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The Big Herdsman's back-side!

The Big Herdsman's back-side!


Postby Ranger » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:21 am

Munros included on this walk: Stob na Broige (Buachaille Etive Mor)

Date walked: 17/12/2011

Time taken: 5.5 hours

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7 months since my last walk, and my first as a new Dad, was delighted with this day out – my sister as company on the hill - on my final outstanding Munro this side of the Great Glen.

Had climbed Stob Dearg years ago via Curved Ridge, but had been saving this one as a potential pre-Clachaig compleating peak, but it wasn’t to be. A dodgy forecast for the north-west with more promise further south – sound familiar? – was enough to put paid to that.

Left Peterculter at 4.45am, picked up Sister at Newburgh, Fife, then headed up under driech but improving skies. Conditions were superb as we set off from Lairig Gartain car park, breaking a trail on the National Trust path so no fears over terrain – so far!
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Loads of snow swamped the east flank of the Wee Herdsman, had hoped the route of the corrie to Broige would be scoured clean by the gales, but it too was a snow basin. Luckily, it was crisp enough to take out weight.

Higher up the gradient steepened, and the icy snow was now an impediment, a case of two steps up, one sliding down. Cracking reward on reaching the ridge though, and the pleasure of sunshine on the face for the first time in the day.
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Legs were cramping a little, no doubt through ill-use, on the push through the powder along the ridge to the summit, which we reached at 1420.

A breathtaking, if bleak, panorama of icy ridges was enlivened by the warming shades of winter sunlight, filtered through clouds clinging to Ben Starav. A shimmering sliver of Loch Etive a highlight for the camera. After 20 minutes drinking in the views, frozen fingers retreated into their gloves and we retraced our steps. Progress was swift along the ridge and we – quite literally - plunged into the corrie, bum sliding with axe poised as a break. Invaluable ice axe arrest experience – involuntary for my sister on one occasion!
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Got down with no need of headtorch, back to car park at 1645 for a drive back down the road and a curry at home to round off a fine day.
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby dooterbang » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:10 am

Some fab photos - looked a great day out.

Self arrest practice is always good fun.

Bet that curry tasted great.
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby Ranger » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:43 am

dooterbang wrote:Some fab photos - looked a great day out.

Self arrest practice is always good fun.

Bet that curry tasted great.

Cooking your own meal after a big walk just doesnt seem right somehow! :lol:

Thats the odd thing about practicising ice axe arrests - usually, if the slope is sufficiently steep and the snow sufficiently slidey to make it worthwhile, throwing yourself downhill does not jump to mind!

Been out with the axe many times - without needing to use it for an arrest - but can honestly say that was the first REALLY worthwhile practicising I had done. Scary thought :?
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:17 pm

Cracking report and photos Ranger :D

Been out a couple of times in the snow and have still to use my axe in anger!!!

Looking forward to getting lots of practise arrests in :lol: :lol:

PS Congratulations on fatherhood, hope you have the sleeping patterns sorted :( :(
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby garyhortop » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:26 pm

Stunning Photo's!! Looks like a superb walk as well - although iy'll have to be summer walk for me as no real ice or snow experience and certainly not skilled with an ice axe!! Great report too! :D
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby spiderwebb » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:09 pm

Cracking pics this is what winter walking is all about !! :D
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby Steve B » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:47 pm

Great report with cracking pictures. This is the weather we dream about getting. :)
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby kevsbald » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:27 pm

Just perfect - helluva round trip fae Peterculter.
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby emily_b » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:53 pm

kevsbald wrote:Just perfect - helluva round trip fae Peterculter.

Can't lie, I stayed over night in Newburgh so not quite a dream round trip :lol:

Been getting used to long 6-7-8 hour drives to and fro the West Highlands for Munros, most of them day trips. Time behind the wheel is always worthwhile if you've a few peaks and a few memories under your belt at the end of the day! :)
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby emily_b » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:55 pm

emily_b wrote:
kevsbald wrote:Just perfect - helluva round trip fae Peterculter.

Can't lie, I stayed over night in Newburgh so not quite a dream round trip :lol:

Been getting used to long 6-7-8 hour drives to and fro the West Highlands for Munros, most of them day trips. Time behind the wheel is always worthwhile if you've a few peaks and a few memories under your belt at the end of the day! :)

Oops - created an account for my sister and added her munros on for her and forgot to log out - I'm not called Emily at weekends honestly! (Ranger). :lol:
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:32 pm

Brilliant! Superb photos and good to see you were not out alone Ranger :D
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby andrewdoggett » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:18 pm

Looks an awesome day in the hills... Magic in fresh snow and great weather. Love the pics. :clap: :clap:
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby quoman » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:30 pm

Hi Ranger
Excellent photos of the ridge walk are your legs no a bit sore after 7 months of.
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Re: The Big Herdsman's back-side!

Postby Ranger » Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:08 am

quoman wrote:Hi Ranger
Excellent photos of the ridge walk are your legs no a bit sore after 7 months of.

I struggled big time!
Felt like lead weights on my feet kicking steps up the steep snow, and my legs were cramping on the summit ridge of Stob na Broige - my sister put me to shame! :lol:
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