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Travels with Marina, Carol, Murdo & Co.

Travels with Marina, Carol, Murdo & Co.

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

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.
BEB 018_1024_706.JPG
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.
Chochuill 002_1024_700.JPG
The amazing Coire Chreachainn, topped off with the Munro, Stob Daimh.
Chochuill 032_1024_662.JPG
Yours truly.
Chochuill 034_1029_800_988_768.JPG
No one said it would be easy!
Chochuill 047_1024_715_1024_715.JPG
Made it.
Chochuill 126_1024_714.JPG
Chochuill 049_1057_800_1015_768.JPG
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 Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:18 pm, edited 7 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!
Odhair 011_1024_712.JPG
Some of the Glen Etive hills, well seen.
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Over to Stob Ghabhar, from the summit.
Odhair 031_1138_800_1024_720.JPG
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.
Fhionnlaidh 017_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
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.
Fhionnlaidh 072_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
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 climbed 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.
Schiehallion 094_1137_800.JPG
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, then round on to Lawers, where we enjoyed some fine views.
Lawers 031_1024_768.JPG
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:
Last edited by JimboJim on Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Munro Travels with Marina.

Postby JimboJim » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:09 pm

Alas, the country has now been engulfed and brought to a halt by this cursed Coronavirus pandemic. Strange to think, for better (survival) or worse (not), we are all now at least a small part of world history. Such boredom has now driven me to update a wee log I had been doing of trips with my good friend, Marina. I think we had left the story a couple of years back, with about 126 metres to go till she had ascended the equivalent height of Mount Everest :D

Since then she's spread her wings and done a few others, but I think our next was Sgurr a'Mhaoraich. What a day that was, dry up till noon. Soaking afternoon :) https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=87282
Tally 62.3hrs, 76.15miles, 9799m ascent. Yeh! Now on way back down from Everest :lol:
Summit, Sgurr a' Mhaoraich and just about to pour.
The long, wet trudge back to the car. Meantime, Jaf and Lawrence had done Gairich and SaM!
Looking down on Loch Quoich.

After that one, we were joined by Murdo, for a super day on the Mamores, pushing it to the limit, on Stob Ban and Mullach nan Coirean.
Looking up to Stob Ban.
It was a scorching, glorious day, but a tough one for my friends.
Not far to the top now, Marina :)
Summit, Stob Ban.
Bit of scrambling here and there, but nothing too taxing.
Eastward to Ring of Steall and other Mamores.
Time for some grub, at last :) The hills in the distance are Stob Coire Sgreamhach, Stob Coire nan Lochan and Bidean nam Bian, Glencoe.
The route round to MnC.

It is a long trek off Mullach nan Coirean, after the steep climb to do Stob Ban, specially on a roaster of a day :shock: I think we all slept well that night! 8.6hrs, 8.25 miles, 1155m ascent.
Tally 70.9hrs, 84.miles, 10954m ascent.

Next on the agenda was a trip to the Buachaille, just three weeks later. Forecast looked promising, but when we got there, visibility could have been better :)
BEM Marina 002_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
I don't see any problems, do you, Marina? :)
We set off into thick fog, fingers very crossed! Followed a group, but they departed across the front of the mountain, but we still knew we were on the right track. Up we went and as hoped for, the fog gradually thinned out as we advanced steeply up the corrie.
BEM Marina 015_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Marina, nearing the top of Coire na Tulaich. Fog now gone.
BEM Marina 034_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Looking down on Altnafeadh.

Had a visit from a rook at the top, before moving on to Stob na Doire. Had the same thought as everyone else - why's this not the Munro. Tried to explain to Marina. She did not seem impressed with said explanation :lol: Enjoyed the rest of the walk out to Stob na Broige, with fine views down to Loch Etive and across to the other Glencoe hills. It isn't the easiest descent via Coire Altruim and still a good hike back to Altnafeadh, but what a day! 7.4hrs, 8.25 miles, 1100m ascent.
Selfie, back along ridge to Stob Dearg, way in the distance.
BEM Marina 091_1192_800_1024_687.JPG
Over to the Wee Buachaille, Marina's 1st hill.
BEM Marina 083_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Loch Etive.

Tally 78.3hrs, 92.65 miles and 12054m ascent.

