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SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy


Postby Jaxter » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:29 pm

Route description: Loch Lochy Munros from Kilfinnan

Munros included on this walk: Meall na Teanga, Sron a'Choire Ghairbh

Date walked: 17/04/2016

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1258m

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Following my Glenfinnan adventure the day before, I knew that the weather reports suggested Sunday would offer less good weather. But after some time in the Roy Bridge bar with the wifi, I had worked out a plan. It looked like the Loch Lochy munros ought to be decent; not a perfect day by any means but when can you ever expect that?! :lol:

I had a nice early night and allowed myself a tiny bit of a lie in as I had less far to go :D My alarm went off at 6 and I gingerly stretched out my legs to see how they were reacting to the previous day's exertions :shock: They moved, which I took as a good sign :lol: After managing not to boil over my porridge (first time for everything!) :thumbup: I grabbed my stuff and jumped in the car.

It started spotting with rain shortly after I left, but I knew that it was likely, so continued. It got heavier... but by the time I had negotiated the pot-hole fest that was the single track road to Kilfinnan and avoided hitting suicidal sheep, the rain and eased and the sky was looking clearer.

The way ahead
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Brighter skies over Loch Lochy
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As I had my bike with me anyway, I figured I might as well cycle along the track. It was quite hard work and I was beginning to wonder if I'd have been easier walking! But thinking I'd probably thank myself on the way back, I persevered. Around 10 minutes down the road, it started raining. As it got heavier I had to stop and put the waterproofs on. They would not come off until I reached the car!

The forest track
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Eventually the track started to go downhill - wonderful news at the time, but I was aware I'd have to come back up! Just as I was worried that I'd missed it, I arrived at the large Boulder and footpath sign. Jumping off the bike, I found a nifty spot behind a tree to hide it (seeing bike tires I was pretty sure it was the usual spot!)

I set off up the path and into the forest. Finally getting a bit of relief from the rain, I was able to ink about other things - namely my legs which were complaining about the steep uphill. Taking my time, I was able to enjoy being outside, and the waterfall which was looking impressive after all the rain.

Coming out of the forest, I could see that the sky was beginning to brighten again and the rain was letting off. This on-off rain was a theme all day. I rewarded myself with a coconut macaroon before continuing. I was surprised to see bike tracks and decided that there were some crazy people out there....

Wisps of cloud starting to clear
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Now out of the forest, I could see the sunlight on the loch
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The only life form I was to see for a lot of hours :lol:
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Further up...
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The bealach path ahead- visibility improving!
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The bealach finally visible, Sron a Choire Ghairbh off to the right, Meall Dubh (what I initially thought was Meall na Teanga) on left
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The path up to the bealach was generally a well built path although there were 2 big eroded gullies needing crossed - as this route was a Coffin Trail I think that these obstacles may be a more recent addition :lol: As I continued, the views were improving further and from the bealach I could finally see Meall na Teanga looking impressive on the left.

Back down the glen to Loch Lochy
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However, with the visibility had come the wind that was forecast. It felt very blowy but nothing dangerous, so I made the decision to go up Sron a Choire Ghairbh first, as directed by the instructions. I think my logic was that I expected the views to improve....

Making my way up the zig zag path, the ascent here was not as difficult as I had expected, although the wind was becoming pretty intense.

Meall Dubh looking pretty in the moody light
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Meall na Teanga
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Down the other side of the bealach
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I stopped for another dose of energy - I took one delicious bite of my coconut macaroon but before I could savour the other half, the wind caught my map and it knocked my treat out of my hand. This was now personal :evil:

Reaching the end of the zig zags, there was a muddy trail which was visible beneath the snow to follow and then some snowy footprints, then I was on my own. Fortunately I could see the edge of the Coire Garbh (with a gigantic cornice) and knew that I could follow this round to the summit cairn.

The top of the coire and looking left to the East summit
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The last stretch was extremely windy, blowing snow against me and was not very pleasant. The weather did do me one favour and chose this moment to clear, so I did see some views from the summit (although I'm not sure I could say I 'enjoyed' them!

The ridge West
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The evil map that stole my treat :( And my eyes hiding from the snow blowing around :lol:
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Meall na Teanga, the next target still clear :D
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Photos taken, and a very wobbly camera, I beat a hasty retreat. Heading swiftly back down towards the zig zags and then to the bealach, I was feeling pretty knackered. However I'd had great views of Meall na Teanga and it looked like a cracking mountain. It was also miraculously clear, so I was hopeful that my weather prediction would be correct.

Still clear....
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Still clear...but check out that snow blowing around :shock:
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As I headed up the muddy path towards the 2nd bealach below Meall na Teanga, I could see a cornice and a lot of snow in my path. Stopping at the bealach, I used the moment of relative shelter to reward myself again, this time with a mars bar. Sadly the mars bar had been sunbathing in Glenfinnan the previous day, but it tasted good despite being a mess :lol:

Looking back to Sron a' Choire Ghairbh
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Planning my route up, I could see footprints heading directly up the snow and cutting up the edge of the cornice; another set headed below it and presumably scrambled up towards the summit that way :shock: I didn't think either of those solutions were a good idea, so elected to head right from the bealach, cross a patch of snow and walk up the ridge, which is what the instructions seemed to be suggesting :thumbup:

Views of Nevis, but these would surely be even better from the summit?
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As I started across the snow patch, I began to wonder if I should have put my crampons on :shock: but the snow was easily soft enough to dig feet into.

