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that chopper could have come in handy!

that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby davetherave » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:31 pm

Munros included on this walk: Binnein Beag, Sgurr Eilde Mor

Date walked: 29/01/2011

Time taken: 11.8 hours

Distance: 22.7 km

Ascent: 2012m

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Date. Saturday 29th January
Completed by. Dave, Julie and Wilson
Weather. Good for walking, poor views and no wind
Time. 11hrs 50mins
Distance. 22.7km
Ascent. 2012m
Munro’s x 2
Corbett’s x 0
Grahams x 0

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

Binnein Beag and Sgurr Eilde Mor

Starting from.

Mamores lodge

Is there any truth in the title I gave to this trip report! Unfortunately yes.

Had plans on completing the Eastern Momores on Saturday 29th. Being based at Blackwater Hostel it was the ideal choice.

Ill skip the report for now and go straight to our unfortunate incident. Starting our walk with Sgurr Eilde Mor we then moved onto Binnein Beag. All was well at this point.

Our ice axes had been in use since we started climbing Sgurr Eilde Mor.
We decided to fit our crampons on our descent from Binnein Beag, we both new they would be needed when ascending the slopes of Binnein Mor. The views to Binnein Mor were limited through the extensive cloud, and visual assessment was hard to verify.

Progress up the lower slopes was straightforward, the winter equipment was working well and come 2pm we had reached approx 950m. Also at this time heard the Helicopter over head but could see nothing due to the cloud. I think this was the helicopter that was out on exercise when the chap took a tumble off Sgurr Choinnich Mor.

At this point we decide on making our way up through the steep crags. After sometime we find this too difficult due to the ice and change tactics. We start to traverse round to our right via the Snow /ice climbing slightly higher as we went.

Without really realising we were soon getting out of our depth…. As we traversed I spot a weakness in the crags about 20 / 30m up, and ask Julie if she wants to ascend to see if we can follow safely. She gets up to the exit but she cant break out because the ice is solid. I shout, “ forget it and come back down”.

As she re-handed the ice axe and turned to answer she slipped and was suddenly on a downward plunge. This must have been terrifying for her; it scared the hell out of me. She had travelled about 350feet down the ice field at high speed. She lay still for a while then I saw her moving, I could hear her moaning to start with, thankfully I started to get some sense in her replies. I can then see she has got herself in a sitting position. She tells me she thinks there is nothing serious the matter.

I got down to meet Julie as soon as I could, She is a bit disorientated, and she thinks she may have broke her hand and some ribs. She has a cut to her lower leg (crampon gash) and has badly hurt her shoulder. Luckily her head is fine apart from some minor cuts on her face and there is no damage to her legs.

After some comforting and patching up Julie says she is fit enough to get back to the car some 8km + away. I empty the contents of her bag in to mine as to make her load lighter.

We headed for Coire an Lochain, cutting round Sgor Eilde Beag. Then joining the path at NN 208 634, from there we had another 3km to reach the car.

We got back to Blackwater hostel at 7.30pm and decide to just stay the night and to leave early Sunday morning. Come Sunday Julie looks like she has been in a battle. Massive bruising to her shoulder, left hand, lower left leg and lower back. She has superficial marking on her face and has problems with her ribs.

The effort she put in after the accident. That 8km hike back to the car was amazing. She certainly has far more drive than I ever thought she had, she deserves plenty credit for that alone.

We later found that Julie has at least 2 broken ribs and has extensive bruising to various parts of her body.

We know we made mistakes on the day, I only hope we can learn from them.


Below are some pics of our day.
Sgurr Eilde Mor Summit

Sgurr Eilde Mor Summit


grey corries from Binnein Beag

grey corries from Binnein Beag

Binnein Mor from Binnein Beag

Sgurr Eilde Mor from Binnein Beag

Sgurr Eilde Mor

Julie ascending Binnein Mor

wilson ascending Binnein Mor

Julie ascending Binnein Mor with Binnein Beag behind.

final climb

final climb

accident spot


Descending Binnein Mor

Sgurr Eilde Mor

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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby rockhopper » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:42 pm

Crikey dave - that's a hell of a story ! Glad to hear that julie was fine - 350 feet is a long way. All credit to you both for getting back. I think many of us would have had second thoughts as well after seeing the "final climb" photos. Best wishes to julie and I hope she's recovering well.
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby kinley » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:43 pm

S**t :(

Nightmare :?

