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No better way to start a year than bagging Munro 150...
by jstalker66621 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:44 pm
Route description: Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lochay
Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh
Date walked: 01/01/2012
Time taken: 3.35 hours
Distance: 9.5 km
Ascent: 895mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I met Tomsie (John Toms) at six o'clock this morning and drove the three hours to Glen Lochay for the start of the walk.
We departed the car at around half nine and made our way over the bridge and through the gate to follow the path onto the hill...deja vu struck me then I realised I had actually been here only ten days ago...what a difference ten days can make in Munro world though...there was no sign of the frozen road or snow covered slopes this time around. In fact there would only really be any snow a lot further up the slopes, near the last 200m or so of climb. The path was a lot wetter and slippier today than last week, but all mud rather than ice this time.
We set off through the various gates and across walls to reach the path and start our ascent...it was only slightly raining at this point and the wind that had blown the car about on the way down had receded enough to make me think it had blown itself out...
The various forecasts had been mixed with some suggesting rain and some suggesting clear skies...the rain predictions won out in the end. The drizzle increased on the way up the slopes and the wind picked back up again also...the only plus point was the lack of snow slowing us down (though it did mean a return to mud caked boots).
Tomsie was keeping a good steady pace up the hill and I was already impressed at his enthusiasm. We had a good natter on the way up, getting a feel for each others abilities on the hills, and I will happily walk with him again.
The surrounding views were limited at this stage so all we had to concentrate upon was not slipping on the boggy slopes as we continued upwards (no point in looking like a balm in front of strangers).
The higher we climbed the boggier it became...at least until we eventually reached the snow line (which had receded from 500m to around 820m this time round). I noticed my trousers were starting to feel the effects of the wet so stopped to put on my waterproofs before heading into the snow...The wind was really getting up now and small flurries of snow were blowing into our faces as we turned into the maelstrom...soon turning to hail stones...and hoods and hats were adjusted accordingly (no errant flying hat incidents this week).
The path remained pretty visible on grass but disappeared as it meandered through the rocks and the snow started to cover it. When we reached the 870m mark I recognised the point that I had stopped at last week...it was totally different this week. There was no huge bank of snow to halt my progress and the ice on the rocks had been melting with the rain through the week...I also had my crampons available in my ruck sack and my ice axe was also tethered securely on this occasion.
We carried on upwards and into the wind...blowing at a fair rate again now, throwing tiny sharp particles of snow into our faces, making it almost impossible to see ahead as my hat was pulled down tight and my buff pulled up as far as I could manage safely and still be able to see. The steps were becoming slower as I hauled myself up over iced rocks and battled my way to the summit...ably followed by Tomsie. I arrived at the summit shelter (loose terminology there as it sheltered nothing in this wind) and sat down in the snow, attempting to get out of the wind.
Tomsie climbed in alongside me, cleared some snow off the rocks and plonked himself down in the cleared space.
I got Jelly McBaby out for a pic in the snow at the summit cairn 1039m and also got snaps of the trig point and Tomsie.
My ginger cake and custard was still hot enough to enjoy from the flask...unfortunately Tomsie's soup was cold in his flask. We had been sitting there for less than five minutes but already my arse was numb with the biting cold...our ruck sacks had frozen solid in that time also...my fingers were sore and my face felt as though it had been sand blasted!!
The zips in my jacket had frozen shut and the straps on my ruck sack would not budge...freezing is an understatement!! I changed gloves and adorned crampons for the trudge back off the summit...Tomsie had his micro-spikes instead. We battled off the summit in near blizzard winds, facing into the sleet as it battered us...but at least the additions to our footwear allowed us to keep upright until we were beyond the rocks and ice...we changed back at the earliest opportunity lower down when we knew it was just snow and slush left. After that it was a case of reversing our route and retracing our splashes down hill through all the bogginess until we picked up the path again. You would not believe it was the same hill as I had lost out to mother nature on only ten days previously.
When we were heading down towards the path we met a couple heading up the slopes (a bit late in the day to finish in daylight) wished them happy new year and made sure they knew what to expect further up. With a hearty farewell we set off in opposite directions, as they ascended and we returned to the path...all the way back to the car (with only the occasional slip or fall between us). We arrived back at the car only 3hrs 35mins after leaving (initially I thought we had taken almost four hours but upon checking the time on the camera of the first pic realised that we had departed later than I first thought) arriving back at One o'clock. There was a small rain shower just as we were getting changed...then a mild panic as Tomsie couldn't find his car keys (averted when he realised they were still in his fleece pocket). Which only left the long drive back to Aberdeen and a cheery farewell at the end journey with promises to meet up again and walk some more Munro's. All in all I had a lovely start to the new year, bagging another Munro to take my tally to 150 and meeting a new walking buddy...
Until next time, friends and baggers alike (even the vicarious ones), I hope you have enjoyed reading this first year of rambling rhetoric as much as I have enjoyed writing it???
No new year resolutions for me...I never keep them anyway...but a target to reach now being set at 200 by the end of 2012...one down fifty to go...Let's just hope the Mayans were wrong so that I also have time to compleat before the end of the world.....Hoopy new year to you all xx
by tomyboy73 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:47 pm
by jstalker66621 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:49 pm
by Alastair S » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:07 pm
by jstalker66621 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:09 pm
What a difference eh??
by 2dalmatians » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:22 pm
by spiderwebb » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:50 pm
Great report enjoyed it.
Well done on the 150, I made the 100 too so my targets are 50 behind yours (Scoob999 is 50 behind me), I'll be aiming for 150 by end of this year I think, after initially aiming for the half way mark 140ish.
Hopefully get out with ya soon !
Happy new Year
by Fudgie » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:18 am
by Tomsie » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:13 am
Don’t know about keeping a good pace think it was jstalker66621 that I had to keep up with, he had a lot of knowledge of the hills around here and was interesting to hear about them, also he does a good report, so that’s 2 walkers now where I don’t have to worry about doing a report .
I was happy with the weather for most of the day considering the time of year, was a bit tough near the top with the wind blowing snow like little pins into face. Only disappointment was the soup being cold had being looking forward to this, also my bum sledge not getting much use only about 5 feet.
For those of ye that had being asking about microspikes on another forum, don’t think they got tested, was able to make summit with just boots and poles, but wasn’t stopping to put on spikes at this stage anyway, had them on for way back with poles away and they definitely did give grip.
Spiderwebb had to get out to much partying in Ireland , hope it wont be too long before were back out again, looking at my first one it was near the end of May so don’t think 21 was too bad for the year considering I’m away working a lot during the summer months have a bit of a way to catch up on ye guys, but no better way to start then the first day of the year.
Happy New Year to the friends I’v met so far and the ones that I will meet over the coming year.
- snow blast
- greeting walkers
by Johnny Corbett » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:24 am
by Tomsie » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:40 am
by Johnny Corbett » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:09 pm
by pollyh33 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:45 pm
Really great report, you should start a blog
by mountain thyme » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:54 pm
by jstalker66621 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:54 pm
pollyh33 wrote:Well done John on reaching 150!!!
Really great report, you should start a blog
Oh your soooo funny Polly...your getting it lavvy heed!!!