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Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Searching for Archie at Ardverike


Postby Jaxter » Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:00 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chlachair, Geal Charn and Creag Pitridh

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chlachair, Creag Pitridh, Geal Charn

Date walked: 20/03/2016

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1275m

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After 2 weeks of jealousy seeing everyone else's beautiful blue sky photos, finally a free day! We had the 3 munros from near Arderike of 'Monarch of the Glen' fame in our sights, and I was looking forward to meeting Laird Archie :-P :roll: :-D Despite the disappointment of the rugby on Saturday, we were in high spirits as we left Tulloch just after 7.30 and headed for Luiblea, parking in the layby just before Loch Laggan. The sun was shining, the sky blue, the air cold and crisp. It was shaping up to be another perfect day in the Highlands :D

We unloaded bikes which were all covered in frost and I got out my spanner, scoring man-points for fixing my brakes. We headed off across the bridge but had to stop for some photos as the views were stunning.

West, previous conquests
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Beinn A'Chlachair, our first target
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Happy to be out!
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After admiring the scenery we set off up the track; it was gentle at first but after the gate there was a sudden steep bit which got the heart pumping early on! After this it slightly relented but there was a stop soon after this to remove layers. The sun was pretty warm on our backs and we found ourselves looking enviously at the slightly darker skies further West....until we realised we were being pansies! It was a bit different and good fun being out on bikes, and we were so happy to be out in the hills again 8)

Gorgeous views West
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We arrived at the lochan na h-Earba and after getting stuck in deep sand, decided to leave the bikes there as we couldn't cycle anyway. We locked the bikes together and set off on foot up the track.

Looking down the lochan
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The gradient steepened soon after but the track was still good and we made quick work of it. Looking back we could see that we had already gained a lot of height and Beinn a'Chlachair ahead didn't look as daunting as it had from the road.

Back down the track
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Bealach between BaC and Geal Charn
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We eventually left the track, crossed the burn (no disasters fortunately :lol: ) and started heading directly up towards the top. This got quite steep, although nothing compared with Creag Mhor 2 weeks ago... :shock: There were some snowy patches which were hard in places but a convenient set of footprints fortunately avoided the need for fiddling around with crampons :thumbup:

Eventually we came over the brow of this minor top and could see the bulk of BaC looming ahead, drifting in and out of the clag.

Me looking windswept, spoiling the view of Pitridh and the Meagaidh hills behind
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Back towards Tulloch
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BaC with sunny snowy peaks behind
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We could see the ridge bending around the top of the Coire and an impressive and dangerous looking cornice that we elected to stay well away from!
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Action shot
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The climb was deceptive - harder work than it looked but we pushed on through snow, then rocky sections then finally more snow to bring us to an impressive looking summit cairn.

The clag had conveniently lifted off and although some of the other tops were not always visible, there were some impressive views towards the Alder hills (which looked giant!), Creag Meagaidh and to our next 2 targets, Geal Charn and Creag Pitridh, the latter still looking very insignificant in its larger company.

Across to Alder hills
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After a few photies we headed back along the ridge, continuing along the long back of the mountain before finding a sheltered spot for a quick bite to eat.
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Fortunately the weather was staying good and we could see where we were headed as this descent has a reputation for being tricky. We came off the top shortly before the end, which gave us a steep descent with plenty of bum shuffling and traversing across snow patches. It was slow going but nothing we couldn't handle! We made it back to the bealach path and followed it over to the base of Geal Charn.

We elected to follow the path until we reached the ridge, at which point we struck off to the right up steep slopes, sometimes grassy, other times very rocky, over several false summits but eventually seeing the actual summit cairn which, amusingly looked like a nipple from a distance :lol:
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It was just before we reached the summit that we encountered our first life-forms of the day, a group of people heading down (but no Archie :( ) On reaching the summit we mounted the cairn and set about some more photos.

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Looking over to Creag Pitridh
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We feasted on more of Asda's mini macaroons and decided that it would be a great spot to camp as the top was so wide! Adding it to the to-do list, we headed back down along the long top before veering off to the right and downwards towards the bealach between Geal Charn and Creag Pitridh, where we could see plenty of people coming up and down. As we came down we were reassured that we had made the correct decision to come up the ridge - it was a much better route up. There was a big bit of slightly icy snow that we had a great time sliding down, much to the amusement of yet another group of people heading up the side :lol: None of these people were Archie either :(

We headed up Creag Pitridh from the bealach, steep and grassy at first, then following a zig zag set of footprints up a diagonal bit of snow before finding a rocky path to the top. Possibly the quickest Munro ever? Another short pause for some photos and a route discussion. Rather than going back the same way we decided to go straight off the end and keep going until we hit the track.

