walkhighlands


Ben Cleuch and Ben Ever

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Grahams: Ben Cleuch
Donalds: Ben Cleuch
Date walked: 15/03/2020
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 811m
Views: 7


Ben Tirran and Loch Brandy

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Corbetts: Ben Tirran
Date walked: 08/03/2020
Distance: 15.7km
Ascent: 869m
Views: 10


Creag Uchdag in snow

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Corbetts: Creag Uchdag
Date walked: 06/03/2020
Distance: 15.4km
Ascent: 831m
Views: 12

An Ossian two day epic in the snow

Route: Sgor Gaibhre and Carn Dearg from Corrour

Munros: Beinn na Lap, Carn Dearg (Corrour), Sgor Gaibhre
Corbetts: Beinn Pharlagain

Date walked: 26/02/2020

Time taken: 14 hours

Distance: 44.7km

Ascent: 2009m

Wednesday 26th February

After 3 months of relentless storms, I was buzzing to get back into the hills for a decent trip. The Loch Ossian area has always appealed, so I hatched a plan to walk in from Rannoch, over Beinn Pharlagain, Sgor Gaibhre and Carn Dearg with an overnighter at the Ossian Hostel, then climbing Beinn na Lap the following morning and walking back to Rannoch...simples. I knew the snow would be deep...

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Nice easy track to start on the "Road to the Isles"

Progress was rapid along the track, until I reached the bridge over the river and went off piste into the snow, heading towards Beinn Pharlagain and immediately knee deep in snow. In hindsight, I probably could have stayed on the west of the river for another 2 or 3km, but didn't want to take the chance of not being able to cross it. Anyway, my war with the snow began, a relentless and energy traverse up the slopes. Progress was incredibly slow and bail out options crossed my mind...

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Views opening up as I slowly gained height

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View to my final summit of the day, Carn Dearg and it's long ridge

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Absolutely knackering work!

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Beinn Pharlagain....so close, but so far away at 0.2mph.

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Finally!! After 2 hours and 35 mins, objective one complete at 1pm.

Although the pictures look idyllic, the wind was fairly strong, probably between 30 to 40mph gusts, and regular patches of snow showers were coming and going. After a quick 5 minute stop, I was on the move again, keen to make as much ground as I could given the slow pace. I don't think I've worked as hard reaching any summit, a hard won corbett! Onwards towards Sgor Gaibhre and thankfully there were some sections where I was only up to my ankles in snow!

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Views to die for out of the white outs

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Carn Dearg from Bealach Leathann, en route to Sgor Gaibhre

Sgor Gaibhre was another gruelling task through knee deep snow. Snow shoes might have been a good addition to my kit for this trip! Unfortunately most of the slopes were climbed in a total white out, so progress was even slower with compass making sure I knew where I was. I hit the summit at 2.25pm and it was grim up there. Strong winds and almost zero viz, so took a quick bearing towards the bealach with Carn Dearg and set off. Not long after leaving, the white out passed and views opened up again...

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Views are back! And some welcome hard snow, never been so pleased to have it underfoot!

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View north to Loch Ossian, Beinn Na Lap and beyond

On reaching the bealach, the next blizzard and white out hit, which stayed with me all the way to the summit of Carn Dearg. I had noted massive cornices on the east side of the mountain, so took my time heading up the ridge, making sure I was firmly on the ridge to the summit. After a battering by blizzard, the cairn finally emerged at 3.50pm.

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Carn Dearg summit. Brutal!

Not a place to hang about, a quick snap and I set off along the NW ridge towards Ossian, keeping well left to keep away from the cornices. Viz was about 10m, but finally improved lower down.

I ploughed down the hill and never stopped until I eventually reached the hostel, 7 hours and 21km after setting off, and finished the last 25 minutes in another blizzard. A very tough day! The hostel was the most welcome sight ever, and I seemed last to arrive, about 5.30pm.

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View from the back door, stunning place.

I had a great evening in the hostel with 9 other guys. Very friendly bunch, who even offered me a share of their whisky and evening snacks. I was very grateful and enjoyed the chat before hitting the sack about 10.30pm.

Thursday 27th February

After managing a few hours kip in between the usual hostel snoring competition, I was out the door by 8.20am. There had been a further few cm of snow overnight and the place was magical in the morning, minus the blizzard, which followed me from hostel to the summit of Beinn Na Lap.

