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Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby 2dalmatians » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:10 pm

Route description: Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lochay

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Date walked: 30/12/2011

Time taken: 4.25 hours

Distance: 8 km

Ascent: 975m

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Debated whether to post this but after some thought I have no doubt it will be good to look back on this in years to come - for all the right reasons.

Inspired by Del246's report on the 18th dec. decided to tackle Meall Ghoardaigh...hoping for the white stuff

Set off from the layby at Glen Lochay at 0825, wasnt raining/snowing but no clear skies either - only grey with an ominous feel. A couple of guys were slightly ahead of me and set off maybe 5 minutes earlier. I finally got within shouting distance a couple of hours later as they tackled the last climb up to the summit. Shared a few words and then after 5 minutes decided to call it a day.

Took a reading on the GPS - 2915ft nn5714/3939 - about 100 ft from where I turned around. No clear route to the top, visibility about 50ft, snow starting to fall and a lack of experience/confidence to pick my way up (even following the footsteps of the guys in front!)

Conditions under foot were tiring the whole way up. Soft ground in parts, covered with snow but then icy patches where the ground was exposed to windchill. (although there was really no wind at all today the whole way up)
first look back
carried on the path until this fence - followed it up for about 200mtrs

The only item of kit I have still to get for winter walking are crampons (maybe the most important?). Had microspikes but they are just not adequate. I have all the rest - map.compass, survival bag, ice axe, head torch, etc etc) Oh and of course the skills and experience required to walk in these conditions. Apart from the 2 guys ahead of me I met a young girl walking on her own and two pairs, one with a beautiful Collie complete with snow jacket and emergency red beacon on top!!

I will be back in better conditions to get to the top of this one...and despite the fact I didnt make it to the summit I still had a great day out with Ruby as always :-)
first two up the mountain today - about as close as i got to them all day!

Balck and white are definitely her colours!


last time I saw the chaps in front!

time to turn around!

A well deserved lunch for Ruby!
A new species? - "camaflog"
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby jonny616 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:46 pm

You'll get it next time. Always good to turn & head home. You know your own limits
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

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

Nae luck but you know the limits the hill will be there for another day 2dalmatians still good pics of the dugs.
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby 2dalmatians » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:51 pm

Cheers guys. I will definitely be back to bag that one and the "dug" certainly enjoyed herself too. In fact she couldn't care less if she makes the summit or not. More interested in munching the sheep s#*t!, :lol:
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby rockhopper » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:11 pm

Well done for trying and even more well done for having the presence of mind to turn back knowing your limits. :D You have my sympathies - had similar conditions with white outs when I was up this hill and the neighbouring corbett, Beinn nan Oighreag, so didn't see much at all, but had the advantage of a longer day as it was nearly the end of March. Hope you have better luck and weather the next time - cheers 8)
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby Fudgie » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:12 pm

I did this hill in November and the wind at the top was ferocious. As I've seen people on here say, the hill always be here so you did the right thing by turning back.
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby yokehead » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:42 pm

Ghaordaidh certainly seems to get more than its fair share of this kind of weather, going by the many reports on WH including my own! I just got to the top but a lady I passed turned back just 10m away in a whiteout, don't think she realised how close she was. :(

Best though to go with how you feel on the day, and after all, you have an excuse to revisit! :D

Maybe the mountain is getting her own back for the route books that describe her as boring. :lol: Plenty to enjoy here though, IMO. Enjoy your return!
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Re: Meall Ghoardaigh (almost)

Postby david.aa.howie » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:24 pm

2dalmatians - I was one of the two guys who set off just in front of you. We weren't sure if you had turned back or we had just missed you on the way back down, but this explains it. It took a bit of searching around to find the way up because the snow was so deep under the crags. The slope we went for (in your picture) was a bit firmer and easier to walk through, but still not easy. There was considerably more snow than we expected towards the top, and quite a lot lower down by the time we headed back down.
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