Ossian Easter - 9 Snowy Tops: What Larks!
by weaselmaster » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:50 pm
Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Alder), Beinn Bheoil, Beinn Eibhinn, Beinn na Lap, Ben Alder, Carn Dearg (Corrour), Carn Dearg (Loch Pattack), Geal-charn (Alder), Sgor Gaibhre
Date walked: 29/03/2013
Time taken: 30 hours
Distance: 64.1 km
Ascent: 4192m28 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It's the first time I've actually plotted out a GPX file too, so that was a bit of fun - having to think of best routes, possible escapes depending on snow quantity and avalanche risk and all that. The weather forecast looked like a dream - cold but no more snow, no winds, clear skies - how lucky could we be? On the night before setting off there was a bit of mutual panicking from myself and Allison as we found our packs weighed in at over 23kg each -too much, particularly when Allison told me she'd put her bag on & promptly fallen backwards !
A bit of pruning got the weight down to about 20kg- still heavy! One of my poorer decisions was to suggest she replaced her airmat with 2 foam mats - they'd surely carry out the same purpose & be lighter - a bad call which led to less sleep than would otherwise have been the case. You live & learn...
We almost hit disaster right from the outset, arriving at Dumbarton platform literally as the train was pulling in I was in a seriously stressed state I can tell you, which wasn't helped any by finding the train was going to be splitting at Crianlarich and me worrying we were in the right section, then having to get off at Rannoch station to take our bags to the rear train door - they only open one on Corrour station. However, we finally hit the platform at Corrour around 9.15pm, a beautiful cold clear night with a big yellow moon begining to rise over the hills to the east. A party of lads with their grizzled grandfather/leader got off, as well as a rather odd chap dressed in brogues, a pullover and cagoule and we headed to the Youth Hostel by headtorch.
i've never stayed in a Hostel before and enjoyed the experience - warm and comfy. The odd chap - Tom - spent a while talking to the Hostel lady and then ourselves - he was planning to wander to "a bothy" to spend the night there. No gloves, torch or apparently clear idea of where he was headed - more than a bit worrying, but he seemed to have done such things before He headed off into the cold, we bunked down for some kip.
Up at 5 to see the sunrise slowly creep over Loch Ossian, the moon, silver now, poised on the top of Meall na Lice.
Moon over meall na Lice by 23weasels, on Flickr
Moon from Youth Hostel, Ossian by 23weasels, on Flickr
The Loch was partly frozen and posts emerging from the water had collars of ice. It was beautiful there - all the more so for having arrived in the dark and being greeted with this scenery in a fresh new day. What a stunning location.
Ossian morning by 23weasels, on Flickr
Ice collars by 23weasels, on Flickr
After a bowl of porridge by the woodburner - ruefully thinking this would be the last heat we'd have for a few days - we loaded up and set off for our first destination, Carn Dearg. The path was through frozen, boggy heather and gentle to begin with, becoming a bit steeper in the last section. The snow was soft and yielding and the going was tough.
Looking back to Ossian from Carn dearg route by 23weasels, on Flickr
Panorama ossian hills by 23weasels, on Flickr
Once at the summit, the views were absolutely stunning - in every direction there were white topped hills - and for a change we could recognize some of them: the Wall of Rannoch, Aonach Eonach, the Ben, Schiehalion - man - I don't think I've ever seen such a panorama of hills with no sign of humanity in the way - not even a vapour trail ruined the perfect blue sky.
