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Travels with Marina, Carol & Co.

Travels with Marina, Carol & Co.

Postby JimboJim » Fri May 11, 2018 5:36 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chochuill, Beinn Narnain, Ben Chonzie, Schiehallion, Stob a'Choire Odhair, Stob Coire Raineach (Buachaille Etive Beag), Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)

Date walked: 30/11/2017

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Often put out a shout when going for a hike, just in case anyone fancies giving the hills a go, or feels like some exercise. A friend and former colleague, Marina was one who took the bait, as she fancied climbing Schiehallion someday. As is often the case, sometimes the weather has other plans, so our first trip to the hills ended up in Glencoe. The wee Buachaille. One of my favourite's and a good "starter" hill, if you ask me. It was a decent enough day and we managed the 5 miles, 900m of ascent, in 4.8hrs.
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Summit, Stob Coire Raineach, 925m.
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Ridge out to Stob Dubh, 958m.
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Stob Coire nan Lochan and pinnacles, Bidean.
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Beinn a'Chrulaiste, with Schiehallion in the distance.
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Bidean nam Bian.
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Toward Ben Nevis
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Ben Starav and Loch Etive.

A nice start :)

Our next trip was to the Dalmally hills on St Andrew's Day, 2017. I think it was me who needed away from it all, though the forecast was far from promising, freezing cold winds, minus 16C windchill, gusts 35mph on ridge. This was to be Marina's first taste of winter walking, so I advised her to get well wrapped up and gave her some of my gear. I think I over did it somewhat :lol: Anyway, we managed Beinn a'Chochuill, 7.5 miles, 930m ascent, in 6.3 hours. Decided against trying Beinn Eunaich, as route was too icy and time was getting on.
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The amazing Coire Chreachainn, topped off with the Munro, Stob Daimh.
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Yours truly.
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No one said it would be easy!
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Made it.
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Over to Cruachan.

Tally = 12.5miles, 11.1hrs, ascent 1830m.

Next on the list was another near by, one of the Arrochar Alps, Beinn Narnain, on the 6th Jan, 2018. Took us 6.5hrs, for the 5.9miles, 965m ascent. It had looked like another day for classic winter walking, but it turned out a bit more exciting than that :shock: Went straight up from Succoth, then down the NW side. Going was hard, in deep, to very deep, soft snow. We stopped on Cruach nam Miseag, to assess the situation. There were several making their way up to the Spearhead, but it looked "challenging." :) We decided to done crampons, ice axe's out and give it a go. Took it slow and steady, gradually working our way up some steep bits. Snow quite firm, holding well. Looking back at Marina was a bit scary, but she handled it no bother. Really enjoyed it, she said!
As we were passing the Narnain Boulders, we saw a rescue helicopter come in and hover around the Spearhead, several times. We were hoping it was maybe an exercise, but turns out somebody had a fall and broke a leg. Made one think and did put a slight dampener on our day. Anyway, here's some pics.
Spot the folk heading up.
Marina on the way up toward the Spearhead.
On the Spearhead.
Top of the Spearhead. Wow!
Summit trig point, 926m. Tad chilly!
Plenty folk on Ben Arthur.
Rescue chopper gets in a bit close!
Near the Spearhead.
Made it!
Over to Ben Lomond.
Tally :- 18.4miles, 2795m ascent, 17.6hrs :)
To be continued :)
Last edited by JimboJim on Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Travels with Marina, Carol & Co.

