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Aborted attempt

Aborted attempt


Postby americanINlondon » Sun May 20, 2012 4:53 pm

Route description: The Pap of Glencoe

Grahams included on this walk: Pap of Glencoe

Date walked: 16/05/2012

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 4 km

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Attempted this walk on a grey, rainy day in mid-May 2012. Based on the walk description, figured it would be a relatively easy and safe walk. Given conditions (rain with some of the highest peaks around Glencoe obscured by cloud), thought it would be the best option for the day. Path started out fine for the first say 20 minutes but then quickly became very boggy and difficult to follow. After crossing the described stream, could not find the path at all and ended up taking what was assumed to be the path (which was wrong - found the real path on the way down). Further ahead, fresh biggish gravel had been laid down along very steep parts, making it very difficult to get a footing. Ended up aborting the walk about half way through since it was getting too difficult to find the path and too difficult to climb without sliding back. Didn't feel the walk was worth the effort - views were OK, but not the greatest. Also could hear lots of car noise from the road below which kind of took away from the experience quite a bit. Wouldn't recommend and definitely wouldn't attempt this walk again unless I knew the conditions (and path) were improved.
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby DonnyW » Sun May 20, 2012 6:06 pm

Hi American in London... Hmmm..I think you did the right thing for yourself..by turning back.

The hills in Scotland are quite dangerous for unexperienced folks..and should not be taken lightly by city folks that have little experience. Im sure the same goes for mountains in the states too

Fortunately for the people who enjoy walks on the wild side.. we dont have pavements going up our hills. They are often boggy and steep as you found out...but that is part of the fun.. route finding and getting through the boggy parts without getting too wet :D

However I wouldn't like to think your bad experience would put others off going up the Pap of Glencoe ..it is a lovely walk on a good hill and has some of the best views for least amout of effort in the area. The last hundred feet can be a bit tricky in the mist ..but its no big deal in clear weather.

This is a photo of the view you missed from half way up.. now tell us that view is not worth the effort 8)

Pap-of-Glencoe-5.jpg
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun May 20, 2012 7:37 pm

DonnyW wrote:
This is a photo of the view you missed from half way up.. now tell us that view is not worth the effort 8)

Pap-of-Glencoe-5.jpg



Its hardly worth the effort if thats all you can see. :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink: :wink:
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby Stretch » Mon May 21, 2012 2:47 am

Sorry Donny, but how do you know he or she is a city slicker? Could someone from heartland America, or the Appalachian Mountains not move to London for a bit?

Shame you had a tough time on the Pap, don't let it spoil the Scottish hills for you though. I put in nearly 3 years of hillwalking time while I lived in Scotland and I had some memorable times on those non-paved boggy paths. :?
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby gaffr » Mon May 21, 2012 6:11 am

There is a path up the side of Clachaig gully which could be used to reach this top :) . I know that it has deteriorated over the 50 years that I have known it. I guess that it has been mostly used as a descent from the ridge traverse....but it is dry and after reaching the high ground it's not far out to the Pap. On reflection I have not used this as a return to the valley for fifteen years or so!
Unless my eyes are playing up in the early morning light your fine image, before the bridge came,? of the view from the high ground...I have a similar, much poorer image of this after a gully day out in the early sixties. You'll probably remember those decisions that you had to make, when travelling further North, do I wait in the queue for the ferry or to reach Fort William by driving round by Kinlochleven. :lol:
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby DonnyW » Mon May 21, 2012 8:03 am

Stretch wrote:Sorry Donny, but how do you know he or she is a city slicker? Could someone from heartland America, or the Appalachian Mountains not move to London for a bit?




I stretch.. with my harsh reply .. I am certainly not trying to get at people from the city, from the US or anywhere else.


However I firmly believe that when someone cannot follow the path up the Pap of Glencoe.. they should not be venturing onto our mountains. I realise that is only my opinion, but I do stick with it and I have no problem telling why.

I personally have taken dead people off the Glencoe hills in my younger days. I had a young lad of 17 years of age die in my arms after he fell 1000ft. I was alone with him on the mountain side for an hour waiting for McInness and Brown to arrive with the stretcher and then the helicopter. The MRT wasted their time. It was his first visit to the hills. He got lost because he could not route find. He though he was on an easy route

I also risked my life saving three other young lads who climbed into Crowberry gully in full winter condition. They were wearing trainers. They intended going up Curved ridge but could not route find.

I fully realise that my experiences do not give me the right to judge people and what they choose to do, but if a few harsh words prevents inexperienced people getting into serious trouble ..then I have no problem giving harsh advice. I think most people that have been involved in recues will do the same . .but again..that is only my thoughts.

I do not know how experienced the OP (original Poster) is but when the trip report in Walk highlands clearly states "this walk is very Boggy and Steep ".. and the OP who read the walk report then writes that they didn't like the walk because it was boggy and steep .. then they cannot follow a path that thousands have followed in the past .. then I do consider them inexperienced.

