path we were descending on was heading west instead of south west. After about 100m of descending we came across the chap and young lady studying the map with compasses out, after a lengthy discussion we were all in agreement that we had taken the wrong path. So it was about turn and head back up to the summit, we could have done without the detour as that added 45 minutes onto our day and an extra 100m of ascent onto our weary legs. The moral of the detour is never assume folk you are following are going in the right direction.

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Nice patch of ice

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Parminder striding out

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Nice patch of frost

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The way ahead and up

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Looking back down, who could this be appearing?

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Summit cairn on Dhonuill

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Trusty spikes, we kept then on until we reached the fence before the forest, made descending the grassy slope rather easy

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Probably quite airy when not in the cloud

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Looking back uphill

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About to start the long descent from the bealach, out of cloud now

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Descending down the grassy slope

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The fence that leads down to the forest and then the path through the forest

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The path through the forest

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The gate that doesn't shut properly

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Looking back uphill

This turned out to a cracking day and our lack of fitness was very evident, even the grotty high level conditions didn't dampen our spirits and the little detour may even help us in the long run. I must give a mention to a young boy who has turned 7 years old that we met whilst descending off the first summit, he was with his Dad and was obviously on a mission as he was about to climb his 45th Munro - well done young man, very impressive. I kind of wish I had started much younger.
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Fife Flyer
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Re: The pensioners first outing with a Bletherer

Postby PeteR » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:34 pm

That initial "trudge" up on to Beinn Bhan is certainly a test of resolve :shock: Once over that it really is a great circuit. Shame you had clagged summits on the day though.
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PeteR
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Re: The pensioners first outing with a Bletherer

Postby Chris Mac » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:14 pm

Nice report and you got some great photos! :clap: A shame the view eluded you higher up but it looked great during the trudge uphill at the start. Did the spikes help a lot higher up on the frozen ground?

Unlucky with the detour but at least you made the right choice to retreat, I'm looking forward to Beinn a' Bheithir but think i'll save it for a clearer day.
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Chris Mac
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Re: The pensioners first outing with a Bletherer

Postby parminder » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:28 am

FF..a good day out with very good friends.. :clap: :clap:
parminder
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Re: The pensioners first outing with a Bletherer

Postby Magoo82 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:46 am

Good effort fellas. Looks like you took the more direct route up Sgorr Dhonuill up the boulders to the left. A wise move in those conditions as from memory I followed the path to the right which is carved into the cliff, is no more than two feet wide and any slip could result in a speedier-than-anticipated descent :shock:
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Magoo82
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