Livin' on the Edge!

Route: Aonach Beag: Four Munros from Culra

Munros: Carn Dearg (Loch Pattack), Geal-charn (Alder)

Date walked: 10/05/2018

Time taken: 8.5 hours

Distance: 45km

The Lancet Edge (right of centre) 10th May 2018

I set off from Dalwhinnie railway crossing on the bike for the long haul into Culra. I didn't have a clear plan having been in this area a few times I have been on most of the tops but not Sgor Lutharn by the Lancet Edge. On approach I could see there was still a bit of snow on Ben Alder and surrounding hills and even though I had an axe I decided I didn't fancy climbing the ridge in deep soft snow so for some reason I thought it would be better to reverse my loosely planned route. :roll:

Ben Alder and Co. from the approach to Loch Pattack

Here is the route which I did anti clockwise.

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When cycling in to Culra it is best to cut off before Loch Pattack and take the short cut path which avoids the shoogly bridge and is fairly easy and quicker.
I left the bike at the bothy which has closed asbestos warning notices on it and has done for sometime now :shock: . I rarely use bothies but it would be good to see something done with this one. All doors are still open and I guess it would still be a good option in an emergency.
I climbed up fairly quickly through snow showers and some fairly strong gusts of wind to soon reach the top of Carn Dearg.

Carn Dearg summit cairn with Lancet Edge just to the left of the cairn

Onwards to the descent then the climb up on the narrow slightly exposed path up onto Geal Charn where the wind was strong and it was snowing with real poor visibility as I stumbled and fumbled my way to the cairn that marks the summit, it wasn't a time for photos. At this point I had almost given up on the Lancet Edge but decided to go and have a look as I knew their was an escape route off Sgor Lutharn after reading Alteknackers epic report on these hills.
I sauntered down the steep bouldery slopes through some snow patches and started to ascend to Sgor Lutharn.
It was at this point I was surprised to meet three folk who had just come up the ridge. I had met them briefly already at the car, they assured me there was no snow or wind on the ridge and my mind was made up I was going to give it a go.

Probably because I was thinking about the Lancet Edge for the entire trip I had the chorus to the Aerosmith song Livin' on the edge in my head and it is not very inspiring for ridge walking.

"Livin' on the edge
you cant help yourself from fallin'
Livin' on the edge
you cant help yourself at all"

:shock: :shock: :shock:

Sgor Lutharn summit and rainbow

When surrounded by the far bigger hills it's hard to believe that Sgor Lutharn is over 1000 metres.

I set off for the ridge.

On the odd occasion out on the hills usually by myself I think, "why am I doing this" then other times I see a Golden Eagle soaring, I collapse at a summit cairn surrounded by outstanding views, drink water from a cool mountain stream. Approaching the ridge was another one of these times..... this is what it's all about! 8)

The ridge though airy I found to be fairly easy scrambling even in descent which is often harder. It is similar to the Long Leachas in difficulty and not too exposed though care and concentration is needed, and not a place for Aerosmith songs. :D

The Lancet Edge

Lancet Edge again
20180510_153748 (1).jpg

And again

One last time :D
20180510_162428 (1).jpg

A short few k back to the bike alongside the river on a great path then the long cycle out.

Only 10 miles to go - back to the civilisation of Dalwhinnie

A great trip in a great area, around 28 miles of which 19 were on the bike but its a very good track for cycling though watch out for the Ben Alder estate pick ups, It's a well used road. If anyone is planning to do Geal Charn the Lancet Edge is probably the best route but I imagine even better on ascent and pick a different song to sing on the way up. :D

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Sunset tripper

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Location: Inverness
Pub: The Clachaig
Place: Argyll
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