I started taking pictures here, maybe it was an excuse for a break, perhaps I had a feeling of what was about to happen... :shock: :roll:

Looking NW and a wee rainbow :D
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Loch Lochy direction, the ridge down from Sron a' Choire Ghairbh
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On the other side was a very steep section of loose rocks and almost scree to haul myself up. Soon this slightly eased, although if possible the wind had actually got worse and I felt myself blown off course several times. Staying well away from the edge, I continued up, picking up a path leading to a cairn. From here I could see ahead to a possible summit, but when I arrived I could see another ahead and then a short distance ahead was a cairn. At last :thumbup:

It was a complete whiteout sadly and given that I was being blown around by 100mph winds (I exaggerate only slightly :shock: ) I was in no mood to wait around for the famed views of Ben Nevis and Knoydart. In any case, it felt like the clag had settled, no tingly 6th sense telling me it was about to clear this time :(

Made it!! :D
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Pulling my scarf up over my face and making myself look like a very colourful ninja, I headed back down. It was so windy that I was struggling to stand sometimes, so just wanted to get down. Finding my way back to the cairn and then following the ridge down the steep slippery rocks, which proved to be my downfall and I lost my footing and ended up on my backside. Ouch! :(

Picking myself up, I got going again, crossing the snow and making my way back down to the path. Lower down now, the wind was a little less and visibility slightly improved to the NW.

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However, the snow had turned to rain and was still hurling itself at me. Meall na Teanga was still in cloud so I was glad I hadn't waited. Looking down the glen, it looked nicer there so decided it was time to head for a better climate :lol:
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I set off back down the path, part way down meeting a guy carrying his bike up :shock: He was planning to cycle back down - pretty hardcore! He came past me some time later. I should have asked him for a lift :lol:

Finally reaching the track, I was relieved that my bike was still there, and also that the rain had stopped!
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Cycling along the track, my legs were feeling tired but after an initial hill it was almost all free wheeling back to the car. Definitely worth taking the bike :D

As I was putting my bike back in the car, it started to rain. I quickly de-booted and jumped into the car and the rain became very heavy - I realised I'd only just made it! I warmed myself up with my flask of tea and squashed sandwiches which always taste amazing after battling the elements :D

Glad that I'd got out and done something on a wet Sunday, I'll definitely return to these two one day, hopefully with better weather and less wind :shock: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Location: Glasgow

Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:17 am

Good effort for getting out! Great report, as usual.
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Mal Grey
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby jamesb63 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:12 pm

Well done on getting them done .ive been looking at these two
and some of the views on a clear day are awesome,
I can see why you say you will return to them :clap: :clap:
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Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby Petr Dakota » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:34 pm

Another nice and quick pair done ! :clap:
Mostly cloudy there or inversion, I remember the zig-zag path was very enjoyable :D
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Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby Andymac75 » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:16 pm

Sorry to hear about the wind .suffer from the same problem myself some days.
Always feel like letting rip ,but Billy Connolly did say ;'that as one gets older,one should never trust a fart' :)

More Good Work Jaxter.
you are seeing a lot of the country.
You must have a Skye mission planned?

You will have completed your 'round' by Xmas.
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Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby ancancha » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:50 pm

Soon be summer Jaxter 8)
Character building :clap:
Always an enjoyable feeling, winning against the elements to some extent and as you say the culinary rewards always taste better after a challenge :wink:
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ancancha
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Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby The Rodmiester » Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:26 am

Good effort but I think a strong gusting wind is my least favourite hill walking experience, bit of rain hail or snow no problems but add a strong gusting wind then it's not enjoyable and not nice :(
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The Rodmiester
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Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby Jaxter » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:26 am

Mal Grey wrote:Good effort for getting out! Great report, as usual.

Thanks :D Hate feeling lazy! :lol:


jamesb63 wrote:Well done on getting them done .ive been looking at these two
and some of the views on a clear day are awesome,
I can see why you say you will return to them :clap: :clap:

Yeah I had a glimpse of what it could be - hope you get a good day :wink:


Petr Dakota wrote:Another nice and quick pair done ! :clap:
Mostly cloudy there or inversion, I remember the zig-zag path was very enjoyable :D

Thanks - yes the zig zags were good, that would have been difficult without them. But I'll always remember that as where I the wind stole my coconut macaroon :(
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Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1123
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Location: Glasgow

Re: SO MUCH WIND!! Trial of endurance at Loch Lochy

Postby Jaxter » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:29 am

Andymac75 wrote:Sorry to hear about the wind .suffer from the same problem myself some days.
Always feel like letting rip ,but Billy Connolly did say ;'that as one gets older,one should never trust a fart' :)

More Good Work Jaxter.
you are seeing a lot of the country.
You must have a Skye mission planned?

You will have completed your 'round' by Xmas.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
I think reality will catch me up soon unfortunately :?
Skye... :shock: :shock: next year I think!! :D


ancancha wrote:Soon be summer Jaxter 8)
Character building :clap:
Always an enjoyable feeling, winning against the elements to some extent and as you say the culinary rewards always taste better after a challenge :wink:

Yes, definitely feel you earned it on a day like that :lol:


The Rodmiester wrote:Good effort but I think a strong gusting wind is my least favourite hill walking experience, bit of rain hail or snow no problems but add a strong gusting wind then it's not enjoyable and not nice :(

It does make it difficult doesn't it, although I'll take wind over wind&rain/snow/hail...when it's blowing in your face at that speed.... :shock: :shock:
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Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1123
Munros:199   Corbetts:112
Grahams:44   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:41   Hewitts:41
Wainwrights:53   Islands:13
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

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