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Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!


Postby Dannyboy » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:36 pm

Route description: Meall Chuaich, Drumochter

Munros included on this walk: Meall Chuaich

Date walked: 15/12/2009

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An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman set off from Glasgow in the dark...2minutes into the M8 and we were passing the scene of a car crash- a sombering sight and a warning to take it easy. Twenty minutes before sunrise and the windscreen washers were needed but the nozzles were frozen- our Irish companion knew instantly what to do- use some of his masses of brown gold(tea!) to melt the offending ice :? :? ! Doubtless it worked but the problem returned when we hit about 15mph! After the second attempt it was deemed futile so we drove on to see the sun rise over Stirling which was almost worth getting up this early for on its own! :lol:

Dylan melting ice.JPG
Tea beats ice!!


Drama over we arrived at our parking place in the slushy layby on the A9 where we got kitted out and set off along the snowy track by the aquaduct/canal thing!
Layby and summit.JPG
The exact layby mentioned in the Meall Chuaich page and (white) hill in (white) background!


Along the path we met a couple of guys on quadbikes carrying dead deer on the back- probably their blood that was spilt on a patch of snow further on.
Axe killer.JPG
The Englishman attacks the Irishman!!


strutts across water.JPG

Danny and the giant pipe.JPG
James and the giant pipe!!


To our right hand side we could see a big herd of deer that were still alive and roaming on a smaller hill. Every so often the sun also poked itself out from the clouds warming us up and reminding us that there wasn't just cloud above us!
As we approached the locked wooden bothy we stumbled across a popular resting place for other walkers and grouse. I tried to sneak up on them to get a closer photo but they weren't having any of it- the grouse that is!! Besides this we also ran into the start of the deeper snow which slowed us considerably.

snack in the deep snow.JPG
Nice picnic spot

stream and bothy.JPG
Stream and locked bothy


The snow deepened further and the incline steepened for the first time- it was a shock a relatively flat walk in. We did have some footsteps which made the going slightly easier until we passed people slowly lugging snowboards and skis up the mountain then we had to break the soft snow ourselves. The wind picked up dramatically as we reached the crest of the hill and passed the frozen fenceposts, we now walked in a silent line as our conversation was blown away by the biting wind. We touched the top and instantly marched back to get out of the worst of the wind, after 5minutes we stopped and put up our group shelter to have a bite to eat and a chat/moan about the wind!!
Arctic banana.JPG
Arctic banana- a rare treat!

Wind blown snow.JPG
Retreat!

After debating the pros and cons of slowly creeping down inside our shelter we decided we just had to brave the wind so we put on our goggles and marched down the hill to reverse our ascent route through knee deep snow though at least the wind was 'helping' us down now! We also saw the snowsport enthusiasts weaving gracefully down the hill and suddenly i became very jealous and all their efforts seemed worth it for the few minutes of speedy descent- next time thatll be me!!
through the goggles.JPG

sun over hills.JPG

sunpool.JPG

We did get some views of the snow covered landscape on our descent and a deep blue sky appeared over the summit though too late for us to really appreciate it- just our luck!! Straight back to glasgow for a well earned drink followed by a contented nap!
SS851137.JPG
The view!

heather to Creag Ruadh just left.JPG
Loch Chuaich


This is a hill thats probably not up to much in the summer but covered in snow it provides a great days entertainment- a good one for some free snowsports too!!
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby kevsbald » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:39 pm

Like the shot with the glasses. Very imaginative.
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby Dannyboy » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:58 pm

It really is a different world when you look through red lenses!! 8)
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby mountain coward » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:56 am

Or you could take a light, plastic sledge - I've taken them onto the Lakes mountains. The only problem is when it's windy it acts like a sail so you have to watch it - you could always drag it on stretches exposed to the wind. That would be a fine hill to sledge down and you don't have to be able to stand and balance as you would on a snowboard - I certainly wouldn't have the balance for one of those.

Love the innovative pics, especially the red one... and more especially the ice axe attack one :lol: Brilliant! :D

I'd forgotten how incongruous that pipeline looked - your pic really shows that!
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby Dannyboy » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:07 pm

I too like to partake in sledging- usually we use our survival bags(what else can you use them for?!)- they are really good for sliding and you can build up some speed- you just need your ice axe brake!! On this occasion the snow was too soft as we just sank into the snow, i do also like to ski and snowboard its just i hadnt thought about it before. We did get a great survival bag slide down ben nevis last winter- we slid for quite a long time, also put a video on youtube where i held my camera and filmed the guy in front of me while we both slid down, can search for- "crazy slide beinn dubhcraig" :lol: :lol: (ignore the stupid noises!)
Last edited by Dannyboy on Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dannyboy
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby 37lumleyst » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:17 pm

A good report written in a humorous manor which makes for very easy reading; I like the ice axe attack and can see that you all had a great day out! Like you say, perhaps the hill is nothing to write home about in the summer but given some snow, it takes on an entirely different slant.

Good reading, thanks. I enjoyed that!!
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby tamw51 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:21 pm

Very enjoyable report,will have to get there someday!sure i will as i need it to conquer all 283 of scotlands highest peaks!!
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby mountain coward » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:19 am

Dannyboy wrote:I too like to partake in sledging- usually we use our survival bags(what else can you use them for?!)- they are really good for sliding and you can build up some speed- you just need your ice axe brake!! On this occasion the snow was too soft as we just sank into the snow, i do also like to ski and snowboard its just i hadnt thought about it before. We did get a great survival bag slide down ben nevis last winter- we slid for quite a long time, also put a video on youtube where i held my camera and filmed the guy in front of me while we both slid down, can search for- "crazy slide beinn dubhcraig" :lol: :lol: (ignore the stupid noises!)


The stupid noises are part of it! :lol: I'll have to take a look when I'm not at work - we can't go onto YouTube at work unfortunately :(
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby HighlandSC » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:55 am

Nice report, with some great alternative pics.

Your sledging vid is a cracker :lol:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJb-vwdN1qw[/youtube]
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby John Burgess » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:35 am

Brilliant video :lol: :lol: :lol:
A real fun report - thanks.
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Re: Meall Chuaich- Last winter!!

Postby Dannyboy » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:05 pm

Cheers! I did try to cover the sound by putting 'standing in the way of control' by Gossip over the clip but even that couldnt mask it! :lol: We sure had a good time though and we left our mark on the snow as can be seen from these pics:

Slidemarks.JPG

SS851679.JPG
Maybe we should have tried the really steep bit to the left of this picture!


Making me think...maybe we could start a list of top locations/mountains to slide down! :lol: :lol:
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