Postby JimboJim » Fri May 11, 2018 6:03 pm

Marina, seemed to like the winter hikes, so when another weather opportunity arose, early Feb, it was too good a chance to miss. Alas, Schiehallion, still not on the menu, but Stob a'Choire Odhair, Victoria Bridge, looked in the fine zone :) We had no intention for tagging on Stob Ghabhar. Way too tricky for that! Trip took us 6hrs, for the 8.2 miles and ascent of 904m. We went up the steep south ridge, which was a lot steeper than I previously recall :shock: Never mind, Marina handled it well :lol: We then dropped down to Coire Toaig, where there was a lot of deep snow, then back out onto our inward route. A braw day!
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Some of the Glen Etive hills, well seen.
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Over to Stob Ghabhar, from the summit.
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Marina, summit Stob a'Choire Odhair, 985m.
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Coming back through Coire Toaig.
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Further down Coire Toaig.
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Obligatory deer shot :)

Tally :- 23.6hrs, 26.6miles, 3699m :)

We were on a bit of a run then, as I was needing to get hills in for a forthcoming trip to Skye. The forecast was looking no' bad, west Argyll. Marina had Beinn Sgulaird in mind, but I felt it was too big a hill and a bit risky due to current snow conditions, however I thought its neighbour, Beinn Fhionnlaidh, worth a try. Even BF, is a long tough slog, as I knew from past experience, having had to give up my first time. There were moments, Marina looked all in, but she is a plucky one and never gives up easily :)
I took us a bit off track early on, which probably didn't help either and above 2000 feet, the snow was quite deep, with some icy patches. Weather was freezing, windy and a snow flurry, or two as I recall, but took us 6.1hrs, for the 9 miles and 980m of ascent. A good way to spend Good Friday :D
Me on way up. Caorin off to left.
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Loch Creran, out to Mull.
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Beyond Marina, to Ben Starav and Loch Etive,
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Another "made it" moment!
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Me, on the summit Beinn Fhionnlaidh, 959m.
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Still a lot of cornicing on the hill.
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Still smiling .... on the outside!
Time for some fun, on way down.

Tally : 29.7hrs, 35.6miles, 4679m ascent :)

5.4.18 and at last, things were looking hopeful, for Marina to get in her trip to Schiehallion, as things looked ok out that way. Alas, before we got to Tyndrum we were in heavy snow. Big dilemma, what to do?? :( Not one's for giving in too easily, we persevered, until Killin. After more head scratching and checking of forecasts, i eventually made the call, to try for Ben Chonzie. An easier hill, (or, so I thought) and didn't want Marina to get a no-show on Schiehallion.
Things were still a bit overcast when we got to Ben Chonzie and yet again, snow was deep, wind was windy and cold was freezin' :lol: It looked like it might not clear and route finding was just a bit tricky. Saw a guy going round in circles for a good while, before we put him on track :) Thought Marina might be about to call it a day, but eventually we ploughed through the snow and made the top in about two and three quarter hours. It was cold, about minus 15 windchill, but at least we got some views. All in all, the stats were, 7.8 miles, 4.9hrs, 712m ascent :)
Chonzie 04a_1100_800_1024_745.jpg
Some nice snow forms on the way up and my form! Weather still quite menacing looking ahead.
Chonzie 038 a_1024_768.jpg
Me, on the summit.
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Had to pull this sheep out, on the way up .... or, at least it got pulled out, whether it was wanting/needing it, or not :)
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Getting there! Lawers hills behind.
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Loch Turret.
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Lawers Hills
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Marina, at the summit, 931m.
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Ben Vorlich, just about clear, on way down.
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Marina, kindly detects another snow hole for me :)

Tally :- 34.6hrs, 43.4miles, 5391m ascent.
Last edited by JimboJim on Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Munro Travels with Marina.

Postby JimboJim » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:25 pm

I came up with another date for Schiehallion. Marina couldn't go, but another old work pal, Carol was talked into trying to climb a Munro. The weather was in the balance, but unfortunately, tipped the wrong way ... as it sometimes does :? Anyway, having made it to the Braes of Foss, we were determined to give it a go, despite the clag and chilly breeze, as the forecast said it was due to clear after noon. A few folk turned back, but we ploughed on and got to the top, despite vis being down to 20 yards much of the time. Waited and waited and waited for the fog to clear, but eventually gave up. Typically, views began to open up halfway down, but I was just delighted ...... and relieved, that Carol was so chuffed to have climber her first Munro, views, or no views.
Some not very great pics :)
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Carol, ploughs on through the snow.
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On the summit .... I think.
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Heading down.
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Loch Rannoch. First sign of the clag lifting.
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Car park, way in the distance.
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Negotiating last snow on our descent.
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Beinn a' Ghlo.
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Look back up.
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Nearing the summit.