We stayed for a while, savouring the view and the relatively balmy conditions, before heading down to the bealach and making for the perfect white cone of Sgor Gaibhre. We could see the bulk of Ben Alder curling like a sleeping, snowy big cat ahead of us, with Loch Ericht beyond and the pointy white peak of Schiehalion a wizard's cap, whilst over to the right the great curve of Beinn Eibhinn. Breathtaking
Towards Ben Alder by 23weasels, on Flickr
Summit Carn Dearg with Alder curving beyond by 23weasels, on Flickr
Aonch Eagach ridge by 23weasels, on Flickr
The Ben by 23weasels, on Flickr
Schiehalion by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder, Bheoil & Loch Ericht by 23weasels, on Flickr
Towards Glencoe by 23weasels, on Flickr
The plan was to continue down to Bealach Leathann and climb Meall na Meoig before heading off across the empty lands of what was once Rannoch Forest. Straight forward enough til we came to the last section of MnM just by the little lochan - it was really steep here and covered with hard frozen snow, with some areas of corniced build up just beneath the summit. One of my compromises for the trip had been to use my 4 season boots and 10 point walking crampons rather than my proper winter boots and 12 pointers (i knew I would not be able to walk the distance in the winter boots) so that didn't give me the best grip - had to resort to cutting steps in the icy snow to get a foothold and still having maybe 50 metres to go up with the added weight of a full pack on - discretion being the better part of valour we decided to turn around and made a cautious descent back to the lochan and rethink. Fortunately there was no need to reach the summit - we could simply contour round the side of the lochan and join our original path on the other side of Lochan Meoig - both lochans were of course frozen hard and their water visible only as a faint blue glimmer under the snow.
Steep section of Meall na Meoig by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder, Bheoil & Ericht by 23weasels, on Flickr
Carn Dearg & Sgor Gaibhre by 23weasels, on Flickr
Having started the lengthy descent down to Rannoch Forest we were glad for the frozen ground as this place must get really boggy most of the year. We could see the wending course of the Cam Chriochan ahead of us as we plodded, startling a herd of deer who ran off silently and assumed a watchful position several hundred metres away. We crossed at a shallow section and made for the start of the treeline by the footbridge, planning to walk up the track towards Ben Alder cottage. It was very strange to see the roots and trunks of the ancient trees looming out of the heather, or even more surreal, those that were part submerged in the freshwater beach of Loch Ericht, looking like fossilized octopuses from a particularly scary episode of Dr Who
Ancient forest stumps by 23weasels, on Flickr
Looking up Loch Ericht by 23weasels, on Flickr
Beinn Bheoil by 23weasels, on Flickr
The views of Beinn Bheoil and up towards the Drumochter hills were beautiful as was the gently fading evening light on the water. We had decided against staying at the Cottage - again, I've never stayed at a bothy before and didn't really know what to expect if we were joined by a party of hard drinking wild hill men in the wee small hours So intead we found a peaceful spot to pitch just off the track at An Grianan, looking down to the waters of the loch but having the shelter of the trees and the added advantage of fallen trunks at the perfect height for seats.
Sron Bealach Beithe - Alder by 23weasels, on Flickr
Campsite near An Grianan by 23weasels, on Flickr
Sunset over Loch Ericht by 23weasels, on Flickr
It was a still, but cold night, with the only sounds being the lapping of the waves and the hooting of an owl, until the middle of the night when the noise of the waters completely stopped - eerie! Sunrise over the hills we'd walked yesterday was lovely and we couldn't believe our luck to have another cloudless clear blue sky day.
Morning rising over Drumochter hills by 23weasels, on Flickr
Morning sun on Meall na Meoig by 23weasels, on Flickr
I've wanted to climb Ben Alder for a long while - curiousity partly of its remoteness and partly cos my brother-in-law, who's nearing Compleation hasn't done it yet and has spoken about it on a number of occasions to me. So this promised to be a day to remember. Breakfast porridge to heat us up we packed the tent and headed round the corner to Ben Alder cottage which we could see sitting under the shelter of the mountains at the base of Bealach Breabaig - a stunning - if isolated - location. We headed across the quiant bridge and decided to have a look in - meeting a guy who'd been camping overnight in the grounds on his way walking from Dalwhinnie to Crianlarich - he said there had been a couple guys in the cottage the night before but they'd left early. Summoning the courage to peek in we were pleasantly surprised by the tidiness and the prepared fire set in the hearth. Still don't know if I'd have felt ok bothying - maybe if it had been raining I'd have not thought twice about it
Benalder cottage & Bealach Breabaig by 23weasels, on Flickr
Bridge by 23weasels, on Flickr
Inside Ben Alder bothy by 23weasels, on Flickr
Panorama ericht by 23weasels, on Flickr
L Ericht from Bealach Breabaig by 23weasels, on Flickr
From down here, Bealach Breabaig looked a bit of a doddle - up between the two hills, shouldn't need too much effort. But oh - how wrong I was! For one thing it seemed to go on forever, for another it was ankle to knee deep in that snow that just about holds your weight but then lets you sink through it just as you stand on it. My shoulders were sore with the big pack and I was getting all hot and bothered. We did see some unusual footprints - delicate and slender pads and claws - which I think were otter tracks? Anyway, we eventually made it up to the little lochans (frozen, of course) between Alder and Bheoil.
