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lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !


Postby davetherave » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:24 am

Munros included on this walk: An Stuc, Beinn Ghlas, Ben Lawers, Meall Garbh (Ben Lawers), Meall Greigh

Date walked: 17/06/2009

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Date. 14th June 2009
Completed by. Dave, Julie and Wilson
Weather. Sun, rain, heavy mist and more sun.
Time. 9 ½ hours

Celebs revieled at the end of the report !

Lochan Nan Cat Circuit to include Ben Lawers (twice) and Beinn Ghlas (6 for the day)

Starting from Ben Lawer’s Hotel

After reading Doogz’s report on the 5 munros round the lawers range it was decided that this would be our next area to attack. Although ours was a variation on his adventure, the hills were very much the same.
It must be noted that we never had any intension in trying to match his time of 2hrs 55mins as he forgot to leave the info on where to hire the rocket that he had obviously strapped to his back…

The plan was to park at the Lawers Hotel and complete the lochan Nan Cat route ( Meall Greigh, Meall Garbh and the dreaded An Stuc ) we would then decide depending on the weather and our fitness whether to carry on and complete Ben Lawers and then onto Beinn Ghlas (we would then have to head back over Ben Lawers (does that count as 6 for the day) and then down to the Lochan Nan Cat and follow the burn back out the way we had come.
Turned out that was exactly the way the day panned out making for a long and fairly tough day.

1.JPG
rising up from loch tay


Meall Greigh was the 1st and least inspirational hill off the day, and probably took the longest time to reach. We scurried round the west side of Sron Mhor and made a straight for the summit immediately on reaching the top, the heavens opened and the temperture dropped, so on with the water proofs, and then we hot footed it in the direction of Meall Garbh.

2.JPG
Sron Mhor with Meall Greigh in the distance with mist on top.

3.JPG
looking over to ben lawers and an stuc from meall greigh



On approaching Meall Garbh, Back comes the sun, off comes the water proofs and its now suddenly turned in to a much nicer climate indeed.We spot the lower of the two ridges and have a good 30 mins rest, load up with chocolate, sannies and hot tea before we attempt the fearsome An Stuc, “should we be feeling nervous at this stage” well we are, very much so. So on we go to the 2nd ridge and the summit of Meall Garbh

4.JPG
loch Tay from Meall Garbh

5.JPG
first view of An Stuc

6.JPG
im not climbing that.

7.JPG
and more

8.JPG
from the easier side.



I had mentioned An Stuc to my wife and said it would be similar to Stuc a chroin (loch Earn) but not near as bad I hoped. We did that on April 1st and got to about 30 meters from the top but turned back as there was a large cap of snow round the top of the stuc, now that was a scary day, I thought I had a head for heights Mmmm.
Soon we are there, we are at the foot of An Stuc and thankfully the rain has stayed away, 25 mins later we are on the summit of An Stuc, piece of cake… Lets rewind 10 mins… The first ¾ of the climb went really well, then the rain came, my wife froze then went quiet, Wilson was getting overly excited and a crowd of 5 people 4 gals and 1 guy were heading down, all this was happening at the steepest part of the climb. We hang fire and let the group pass, with the rain now off, and Wilson under control my attention is now with the wife, a bit of gentle talking and guidance she’s ok, she then goes on to reach the summit before me. With all those things happening at once, doesn’t half make the blood pump?

So, onwards and upwards, well downwards. We head for Ben lawers, and within an hour we are there, we reach the cairn and trig point in good time, still the views are not bad, cant complain at all.

9.JPG
summit cairn Ben Lawers

10.JPG
Ben Lawers from Meall Garbh


Well well no rest for the wicked, so off we trot to Beinn Ghlas our last munro for the day (nearly). Again about 1 hour we are there, but still it’s a long way back to the hotel.
We have no other option but to head back, and up and over Ben Lawers and head down to the lochan. About 200m from the summit of Ben lawers fast moving mist closes in very quickly and suddenly we are in a situation that we have not been in before, caught in heavy mist with next to zero viz.

11.JPG
heading back to ben Lawers

12.JPG
heading back to ben Lawers


But with walking comes experience we are able to navigate back to the lochan and head back tracking the burn from a distance to meet up with the outward path.

14.JPG
Lochan Nan Cat 1

13.JPG
Lochan Nan Cat 2



Great day, our best to date by far. Was made all the more memorable with the excellent food served at the Lawers hotel washed down with the Inky Pinkie Ale… superb.

Just a closing word on the 2 guys we met at the Lawers Hotel while enjoying our supper.
I look over and spot 2 guys several tables away, am sure I recognise them, I ask the wife but no she does not know them.
Then one guy turns right round, the penny drops Its Railtrack Driver and his mate Happy Rab, I had only just read his last report on this website 24 hrs earlier… Amazing.

