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2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:19 am
by fingeez
Well after last weeks little leg warmer on Achnafree I decided it was time to tackle something abit bigger. So weather checked and mind made up on what to do with amout of time and light and it was up to the Drumochter Pass to tackle Sgairneach Mhor and Beinn Udlamain with The Sow of Atholl thrown in for good measure.

Up at early to take my gf to work for 8, then picked my mate Mark up and quick stop for coffee at Mcds and we were off on the way. Arrived at the layby about 9.30 with about 3-4 other cars there already and got boots and bags on and were on our way at about 9.45. Path was nice and easy going which got the legs warmed up decent.

I'd remembered Pauls wallk description had been updated to say there was now a bridge across the Allt Dubhaig, but couldnt remember the grid references he had put down, so walked along the path keeping an eye out. Weather was looking ok, no more than a tiny little breeze and no rain or snow as of yet :) did seem to be a fair amount of cloud though. We walked almost past the Sow of Atholl with no sign of the bridge so decided we would find a decent place to cross, which took a fair while as alost every rock poking out of the water had what could only be describe as beanie hat of ice on top. So eventually we decided it was gonna be a leap of faith with 2 rocks involved. First one was fine but second was out of stepping reach, so plan was made, bags off, one was jumping over first and second was throwing bags to him, then following over. So many rapid heart beats and oment of panic and we were across still dry and warm.

The Northern slope of the Sow of Atholl

Looks fine from here eh?!

Once accross we plotted a straight path up the northern slope which looked a little steep but not too bad from afar. How mistaken were we. Thats one steep little Corbett!!! We made pretty decent time up the slope anyway to get it over with. There was only a light dusting of snow so the going wasnt too bad, but nearer the top we came to a suspicously white looking patch and after scraping with my boot we discovered this was a cleverly hidden patch of ice so we skirted round that not wanting to find ourselves back at the bottom of the hill in a hurry. Made it to the summit with cloud all around and stopped for a quick warm drink and the cloud lifted a little.

Compulsory Posing haha

Christ the Redeemer

We were off again and heading south west off the top. Spotted a lonesome deer eyeing us from afar as we made our way down to the bealach. From here it was pretty much a straight line towards the summit veering slight north to gain some height again.

Looks like its clearing nicely :)

South side of The Sow of Atholl

Going wasnt too bad for the most, with my legs only starting to feel the pull as we neered the first cairn on the ridge just south of Coire Creagach. Looked a steep drop off to the right with high possibility of some cornices so stayed well away from that lol :)
Made it to the summit for some much needed lunch and leg resting. The cloud had cleared from the summit as we were making our way up te slope so got a bit hopeful of some good views, but as luck would have it the cloud returned as we were about 200 metres from the top. We had the odd patch of lovely bright sun breaking through while stopped up here but nothing that lasted.

Sgairneach Mhor Summit

At this point I was starting to wonder if we would see anyone else at all while we were out, having not seen a single soul so far. We had pakced back up and were making our way south west once again to the bealach when lo and behold there was a single walker heading up to Mam Ban. Then just 5 minutes later we spotted a group of 3 walkers closely followed by a group of 4. Guess we wernt alone then.

Reached the southern slope of Beinn Udlamain with no problems and started on the way up again following the fence posts. Nothing too tricky here, nice easy going slope with only the odd deeper patch of snow.

Clouds Whiping By

As we were getting closer to the cairn we were wondering what we were seeing there, and soon realised it was a tent. Turned out a pair of brave souls were up for a little camp that night with the tent pithced right in the curve of the cairn. Hope they had some good warm clothes and sleeping bag as gotta be getting cold once the sun was down. We stayed here for about 10 mins to grab some pics and a cup of tea. We had contemplated carrying on to add A'Mharconaich in aswell, but on looking at the time it would have been dark before we got back down. Plus i've been up before and cursed this hill for breaking my boots and almost my spirits with extreme lack of energy last year so was fine missing it this time :)

Beinn Udlamain Summit

View from Summit

Off again and heading downhill again much to my legs approval. We had a little slide down some patches of snow to aid the descent, but nothing taxing or tricky about this section, and soon enough we were back down to the path. Only a few minutes later we spotted the elusive bridge. After reading the walk description again once i was back home its pretty much where the cordinates say it is, but i dont have a GPS so couldnt help here sorry Paul. The bridge is probably a bit out of the way to use if you wanted to do The Sow of Atholl aswell as it would require walking a fair distance back along the way you came.

Shiny New Bridge

So glad to be back on fairly level ground we headed off along the path which seemed to take forever as it usually does haha. Upon having a look at The Sow of Atholl the suit was now clear of cloud. Turned into a common occurence on this walk. Looking up at hill = no cloud. Ontop of hill = loads of cloud :)

No Clouds Now!

Back at the car just before 5 and got boots and everything changed but had a fab time of it and glad to have made an earlier start this year.

On the wildlife front, got eyed by a Deer, almost stepped on a Hare, scared about 50-60 Grouse and got cawed at by a Crow so a pretty productive day :lol:

Now whats for next weekend??

Re: 2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:06 am
by rocket-ron
I did these on the same day as you last week with the dog . I managed to do the 4 + the corbett. I was down at dalwinnie at 7.20 had to use head torch for the first 30 mins. I past 1 then a group of 3 the 2 then another person

Re: 2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:43 am
by monty
Nice report Fingeez. Nearly swimming at the start. Big ice patch on the Sow, Tent on the summit , summits in cloud, long walk out. Sounds like a good days walking :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: 2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:33 am
by fingeez
haha yup it sure was Monty. Really enjoyed it :)

Re: 2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:41 pm
by dooterbang
JESUS :shock:

Nice report - good day out :)

I havn't done these yet :(

Re: 2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:33 pm
by Graeme D
This brings back some memories Ross! Nice to see the furry headgear on show again, and I see you're trying to muscle in on the act with some natty headgear of your own! MerryWalker has a lot to answer for..... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: 2 Munro's and a Corbett up at Drumochter Pass

PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:55 pm
by fingeez
haha i sure you'll get them soon Dooterbang with the speed you've been running around the hills lately. :)

haah yeah i seen your report Graeme, luckily no snow like that for me or floating people lol :lol:
lol yeah a Tiso pressie from my sis for xmas, much warmer than my old faithful :) its gonna be the new Walkhighlands challenge, biggest/wildest/craziest, hat/headgear wins :D