Archive | Summer Hill Walking

Two weekends of ridge walks/scrambles

So since we have been quite lazy with the blog the last wee while, feel it is time to update. Here is what we have been up to for the past two weekends:

 

Bivi in the Grey Corries

Last saturday after the weather forecast predicting snow and hail showers our plan to do Cuillin Ridge was cancelled, so we headed up to Fort William and decided to do the Grey Corrie Circuit to log a walking day. Plodded in along the old tram way, which was rather boggy and unpleasant, but at least the sun was out. Upon reaching the dam we saw what we thought was a wild wolf chasing the farmers heavily pregnant sheep down the hill. Turns out this was someones husky, so a very angry Keith was straight on the phone to the police. We chased the husky back up the hill (turns out there was two of them) but no owner in sight. The poor sheepsie had been forced into the pool of the dam, and sadly Keith scared her trying to hook her antler with a piece of cord to guide her out the water. However she managed to swim to the other side of the dam and climb out into the forest. What a stressful start to the trip. 
We continued on up the hillside and found ourselves a nice wee dry, flatish bivi spot near the start of the ridge we were going to walk the next day. 

getting roasty toasty in my winter bag

moonrise :)
We made some fruity tea, had pasta for dinner and by the time we got into our bags it had hit zero degrees and was getting colder. We woke up a couple of times in the night to the snow falling out our faces, which continued through until about 8.30/9am the following morning. 
wakey wakey

frozen nalgene :(
We pushed on with our walk, although contemplated just heading back to the car and going to mcdonalds several times. Once we reached the summit of the first munro top the weather started to clear and it turned out to be a lovely day :)
Morning snow and whiteout. Janey not impressed.
A few more pictures of pretty views and sun:
view of Aonach Mor on the right, and Ben Nevis in the middle/behind

finishing the ridge

view of the ridge we walked
The munros we did were ‘Stob Choire Claurigh’ and ‘Stob Coire an Laoigh’ as well as several ‘munro tops’, and of course afterwards we made what may be becoming a fairly regular post hill day trip to Mcdonalds.
Three days later Keith received a phone call from the owner of the two huskies. Turns out they had escaped from his house the night before we saw them and he had been searching the hills for 4-5days. Even after notifying Fort William police station on the Friday, it somehow still took them three days to pass on Keith’s contact details or let him know they were seen, ridiculous. Anyway he has now found his huskies, so a happy ending, just not for the poor pregnant sheep that has probably lost her baby lambs!

Aonach Eagach Ridge

Yesterday, we took Keith’s dad and our friend Debbie up Aonach Eagach ridge, a grade 2/3 scramble depending on the guidebook you read. We had quite fancied doing this ridge for a while, and with an ok looking forecast the plan went ahead. 
The morning started off with a complete epic on Debbie’s behalf. It seems her brain cells, or should i say ‘cell’ (singular) does not function in the mornings. She arrived at 7.18am (only 3minutes late, an all time record for the girl) as we were due to pick Keith’s dad (John) up from Corstorphine at 7.30. She knocks on the door, heres me thinking everything is fine and dandy whilst finishing off my toast and comes out with ‘ive locked my keys in my car’. Now, not only had she locked her car keys in her car which could be sorted later, she has also locked her bag and walking boots and everything else she needs INSIDE the car. good one!! 
So after a trip back to Debbie’s house and her mother searching her tip of a room high and low, the spare key is found! So we set off. 
The path is very straight forward heading up to Am Bodach, and after this the fun begins. We had beaming sunshine and no winds for the first 1.5hours of the day, but of course, as soon as we start scrambling in comes the snow/rain showers, and the visibilty drops to about 20metres. Everyone scrambled down and along to the summit of the first munro – ‘Meall Dearg’ with no problems though as it starts of fairly easy. 
Keith guiding his dad down the first descent of the ridge
As we are standing around for a wee rest we notice a guy coming down the first descent of the ridge, looking very sketchy, with nothing but what he is wearing, trainers on his feet and walking poles. He arrives and asks me ‘how long does this ridge go on for?’, so I tell him that is about 4kms long, with much more scrambling than he has just done and that there is no safe descent until the end, he replied telling me that that was ok. After telling him to turn around and go back the way he came he refused to listen (I think he was worried about climbing back up what he had down climbed) and he continued to follow us.
5 minutes later I decided to use what Keith calls ‘the tone’… I asked if he had a map or compass – no of course he didnt. I told him to turn around, he kept dismissing that as well. So I then told him I thought he was being a right idiot and putting himself in a dangerous situation….what does he do…. ‘I know its stupid, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.’  Me: ‘I’m not worrying about you, I just do not want to see mountain rescue being called out for no reason as you’re unprepared and clueless’. 
Anyway, after me having a wee bit of a go he continued to follow us for a while and then was never to be seen again. Must have eventually realised he needed to turn back. Unbelievable. No wonder there are so many fatalities in the hill side!
The Team
Debbie descending :)
Janey and Debbie
en route
When we reached what I think is called ‘red chimney’ the rock was completely drenched with all the rain and snow we had been experiencing, that we decided it was time to rope up. I climbed up the chinmey and set up a direct belay off an awesome spike to bring John and Debbie up on. Climbing wasn’t very hard mind you, but we didn’t want to risk then having a wee slip on our watch :) 
a grim and wet looking red chinmey