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Shortly before leaving the hostel and the blizzard commencing...

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A glimmer whilst battling up towards the ridge line. Another knee deep day with the occasional plunge into a hole or stream...

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After another relentless slog through a near white out, the summit was reached with nae views. It was pretty wild again so I never hung around.

The views finally cleared as I descended back down the ridge, opening up stunning views towards Corrour station, Leum Uilleim and beyond.

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Panorama with hostel centre and Leum Uilleim right.

After about 3 hours, I was back near the hostel, about to take the fork south for Rannoch....the track was totally untouched, with drifting snow everywhere, and I reckoned I had about 16km back to where my car was. As suspected, it was absolutely brutal, literally knee deep the full way and one of the most tiring walks I've ever done. The following few pictures give a fair account of the conditions...

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Beinn na Lap in the background

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If the views weren't this good, I would have been in tears on my knees!

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An excuse to stop...the Easians and Grey Corries in the distance.

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The track....might have been easier climbing Carn Dearg again and following the ridge back!

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Carn Dearg and ridge from "the track".

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Hours of this...just ridiculous and a pure physical and mental challenge.

After what was literally hours of toil, I finally reached the main land rover track near the main bridge that I last encountered over 24 hours before. I've never been so relieved to see that a land rover had been along the track. Walking in these tyre tracks was an absolute dream, I was delighted to be moving again!

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YAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Feeling like I was suddenly walking on air, the final couple of miles back to the car flew by. After 7 hours and 5 minutes and 24.5km of savagery, I reached my lonely car, a great feeling!! Definitely one of the hardest trips I've ever done, but absolutely magical all the same. I never saw a single person outside of the youth hostel, nobody on the hills, no footsteps even, just a totally blank canvas and isolation.

Another trip to remember and much needed after a stormageddon start to 2020.

My legs are ruined....

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Comments: 9



East Lomond from the Pillars of Hercules

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Sub 2000s: East Lomond
Date walked: 23/02/2020
Distance: 8.15km
Ascent: 414m
Views: 8


Monamenach

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Corbetts: Monamenach
Date walked: 19/02/2020
Distance: 6.33km
Ascent: 467m
Views: 12


Ben Gulabin

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Corbetts: Ben Gulabin
Date walked: 19/02/2020
Distance: 5.43km
Ascent: 471m
Views: 13


West Lomomd and Bishop Hill

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Sub 2000s: Bishop Hill, West Lomond
Date walked: 18/02/2020
Distance: 16.4km
Ascent: 733m
Views: 14


A magical morning inversion on Ben Vorlich

Munros: Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn)
Date walked: 06/02/2020
Distance: 10.2km
Ascent: 905m
Comments: 4
Views: 489


Carn a'Chlamain by bike

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Munros: Carn a'Chlamain
Date walked: 18/01/2020
Distance: 26.2km
Ascent: 1176m
Views: 29

jimbell21


Location: Dunfermline
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: The Ship Inn, Limekilns
Mountain: Bidean
Place: Knoydart
Gear: Water.

Munros: 146
Corbetts: 24
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 3
Hewitts: 4
Sub 2000: 18
Islands: 10



Filter reports


Statistics

2020

Trips: 10
Distance: 158.51 km
Ascent: 8686m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 5
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 3

2019

Trips: 68
Distance: 1170.79 km
Ascent: 72997m
Munros: 102
Corbetts: 15
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 5
Hewitts: 3

2018

Trips: 16
Distance: 211.83 km
Ascent: 11366m
Munros: 14
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1

2017

Trips: 9
Distance: 85.62 km
Ascent: 6310m
Munros: 3
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1

2016

Trips: 5
Distance: 74.07 km
Ascent: 2283m
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2

2015

Trips: 6
Distance: 85.07 km
Ascent: 5698m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 5

2014

Trips: 4
Distance: 48.97 km
Ascent: 4734m
Munros: 6
Grahams: 1

2013

Trips: 1
Distance: 12.81 km
Ascent: 938m
Corbetts: 2

2012

Trips: 3
Distance: 26.89 km
Ascent: 2280m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 1


Joined: Feb 19, 2018
Last visited: Mar 26, 2020
Total posts: 140 | Search posts