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It's always sunny in Kintail - WH meet Shenanigans

It's always sunny in Kintail - WH meet Shenanigans


Postby Jaxter » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:09 am

Route description: Biod an Fhithich, south Glenshiel

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Meadhoin, Ciste Dhubh

Corbetts included on this walk: Am Bathach, Meall Dubh

Grahams included on this walk: Biod an Fhithich

Date walked: 12/07/2019

Time taken: 15.4 hours

Distance: 36.25 km

Ascent: 3016m

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Friday 12th July – Ratagan – Skye Cycle
72.51km
1187m ascent
4 hours 50 minutes

We actually arrived in Ratagan on Thursday night with plans to go to the bothy at Surdalan, but we were so late leaving that when we popped into the hostel to drop off our chicken for the next evening it was dinner time and J-Dawg was dishing out homemade lasagne. It would have been rude to refuse :roll: :lol:
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The following morning we (or rather I) realised the consequences of our laziness – I’d have to cycle up the Ratagan pass :shock: We left the tent up to dry off, dropped the car at the hostel and set off on the bikes. It was almost immediately uphill, initially relatively easily but it just got steeper and steeper :shock:

We did it – the top of the Ratagan pass
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From here it was a delightful freewheel and the easiest 5km of cycling ever all the way down to Glenelg
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From here it was a lovely cycle around the coast
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We missed the ferry by mere seconds, but one of the people who had just got off said that they’d had to shoot because an ambulance was coming over :shock: We had time for a quick cup of tea at the lighthouse before, sure enough, across came an ambulance, blue lights and all :shock:
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Once the ambulance was clear we were able to board the ferry – it was all pretty exciting really 8)
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Beinn na Caillich and Sgurr na Coinnich – Skye
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Across the ferry it was time for the 2nd horrendous climb of the day – no kidding :shock: We were overtaken near the top by our friendly local ambulance on his way back :lol:

Looking back down
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The views from the top were fantastic though – although the tops were in clag we could see the Red Cuillin 8)
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From there it was an easy descent to the A87 and quickly along to the Skye bridge (passed again my our friendly local ambulance driver) – I’d thought this would be a big climb but it felt really easy compared to what we’d done already :lol:
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Looking back to the Skye bridge
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We stopped in Kyle for a quick ice cream and Malcy needed to stock up on beer as he’d drunk most of his the night before :roll: From here we cycled up the Plockton road before cutting back to Balnacara, then along the A87 to Dornie for a wee snack and a view of Eilean Donan.
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Then it was up the Carr Brae hill – this was an optional hill but I could hardly let Malcy have the satisfaction of getting more ascent than me :lol:
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A lovely speedy descent and a quick shoot around the A87 got us back to Ratagan, picking up the now dry tent on the way 8)


Ratagan Skye Cycle.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Saturday 13th July – Biod an Fhithich
7.21km
632m ascent
3 hours 35 minutes

A relaxed start to the day was required as I was feeling pretty tired – actually more to do with the cycle than the late night; seems I’ve become a bit of a wuss in my old age :lol: We drove the few miles down the road to the correct layby, crossed the road and headed up the familiar path to the Forcan ridge – Biod an Fhithich looking impressive 8)
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The path made gaining height easy and before long we had great views up the glen
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Looking down the glen – the wee Sgurr an t-Searraich prominent
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There were several people ahead of us and as we approached the top of the path we thought we might be catching up Bod and Val 8)
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At the bealach we could see across to the impressive Forcan Ridge – if the conditions held out we could always consider it :crazy:
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Reaching the bealach we turned right along the ridge which took us steeply uphill until we met Bod and Val. We stood around chatting for a while before realising we were all climbing the same hill anyway and should probably get on with it :lol:

At the summit we could see all the way down to Loch Duich 8)
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Sgurr na Sgine
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Sgurr Mhic Bharraich
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Summit of Biod an Fhithich
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Glen Shiel
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Loch Duich
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Look, we have friends!
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Bod and Val leading the way down
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The Forcan was clouding in so we were less tempted to do something stupid and carried on down the path
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Apparently this is an orchid 8)
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Looking back up to Biod an Fhithich
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Heading down the hill – some lovely light on the hills
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Glen Shiel
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Not sure why he’s grumpy :lol:
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Back at the cars, Bod and Val were heading for some dinner and we were off for a wee cycle before tea and the quiz 8)


