DateWednesday 27th February 2013 Map of Start Location
Start LocationBy Allt Ruadh bridge, east side of Glen Feshie
WeatherClear Skies
(Min./Max.: 3.6 °C/8.8 °C; Pressure: 1035.9 mbar; Humidity: 49.6%; Dew point: -2.8 °C; Wind Speed: 5.8 km/h; Precipitation: 0.0mm)
Distance15.65 km
Time Taken6 Hours 2 Mins
Ascent945 metres
Accompanied byEmma, Milo and Inca
Munro Count Sgor Gaoith
Munro Top Count Sgor Gaoith - Meall BuidheSgor Gaoith - Sgoran Dubh Mor
Peaks ClimbedSgor Gaoith – Meall Buidhe | Sgor Gaoith | Sgor Gaoith – Sgoran Dubh Mor
Information Board at start of walk

Information Board at start of walk

We awoke once again to another amazing day. Frost, cloud free skies and amazing visibility. The high pressure which had dominated over the past few days was here for at least another day and whilst we intended to take it easy on our honeymoon, good mountain days have not exactly been a regular occurrence over the past few months so we decided to take full advantage. But where? Ben Nevis was mentioned and we even pondered on a trip up north to take in Suilven but after much deliberation we settled on one of the few remaining peaks in the Cairngorms I had not yet climbed, Sgor Gaoith.

Emma stands near the Allt a'Chrom Alltain

Emma stands near the Allt a’Chrom Alltain

It was a pleasant drive to the start location at Allt Ruadh bridge and within an hour we were parked up and ready to set off. We had tempted to run this one but with the decent amount of snow still on the Cairngorm plateau (see Cairn Gorm walk report) we decided to wear mountains boots and take ice axes and crampons. This seemed a bit of a shame as we set off because the trail through the plantation would have been amazing to run. Continue reading »
Date25 February 2013 Map of Start Location
Start LocationCairngorm Ski Centre Car Park
WeatherClear Skies
( (0°C, 66.2% Humidity, 8.6km/h Wind Speed, Precipitation 0.0mm))
Distance13.66km
Time Taken5 hours 40 minutes
Ascent824 metres
Accompanied byEmma, Milo and Inca
Munro Count Cairn Gorm
Munro Top Count Cairn Gorm - Cairn LochanCairn Gorm - Stob Coire an t-Sneachda
Peaks ClimbedCairn Gorm | Cairn Gorm – Cairn Lochan | Cairn Gorm – Stob Coire an t-Sneachda
Emma leads the way up towards the Ptarmigan Restaurant

Emma leads the way up towards the Ptarmigan Restaurant

Back in 2001, I climbed my fourth Munro, Cairn Gorm. Not that I was keeping count or anything. Back in those days I lived in Manchester and trips to Scotland were at best an annual event. That particular day will always stick in mind because of a huge clear up operation taking place to remove the debris of two US Air Force F-15C’s that had crashed near the summit of Ben Macdui.

With Emma taking more of an interest in bagging peaks nowadays a jaunt up Cairn Gorm seemed a good way to start our week’s holiday in the Cairngorm National Park. We were staying at a cottage just near Tomintoul and with high pressure stuck over Scotland, the forecast for the week look great. Continue reading »
Date Monday 14th May 2012
Start Location Lay-by at Sligachan on the Dunvegan road
Weather Cloudy but often lifting above summit tops
(5.6°C, 74.3% Humidity, 15.6km/h Wind Speed)
Distance 15.43km
Time Taken 7 Hours 3 minutes
Ascent 1204 metres
Accompanied by Scott, Kev and Derek
Munro Count Bruach na FritheAm Basteir
Munro Top Count Sgurr a'Fionn Choire
Peaks Climbed Bruach na Frithe | Sgurr a’Fionn Choire | Am Basteir
Discussing the Glamaig Hill Race with Scott

Discussing the Glamaig Hill Race with Scott

Way back last year when we arranged a week in Skye to nail some of the Cullin, we chose the month May. The weather is always good in May, isn’t it? Well that certainly was not the case as Scott and I drove through Glen Shiel towards the Kyle of Lochalsh. Wind, rain, the kitchen sink – the weather was brutal. Hopefully things would improve though and we could get some decent days in. We were staying in a cottage just on the outskirts of Portree and the plan was to take things as it came and get up onto the Cullin Ridge to see what it is all about. We were joined by Kev and Derek so hopefully we could have a good laugh as well.

