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Boggy McBogFace at Newtonmore

Boggy McBogFace at Newtonmore


Postby Jaxter » Thu May 05, 2016 8:43 pm

Route description: Carn Dearg, Carn Sgulain and A'Chailleach

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach (Monadhliath), Carn Dearg (Monadhliath), Carn Sgulain

Date walked: 02/05/2016

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 24.5 km

Ascent: 946m

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After our glorious Gleouraich expedition the day before, we had sat down with the weather forecast and were disappointed that it looked much worse for Monday than it had previously. East looked far better than West so we decided to abandon Mr Fife Flyer and Sgurr na Ciche and head somewhere better (sorry :? ) After some time of furious debating, we settled on the Newtonmore Monadhliaths, a walk that Hugh had done but was willing to do again (and it was a sort of test to see if he really could wait for me to catch up... :lol: )

The next morning started badly as I boiled over my porridge again and outside it was raining heavily. However, we packed the car and headed across the country to Newtonmore. When we arrived it was still raining heavily...but the forecast wasn't for it to clear just yet, so we put our waterproofs on and plodded off down the road :roll:

We met a man walking his dog who clearly thought we were nuts and had a good laugh when I told him it was supposed to clear... :lol:

Crossing the Allt A Chaorainn, we could see that it was in high spate...a torrent of water was coming down. We knew we had a river crossing on the way down and hoped that the bridge was still standing as it would be a diversion otherwise - the river would surely sweep away anyone attempting to cross :shock:

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After a way along the road, we turned right up a grassy track which soon became a decent track alongside the Allt Fionndrigh. At this point the rain stopped and the sun even made an appearance, so our track up into Gleann Fiondrigh was really enjoyable - it was a lovely glen.

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With the improved weather we could enjoy the beauty of the Glen, and as we got further in, the crags beneath the summit of Carn Dearg began to appear. It was mighty impressive!
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Back doon the glen
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Eventually we reached the bridge and were relieved to find it still standing, although somewhat wobbly. Safely across, there was a large mess of bog and stream to cross before reaching the almost equally boggy path.

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As is so often the case, just as we were starting to feel content with life, the universe and the weather, the rain began again. As we climbed up the bog, the rain got heavier and the gloom returned. As we came out on the top of a very boggy bealach, we were greeted by rain, wind and desolation. We plodded on, following a very vague path which soon led us towards some lovely wet squidgy peat hags.

It was at this point I was starting to think that this might be the shortest ever walk report "we walked a long way through a bog in the rain. Here is a picture of some clag" :roll: :lol:

Reading the walk highlands description, it suggested sticking to the higher ground to avoid the worst of the bogs. However, Hugh, ever in a hurry had decided to push on and was sloshing right through the middle of what should really be described as a marsh.

Cursing, but not wanting to be separated in the clag, I followed slightly more carefully and with more respect for my feet. It was around about here that the rain turned into snow too, making the conditions even better....not :crazy:

Eventually we started to climb and traverse round the top of the bowl. The ground was a little less wet here now we were a little higher.

A rare moment of improved visibility
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Hugh catching up
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The shoulder of Carn Ban before it vanished again
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Unable to see clearly and unsure what the conditions would be like on the traverse round to Carn Dearg, we elected to climb the shoulder of Carn Ban and walk round the ridge to the summit from there. This wasn't a terrible plan although it did involve some unnecessary ascent and distance. Eventually coming out on the top of Carn Ban, snow was blowing in our faces and it was pretty nasty. We persevered and as we were beginning the climb to the summit, it almost looked like it was about to clear.
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But, reaching the top, the clag was firmly back in place although the snow had at least relented a little.

Ninja-Hugh
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Heading fairly swiftly off the summit, we retraced our steps to the top of Carn Ban. At this point it really did clear and we were able to see for miles across the vast emptiness of the Monadhliath. It really lifted our spirits and gave us hope for the rest of the day.

Starting to look a bit nicer...
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Coming down off Carn Dearg
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Back to Carn Dearg
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Ahead to Carn Sgulain (left) and A'Chailleach (right)
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We were also now walking with the wind behind us, giving our faces a bit of welcome respite from the assault they had endured so far.

With visibility now returned, we easily located the fence posts that we were to follow across the mor and could see them stretching out for miles towards Carn Sgulain and A'Chailleach. It looked a very long way!

Looking back we could also see Carn Dearg, an impressive looking mountain.
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Refuelling on macaroons, we set off along the fence posts. Having heard so many stories of people getting lost of the Monadhliath, I had every intention of sticking rigidly to the posts all the way. However we were faced with a quandary - the fence posts and path split! Fortunately they rejoined very soon so our disagreement was short lived :lol:

Hugh vs the elements
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The walk across the moor was long but enjoyable for the most part. The weather was mixed - the clag and snow returned often, interspersed with periods of sun and good views. The wind was ever present and the terrain rocky underfoot making conversation difficult, but sometimes one of the most enjoyable elements of a walk in the hills is the solitude and silence so we passed a very pleasant 2 hours trek across the mor.

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This again...
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Hugh having a wee lie doon
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A'Chailleach
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As we approached Carn Sgulain, the drops got slightly larger and the bogs returned, as did the snow. We continued to follow the fence posts, and as we approached the summit, the clag and snow cleared and we had a clear summit at last!

