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Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero


Postby dogplodder » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:42 pm

Route description: Creise and Meall a'Bhuiridh from the Ski centre

Munros included on this walk: Creise, Meall a'Bhuiridh

Date walked: 24/08/2016

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 1120m

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The first time Moira and I set out to climb these two MWIS gave 70% chance of cloud free summits but when we reached the White Corries ski station the cloud was well down and the view from the web cam at the top station looked like a Victorian London smog so we pulled the plug and went to find the Lost Valley instead.

Our second arrival in the car park was infinitely more promising with blue skies and sunshine and even if it hadn't been I think we were determined that after the long drive this time we were not planning on being deflected from our goal!

From the buildings at the top of the chair lift we followed the path to the right, over a couple of funny metal bridges, heading in a westerly direction towards the broad north ridge up Meall a' Bhuiridh.

Rannoch moor and chair lift
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Meall a' Bhuiridh
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Moira had plotted the WH route into her GPS unit and pointed out we were to the right of where we should be. But to take a line to the left of the path we were on would have had us heading into an expanse of peat hags which didn't look a good idea so after about 15 minutes we turned round and headed back towards the top of the chair lift, this time taking a vehicle track towards a higher ski station where some work was going on supplied with regular bucket loads of concrete ferried in by a helicopter. We didn't know what the helicopter was unloading until we walked past so there was some benefit in changing our route up the hill - just to get a good nosey at it!

Passing this hive of concrete-laying activity we traversed up the side of the hill, with views behind improving all the time.

Helicopter delivering cement to ski station
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Higher up the going changed from grassy to craggy then stony and we occasionally found traces of a path but it was only on the way down we found the proper path which led us down the broad ridge to meet the path we had been on in the first place.

Zoomed to Ben Nevis
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A seat in the sun
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Suddenly we reached the summit cairn which was a pleasant surprise because for some reason I expected it to be further away than it was (no I wasn't checking the map which might have helped to prepare me for where the top was situated!). A mother and daughter were sitting at the cairn waiting for the father and son to return from Creise, and they offered to take our photo. Take note of the clouds behind us - the skies were spectacular all day.

Meall a' Bhuiridh summit cairn
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East to Rannoch Moor with single cone of Schiehallion visible centre left
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South to Loch Tulla, Stob a' Choire Odhair and Stob Ghabhar
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West towards the ridge extending from Clach Leathad to Creise
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Knowing we'd be back on the return we didn't hang around at the summit for too long but started down the rocky ridge to the col with the steep ascent to the ridge of Creise ahead.

View north from descent to col
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Zoomed to gorge carved out by the Allt Carn Ghinne and the Kingshouse Hotel beyond
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At the col with Meall a' Bhuiridh behind
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The ascent from the col was easier than it looked. Just before topping out on the ridge there was a short rocky chimney requiring what looked like a bit of a step up so not being as flexible of joint as we once were we bypassed it over rocks on the left. As we often do we wondered how it would be on the descent, but it was no problem at all.

Cairn where ascent path reaches ridge, looking towards Creise summit
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Looking back at Meall a' Bhuiridh
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From another angle
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Following ridge to summit
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We followed the gentle ascent up the ridge towards the summit cairn and the views were so good decided to continue further along towards Sron na Creise.

Bhuachaille Etive Mor from east end of Creise ridge
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Zoomed to Nevis, Mamores and Grey Corries
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Bhuachaille Etive Mor
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Zoomed to Glen Etive
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Returning to Creise summit
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Back at the Creise summit we met two other walkers. The older guy had already compleated three rounds of the Munros and said he occasionally accompanies the oldest living Munroist (compleated in 1953) who is now 90..... and still out climbing Munros! He has slowed down a lot and has a dodgy knee but all the same that's seriously impressive and I doubt many of us will be walking up any kind of a hill at 90!

Back at the col - Coire an Easain and tiny Loch an Easain
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Zoomed to Loch Tulla and Orchy hills
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From the top of Meall a' Bhuiridh we followed the path down through the boulders and scree, leading to an easy descent down the north ridge, then cutting across the edge of the boggy area to rejoin the path we'd been on at the start which led back to the two metal bridges and the top of the chair lift.

The descent down the path by the side of the Allt na Giubhas was the least pleasant part of the day. Out of the breeze and the sun we were plagued by midges and being a rough path needing careful footwork there was only so much you could do to deter them. At one point Moira had a slip on mud, hurting her back on a projecting rock, which wasn't the best end to an otherwise fabulous day.

