Archive for the ‘stob ghabhar’ Tag

Winter Weekend – Stob Ghabhar   21 comments

The Saturday of our weekend had a much better forecast. There were clearly still some heavy showers around but there more expansive patches of clear sky. We all went our separate ways but a hardy group planned on one of the areas bigger and more dramatic mountains, Stob Ghabhar.

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The morning was bright and clear with great views across Loch Tulla to the group of four munros rising above it to the east.

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Stob Ghabhar is pretty big (pushing up towards 1,100m), you start from low down and its long walk in, so its a serious undertaking in winter. Luckily there was not much snow around to complicate things and there are good paths most of the way up and down.

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The valley of the Abhainn Shira forms the approach and is a classic scottish glacial valley surrounded by big peaks.

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Our goal was to follow the stalkers path up to the western top and then traverse back over the summit, pretty much along the skyline seen here.

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Plentiful sunshine drew us upwards although the path peters out around 750m so the last couple of hundred metres are harder work over rough ground. These stalkers paths from Victorian times are a godsend where they exist.

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Just before the top we were hit by a heavy hail storm. My mate OGS had a novel solution to this. Yes, that is a snorkelling mask he’s wearing. He’s from Yorkshire and genetically programmed not to spend money. Clever idea to re-use old stuff from the house. Tiny flaw in the plan, a completely sealed unit clamped to a hot sweaty face with a freezing cold outer surface has an obvious outcome. He took it off a few seconds later. It gave us probably the biggest laugh of the weekend.

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Days like these are some of the best. Showers tend to be violent but short lived but as they clear the light effects are dramatic and mesmerising.

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Peaks slowly emerge from the clouds bathed in the sunlight that you know is coming your way. The views here across the South Glencoe peaks and the Glen Etive mountains were amazing.

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There was enough snow to make the final walk to the summit both interesting and easier. Nothing finer than a winter walk high on a mountain on hard snow under sunny skies.

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This section of ridge was a sheer delight.

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The summit was windy and brutally cold so we didn’t linger long. The views across the expanse of Rannoch Moor were great as always.

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The two Matts enjoying claiming the summit.

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We headed down looking for a sheltered lunch spot and across the narrow but short ridge of the Aonach Eagach. Not as dramatic or difficult as its more famous counterpart a few miles away in Glencoe but it added some interest. Had it been under a full blanket of winter snow it would have been a more challenging proposition.

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Looking back to the summit of Stob Ghabhar and Coirein Lochain.

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And along the Aonach Eagach.

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After a brief and cold lunch the others set off to do the second munro in the group, Stob a Choire Odhair. I was feeling a little out of sorts and TJS didn’t like the look of the steep descent to the col so we took our leave and headed down. The weather turned a little greyer and showery so not many photos from here on in. Just a last look at the Beinn Dorain group across the valley as we reached the car and sat and waited for the others.

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A long, tough and tiring day, for me anyway, but one with great memories that I can share with TJS who now has four munros to his name, four more than I had at his age!

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Winter Weekend – Ben Inverveigh and Meall Tairbh   10 comments

March brings along our annual winter gathering of old university friends. We’ve been holding this event for I think 14 years now and the numbers seem to be as strong as ever. 15 this time for the weekend but some of us were there early for an extra day. That extra day was looking a bad idea as the Friday morning was truly appalling. Heavy horizontal rain lashed the hotel and we sat over a lazy breakfast and morning watching the puddles get bigger. The forecast was for a possible improvement after lunch so we headed out on the off chance. As we parked up, the rain stopped and the first flashes of blue sky and sunshine appeared.

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We took a route I’d done a couple of years back up the small mountains behind the Bridge of Orchy Hotel. It makes a nice if rather soggy circuit for a half day.

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The wind was ferocious and in a couple of places hard to stand up. The views were pretty decent though and far better than anything we could have expected after the morning deluge.

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Views towards Rannoch Moor and Loch Tulla.

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THO enjoying the wild weather.

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And MM and Danish Matt hiding from the wind.

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Looking down on our hotel home for the weekend.

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As we neared the top of Ben Inverveigh we were caught in a wild and nasty rain storm. The rain was stinging my face as we walked and I nearly bailed and ran down. It seemed to last forever but was only a few minutes after which we were treated to some glorious vistas.

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Stob Ghabhar and the Blackmount.

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The happy band on the summit.

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Wild weather and storms all round.

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The twin munros of Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh.

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Further rain fell as we crossed the col to the second and higher peak of Meal Tairbh. As we reached the wild and exposed top and hunkered down out of the wind we had more fabulous stormy views.

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Doesn’t really tell just how windy it was here!

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Its a long and rather boggy walk down the ridge and we were hit by a pretty heavy rain shower. I love days like this. The wild weather makes you feel alive and the views when you get them are always so clear and so dramatic.

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From the embers of a poor morning we’d lit the fire of a really good afternoon in these little walked hills.

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The river views of the Allt Tolaghan at the end of the walk were the icing on the cake.

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A decent 8 mile circuit and the weekend off to a great start.

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