Hugh approaching Carn Sgulain summit
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Carn Sgulain summit
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Enjoying the views, we had a quick refuel again before heading towards our final target, A'Chailleach. We were now walking directly into the wind again so hoped that the weather would hold... :roll:

Of course it didn't, and before long we were being whipped in the face by snow and wind and it was horrible. It was so unpleasant that I was tempted to turn out of the wind and wait it out for 10 minutes.

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However, we persevered and found ourselves heading for a large bog. Communication here was a challenge, but I didn't think we had come far enough along to avoid going down the V cut valley and suggested a map/GPS check. Hugh, always knowing best, plodded off across the peat bog and, of course, down into the valley :roll:

The visibility cleared again and we could see the route we ought to have taken which would have avoided the worst of the bog as well as some totally unnecessary ascent. Climbing back up was irritating after an already long day and I had no trouble communicating my annoyance :-x

Looking across to Carn Dearg - now clear
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We picked up the path and climbed the final pull up to the summit, where the views were still blissfully clear. We sat down in the wind shelter and enjoyed a sandwich, and seeing the bad weather approaching, added more clothes.

Sandwich time
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Looking back across to Carn Sgulain
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East
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Heading down, we were unsure if the bridge was still standing, and as we were certain that we wouldn't be able to cross without one, I suggested we head down a bit further upstream where there was another bridge marked, as the alternative would be a difficult and boggy walk down the East side of the river to the road.

Again I was vetoed so we continued in the vague direction of the path across ground that was getting boggier by the second. Fortunately the snow and rain had stopped again and visibility returned again for a while. As we got down lower there was lots of marshy ground to cross as well as streams and bog. We could tell that there had been on a lot of water coming down these slopes recently (and to some degree still was!)

Bog hopping not being my favourite pastime, I got a little left behind and eventually came to a river which was flowing healthily down to join the torrent that we would eventually have to cross. Unfortunately this required crossing first and it looked awful. There were no good crossing places, and the best of a bad lot would require wet feet, so out came the big bin bags again. I nervously made my way across and collapsed on the other side, relief flooding through me.

Hugh popped up over the top of the verge - apparently he hadn't completely left me to the fate of the river, just hiding out of sight :roll:

It was to be the time of reckoning now - would there be a bridge here? A shout of euphoria from Hugo signalled that there was! Making our way over, the bridge seemed to be somewhat rickety and had some red tape flapping on one of the hand rails. However, it was in place and Hugh made it across. It wasn't until I reached the other side that I saw the "bridge damaged, do not cross" sign.... :shock: :shock:

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Safely across, all that remained was to march down the hydro track to the car. The sun was shining and the views back up the Glen were stunning, as was Glen Banchor ahead.

Back up the glen
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Glen Banchor
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On reaching the car, we could feel spots of rain so disrobed quickly and jumped into the dry!

Finishing off our sandwiches and tucking into a packet of caramel digestives (yum) we headed back down the road, having enjoyed a successful weekend of walking in all conditions!
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Jaxter
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Re: Boggy McBogFace at Newtonmore

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu May 05, 2016 9:06 pm

Enjoyed reading that, it is a few years since I was in that part of the country and it was boggy then :lol:

You would have been better sticking to the original plan, I only endured about 4 showers and did notice plenty of standing water at Drumochter :lol:
The bad news is I think I got wetter than you and basically saw diddly squat :(
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Re: Boggy McBogFace at Newtonmore

Postby ancancha » Sun May 08, 2016 2:29 am

Ah :!: porridge boil over syndrome :roll:
I eventually cured myself of this by eliminating the boil :!:
Microwave on 900 for 3 mins, stir and microwave on 450 for another 3 mins.
Leave to cool a bit or a bit longer depending on the other stuff you need to get done :wink:

Microwaves may vary, sort of the quantities and times so that the porridge never actually quite boils :wink:
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Re: Boggy McBogFace at Newtonmore

Postby Jaxter » Sun May 08, 2016 3:35 pm

Fife Flyer wrote:Enjoyed reading that, it is a few years since I was in that part of the country and it was boggy then :lol:

You would have been better sticking to the original plan, I only endured about 4 showers and did notice plenty of standing water at Drumochter :lol:
The bad news is I think I got wetter than you and basically saw diddly squat :(

I think it's a permanent bog there :shock: hey ho at least we got some views so not all bad :D


ancancha wrote:Ah :!: porridge boil over syndrome :roll:
I eventually cured myself of this by eliminating the boil :!:
Microwave on 900 for 3 mins, stir and microwave on 450 for another 3 mins.
Leave to cool a bit or a bit longer depending on the other stuff you need to get done :wink:

Microwaves may vary, sort of the quantities and times so that the porridge never actually quite boils :wink:

I think porridge-making is an art-form :crazy: I was even using the supposedly idiot proof sachets...but still mess it up :roll: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Boggy McBogFace at Newtonmore

Postby Andymac75 » Sun May 08, 2016 5:47 pm

Always a good read :lol:

The sandwich shelter looks like it would be a life saver.

And the bridge :shock: Hugh is indeed a ninja,and totally fearless. I bow.

There was a bridge like that in Cliffhanger.and an Indiana Jones film (or 5)
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