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Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Circuit of Coire nan Cat


Postby Grisu » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:33 pm

Route description: Meall Greigh, Meall Garbh and An Stuc

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 24/07/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 1230m

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Last of my backlog from my walks in 2018.

After my epic ride from Land's End to John 'o Groat I resumed walking and decided to do the Circuit of Coire nan Cat in the Lawers. After a lazy rainy day the day before summer has come back again and it was a sunny morning when I parked my car at the Ben Lawers Hotel. There is a sign in the window asking non residents to pay a fee of 5 pounds but it will be remitted if you order a meal what I did on my return.
Helpful signs at the barn and the gate, followed by other waymarks and a mental image of the landscape from my previous walks and explorations in this area made it relatively easy for me not to get lost on my way up to the first top :wink:
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Helpful waymarks

The grassy climb to Sron Mhor was a bit boring but the rising summits to my left distracted me from time to time.
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Grassy slopes up Sron Mhor

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Looming summits

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Ben Lawers, An Stuch and Meall Garbh

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Cairn of Sron Mhor ahead

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Unspectacular outlook towards Meall Greigh

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Impressive corrie of Ben Lawers with part of Lochan nan Cat

The walk to Meall Greihg was quite short - that was the best of it.
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Looking back on my way to Meall Greigh

When I reached Meall Greigh I remember my mind got a bit low when I looked ahead - still all this! I think I was more tired than I have realized after my epic ride.
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The outlook couldn't really cheer me up

However, I plodded my way up to my second munro of the day, knowing well that this mood will pass sooner or later :roll: . Thanks to the hot and dry summer the moorland was dry and it was quite good going over the bealach and up again some grassy slopes.
Once up on Meall Garbh my spirits lifted as suddenly as they have dropped. The following walk over the ridge to the next bealach from where An Stuc rises indeed intimidatingly steep was very pleasant.
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View towards North/West

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Outlook to An Stuc with Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas behind

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Fin Glen from Meall Garbh

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WOW - this view was breathtaking!

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At the bealach

The steep ascend with some scramble was rewarded by some nice views at the summit.
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The steep ascend to An Stuc

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View to River Lyon and some of the Carn Mairg Mountains from An Stuc

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Cairn with the ridge of An Stuc ahead

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Allt a Chobhair

The ridge walk was quite pleasant and on my descend to the Bealach Dubh I had some nice views towards the peaceful Lochan nan Cat below.
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Lochan nan Cat during the descend

Suddenly it got very steep again :shock: .
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steep steep

I realized that I was really tired now and I tried to concentrate. Short before I have reached the burn I suddenly slipped and fell. What followed still seems to be an endless pitch head over heels for about 10 or 20 meters. Everything went very quick and I could nothing do to stop or reduce the speed of my fall which suddenly stopped just before a big boulder - that was tight and quite a shock! But I was lucky. Only my glasses got a bit damaged and I lost a bottle of water which I couldn't retrieve - sorry :?
With this shock in my legs I got down very slow. For unknown reasons I didn't follow the gully but went over the very rough and steep ground, a mixture of grass and peat, further to left. However, I was quite relieved when I finally reached the shore of Lochan nan Cat.
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Looking forward to reach the shore

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Finally: ground level!

The walk back was quite long but very pleasant in the afternoon sun. I took my time to recover from the shock while taking some pictures, very happy that nothing seriously has happened.
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Scenery at Lochan nan Cat

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Blooming water :-)

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Looking back and saying goodbye to the mountain with a mixture of feelings

What remains of this day is the nice ridge walk, the peaceful views in the warm sunshine and the relaxing stroll along the shore of Lochan nan Cat as well as the shocking experience of this scary pitch which happened so unexpectedly but luckily without any severe damage.
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Grisu
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Re: Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:00 am

Sounds scary!

Great photos though...

TIm
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Re: Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Postby Grisu » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:33 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Sounds scary!

Great photos though...


Yes, it was simply out of control, nothing I could do, everything went so quick, still don't know how it happened but I won't forget it.
Thanks
Anke
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Grisu
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Re: Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Postby past my sell by date » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:47 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Sounds scary!

Great photos though...

TIm

I'll second that - but don't you use poles? I find they prevent or at least mitigate this sort of event
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Re: Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Postby Coop » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:42 pm

Great report and lucky I believe.
When I came off An stuc I descended almost straight left before I had a word with myself and got back up and onto the path down to Bealach Dubh and down to the lochan.

Fell myself coming down the gulley after Sgurr na Ciche. Did myself a bit of damage that day and it taught me to be even more careful when I'm out myself.
Safe walking my friend
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Re: Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Postby Grisu » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:27 pm

Coop wrote:Great report and lucky I believe.
When I came off An stuc I descended almost straight left before I had a word with myself and got back up and onto the path down to Bealach Dubh and down to the lochan.

Fell myself coming down the gulley after Sgurr na Ciche. Did myself a bit of damage that day and it taught me to be even more careful when I'm out myself.
Safe walking my friend


Thanks a lot, I won't forget this! Take care!
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Grisu
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Re: Circuit of Coire nan Cat

Postby Grisu » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:10 pm

[/quote]
I'll second that - but don't you use poles? I find they prevent or at least mitigate this sort of event[/quote]

No I don't use poles, these things drive me crazy, I have enough to do figuring out where to set my next step, two more things to pay attention too where to put and I would tumble every meter :lol: I need my hands free to keep my balance.
Can't imagine that poles would have been of any help in this moment, I probably would have been lanced :roll:
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Grisu
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