Biod an Fhithich.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Totaig Cycle
15.6km
89m ascent
1 hour 5 minutes

It was a nice easy cycle down to Totaig where we took a wee wander along the track. Easier on the way back as we had the wind behind us
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We were back in time for a cup of tea, a shower and some incredible dinner before storming to victory in the quiz in spectacular style 8)
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Totaig cycle.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Sunday 14th July – Am Bathach, Ciste Dubh & Aonach Mheadhoin
17.13km
1694m ascent
8 hours 5 minutes

It was another lazy start – the sun was shining as we tidied up and left the youth hostel and drove the few miles up the road to the Cluanie. It was incredibly hot and we added suncream before heading off for a short distance along the road.

Loch Cluanie
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We reached the usual parking area for these two hills, followed the fence along before picking up a good path upwards. It was steep going from the off
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Looking back down to Loch Cluanie – the views opened out as we climbed 8)
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Sgurr an Fhuarail and Aonach Mheadhoin
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It was a steep climb and hard going in the heat. Slowly, steadily we reached the ridge – although it was now much easier going we could see all the way to the summit
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At the summit of Am Bathach we could see ahead to Ciste Dubh – and what an impressive hill it is 8)
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The ridge from Camban up to Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dearg which I’d climbed up a year ago
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Malcy enjoying the views
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Summit of Am Bathach
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I thought I'd do a bit of stretching to make sure everything was ok for going downhill. Turns out Malcy thought I was saluting the cairn :roll:
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We descended Am Bathach towards the bealach – it was steep going :crazy:
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Crossing the bealach we met a guy sitting enjoying the sun – what a spot for it! As we started up Ciste Dubh we could see the back to where we had just come down
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The Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dearg ridge
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We picked up a path which we followed steeply upwards – it led us into an awful lot of mud and squish but soon enough we were out of the worst of it and onto a better path 8)
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Aonach Mheadhoin
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On the Ciste Dubh ridge the walking became easier and the views even better – I knew it was a good hill but never expected it to be this good 8)
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Beinn Fhada
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The Five Sisters
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We were now high enough to see Ben Nevis
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We could now see the final climb to the summit of Ciste Dubh – wow 8)
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And finally at the summit the views were incredible in all directions – the 5 sisters
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Summit 8)
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Looking back down the ridge
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Beinn Fhada and A’ Ghlas Bheinn
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Sgurr Gaorsaic and Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan
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A’ Ghlas Bheinn with the Applecross corbetts behind
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Skye visible behind some sisters
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The Eastern Mullardoch hills
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Malcy lay down and went to sleep (it was a bit warm and he’s quite old :wink: :lol: ) while I played with the big lens seeing as I’d accidentally carried it all the way up :lol:

Torridon 8)
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An Ruadh-Stac and Maol Chean Dearg
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Ben Nevis
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The whole Nevis ridge
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Forcan ridge
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Ladhar Bheinn
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The South Shiel ridge looking fantastic in the sunshine
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Altbeithe youth hostel
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Mullardoch hills
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Malcy finally woke up and it was time to get moving….the views down the ridge were incredible and we had a long way to go
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Malcy wanted to climb up this ridge – I decided to pick my battles :lol:
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Aonach Mheadhoin and Sgurr na Bhealaich Dearg
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Malcy on his wee top
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At the top of the steep section we cut off further right down a rocky spur
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Ascent ahead :shock:
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At the burn we refilled our water bottles before starting uphill – it was hot and we were tired :shock:
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As the ridge narrowed we picked up a path which became more and more interesting and rocky. Looking back we were trying to gauge how much further we had to go :lol:
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And then we were on the summit of Sgurr an Fhuarail – this ridge would be our route down later on
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But first we had to get out to Aonach Mheadhoin (and back). Well, we didn’t have to but figured we may as well now we were here!
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Torridon on the skyline
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Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dearg
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Reaching Aonach Mheadhoin the views were incredible – and I was so excited to be sort of properly on a ridge for the first time in ages (injuries suck!)