Our next trip was to Loch Earn, for Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin, late September back in '63 - nah, 55 years later :lol: It was a nice enough day, if a bit chilly. Don't remember too much about ascent of Vorlich, but views weren't too bad.
Looking over to Stuc a'Chroin from Ben Vorlich.
Summit trig on Ben Vorlich.
Nice view down to Loch Earn.
I do remember my previous trip, with Jaf and Billy and wondered how Marina would get on going up the steep prow of SaC? I needn't have worried, based on previous exploits, as it seems she is quite happy doing the tricky bits.
The way up... or down, if you choose.
Looking back to BV.
Steep ascent up Sa'C.
In actual fact, I think we kept more to the recognised way up, as it was nowhere near as pulse-raising as I remembered the first ascent. On the other hand, the trip back out was as lengthy as I recalled :) Anyway, we managed the 9miles, 1145m of ascent, in 7 and a quarter hours.
(Tally 85.55hrs, 10.65miles, 13999m)

We were on a bit of a roll, probably a sausage one =D It seemed a good idea to try and squeeze in a Munro before the year was out. If I remember rightly, Big Jasper was just returning from serious back injury, so it was great to have him along, too. Forecast was looking decent, way to the north, so we thought Ben Wyvis, might be worth the drive, though it’s a long trek from Mid Argyll! Think we were just about the 4 hours, or so?
Ben Wyvis 048_1024_768.JPG
Nearing the top of An Cabar. Still a slog from there to the summit.
Ben Wyvis 088_1003_768.JPG
Think that's An Teallach in the distance.
Ben Wyvis 071_1024_677.JPG
?Toward Fionn Bheinn and Liathach in distance?

The first ascent is pretty steep, so it wasnt long till Jaf was disappearing over the horizon , as me and Marina plodded on at a more leisurely pace :) After a lengthy stop to talk to a guy from Dundonald Mountain Recue, we caught him up, but told him just to batter on, in case he caught his death of cold hanging around for us =D After reaching the ....... ach, just remembered I already wrote a report for this! No point waffling away with such rubbish, aside to say it took 5.2hrs to cover the 8.75 miles and 935m ascent =D
Ben Wyvis 069_954_768.JPG
Big Jasper, big buddy, who else?
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Marina, at the summit, Ben Wyvis. There was a lot of nice light effects on the way down, as I recall.
Ben Wyvis 049_1024_767.JPG
An Teallach.
Ben Wyvis 091_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
On the way out. Ready for the long snooze home :)
Tally 90.75hrs, 109.4 miles 14934m ascent.
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Re: Travels with Marina, Carol, Murdo & Co.

Postby JimboJim » Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:18 pm

And so, onto our first of 2019, another winter hike and the pleasure of another budding hiker, big David Cameron, who was itching to try out his crampons. This was another day which I must have felt worthy of a report, so here it is :)


A great day, followed by a nice wee shandy in Tyndrum =D Took us 7.25hrs and a lot of fidgeting with crampons to do the 7.3 miles and 910m ascent in heavy going in the snow. Here's some of the better pics.
Nice one of David and Marina, toward Ben Lui.
Made it! Stob Glas, Ben Challum, 1025m.
Well done, David!
Marina, looking chilly :)
On the decent.
At first thought that this was Marina, heading wrong way again! Nice hills :)

Tally: 98hrs, 116.7 miles and 15844m ascent.

Stob Daimh, 9.4.19
The next trip, in April was also fairly local. Marina, had by now done Ben Cruachan, with her buddy, Fiona, but I thought she would enjoy seeing a different way onto the ridge, doing the Dalmally Horseshoe. It also gave me another excuse to visit one of my favourite corries, Coire Chreachainn. I’m not too sure if I have followed the “correct” way up onto the ridge doing the anti-clockwise circuit but, went up a similar route as before, from near a small dam, part of a mini hydro scheme.
Across to Ben Cruachan and the Taynuilt Peak.
Summit shot.
Quick way down.

It is steep! Hard going, but Marina kept plugging away as she does, then the gradient finally eases, at last. That said, there is still a fair hike round several lumpy bumps, before one gets over Sron an Isean, to the summit of the Munro, Stob Daimh. There was still a bit of snow around, which only added to the stunning views, though it was a bit of a grey day. Enjoyed the trip back down the other side of the horseshoe. Was about 8.2miles, 1036m ascent, 6.5hrs.
Some snow play.
Coire Chreachainn. Certainly one of the best in the southern alps :)
Always obliging cattle for a good photo here!