Heading up the north-west ridge of Bruach na Frithe

Heading up the north-west ridge of Bruach na Frithe

Although not perfect, the weather had improved the following day so we decided to tackle one of the easiest of the Cullin summits, Bruach na Frithe. After a brief pitstop in Portree for a bacon sandwich, we were heading south along the A87 to Sligachan Hotel where we then drove up the Dunvegan road and parked in a lay-by a short distance up just after the start of a track to a cottage. Continue reading »
Date Friday 13th April 2012 Location Map
Start Location Car park at end of the road up Glen Nevis
Weather Clear Skies
(4.5°C, 66.6% Humidity, 16.4km/h Wind Speed)
Distance 24.65 km
Time Taken 10 hours 54 minutes
Ascent 2079 metres
Accompanied by Kev and Graeme until Sgurr a’ Mhain then on my own
Munro Count AnStob Coire a' ChairnAm BodachSgurr a' MhainStob BanMullach nan Coirean
Munro Top Count An GarbhanachSgurr an IubhairStob Choire a' MhailMullach nan Coirean SE Top
Peaks Climbed An Gearanach | An Garbhanach | Stob Coire a’Chairn | Am Bodach | Sgur an Iubhair | Stob Choire a’Mhail | Sgurr a’Mhaim | Stob Ban | Mullach nan Coirean SE Top | Mullach nan Coirean
Looking over to the Steall waterfall

Looking over to the Steall waterfall

I had lost count the number of times I planned to a trip around the Ring of Steall only for it to be knocked back due to weather that was not deemed acceptable to justify this magnificent traverse. When Kev contacted me earlier in the week and asked if I wanted to join Graham and himself on the Friday then I immediately agreed. In fact if the weather gods played fair then I could be on for the ultimate two dayer. I had already agreed to meet Scott on the Saturday to nail the Kintail Brothers and Sisters and with Fort William being reasonably close to Kintail (well closer than Dunfermline) it would save an additional journey up north.

Crossing the wire bridge near Steall Waterfall

Crossing the wire bridge near Steall Waterfall

The previous days trip up Ben Starav (see Ben Starav blog post) had turned out to be a mini epic and with us arriving home late, I only got about four hours sleep before I was up out of bed and heading north up the motorway. The good news was that the sky was clear and it had the hallmarks of being a fantastic day weather wise. Was the Ring of Steall weather jinx about to be broken? Looks like it! We had arranged to meet up at 7:00am and by the time I pulled into the car park near Polldubh, Graeme was already there and shortly after, Kev arrived. Continue reading »
Date Friday 27th January to Saturday 28th January 2012 Location Map
Start Location Edge of Plantation on A93 near Baddoch
Weather Friday: Clear Skies
(-3.4°C, 94.8% Humidity, 19.9km/h Wind Speed)
Saturday: Clear Skies, great visibilty
(-3.8°C, 89.8% Humidity, 11.2km/h Wind Speed)
Distance 38.92 km
Time Taken 12 hours 54 minutes
Ascent 1748 metres
Accompanied by No one
Munro Count AnBeinn Iutharn MhorCarn a'GheoidhThe CairnwellCarn Aosda
Munro Top Count AnBeinn Iutharn BheagMam nan CarnCarn Bhinnein
Peaks Climbed An Socach East Top | An Socach | Beinn Iutharn Bheag | Mam nan Carn | Beinn Iutharn Mhor | Carn Bhinnein | Carn a’Gheoidh | The Cairnwell | Carn Aosda
Wild camping just off the east summit of An Socach

Wild camping just off the east summit of An Socach

It is unlikely that The Cairnwell and Carn Aosda would feature on many a person’s ‘top-rated’ lists. Instead, I suspect they are demoted somewhere in depths, relegated to obscurity alongside Ben Chonzie. I was no different and just could not get excited about these peaks.. The usual route starts at the Glenshee ski centre and threads its way up through the ski tows to the summit ridge where the peaks are easily attained. Having driven past them on numerous occasions, the thought of weaving my way up through the metal carnage that has scarred the hillside just did not motivate me at all. Maybe, it would just be a case of getting these two out of the way. A couple of ticks in the logbook, two more Munro’s down.