Near top of Breabaig by 23weasels, on Flickr
Beinn Bheoill by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder - Sron Bealach Beithe by 23weasels, on Flickr
Towards Loch a'Bhealach Bheithe by 23weasels, on Flickr
Beinn Bheoil by 23weasels, on Flickr
Sron Bealach Beithe by 23weasels, on Flickr
We'd originally planned to go up Bheoil first, return from the summit then go up Alder and descend by the Long Leachas - however, yesterday's little adventure with ice and steepness called for a rethink as neither of us felt entirely happy at the prospect of trying to learn scrambling skills with a third of our body-weight strapped on our backs. So another bit of on the spot revision - we'd ditch the sacks at the bealach, go up Alder first, then Bheoil and descend by the middle route along Bhealach Bheithe, as described by McNeish.
The relief of slipping off the packs and just putting on a bum-bag with essentials was truly liberating and we were warm enough to be able to head up in baselayer and crampons. The route up Sron Bealach Beithe was steep and the snow frozen, but it mostly took crampon and axe well and I set off making neat 12 step zigzags up the hillside.
Starting up Sron Bealach Beithe by 23weasels, on Flickr
Bheoil from Alder by 23weasels, on Flickr
About two-thirds of the way up I did become a bit alarmed about losing my axe during hand changeovers - one of these periodic anxieties that can enter your head at such times , as I didn't fancy going further up or back down without it. But the steepness passed into a gentle curve at the top of the rise and we made our way to the little cairn at 1104. We could see the plateau curving away round to the right, with the main cairn just visible and a couple of figures around it. The cornicing around the edge of the ridge was incredible, "like meringue" thought Allison. I'd not fancy being up here in a white out as the drop was frightening.
Alder - Garbh Coire by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder from near the cairn by 23weasels, on Flickr
Cornicing on Coire Garbh by 23weasels, on Flickr
We crunched our way over to the cairn, meeting the two figures we'd seen earlier - they were also enjoying the fine weather and remarked that they'd just had a Jetboil going at the summit for a coffee - you don't often get the stillness to manage that. We made the cairn, enjoying the fab views over to Alder's sister hill "the one in front", particularly liking the little pimple like cap before Bheoil's summit cairn. Again the views to the north were fabulous and I noticed a pretty impressive snow-crack on the cornicing further down towards the Leachas. Glad we weren't going that way!. We enjoyed a leisurly walk back the way we'd come, marvelling at the beauty of this hill in her snowy coat. Descending the steep section took a little time and care - though we noticed that the couple we'd seen earlier had glissaded down on their rears - amazing Hope they had re-inforced trouser seats!
A seat at the top of Alder by 23weasels, on Flickr
Snow crack by 23weasels, on Flickr
Carn Dearg & Geal Charn by 23weasels, on Flickr
Cornice!! by 23weasels, on Flickr
The Ben, again by 23weasels, on Flickr
Descent, Alder by 23weasels, on Flickr
Back at the bealach I was glad to find our sacks & kit was still there (another little anxiety although we'd hardly seen any one the whole day and who was going to lug off a couple of big packs from up a remote hill). We had a bite to eat, then started off up Sron Coire na lolaire, which was a bit demanding on the legs after Alder.
Coire Garbh cliffs by 23weasels, on Flickr
East flank of Bheoil by 23weasels, on Flickr
We came to a steep descent and little narrow ridge joining this hill oddly shaped flat topped hill to Beinn Bheoil - there were a couple of sets of footprints to follow which always makes it easier
Bheoil by 23weasels, on Flickr
Towards the top of Bheoil by 23weasels, on Flickr
Sron Coire na lolaire from Bheoil top by 23weasels, on Flickr
Return from Bheoil by 23weasels, on Flickr
Walking on towards the cairn our eyes kept being drawn to Bheoil's mighty neighbour Alder, with those black cliffs of Garbh Coire dropping more than 300metres down to the valley floor below.