Tally: 106.2hrs, 124.9 miles and 16880m ascent.

Meall nan Tarmachan, 21.5.19
The forecast next lured us over Lawers direction, or perhaps it was just the thought of an easier day out, as we opted for Meall nan Tarmachan, the plan being to do the ridge if the weather played ball..... and it did. I don’t remember much aside my usual caution when it came to the tricky down-scramble and as usual, it didn’t faze, Marina. I remember it gave me palpations the first time, although it was icy then :shock: Anyway, that was the Tarmachan Ridge, or most of it 8.25 miles. 5.5 hours, ascent 783m.
Tarmachan Ridge 2 007_1024_702.JPG
Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas, beyond Lochan na Lairige.
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Marina, Meall nan Tarmachan.
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The pointy wee top of Meall Garbh .... and Marina!
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Heading along the Tarmachan Ridge.
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The tricky down-step.
Tarmachan Ridge 2 042_1024_687.JPG
A look back to the bad step.

Tally 111.7hrs, 133.15 miles, 17663m ascent.

It came to the end of July and I was delighted to have an old, new face along, well not that old, just a former work colleague Fiona, to tackle Ben Nevis. Having done it twice via the CMD arete, I would like to have made it a hat-trick, but the ladies were just not quite at that level of fitness yet, so it was the tourist route for us :D If I am right, the figure for the number of folk to summit over the past year was something like 125000, so we made it 125003, though it was a tough hike, roasting hot and a crowded path and summit! Didn’t feel like joining the queue to get a photo at the cairn. Was a fair trudge back down. Think it took about 8.75hrs. 10.5miles, 1352m ascent
Marina, Fiona and myself having made the summit, on a roaster of a day!
Nevis 3 254_1024_768.JPG
The busy track up/down.
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Fiona and Marina, well chuffed with their efforts.
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Over to Stob ban, where we also experienced a scorcher!
Nevis 3 279_1024_768.JPG
Steall Falls.
Nevis 3 285_1024_768.JPG
If you don't come now, you can stay up here all day!

Tally: 120.45hrs, 143.7 miles, 19015m ascent.

28.10.2019 It was maybe getting toward the end of autumn, but there had recently been a good bit of snow, so now was our chance to get back into more wintery conditions. Opted for one in our own back yard, Beinn Bhuidhe, Marina’s 31st :) We tackled it from the less well used approach, via Glen Shira, following a route I’d done couple of times before. Either way, it is a fair hike. The going initially is a bit rough over old harvested forestry, but then improves onto a nicer ridge from Tom a Phiobaire onwards.
Bhuidhe 4 048_1024_745.JPG
Looking over to Cruachan and Loch Awe.
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Looking back along the "ridge."
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Us pair at the top.
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Ben Cruachan.

Enjoyed some great views down Loch Fyne toward Inveraray, as we progressed into the snow, which added to the scenery. It was a bit chilly, but I still managed to complete the trip in just the t-shirt. On the way back, we took the chance to try a different descent near the end, coming down a more westerly direction off Tom a Phiobaire, onto the road down from the dam. Next time, that’s the way I’ll be going, Coronavirus permitting :crazy: I think we were about 6 hrs for this one. Rougly 7.3miles and 908m ascent.
Bhuidhe 4 063_1024_768.JPG
Don't do it!
Bhuidhe 4 068_1024_768.JPG
Old Jimbo.
Bhuidhe 4 129_1024_734.JPG
Through to Inveraray.
Bhuidhe 4 135_1009_768.JPG
Another of Inveraray.

Tally 126.5hrs, 151 miles, 19923m ascent.

Plus, others you have done! But, I'll let you tally them up yerself! :lol:
(Ben Lui, Beinn a’Chleibh) (Ben Oss, Beinn Dubhcraig) (Beinn Dorain) (Ben Cruachan)

That's about equivalent of Everest a couple of times :lol: Alas, Coronavirus has put an end to the hills for now, but hopefully won't be too long till we get the chance to enjoy another trip up a Munro!
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