But then an opportunity opened. A night time hike to a summit of a Munro, an approach from the west, a huge loop that takes in five Munro’s and four tops and amazing conditions. It started with an amazing weather forecast on MWIS. I really fancied the idea of a summit wild camp so that I would ideally positioned for an early morning sunrise the following day. With short days, the idea of pitching up mid-afternoon then spending a good fifteen hours or so in my tent did not exactly ‘float my boat’ so I hatched another plan.

How about a midnight hike up to the summit and that way by the time I got set up, I would not be imprisoned in my tent for more than just a few hours. Sounded a good idea but what mountain? Something nearby, nothing hard-core, just something that offered potential. After a little deliberation, I struck upon An Socach. The walk-in looked decent and the summit ridge was wide so there should be plenty of opportunities to camp. Additionally, there was some good looking peaks nearby that I could combine into the trip. Continue reading »
Date Sunday 15th January 2012 Location Map
Start Location Car Park at the end of Loch Voil
Weather Low cloud
Distance 16.6 km
Time Taken 8 hours
Ascent 1170 metres
Accompanied by Emma, Milo and Inca
MunroCount Beinn TulaicheanCruach Ardrain
Peaks Climbed Beinn Tulaichean Cruach Ardrain
It was a slog up uphill

It was a slog up uphill

My hill action has been pretty limited recently. In fact it had grinded to a halt! I had not ticked off any Munro’s since September and if I wanted to hit the 150 mark by year end; it was time to get things moving again. Unfortunately, over the last few months my free weekends had coincided with poor weather but this weekend looked favourable. In fact it looked more than favourable. MWIS was banding figures of 90% cloud free Munro’s, no wind and cloud inversions. Time to get involved!

I was torn between Glas Tulaichean and Carn an Righ near Spittal of Glenshee or the two peaks of Cruach Ardrain and Beinn Tulaichean from Inverlochlarig. With Emma and dogs tagging along I decided on the second option because the mileage was less and with short daylight hours, I did not want to be experiencing another night time experience like last years Meall Buidhe and Cam Chreag from Bridge of Gaur trip

We set off at 6am and with a clear sky and stars visible I was optimistic of a great day. Indeed, as we drove through Callendar and past Ben Ledi the top of the peak was sticking through the cloud. Bring it on! We drove up the road alongside Loch Lubnaig then headed west down the minor road past Loch Voil towards Inverlochlarig. We parked up in the public car park, kitted up and set off towards the farm. Continue reading »
Date Sunday 1st May to Monday 2nd May 2011
Start Location Track leading up from Corriechoille
Weather Sunny and Hot
Distance 28 km
Time Taken 12 Hours
Ascent 2490 metres
Accompanied by Kev
Munro Count Stob BanStob Choire ClaurighStob Coire an LaoighSgurr Choinnich Mor
Munro Top Count Stob Coire na CeannainStob a'Choire LeithStob Coire Cath na SineCaistealStob Coire EasainBeinn na Socaich
Corbett Count Cruach InnseSgurr Innse
Peaks Climbed Cruach Innse | Sgurr Innse | Stob Ban | Stob Choire Claurigh | Stob Coire na Ceannain | Stob a’Choire Leith | Stob Coire Cath na Sine | Caisteal | Stob Coire an Laoigh | Stob Coire Easain | Sgurr Choinnich Mor | Beinn na Socaich
The Wee Minister

The Wee Minister

A few weeks back, I had arranged to do an overnighter in the Grey Corries with Kev. The plan was to nail two Corbetts and four Munros. I was expecting to have surpassed the Munro century mark on the Kintail trip previously but due to lousy weather, I had abandoned the North Glen Shiel Ridge and I was sitting on 95 peaks. Four Munros in the Grey Corries would put me on 99. Nothing wrong with that but with an awesome weather forecast and an amazing location, it would be a shame not to hit that magic mark. I weighed up the options. Is there any way I could get my count up by one peak? I was not meeting Kev until early afternoon so I could nail a nearby peak before meeting up. Another option would be to extend the walk and take in and additional peak. I dismissed the first thought. With a tough days walking ahead, running over the top of a Munro beforehand, may not be the best of ideas so maybe I could add another peak into the mix?

Stob Coire Easain was close by and could be an option so maybe I could squeeze that in as well. With no early morning peak to climb I could have lie and set off to Tyndrum late morning where I was meeting up with Kev. The weather was amazing with little cloud, blue skies, sunshine and amazing air clarity. We jumped into Kev’s car and headed northwards towards Spean Bridge and then up the track from Corriechoille where we parked close to where the dismantled tramway intersects the main track. Continue reading »
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