Sunday, May 25, 2014

163. Loss of munro status.

At this point I discovered that Beinn a'Chlaidheimh was re-measured last year and was found to be just below the 914.4m mark. I climbed this as part of the Fisherfield Six several years ago and so move from 164/283 to 163/282.

163, 164. Meall Garbh (186), Carn Gorm (103). 23/05/2014

Coming back down south from Ullapool the day before, we wanted to fit in another hill and the weather was good for it. We decided to get closure on the ring of four above Ben Lawers. We'd been turned back in horrendous conditions six months earlier just short of the third munro, so we aimed straight for this from the end of the stalkers track and climbed steadily up the grassy slopes to the top. It was nice going without being too steep and we had nice weather without it being too hot.

On the trail-mix front, we'd moved on to the papaya/california raisin/peanut blend and I think this was a winner for the week. Lunch at the top before ambling along the ridge to the slightly higher Carn Gorm and we had great views of Ben Lawers and Schiehallion.

The descent was also quite gentle on the knees, which is always appreciated.

Carn Gorm, with Ben Lawers in the background

The iron summit of Meall Garbh, with Schiehallion behind

Some people gathered around the legendary trailmix

162. Beinn Sgritheall (183). 19/05/2014

Staying near Dornie, the drive round to Loch Hourn is very picturesque and we had a great day for it. The 5 sisters were looking good from the Mam-Rattagan pass and the views over to Knoydart from the ascent weren't too bad either. 

There was a good path up from Arnisdale, but since we were starting from sea-level, height was gained rapidly - perhaps a little too rapidly for the pregnant Hilde. We therefore had to go steadily, particularly the last climb on the ridge, where we perhaps didn't find the best route and ended up scrambling on the scree. Nevertheless, we made it up to the top in about 3 hours and enjoyed great views in very calm and sunny conditions. Skye and the small isles were all visible, as well as all the hills between Torridon and Knoydart and beyond. This is a great hill for some great west-coast views.

An interesting event just before we reached the summit was bumping into Dr Jon Middleton, who is from Cambridge and with whom I'd climbed many a hill in the past - quite a coincidence. Also, we spent some of the climb in trail-mix tasting - we were trying the banana/peanut/sun blush raisin blend and it scored fairly highly.

The descent was quite long to the west and after a while I ran on ahead to grab the car so that we didn't all have to do the last plod along the road. The route took us about 6 hours all told, but we did spend a while at the top since it was so clement.

Looking back towards Loch Hourn after the last of the steep section.

West towards Skye

Arnisdale and Loch Hourn

Ben, Fi and the Cuillin ridge

Taking a nap at the top

161. Meall Buidhe (248). 18/05/2014

It was one of those occasional wet-weather days in the highlands. Hilde and I had driven up the day before with Ben and Fi for a wee tour of Scotland. We thought there might be enough clear weather for a 'warm-up' hill and chose Meall Buidhe in Glen Lyon (there are two quite close to each other, which caused momentary confusion). Hilde, being 4 months pregnant, wanted to check she could still make it up hills and she managed very well.

The conditions weren't that pleasant, but we got up and down in not much over 3 hours. Mist and drizzle for the ascent, then calm at the top (although no visibility), followed by rain and strong winds on the descent - it was a good job we had some quality rain gear. Otherwise the going was pretty easy and we had plenty of time to drive north afterwards.

The misty top of Meall Buidhe