Good to see you guys and thanks for your time.
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby monty » Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:53 am

Hi Dave and family,
Well done on a good report and good walk. I love the pictures you took of Anstuc. I done this walk on Saturday and you couldn't see Anstuc from Meal gahrb because of the mist. However the sun came out after Anstuc and it was sunshine all the way after that. I think Saturday probably got the best of the weather over the weekend. :D
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:27 pm

Great report, glad to hear it isn't just me that gets a bit apprehensive about things like An Stuc :D Funny that you met Scotraildriver and his mate Happy Rab - I'm sure that latter name will now stick. :lol:
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby SCOTRAIL DRIVER » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:54 am

Hello Dave ,your good lady and Wilson the dug...
It was great to read your report on the lawers circut , i liked the pic you posted, to remind me of the day we had.
Happy Rab picked me up ( late as always) ran out the door so he did not wake everyone in my street with his 80s music
blasting from the car, what did i not take my camera.
Any way having all ready done Ghlas and Lawers we were only doing the 3 Greigh.Garbh, and An Stuc.
Found the path walked up to the end of lawers burn were the small water works thingy is then then headed up to Greigh
found the top stopped to eat and drink, but i wanted to move on as Griegh was my 13th, i wanted up Garbh as soon as poss , bit of a slog at the bottom of Garbh with rain and wet underfoot but we got there in the end, stopped for 5 had jelly babies and fruit and on to An Stuc like your self looking at it from Garbh it looks alot harder than it really is.
Looked up at Lawers and down to the lochan , i know that the walk off from Lawers would be easy , but would have a long long walk from the Lawers v/c to the hotel, so found our way of An Stuc down to lochan nan Cat. Nice walk round the lochan back to the water damm thingy again small water stop,then back to the Lawers hotel via Machim farm. We started
about 11:15 and got back to hotel just as the rain started just after 19 :00, were after a few drinks all non alc/ic as both of us were train driving in the morning, we meet you the wife and the dug....
As for celebs , ihave been called many a name some i can't repeat never mind spell....
BUT FOR YOUR PLEASURE LADIE'S AND GENTLEMEN
THE HAPPY RAB & STUART THE SCOTRAILDRIVER ROADSHOW WILL BE IN A MUNRO NEAR YOU....
ON WED THE 24 OF JUNE 2009 THE LADS STAR IN...
Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach or
WE GOT MASSACRED IN GLEN COE....... I THANK YOU :) :) :)
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby mountain coward » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:11 am

SCOTRAIL DRIVER wrote:Hello Dave ,your good lady and Wilson the dug...
As for celebs , ihave been called many a name some i can't repeat never mind spell....
BUT FOR YOUR PLEASURE LADIE'S AND GENTLEMEN
THE HAPPY RAB & STUART THE SCOTRAILDRIVER ROADSHOW WILL BE IN A MUNRO NEAR YOU....
ON WED THE 24 OF JUNE 2009 THE LADS STAR IN...
Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire Sgreamhach or
WE GOT MASSACRED IN GLEN COE....... I THANK YOU :) :) :)


LOL Like it! :)

Davetherave: After the missus got back from the walk, what did she think about An Stuc given time to reflect on it? Did she rush up it 'cos it was scary (like I do) or 'cos she suddenly found it was okay? I'm a bit worried given your pics of it. I'm still considering trying to get around the base of the crags to the back of An Stuc's ridge (seen on the right in your photos) - having seen it clearly, do you think that's feasible?
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby davetherave » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:48 pm

Mountain Coward

i also thought about scrambling up to the ridge on the right, then on up to the summit, but i must admit it was only a thought after viewing some pics of An Stuc on some previous reports. My wife and i are not great with heights, but we find if we take our time and try to guide and talk to one another this seems to help us on our way.
On the day of An Stuc once we reached the foot of the hill and had a view of the path climbing up the steep face, and also viewed a group nearing the top...... our decision was made. As my report says there is a tough bit 3/4 the way up for about 25/ 35 metres or so care is needed here, on our day of climbing there had been much rain earlier but then the sun came out, so this area was a bit slippy when we approached it, this was the area my wife paniced slightly, but apart from that, and the dog getting much to excited, it was a well enjoyed day.
That is 2 scrambles we have done , An Stuc ( Lawers ) and Stuc a Chroin ( Loch Earn ) My wife and i still think Stuc a Chroin was the tougher of the two, and as we never completed the later from the steep side, we will probably have to go back and complete that one at a later date.
To answer your question, once my wife got past the tough bit she went straight into overdrive and past me like the wind.