Alder - Coire Garbh by 23weasels, on Flickr
Loch pattack in distance by 23weasels, on Flickr
After reaching the cairn and enjoying the view north to the head of Loch Ericht, we retraced our steps, back down to the bealach, back on with our sacks (groan) and off with the crampons - a little prematurely as the snow down to the bhealaich bheithe was still frozen and slippy. We followed the track along the frozen loch, every so often disappearing into snow holes until we finally made it to the end of the loch where we got a good view of the Leachas - think we probably made the right call to take the route we did. Following the course of Allt Bhealach Bheithe until it joined with Allt a'choil-reidhe we marvelled in the changing face of Alder, so much more imposing from this side - and of course the terrifying Lancet's edge which came into view as the sun was beginning to fade and some fluffy clouds were coalescing overhead. Ooh - don't fancy having to go up there!
Lancet's edge by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder & Lancet's edge by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder from Coal Reidhe by 23weasels, on Flickr
The ground down towards Culra was still mostly snow covered. We hadn't decided exactly where to stop for the night - we didn't want to go to Culra bothy as, being Easter, we thought it would be busy and neither of us wanted the noise & hubbub of other folk -being immersed in the quiet solitude of this beautiful place for the last 48 hours was beginning to instil a deep sense of calm and tranquility. We crossed the river before reaching Culra lodge, looking for a suitable site along the riverside, but everywhere was wet and boggy. Eventually we headed for the Lodge - all locked and bolted, and found some flat dry land just outside the fence, right at the start of tomorrow's trek up Carn Dearg - convenient if not exactly remote given the proximity of the wooden buildings. Tonight's repast was two different flavours of noodles, which helped heat us up a little. it was going to be a cold night
Pitch looking to Beinn Udlamain by 23weasels, on Flickr
It was - woke to find the inside of the tent's flysheet encased in ice. Another lovely morning - with exquisite views of Alder's white ramparts glowing a faint pink in the early sun.
Mornign sun on Alder by 23weasels, on Flickr
Morning Lancet by 23weasels, on Flickr
Packed up again - today was going to be a full day with packs on, which neither of us was relishing, but actually it turned out not so bad- must have got more used to the extra weight, or having eaten some of the food had helped. Anyway, up the steep flank of Carn Dearg we went, zigzagging through the heather and snow, thankful when the terrain became less demanding at around 700m.
Steep side of Carn Dearg by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder & lancet behind by 23weasels, on Flickr
Alder & lancet by 23weasels, on Flickr
But the wind was rising - the forecast from home on Thursday had suggested that today was going to have virtually no wind - ideal thought I for a ridge walk - but here we were facing strong gusts. It wasn't a problem yet, anyway - CD being a rounded hill. As we neared the top I gave a shout of glee - a raven had been perched on the cairn and flew off grudgingly at our arrival - haven't seen a raven for weeks and always like to have one meet and greet me at a top.
Nearing top of Carn Dearg by 23weasels, on Flickr
Cairn of CD ahead by 23weasels, on Flickr
The ridge ahead by 23weasels, on Flickr
Geal Charn by 23weasels, on Flickr
The next section had given us both a bit of worry when we were looking over the map in the morning - the steep section at Aisre Ghobhainn. From the map it looked like a short but steep down followed by a steep up - with some exposure. Neither of us has much experience of narrow things or exposure, so the extra concern of pack weight and increasing winds led to some anxiety. We thought of descending and skirting round choire cheap, going up the shoulder beyond, but that didn't look much better. Ach we'll have a look & see, we thought as we trotted across the stony plain from CD towards it.
Closer to GC by 23weasels, on Flickr
Geal Charn by 23weasels, on Flickr
Steep bit GC by 23weasels, on Flickr
Geal Charn by 23weasels, on Flickr
The initial down & up section proved to be alright, something of an anticlimax really, and we sat & had our lunch after that. But the section going further up to Geal Charn looked quite another prospect - the snow was icy hard and although there was a couple of lines of kicked steps where walkers had gone up the day before they seemed perilously close to the edge on the right hand side - and I had no idea of whether there was cornicing on here or not. And it was steeper than I'd come across that often - me with my 10 point crampons on as well... Anyway we decided to trust to the steps being sound, which they were, and set off up a rather challenging bit of our weekend. Allison had the added difficulty of the steps being made by someone with a slightly bigger gait than she Delighted and a little exhilarated to have got to the top we were met by an immense flat plain, with no cairn anywhere in sight.
