A better day at the office

Grahams: Meall Mor (Glencoe), Sgorr a'Choise

Date walked: 20/03/2018

Time taken: 7.2 hours

Distance: 15km

Ascent: 1075m

Better day at the office ? 14.5km 1085m 6.20h 20/03/2018

Early start with a return to the Ballahulish cp. Again I`m heading up Gleann an Fhiodh, for the Graham pairing of Sgorr a Choise and Meall Mor. It’s a cold –1 and icy underfoot. I gear up and this time take crampons with poles instead of the axe. From the bridge over the Laroch river, the flow looks normal, so should give easy crossing further upstream. Pass a school, farm and gates for a field with sheep, the ground is rock hard. Ahead a trio of climbers doing when asked the Schoolhouse ridge on the slopes of Beinn a Bheither. I smile and wish them well. There is little snow my side of the river so have a quick passage up the glen, but note plenty higher up where I`m going. Mor`s, tree covered lower slopes run up to the col between it and Choise. A cold wind but a cloudless sky I can see both tops. Happier I walk until view a large cairn then cut down to the river and cross. Easy climbing over white grass, then wend my way thro thick heathery clumps to reach the ridge. The sound of machinery fills the air, a treecutter/striper/ stacker is hard at work on the trees of Glen Creran, chewing up this section of the forest. Takes 25sec to fell strip cut and stack in a lightning process. The driver pauses and we wave to each other. The noise follows me up the ridge, I come across my earlier footprints in the snow, here for all to see, until they melt. So on and climb slowly in a cold wind to the top of Sgorr a`Choise. Here I sit on my mat, munch a roll then drink. Three months since I was last here, the cairn seems somewhat larger now. Great views of the surrounding hills, but time to go. Banks of hard snow drop to the glen below, I`ll find the melted snow has turned into wee globbules of ice and become gye slippy. Down two steep sections cross a ladder gate on a deer fence for the bealach. For here, it`s a long 300m climb towards the crags of Meall Mor. Should be easy but it takes me forever. Cramp in both quads. I drink, walk back downhill with little effect then on reaching another snow patch, shuck my pants and pack both legs with ice. Seems to do the trick and ten minutes later I`m moving freely again. Past a frozen lochan and a wee rise for the cairn of Meall Mor. This being no 2 of 3.
A walk out to the viewpoint shows the whole reason why we walk the hills. I`m glad I persevered. Return and round the bowl of coire and drift from the magic of Glencoe to overlook my inward route once more. A distant Radio mast N is my final climb. There has been much forestry clearing here with a new track linking both glens, would give easier access if only doing this top. My descent steepen so on with the crampons and a steady if sore drop to the fence. I angle down NW towards a gate in the deer fence and see to my R a standing stag, his rear leg R outstretched. At first I thought it a gag but as I drew nearer saw that the beast had been caught on the wire. I drop the sac take out my gloves then walk towards the deer to better view the problem. It became agitated tossing antlers in my direction. Closer I saw what was wrong.
The fence has a high twinned wire setup to prevent it sagging. The stag had jumped the fence snagging a rear leg between both wires then flipped the top wire below the lower wire. So was truly caught.
When it allowed me near, I pulled on the trapped leg to free it but to no avail. Trying to widen the gap between the wires I manage to break a pole, bend my knife and had I my axe couldha maybe freed the deer. But what then ifn it couldn`t walk. I certainly couldn`t kill it So catch 22. After nearly an a hour I gave up, rubbed its brow in farewell and headed down an up to the mast then with the fence L back to the cp. People I met offered no solution other than It wud likely dee ony way.
The way home was swift with little traffic until the M8. I trolled Google with nae luck, emailed forestry then went onto facebook a gained a result from a good friend.
So next time carry a hacksaw blade.

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Comments: 1

Bad day at the office

Attachment(s) Grahams: Sgorr a'Choise
Date walked: 17/12/2017
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 712m
Comments: 4
Views: 367

Beinn Donachain

Attachment(s) Grahams: Beinn Donachain
Date walked: 12/11/2017
Distance: 11.8km
Ascent: 760m
Views: 246

Loch Broom pair

Attachment(s) Grahams: Meall Doire Faid, Meall Dubh
Date walked: 25/07/2017
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 1280m
Views: 355

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Attachment(s) Grahams: Oireabhal, Tiorga Mor, Uisgneabhal Mor
Date walked: 24/07/2017
Distance: 20.5km
Ascent: 2045m
Comments: 2
Views: 527

South UIst snapshot

Attachment(s) Grahams: Beinn Mhor (Uist)
Date walked: 23/07/2017
Distance: 8.6km
Ascent: 667m
Views: 317

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Attachment(s) Grahams: Glas-charn
Date walked: 22/07/2017
Distance: 8km
Ascent: 560m
Views: 256

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Attachment(s) Grahams: Carn a'Ghille Chearr, Creagan a'Chaise
Date walked: 02/06/2017
Distance: 20.5km
Ascent: 880m
Views: 355

The Cook and the Cnap.

Attachment(s) Grahams: Cnap Chaochan Aitinn, Cook's Cairn
Date walked: 01/06/2017
Distance: 35km
Ascent: 1360m
Views: 331

Cairngorm outing

Attachment(s) Grahams: Creag Bhalg, Geallaig Hill, Mona Gowan, Pressendye, The Buck
Sub 2000s: Ladylea Hill
Date walked: 31/05/2017
Distance: 32.7km
Ascent: 2020m
Views: 512


Activity: Mountaineer
Mountain: The Cobbler
Place: Skye
Gear: Yeti gaiters
Member: Kilmarnock Mountaineering Club
Ideal day out: A scramble in Glencoe or the Ben

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 222
Grahams: 128
Donalds: 89
Wainwrights: 39
Hewitts: 46
Sub 2000: 7
Long Distance routes: River Ayr Way   

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Joined: Apr 08, 2012
Last visited: Apr 23, 2018
Total posts: 125 | Search posts