Looking over to Binnein Shuas
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Unfortunately, as I stopped to add another layer I stepped backwards onto my pole, shortening it in a permanent way... :( Glad that we had completed all the ascent where they had been helping my back, I set off downwards, slightly lopsided :lol: Most of the way down there was a path to follow, which became increasingly boggy as we got lower. I won bog-foot prize of the day as we were nearing the track :lol: Back on the track, it was a quick march back down to the beach where we had left the bikes, fortunately still there :thumbup:

As there was no massive rush to get back, we decided to sit on the beach and enjoy the beautiful scenery before biking back. It was an idyllic spot, so peaceful and isolated. I didn't want to leave! After debating the merits of different chocolate bars (I was all for Twixes) we figured it was time to go.

Enjoying the view
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We got back on the bikes (definitely need to do more cycling as my ass was not happy about this :wtf: ) after the first couple of corners we free-wheeled almost the entire way back to the car in about 10 minutes!

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Definitely the way to do it as walking would have taken well over an hour. We fixed the bikes back on the car and headed off down the road; disappointed at not meeting Archie :lol: but having enjoyed yet another wonderful day in the hills :D
Last edited by Jaxter on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jaxter
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Posts: 1200
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Postby mamoset » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:02 pm

I've been looking for walks where i could also use my bike, so thanks for that one Jaxter, looks a decent walk too!! :D
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Re: Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:41 pm

A decent day , saw hee haw ón these three .... must return :D
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Re: Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Postby ancancha » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:51 am

Biker hiking 8)
Nice report and photos Jaxter :clap:
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Re: Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Postby laconic surf » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:20 pm

Great photos - Loch Laggan is such a beauty. Bittersweet for me these 3, as I did my knee coming off Geal Charn and had to bail by cycling one-legged back to the car and left Creag Pitridh unclimbed :( At some point I'll need to do the massive walk in just to climb it!
Looked like a great day out for you guys though 8)
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Re: Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Postby Jaxter » Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:06 am

mamoset wrote:I've been looking for walks where i could also use my bike, so thanks for that one Jaxter, looks a decent walk too!! :D

Definitely use a bike, would take forever to walk! Ben Lui would be good with a bike, that track goes on forever :crazy:


Collaciotach wrote:A decent day , saw hee haw ón these three .... must return :D

Definitely a good viewpoint if the weather behaves :D


ancancha wrote:Biker hiking 8)
Nice report and photos Jaxter :clap:

Thanks :D It was exciting! :D


laconic surf wrote:Great photos - Loch Laggan is such a beauty. Bittersweet for me these 3, as I did my knee coming off Geal Charn and had to bail by cycling one-legged back to the car and left Creag Pitridh unclimbed :( At some point I'll need to do the massive walk in just to climb it!
Looked like a great day out for you guys though 8)

Oh no! That would be a long way to cycle one-legged... :shock: If you took a bike at least it would only take you an afternoon :wink:
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Jaxter
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Re: Searching for Archie at Ardverike

Postby Petr Dakota » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:32 am

Jaxter wrote:
mamoset wrote:I've been looking for walks where i could also use my bike, so thanks for that one Jaxter, looks a decent walk too!! :D

Definitely use a bike, would take forever to walk! Ben Lui would be good with a bike, that track goes on forever :crazy:
:wink:


Great day out on these hills ! :clap:
Some good views and photos and always nice to see you both enjoying your trips :D 8) :clap:
Well done again ! :clap: Nothing can stop you...100 for you and 200 for Hugh on the horizon :clap: :D :clap:
Looks like super bike adventure too and probably saving some time on the initial way, but as an proudly walker :lol: I enjoyed all the walk there last year, especially very early morning in the silence, when the wilderness woke up slowly :D :wink: Had a similar route, just extended @ 2 km to avoid some boggs in fog, but managed finish 28 km in 8 hours too...nobody else there that day-time: :lol: I woke up shortly after midnight, left home at 01:15 :roll: , started the walk at 04:15 :crazy: and back in the car park at 12:15 ...still almost all day ahead :D Can't forget :lol:
The reality is that I lost my bike by some thief :( and since the time i did not buy another one... :? ...so easy to say for me: "a proudly walker" :lol: but I would definitely think about a bike for some routes where the start and finish point is different - distanced by a road. May be useful also for routes like this if need to save some time in a short day :wink: Cheers
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