Allison top GC by 23weasels, on Flickr
Consulting the map we could see the cairn was far off in the distance, fortunately not near the curving, heavily corniced edge and reached without further ado or sign of raven we pressed on towards our next objective of Aonoch Beag. The wind was even stronger now and for once I was glad of the extra weight of our packs helping keep us grounded and stable. Although the pull up to AB was still quite steep and on icy snow, there was none of the sense of exposure that met us on GC and we opted to keep the poles for balance rather than switching to axe mode.
Towards Aonach Beag by 23weasels, on Flickr
AB ridge by 23weasels, on Flickr
Summit AB by 23weasels, on Flickr
The summit was reached and a sense of unease was growing - looking down I could see a narrow path at the bealach joining AB with our final destination, Beinn Eibhinn. The exposure wasn't as marked as on the earlier challenge, but it was still quite uncomfortable getting good footing on rocky parts in crampons and the wind had notched it up again. I did consider pulling out and descendingdown into Bealach Dhuibh and just going off without BE, but looking at Eibhinn I could see that although the wind was strong, once we got over the tricky part we would be able to keep to the left of the ridge and out of any danger.
Beinn Eibhinn by 23weasels, on Flickr
Curve of BE by 23weasels, on Flickr
So - a bit gingerly at times - we picked our way across the bealach ridge and up along the rising crest of BE. Again we saw remarkable cornincing along the curved edge of the mountain and got to our destination point of the cairn. The wind was now so strong it was safer to lie down to try and have some food - but the snacks had to be poured directly into the mouth from the pack otherwise they flew off into the wind .
BE cornice by 23weasels, on Flickr
"Resting" in the wind top BE by 23weasels, on Flickr
We walked towards Mullach Coire nan Nead, for a long while remaining on a plateau above 1000m.
Mullach Coire nan Nead by 23weasels, on Flickr
Loch Ghuilbinn by 23weasels, on Flickr
At the top of that hill we saw a couple of folks out walking their dog, wearing rather less kit than we had on. No idea where they'd come up from and they looked at us like we were aliens - however the wind was still howling and I was quite happy with goggles etc. We decided to head down Coire nan Nead towards Loch Ghulbinn rather than try the steeper descent across Sron nan nead towards river Ossian - we were quite drained physically and emotionally after a hard but exciting day and just wanted to get pitched. However, the strong wind howling down the valley in bursts didn't fill us with joy. My plan had originally been to pitch over near the start of Sron na cloiche sgoilte to give us the option of just going up Beinn Na Lap on the last day, or heading over to include Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodian, but right now it was time to find a sheltered spot if we could - the sheepfold walls at the end of the coire offered some privacy and protection so after clearing some submerged rocks, got pitched and watched the sun set over Sron Ruadh with an amazing pink sky.
Pitch # 3 - Creagan nan Nead behind by 23weasels, on Flickr
Day fading - Strath Ossian Lodge by 23weasels, on Flickr
Sunset over Sron Ruadh by 23weasels, on Flickr
Another cold night - getting used to this now - with water in sacks frozen. Didn't take much time to decide that we'd only be doing BnL today - that meant if we started early we could get the 12.31 train from Corrour and be back home a good deal earlier than trying to squeeze in extra hills on tired legs and having to get home seriously late with work the next day. So off we set at 7am. Which was really 6am as the clocks had just gone forward (we remembered as it would have been irritating to have missed the train by an hour still working on GMT)
Morning over Loch Ghuilbinn by 23weasels, on Flickr
The first nice surprise of the day was the footbridge across the river Ossian had been half laid with new timber, meaning that the first half of the bridge had to be crossed on narrow iron girders which were slippy with ice. What joy! What larks! It did look an uncomfortable fall either onto the girders (ouch!) or into the river below, but we managed to make it over with a bit of the "jelly legs" and along the track towards our starting location.