South Shiel ridge
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Brother number 2 – Sgurr a’ Bhealaich Dearg
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Looking down Glen Shiel
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We shared a Twirl and sat enjoying the views for a while. It had been a long day 8)
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Loch Cluanie
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Aonach Mheadhoin summit
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Ciste Dubh
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South Shiel and Ben Nevis
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A quick up and down brought us back to the top of Sgurr an Fhuarail
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Mullach Fraoch Choire and A’ Chralaig
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We headed down the ridge – it was steep but well pathed all the way – looking back 8)
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Ciste Dubh and Am Bathach
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Am Bathach and A’ Chralaig
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We managed to completely lose the path (well done Malcy :wink: ) but at least the steep lost us height quickly
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Loch Cluanie
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We did manage to find the path again but it couldn’t hide the fact that it was a brutal descent and a bit of a knee-cruncher :shock:
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Looking at the Cluanie we decided that we had no intention of cooking and really really wanted food. Malcy reckoned he could get down for half 8 (a guess that they might serve food til then) so he took off at a heroic trot leaving me to take a slightly more careful pace
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Fortunately they were still doing food (actually until 9.45 apparently!) so we enjoyed a wonderful meal before heading along the road back to the car and to whack the tent up (successful) to escape from the midges (unsuccessful :lol: )
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Bathach, Ciste Dubh, Aonach M.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



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Monday 15th July – Meall Dubh
11.91km
690m ascent
4 hours

It was already roasting hot when we woke up – it was going to be another scorcher :shock: We eventually had to risk the midges and got up. There were quite a lot of them so we chucked everything in the car and got going. There was barely a breath of wind in the air and it was already stifling when we parked up at the layby on the Invermoriston road
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We suncreamed ourselves and set off up the windfarm track – Meall Dubh ahead
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It was slow going and we were dripping with sweat even walking slowly – views down the glen to Beinn Loinne and Sgurr na Conbhairean & friends
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The trees were sheltering us from any hope of a breeze
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We passed the high point of the track and looked for a good spot to leave the track. It turned out to be a terrible point as we found ourselves bashing through terrible ground :roll: And then across the burn where we refilled our water as we were melting already :roll:
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We did pick up bits of path after the crossing which helped for a while – the huge cairn on the skyline marked our destination
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The impressive crags of Beinn an Eoin 8)
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We lost the wee bits of path and ended up bashing through all sorts of rubbish ground - we were trying to avoid too much heather but just ended up faced with more :roll:
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Finally we were on the last pull up to the summit – and a path! Which brought us to some fabulous views down to Loch Loyne and Loch Cluanie (and a wind farm :roll: )
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As we approached the summit cairn (not actually the summit) the sun decided to go in…typical :crazy:
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Beinn Loinne, Loch Cluanie and the many ridges of Kintail
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Cairn climbing time 8)
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Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach
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Meall Dubh summit
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We were feeling very lazy and sat for a while, but due to the breeze (where was that when we were melting on the way up!) it was a bit chilly. And someone had a train to catch tonight so we headed back down, trying to stick to the ridge this time
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Wind farm
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We took a slightly less awkward route down (turns out we were never more than a few metres away from our outward route :roll: ) and were very relieved to meet the track again 8)
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As we dropped lower and lower the heat again became oppressive
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Back at the car it was time to get the hot boots off (emptying a mountain’s worth of heather out!) and getting the windows open for the roasting drive home. A fabulous weekend, but who turned the sun on 8) 8)


Meall Dubh.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by Jaxter on Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1285
Munros:199   Corbetts:124
Grahams:56   Donalds:46
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Wainwrights:55   Islands:24
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: It's always sunny in Kintail - WH meet Shenanigans

Postby Bod » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:50 am

Great set of adventures and pictures there Jackie. Really enjoyed our walk together on Saturday :D :D :D
User avatar
Bod
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1512
Munros:282   Corbetts:47
Grahams:28   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:39   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:7   Islands:24
Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Location: Cowdenbeath

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