More ridge photos:

Upon reaching the summit of the second munro, ‘Sgor nam Fiannaidh’ and what is essentially the end of the ridge, Keith ran down the loose scree slope to the main road in order to hitch back to the car and pick the rest of us up from Glen Coe village. I guided the others down a much better, although longer path to meet up with him and the car.
Keith must just have one of those faces, the third car stopped for him!! It was an old couple and the man made his wife get in the back of their 3 door car so Keith could travel in sheer comfort along the road! He always manages to hitch so easily….I cannot see why, it’s not like he’s attractive or anything haha.
With today’s weather and wet rock me and Keith feel that the ridge was more like a grade 3 scramble/moderate climb than some sources suggestions of a grade 2. Felt rather spicy in the wet, and Debs and John did very well in the conditions :) It was actually quite a bit more full on than we were expecting. Awesome though.
Aonach Eagach Ridge
Janey

4 sunny days in the hills

28.3.12 – Etive Slabs

We headed up to Glen Coe intending to climb The Pause (E1 5b ***) on the Etive Slabs. Walk in was lovely and boggy, and as we were wearing shorts, pretty sore being scratched on the legs by all the heather and heathland. Oh well it was such nice weather trousers would have just been inappropriate.

view from the base of the crag.

We geared up and I set off on pitch 1, and took a wee lead fall :(  It seems wet climbing shoes and dodgy slab climbing don’t mix. Went for it again but was too scared after falling so backed off and let Keith take over leading this pitch. It was seepy and horrid.

Keith on P1

We really weren’t feeling the wet scary paddy style of the route, so traversed and abbed off a tree from the top of the first pitch :) We chilled in the sun for a while watching the team on Spartan Slab then headed back down to the car and went to check out The Chasm. Sadly there was still quite a bit of snow in the gully, so decided we better leave this route til later in the year.

We picked a nice spot to park up in Glen Etive, cooked some pasta, and went to sleep :)

Photos of the awesome car in sleeping mode:

29.3.12 – Creag Dubh

We woke up in the morning and the weather wasn’t looking great in Glen Coe, so we headed east. The weather didnt seem to improve much along the way, but we came across a patch of sun as we were passing Creag Dubh so decided to stop for the day. We climbed Inbred (HVS 5a***), the crag classic, and Tree hee (S 4a**) which was not worth either of the stars it has been awarded!
Keith on P1 of Inbred HVS 5a ***

30.3.12 – Bynack More

On Friday we did the Bynack More circuit. Weather and views were lovely, I got a slight tan, and Keith is sunburnt! Knee was the sorest it has ever been, so was rather epic on the descent, can’t wait to go to the physio next week and get it sorted out! 
Photos:
Nice looking bothy

view from the summit

K at summit
Ptarmigans

on the return route
 On the way back we hoped to go for a swim in An Lochan Uaine (The green loch – named from local folklore about it being dyed from the fairies washing their clothes), but sadly after dipping our feet in we discovered it was full of leaches! Neither of us had seen them in the UK before, strange. It was freezing anyway so probably a good thing! We had a look around the shops in Aviemore afterwards, then decided to head home a day early as we were missing our comfy bed, cups of tea and puppy pal!