Fortunately, wasn't too long before weather was back in the groove and Marina was finally able to make her trip to Schiehallion, the hill which got her kick-started. It was a fine day, well, my birthday always is :) The hike was very straightforward, especially having been up just a few weeks before. Tally so far :) :39.5hrs, 49.65miles, 6122m ascent. Some pics.
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Ben Nevis, beyond Loch Rannoch.
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Ben More & Stob Binnein.
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Buachaille Etive Mor and Glencoe hills.
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Ben Lawers.
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Marina, on the summit of Schiehallion.
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Panorama westwards.
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Glencoe hills.
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So, Schiehallion done. What to do now, Marina, keep going, or call it a day? Well, when I put out another shout for a hike, Marina was first to book a space, along with a former colleague, Murdo, who is also a bit of a novice. I chose a trip to Ben Lawers, keeping options open as to which, or how many hills to do. In the back of my mind was the option to do An Stuc, as it is a bit of an awkward hill, whichever side it is tackled from. It was nice and sunny as we set out from the car park, if a little chilly. I was leaving Marina, to manage the route. Eventually, she chose to take us up to the bealach between Meall Corranaich and Beinn Ghlas, the round on to Lawers, where we enjoyed some fine views.
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An Stuc, from BL.
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An Stuc, Lochan nan Cat, from Ben Lawers.

As sometimes happens, we asked another walker on the summit, to take a photo. Further chat led us to discuss the various options of doing these hills and somehow, I persuaded them to head for An Stuc, which didn't seem too far away ..... at that time :lol: Group photographer, Zoe, decided to join us, which made for pleasant company as we enjoyed the stroll down to the foot of An Stuc. By now, Murdo was having a bit of calf muscle trouble, but manfully stuck to the task and made it to the summit, where Marina and Zoe, we already enjoying a wee break :)
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Ben More and Stob Binnein, behind Meall Corranaich.
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No point grousing about it, especially when you're a Ptarmigan!

Took a brief look at the drop off An Stuc on the north side, before winding our way, a bit more slowly, once again to the top of Ben Lawers. Now, having come this far, it seemed only logical to also, throw in Beinn Ghlas. Zoe, had already done it, so we parted company, with a new found friend, hoping to meet again someday. I suggested to Murdo, he take the easy way out, to return beneath Beinn Ghlas, but he was having none of it. Keen to make it a hat-trick of hills. The walk to BG, isn't too bad, from this side and it didn't take long till we were on summit No.4.
Lawers 072_1024_768.JPG
Marina and Zoe, heading back up to the summit, of Ben Lawers.
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Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas from An Stuc.

I knew it had been a punishing day for my two novice friends, but how they seemed to enjoy and lap it up! A great effort and now the trek back off BG, to finish them off :lol: It was hard going, but they made it in a grand time of 8.8 hrs, for the 9.2 miles, 1500m, of ascent. A real tough day, but all's well that ends well, as Marina kindly stopped to allow us lads a wee refreshment at the Killin Hotel :)
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Marina and Murdo, Beinn Ghlas.
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Murdo, fair enjoying the ascent back up Ben Lawers :)

Tally: 48.3hrs, 58.85miles, 7622m ascent.

Since then, Marina has also tackled Ben Lui and Beinn a'Chleibh, which I reckon adds 8.12miles & 1100m! About 55.3hours, 66.85miles, 8722m ascent and 13 Munro's! (There is only one mountain higher than you have climbed - another 126m and you'll be there :lol: ) Well done! Over to you now :wink:
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