Do you know how to use the hoover Dave or do you need a manual? ;)

Crap - that's one of those scenarios I fear - glad to hear it's relatively recuperable damage. Bet both of you are still shaken though - I would be :shock:

Best wishes - quick recovery :)
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby Stretch » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:44 pm

Wow Dave, really glad Julie is ok, that last spot does look pretty dicey. I didn't like the look of Binnein Mor from that side even in summer, although plenty of folks have done it. Best of luck as Julie tries to get back on the horse in the next few weeks.
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby ChrisW » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:52 pm

WOW - what a story to share with friends, it could have been so much worse (as you are obviously aware).....its a timely warning for us all. You looked to be having such a good day prior to the accident too, some great photos 'wilson ascending Binnein Mor' is a favourite, what a cute dog....but he seems to have forgotten his crampons :lol:
I can't imagine your thoughts whilst witnessing the accident, nor the emotional roller-coaster you must have ridden in those few seconds. Best wishes, and huge Kudos to Julie for walking 8km with busted ribs and no doubt some hellish bruising - great story, thanks for posting.
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby Alastair S » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:00 am

Scary - best wishes for a speedy recovery to Julie.

In better weather you may have spotted that the adjacent ridge (to the south) was a bit easier. This is the route we took in the summer.
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby davetherave » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:10 am

We must seriously consider what we are doing in future regarding our experience. A winter skills class is on the cards.
I must admit, taking the dog is great, but on this day it certainly created far more problems for us, even he has his limitations.

Im glad to say julie is recovering fine... she is even hinting that she fancies getting out this weekend... What a nutter. :shock:

i have tried to give an idea on the pics below, the location of the markings a fairly accurate.


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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby Merry-walker » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:17 am

OMG :shock: :shock: :shock:

Hope you're all OK
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:05 am

Really glad you are both ok :D (oh, and Wilson)

Sounded like a bit of a nightmare experience - certainly looking scary to me.
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby malky_c » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:12 am

:shock: :shock: Quite an adventure! Glad you all made it off OK, and your missus doesn't have any major injuries. Pretty impressive stuff managing to walk out - it certainly isn't the closest spot to the road. Wouldn't wish this sort of thing on anyone, but it will certainly give you food for thought when you're making decisions on the hills in the future.

Shame it all happened when the weather was picking up too - some nice photos at the end.
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby baggervance » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:18 am

Wow!! Glad nothing 'too' serious. Thanfully she slipped where there was a bit of a run out unlike the guy who clocked up a thousand feet on SCM.

I noticed you metioned how Wilson can give you problems to think about. I have 2 dogs and would love to take them on all my walks but at the back of my mind I always think what if I reach a place that is tricky. It is enough to worry about how I get out of it never mind the dog as well :lol: And the missus would kill me if I came back dugless :lol:

Best wishes to Julie and never take the ice axe from her again :lol:


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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby sloosh » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:21 am

Could have been the end - I'm so glad it wasn't. :?

It must have been a terribly frightening time. :shock:

Best wishes to you both. I hope Julie has a speedy recovery. :thumbup:

I always look at the photos on a trip report before I read it and was just thinking to myself I didn't fancy the crags before it dawned on me what your title was about.

When you say taking Wilson with you caused some problems in itself - what do you mean, out of curiosity?
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby audreywaugh » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:24 am

A very scary experience! Glad Julie is ok and what a trooper walking back out with injuries. Take it easy for now Julie, hills will still be there when you've recovered!
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby Phil the Hill » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:15 pm

Scary story - I hope Julie makes a quick recovery.

I'd definitely do that winter skills course. We did one before first venturing onto the Scottish hills in winter and we learned a lot that has been very useful since. We carry a rope when there's a narrow ridge or any possibility of a tricky ascent, and I like to think we'd have used it at the spot you had the accident, especially if we started finding the crags tricky. But I fear we might not have. Do you wear helmets?
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Re: that chopper could have come in handy!

Postby soulminer » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:22 pm

Just goes to show we can all be a 'step' away from such a fate :shock:
Been there and done that, but not as far a slip.
Glad Julie is recovering well.
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