An Lochan Uaine


31.3.12 – Meall Buidhe, Lilly’s First Munro!

Yesterday we decided to see how Lilly would cope hill walking, and took her up her first munro!! We chose Meall Buidhe as it is ‘a fairly simple’ munro according to the guidebook, and it was :) She absolutely loved it, and surprisingly I even had trouble keeping up with her! Once pup is off the lead she really goes for it, and her usual refusal to walk is obviously just to wind us up. It was however rather boggy, so would not be a nice walk to do just after rainfall. Luckily it has been dry the past few days and her wee paws didn’t get submerged too much. 
Here are the many photos we took, including a video of her reaching the summit! Such an amazing day! We are so proud of polar pup <3

‘Hurry up guys’

Lilly and Keith with the summit in the distance
3 of us sitting on the cairn

Lilly enjoying the views, with Schiehallion in the distance

Sunbathing

Having a wee snooze before the descent

Deer near the landrover track :)
Today is a rest day, we are going to get some yummy food from M&S, maybe some beer too, and chill in the garden practicing crevasse rescue for our upcoming trip to the alps :)
 

Munro Bagging in Glen Clova

We had originally planned to do Aonach Eagach ridge yesterday but after looking at the weather forecast we decided to head east to the southern cairngorms for some gentle hill walking.. It was much brighter and slightly less windy on the east, and since I have a really sore knee at the moment we thought an easier day was in order.

As we didnt decide what we were doing until around 0030 on wednesday morning we ended up not having as much sleep as we would have liked, but anyway, we left ratho around 7.30am and headed up to Glen Clova.

Shortly after leaving the car park Keith decided he was going to test my map reading skills asking me what hill was what. I told him and as usual there were arguments as he thought I was wrong. Taking bearings and physically showing him on the map eventually led to him realising I was right which he couldn’t admit until over an hour later! Poor Debbie had to put up with a proper domestic…don’t ever go walking with a couple… or climbing… or do anything with them for that matter. I must say the boy is lucky he didnt have his eye taken out with my walking pole! (it was quite literally a close call….oopsies)

Me and Debs plodding up the easy start

After the inital hour of disagreements though the day was fairly pleasant. We decided to veer off the path and take a direct approach up the side of the Scorrie and then wandered on up to the summit of Driesh (947m) – the first munro of the day. We saw heaps of mountain hares and a couple of ptarmigans, but sadly could not get close enough for any good quality photos!

Me on the way up the Scorrie

 Since me and Keithy have turned into Munro baggers for the year we each have our own ‘summit pose’. It makes the day much more amusing. Debbie also has a new summit pose, but sadly hers is a little inappropriate for our blog and will be reserved for facebook!

Keith with the ‘Keith Scott’ pose on the Trig point at the summit of Driesh

 We continued along the ridge on a well trodden path for around 3km over to the second munro we had planned – Mayar (928m). We bumped into several of your typical munro baggers en route, as well as a collie and dalmation. Its a shame our wee westie pal doesnt have long enough legs, as im sure she would love to be out in the hills with us!

We got to the summit of Mayar at 2.30pm; it was pretty windy but the views were awesome.