Once back at the car park we went into the cafe for a cold drink and a bite to eat before getting on our way up the road to home. At Glencoe village the sun was setting over Loch Leven. It was probably past its best but we had to stop for some quick photos and the icing on the cake was a heron fishing at the edge of the loch. But I can't decide which one is best. So here they all are for your invaluable judgment - all opinions gratefully received! :D

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Last edited by dogplodder on Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby dogplodder » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:43 pm

IMG_1362-large.JPG


IMG_1364-large.JPG


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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:45 pm

For what it's worth the 1st pic gets my vote as I like the sky but the last one is also good with the boat adding to the scene.

Good walk this, I remember standing on the top of Meall a' Bhuiridh looking over to the climb up onto Creise and being a bit concerned at what looked like a fairly intimidating rocky ascent but once on the climb it was really straight forward.

Agree with you about the descent back down to the car park, downhill but a tough finish (hope Moira is OK).

Stunning day you got for it (it was Sept last year I did these two and there was a helicopter doing constant drop offs at the same place then).
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby dogplodder » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:01 pm

Gordie12 wrote:For what it's worth the 1st pic gets my vote as I like the sky but the last one is also good with the boat adding to the scene.

Good walk this, I remember standing on the top of Meall a' Bhuiridh looking over to the climb up onto Creise and being a bit concerned at what looked like a fairly intimidating rocky ascent but once on the climb it was really straight forward.

Agree with you about the descent back down to the car park, downhill but a tough finish (hope Moira is OK).

Stunning day you got for it (it was Sept last year I did these two and there was a helicopter doing constant drop offs at the same place then).


Thanks for this Gordie. I'll keep a tally of 'votes' so I know which one to include in my Christmas calendar. Moira's fine - skin not broken but a colourful bruise followed. She's just back from the States visiting the pen pal she's had for 54 years but had never met!

That's been a long job at the ski station if they've been at it since last September! :lol:
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby dav2930 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:59 pm

What a great walk in such beautiful, clear weather. Worth it for the views alone. As for the sunset pics at the end, they're stunners aren't they? My pick would be the first and last with the first one just having the edge - I'd certainly put that on my wall! :clap:
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby BlackPanther » Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:19 pm

Lovely shades of orange in your sunset photos, and the heron in the first one reminds me of mini Nessie (like in the famous surgeon's photo) :D

I remember that arete between Creise and Meall a' Bhuiridh - it looked horrifying :shock: but it turned out so easy, lots of hopping and jumping up the boulders and next to no scrambling. It was covered in melting snow when we did it, but we really enjoyed it. Great views from the ridge, too.
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:06 pm

Lovely report of a fine pair of hills. Like you I hated the final part of the descent, especially as we knew we were late to meet our daughter 80 miles further north :shock: :shock: Interesting people you meet on the hills. I love the sunsets over Loch Leven :clap: :clap:
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby tweedledog » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:59 am

Looks like a great day was had! As to the photographs, a toss-up between numbers 1 and 4, Maybe 4 just... :?
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby mrssanta » Sat Sep 17, 2016 10:15 pm

We cheated on these by using the chairlift - but we had a time constraint as we were on our way to Skye.
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:00 am

Wonderful, wonderful photos!

PS all the sunset ones are great but for some reason I especially like no 3! - I think it's the composition.

Tim
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:32 pm

dav2930 wrote:What a great walk in such beautiful, clear weather. Worth it for the views alone. As for the sunset pics at the end, they're stunners aren't they? My pick would be the first and last with the first one just having the edge - I'd certainly put that on my wall! :clap:


Thanks. There seems to be a consensus on the first and last which is helpful. 8)
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:41 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Lovely shades of orange in your sunset photos, and the heron in the first one reminds me of mini Nessie (like in the famous surgeon's photo) :D



I hadn't spotted that, but you're right - it looks like a microscopic mini Nessie. :wink:
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby Emmanuelle » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:39 pm

Excellent story and pics. I was on Meall a Bhuiridh a few times last winter but skiing! It's nice to see the hills free of snow. My vote for the best sunset photos (which are all brilliant) goes to the third one. I like the hazy or wet light on this one, like looking through a colourless rainbow!

PS - If this guy can go up hills at 90, I'll make damn sure I can too, even with a dodgy knee! Splendid prospect :o)
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:50 pm

Wow! What a sequence of pics! It brought back some great memories. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Exquisite views, magical clouds and a nonagenarian hero

Postby dogplodder » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:47 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Lovely report of a fine pair of hills. Like you I hated the final part of the descent, especially as we knew we were late to meet our daughter 80 miles further north :shock: :shock:


Always worse if you've a deadline to meet! :o
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