Half a bridge by 23weasels, on Flickr
Was strange to be on proper roads again after our wilderness. Startled some stags before getting up onto the first section on BnL - quite enjoyed doing the hill from this direction as it is formed by a series of summits and plateaux.
Sron na Clioche Sgiolte by 23weasels, on Flickr
Back to Loch Ghuilbinn by 23weasels, on Flickr
BnL - Creagan Gorm by 23weasels, on Flickr
Summit BnL - Cold!! by 23weasels, on Flickr
As we climbed, it was bitingly cold however, with the wind really strong in bursts and not a day for sticking around. We sighted the cairn, had a quick photo and Nakd bar before heading back down towards Loch Ossian. It was strange to see a multitude of footprints in the snow - looked like a walking club had been up the day before. Some of the footprints had been turned into relief by the wind, leaving what looked like a trail of snowy clogs along the trail.
Ice clogs by 23weasels, on Flickr
The descent towards Ossian was less steep than either of us had been expecting and we just had to pick our way through heather and bog pools. We could see the track and the hostel ahead of us in the dazzling sun, the half frozen waters of Loch Ossian glinting and shimmering in the light.
Loch Ossian by 23weasels, on Flickr
Reaching the track we headed back towards the station in good time for the train - with maybe an hour to spare. Although the sun was shining, the strong wind robbed it of any heat and we shivered a little inside the waiting room.
Leum Uileum by 23weasels, on Flickr
Corrour by 23weasels, on Flickr
The sleeper from London passed by only 3 hours behind schedule, and our train back to Glasgow was 10 mins or so delayed. Warm inside, and revived by a cup of Scotrail's finest coffee, we settled back to enjoy one of the most scenic trainrides I can ever remember, with the mountains over Etive, Orchy and Lomond side sparkling in the sun. Ben Lomond herself looked particularly beguiling and and out of place, rising up peaked in her snow coat while the surrounding landscape had donned the colours of spring. It was a bit strange to be back in the bustle of Buchanan St, but a tasty meal and a couple of pints in a favourite watering hole dispersed some of the strangeness
Train home by 23weasels, on Flickr
So a great long weekend, one of the best experiences that I've had. Learning along the way - how to manage being self-reliant in a remote environment; the need to be aware and careful with simple things like where you place your feet, taking time rather than rushing to get to the top; how to cope with the physical demands of successive days walking with a heavy pack and a few wee challenging bits on the hills too. But how refreshed and relaxed after that time "away from it all" I think if I'd been on my own I might just have got a little crazier as all that wildness seeped into me Was also really good to spend an extended time in the one area, learning about the relation of the hills to each other, seeing them as their forms change with your own changing vantage point and realising how the entire area is linked. It has helped me, more than anything else I can imagine, to come to terms with the loss of my 4 legged furry shadow Finn, who died suddenly on the 22nd March, and I'll dedicate the weekend to him.
by rockhopper » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:30 pm
by ceaser » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:52 pm
by audreywaugh » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:12 pm
by battie72 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:15 pm
Still sitting with an immensely contented smile on my face
by Scotjamie » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:21 pm
by dunrig » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:34 am
- Posts: 164
- Joined: Jan 5, 2012
by Sabbathstevie » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:23 pm
by malky_c » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:14 pm
I assume you didn't carry that guitar the whole way round
by weaselmaster » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:26 pm
malky_c wrote:I assume you didn't carry that guitar the whole way round
Yeah, we used that to sing for our supper - or scare away the ghosts!
It was a resident of Benalder cottage and had some interesting graffiti on it too
by whiteburn » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:25 pm
Pity about the sack weight, something that needs working on if you plan to do more and don't want to break the body
- Posts: 334
- Joined: Jan 6, 2012
- Location: Aberdeenshire
by BoyVertiginous » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:41 pm
Did the beard have to go in the pack-weight cuts?! Probably a few kilos there, eh
by SAVAGEALICE » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:54 pm
so sorry to hear about your doggie
by weaselmaster » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:45 pm
BoyVertiginous wrote:Did the beard have to go in the pack-weight cuts?! Probably a few kilos there, eh
The beard had to go cos it was always freezing solid or getting snagged in zips. Not a pleasant experience really - though it did offer a bit of extra thermal protection