My summit pose, which seems to describe my love for hill walking rather accurately

We then walked down Kilbo path back to the car. The descent was pretty sore on my knee, so I had to take my time which probably held everyone up by a good 45minutes. Shame I can’t just do the uphill twice :(

Me and Debs on the descent
views with the smoke from a fire in the background

A rather unattractive photo of the 3 of us

The day was finished off by a quick shower just to get the sweat off, then straight down to the pub in time for the pub quiz, red vino which it seems I cannot go a day without at the moment, and chips with cheese for dinner. yum! And to top it all off we won the quiz, so now have a grand total in the team kitty of 84pounds. bring on more winnings to fund our summer BBQ :)

It certainly seems summer is almost here! Time for me and Keith to get training to send some hard trad projects this year instead of being our usual bumbly selves.

Oh and I have failed to mention my new boots – La Sportiva trangos. They are amazing, foot gloves, and were broken in properly yesterday. So if anybody wants to buy some scarpa mantas which I am now selling in order to help cover the cost of the new ones let me know :) They’re a uk 6.

Janey

Ben Lomond

With a forecast of 60-80mph gusts and snow/hail showers we decided to head up Ben Lomond today with Chris and Hattie. The plan was to leave at ‘8am’ so me and Keith got ready for around 8.20 as Chris’s time keeping is never up to scratch. Turns out he (I say he as he was incharge of alarms) slept in, so we didnt end up leaving until 8.45! Got to Ben Lomond around 10.15 and set off at 1030 :)

 
The team

Bumbled up the first few hundred metres of ascent in the sun and a wee bit of wind to be greeted with lots of hail. Sadly Keith didn’t bring any goggles, when I was packing my bag this morning he was convinced they wouldnt be required…

Silly Keith

However, I was prepared and had some mountain biking glasses in the top of my rucksack – lucky Keith. We soon stopped for lunch at a lovely spot which was sadly ruined by some dirty person who felt the need to curl a poo out and just leave it there! Could at least dig a hole. EW.

Still a bit windy!

As we got closer to the summit it got windier and windier to the point where the majority of others on the hill turned back, but since we’re so hardcore we pushed on.

Pretty views

The paths leading up the last 200metres of ascent were super icy and the wind was so strong literally blowing me and Hattie over. The boys were ok cause they’re fattys. We finally made it to the summit where the vis was pretty crap and there wasnt really any view…

Us at the summit

view from summit.

We then walked back down the other side of the hill and followed the tourist path back to the car park, then straight to the pub. Highlight of my day was the plate of chips and pint. Amazing :)

An Caisteal, The Trossachs National Park

Today me and Debbie went up to Crianlarich for a days hill walking. Fun times! The plan was to walk up the ridge over Sron Garbh and Twistin Hill followed by summiting the munros An Caisteal and Beinn a’ Chroin.

I initially parked one parking layby too early, but soon realised and jumped back in the car along to the next one. The start of the walk was through a boggy farmers field to gain the track into the hills. I slipped and ended up knee deep in sloppy mud/bog! Thankfully it was only on my softshells and didnt go down my boots – It seems it would have been a good day for gaiters but I didnt take any – oops.

Post mud!

We then plodded on up the damp turfy ground to the summit of Sron Garbh at 709m where we stopped for some sandwiches. nom nom. The views were nice and pretty until the cloud started coming in.

 
top of Sron Garbh
wooooo, I <3 walking!

We then continued to plod along Twistin Hill where there was patches of snow cover and the path was pretty icy. Upon reaching the ascent to An Caisteal it had become quite snowy, and as everything looked pretty green from the road I hadnt packed any crampons or an axe. So after a lot of kicking steps in the hard neve we finally reached the summit at 995m. The vis had become quite crap at this point, the cloud level must have been about 850-900m and we were just above that. After having a look at the very wintery looking stuff infront of us I opted to turn back instead of continuing to the summit of Beinn a’ Chroin.

view onwards from An Caisteal

We then returned via the same route as we came, getting back to the car 5hours and 55minutes after we set off. My knee is pretty sore from the descent but that is always the case :(

Nice day out though, I need a weekly hill/mountain day to get me through the week at uni it seems. Maths really isn’t fun, especially since I have yet another exam on tuesday!

Here are a few more photos from the day:

more views

Debbie as ‘Keith Scott’

Janey

MTA