Regards Dave
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby mountain coward » Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:59 am

Ah - a path at least! Does it go all the way up or does it get sketchy? In other words, is it obvious where you have to go? Thanks for the helpful additional info...
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby MartinMeredith » Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:51 pm

I was over in the Lawers region in early June. The path on An Stuc is pretty clear. The difficult part is quite brief -- say 5-10 mins and maybe 30m -- but quite eroded under foot. In this photo, you can see a couple of walkers just about to tackle the scrambly bit. Unfortunately, the photo is cut off just before the top, but there is an exit on to grass to the left just beyond the top edge of the photo. I agree that it helps to have seen someone take a line up and exit at the top, but really you just have to follow the erosion to see where others have gone.

anstuc.jpg


I did this a couple of days after Stuc a Chroin, and I would say that Stuc a Chroin is at least twice as difficult. Not only is it slightly steeper, but longer and you can't really see the top until the last moment, which is bad for the nerves. And there it is easy to miss the path, especially at the base of the climb (at least, I managed to miss it, but happened upon it about half way up....). There would be far more chance of getting into difficulties by following the wrong line.

When I get a moment, I'll put up some pictures comparing these two scrambles and the other one in this area -- coming off Meall Garbh on the Tarmachan Ridge (which is much easier than An Stuc).

Oh, and hello everyone, this being my first post!

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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby davetherave » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:34 pm

Martin

I do agree that Stuc a Chroin is the harder of the 2. we tried it on April 1st, and got to withn a whisker of the top but decided to turn back because of a cap of snow running along the summit area.
Coming down was a strange feeling for us because on the day we could look down and see the eagles flying below us, that was when the first feelings af vertigo set in.
We met 2 guys from Holland as we asended and we passed on some info on the climb to them before they headed up, we then decided to head round and climb stuc a chroin from the slightly easier side.
Later we met the 2 guys as we were heading for the summit, they made it ok, they did say it was tough, and one of the gents did not expect to be climbing it again in the near future.!!!!
I will do Stuc a Chroin again when ever i find the strength of mind.

Dave :( :shock: :shock: :D
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby mountain coward » Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:59 pm

Hi Martin and welcome - great first post - very helpful to me. Where were you when you took that shot though? Looks like you were flying overhead! It does look quite nasty - I hate erosion - but I'd be better going up it than down it so forewarned and all that... Presumably that path goes up in a line which stays above the col (thereby lessening the exposure/drop)? Hope so anyway... I never imagined that something in that area of the Highlands would have a 'bad bit' on it - most of the stuff in that area is fine and smooth and grassy!

I look forward to your comparison of the 2 scrambles anyway - I wonder why the books say so little about them?! I really need to write the "Coward's Route" book I've been planning for years - I'm sure a lot would find it useful!

Davetherave: when you say you took an easier way up Stuc a' Chroin - what was that? From the photos, I was wondering whether it's easier to traverse the mountainside completely to the right of all the craggy bit and go up what looks like grassier stuff - of course, I can't see how steep it is from a photo though... Or maybe there's a safer, grassier route up to the left of the craggy bit? (never seen a photo of that bit though).

All pics of these 2 troublespots welcome from anyone please!!
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby Can 0f Airy » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:06 am

I can help you out with Stuc s'Chroin MC.

There is indeed a path off to the right - which is the obvious path of descent (we scrambled up the buttress which I found to be easy scrambling).

Stuc a'Chroin & Ben Vorlich 23 Jun 09 016small.jpg


Stuc a'Chroin & Ben Vorlich 23 Jun 09 017small.jpg


Stuc a'Chroin & Ben Vorlich 23 Jun 09 017close up on path.jpg


The path is steep and loose in places but not too much trouble. It is also a bit sketchy on the ground at the bealach but if you head over towards the right the path will become obvious.
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby MartinMeredith » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:23 am

Hi MountainCoward

I just posted a new thread in the general section on scrambles in the Lawers region. As for that 'flying' photo, it was taken with a zoom from half way down the descent from Meall Garbh (Lawers). I reckon for some scrambles a light pair of binoculars would be worth having to study the route from a nearby prominence, as most of the problem for the so-called non-technical routes is making sure you don't wander off the path. For me, at this stage, the more information I can get in advance the better. I like to balance enjoyment of the hills with a bit more of a challenge each time, whether it's route-finding or scrambling. A little adrenalin is fine, but not so much that it overshadows the day, or, worse, makes the nerves kick in at an unfortunate moment. It must be age leading to more respect -- I remember coming down west off the top of Canisp 20-odd years ago as a callow youth quite unprepared and wondering why everything was suddenly quite steep. It probably wasn't very steep (I've not seen anyone else mention it) but it seemed to be at the time.... either that or the bewitching views you get of Suilven from that vantage point were causing difficulties with balance.

Martin
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Re: lawers circut + more. Also Met a few celebs !

Postby mountain coward » Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:29 am

Great, thanks - I knew there must be a way round! I'm gonna have a look at the path across the buttress below the scramble first and, if I hate it, I'll take that one instead!
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