OK..Im off my preachers seat now.

American In London.. I hope your bad experience has not put you off our hills.. but I hope you realise that they can be very dangerous. As I said at first.. you did the right thing by turning back . My remarks have nothing do do with you being in London or an American
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby DonnyW » Mon May 21, 2012 10:37 am

gaffr wrote:Unless my eyes are playing up in the early morning light your fine image, before the bridge came,? of the view from the high ground...I have a similar, much poorer image of this after a gully day out in the early sixties. You'll probably remember those decisions that you had to make, when travelling further North, do I wait in the queue for the ferry or to reach Fort William by driving round by Kinlochleven. :lol:


Yup the photo was from just above the bridge ..on the steep part going beside the burn.

I didn't have those travelling decisions at the ferry.. I travelled by motorbike in those days. It used to annoy the car dirvers greatly when they were queued up and the bikes slipped passed them. It was only because the ferry operators put the bikes in the spaces left between the cars. Think one of the ferrys is still on the Glenelg run ?

I travelled from Ayrshire many moons ago.. and remember it was a nightmare of a journey.. traffic lights to cross the runway at prestwick airport .. drive through kilmarnock in heavy traffic as no motorway ..then across the clyde on a ferry that pulled itself along chains.. talk about wilderness experiences then :lol:

I also wonder if your gully day was doing the classic gully climb in that area ? I too did it many years ago.. it had a dirty wet waterfall climb then another pitch called Jerico Wall which was called that for very good reason.

PS American in London..I see it was your first post .. I hope my words dont put you off returning.. welcome to the forum. Im a grumpy old git ..but you can be sure that if I saw you in trouble.. i would do all I could do to assist ..then nag :D
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby AlisonFox66 » Mon May 21, 2012 11:04 am

fresh biggish gravel had been laid down along very steep parts


sorry don't get this , never known gravel be laid on Scottish paths

As for hearing car noise - you can from lots of hills its how people get to the hills -in cars and on buses and trains
I quite like watching cars beneath me
don't like planes above me thouigh
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby Stretch » Mon May 21, 2012 2:31 pm

I understand the dangers of the hills in Scotland all too well, Donny. Additionally I appreciate what yourself and others have done as far as safety and rescue are concerned. But to play devil's advocate, if inexperienced people never attempted a hill there would be no experienced folk roaming the higher places. I suppose American in London could have gone straight for the AE, but he or she chose something much more straightforward.

Myself, I took off in jeans and trainers one September day and went over Ben MacDui and Carn Gorm for my first of many hillwalking adventures. Not the wisest choice, but I learned from the experience and better prepared myself for future trips. I suppose I turned out to be a halfway decent walker :lol:
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon May 21, 2012 2:48 pm

Possibly americanINlondon is a warewolf and had to get back down before the full moon :D The path gaffr mentions sounds like the one they tell you not to use due to the corrosion and danger of loose rock falling into the gully
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby DonnyW » Mon May 21, 2012 6:11 pm

Stretch wrote:But to play devil's advocate, if inexperienced people never attempted a hill there would be no experienced folk roaming the higher places.


No worries Stretch..you are not playing devil's advocte ...in fact we are agreeing on that point.. which is why I said in my first reply

Quote DonnyW "However I wouldn't like to think your bad experience would put others off going up the Pap of Glencoe ..it is a lovely walk on a good hill and has some of the best views for least amout of effort in the area. The last hundred feet can be a bit tricky in the mist ..but its no big deal in clear weather."

Unlike the OP .. I like to think I was trying to encourage people to do this walk .. it is only a medium grade one .. and in my opinion a fit inexperienced walker should be able to enjoy it... assuming they can handle boggy and steep ground. The only tricky bit for someone with no experience is the last part through the rocky top..when the mist is down..as it can be tricky to find the route then.

Im not even knocking American in London for turning back.. my original post was written simply to disagree with his/her report that its a very poor walk .. which could even be interpreted to suggest we build dangerous paths on our hills ? I got that feeling from these words

Quote American In London " Further ahead, fresh biggish gravel had been laid down along very steep parts, making it very difficult to get a footing."

I also couldn't understand why someone may think that a good path up a mountain will give a wilderness experience .. yet the almost non existant noise of traffic from the road far below detracts from it.That seems a bit of a contradiction to me ?

Anyhoo.. I have made my point now and American In London is entitled to think its not a worthy walk ..we all like different things .. and thats what makes life interesting :D
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Re: Aborted attempt

Postby allanglens » Wed May 23, 2012 10:02 am

Interesting. My daughters and I aborted an attempt on the Pap last June at the car park because of the weather - it was too good!

A hot sunny day and we were a bit late in starting, having driven from Skye. So much discussion as to times and conditions, finally deciding that it would be too hot for an exposed walk to be enjoyable.

If we had managed to get there early morning it would have been a great day for it.
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