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Heading up to Fort William with the intention of getting myself up Ben Nevis via CMD. A few of the boys have seen a few pictures on Instagram and started getting wet feet already as they’re not massively experienced walkers. 
We’re considering splitting into two groups to try and reconvene at the top and head back down together, would a 2.5hr lead time for those doing CMD be enough to do so?
 
It looks terrifying in pictures but it's not that bad when you're actually there. I'm not an experienced climber at all and neither was one of the other two I climbed with. My fitness at the time wasn't 100% and the weather was poor so it took me quite a while. Basically from the moment you reach the ridge you are clambering over rocks all the way to the summit of Nevis, so it's quite fun.

I did something really stupid though - the weather was fine until just before the top of CMD then the clouds rolled in. For some reason I totally forgot clouds = wet, so I got very cold and wet very quickly, having forgotten to put on my waterproof jacket. I was then miserable for the rest of the day.

The only thing about going down was that we took the tourist path halfway then diverged from it to try and find the North car park again. But the path seemed to disappear over a river so we ended up wading through bushes etc for quite a long way.
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20 hours ago, Detournement said:

I think the 'normal' way to do it is the reverse of what you did. It's definitely more fun going up the steep bits. 

Our original plan was to do the opposite of what we did but we couldn't find the path which didn't surprise me when we emerged from it on the way back. It would certainly have been easier (and more fun) if we had. There was a lot of pressure on the legs on the descent which I'm still feeling today.

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41 minutes ago, microdave said:

Our original plan was to do the opposite of what we did but we couldn't find the path which didn't surprise me when we emerged from it on the way back. It would certainly have been easier (and more fun) if we had. There was a lot of pressure on the legs on the descent which I'm still feeling today.

The way I've done it a few times is to walk up the full switchback path then after a few 100 metres cut across the grass around the base of Ben Narnain until you get to the concrete hydro fixtures at the ascent path. 

Now I think there is a direct path from the road half up the switchbacks. 

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On 30/08/2021 at 15:49, Chinatoon Bairn said:

Good stuff. Was sure I had heard something about paths off to either side avoiding any possible ‘technical areas’.

One of them heard about the woman passing away fairly recently then seen a photo of a guy wearing a helmet and developed a severe case of the fear which passed down to others. Will use your words to try and rope them back in haha.

Probably too late now and you are already dead but there not bypass paths to either side. Please stay left

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Sgùrr nan Clach Geala round today. A nice easy threesome and what I'm sure is a great ridge in the middle but clag had come in by that point.

Keds were out but, at risk of being targeted by the ALF I just kill them rather than bother trying to flick them off.

 

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Managed to wangle a long weekend away, so after getting home from the 'Well-Dundee game on Saturday, I had my dinner and headed off for the long haul up to Kintail about 8pm. Empty roads had me at the Five Sisters car park at midnight, where I would kip for the night. Next morning, after looking in horror at the midge holocaust, I headed off for the Skye Bridge and my first visit for a good few years.

Today's target was Garbh Bheinn, a hill I'd wanted to climb for a while as it positioned perfectly as a viewpoint. In true Skye style, on a bluebird day, my targets along with the Red Cuillin, were the only ones with cloudy summits but it was early and I was hopeful it would lift. 

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The walk in was great, lots of optional scrambling and having a layer of skin off my fingers after 15 minutes reminded me of how good Gabro is to climb on. Just as I got onto the final scramble to the summit (which was a bit more serious than a couple of the guides I had read made it sound), the cloud thinned and then lifted, but not before there was some decent Brocken Spectre conditions - me on the pointy summit:

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The views were pretty sensational - Bla Bheinn looked amazing, the Cuillin was a nice backdrop and you could see down to Sgurr na Stri at Loch Coruisk. I'd really recommend Garbh Bheinn as a first Skye mountain for folk wanting to see what it's all about.

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After that - it was a straighforward but bloody steep climb onto Belig, a Graham that is another pointy summit and a great 360 degree viewpoint

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After a day where the weather was way better than the forecast, Monday was even better - so I headed over the Ratagan Pass  (it's like the Bealach na Ba' without the NC500 arseholes) and down to one of the nicest bits of the West Highlands - the Glenelg peninsula. The only time I'd hillwalked here before was to do Beinn Sgritheall, a day that was done entirely in the clag, so I was excited to be getting some views on Beinn na h-Eaglaise and Beinn nan Caorach - 2 of the steepest b*****ds I've ever climbed - but the views into Knoydart and over to Skye are amazing, so the (considerable) pain was worth it.

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After a beastie-free day on Skye - this was horrendous. To give my mind something to do, I counted the number of deer ked I brutally murdered - I gave up at 200 and I wasn't on the first summit yet. The descent was a real killer here too - pathless and incredibly steep - and lots of navigation needed to pick my way through gorges and rocky sections. The main consolation was seeing a Sea Eagle quite close and not for the first time this weekend, forgetting my camera was annoying me. 

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After 2 hard days, I had an easier time of it today - Sgurr nan Airid was a perfect "going home" hill. It was 5 mins from the campsite at Morvich where I stayed and it could be done before lunch so I could get home at a decent time. Unusually for a relatively obscure Corbett, it had a great path all the way, which was just what I felt like and so it was pretty easy. I was too early for the cloud lifting, so I had to make do with the views on the way up and down and nothing from the summit. I was back at the car in 3 hours, so it was a good choice.

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Great weekend in properly spectacular mountain country - just wish it wasn't so far from my house!

 

Edited by Swello
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On Saturday I completed the Strathfarrar 4. For the ones who don't know, car access to these munros is unusual because you have to be let in by the estate gatekeeper, who opens the gate at 9am. I left later than I wanted to and was a bit worried I would be outside the 25 car limit to the glen, but it was fine. I took my bike with me and drove it to the end point so I could cycle the road back to the car. I would tell anyone planning to do these munros to do this, I was delighted to see my bike when I got to the road and cut out a big chunk of trudging time.

This was one of the more challenging hikes I've done for a few reasons. I thought I was actually taking ages to do it but I did the full route in just under 7hrs. At the time though I felt like I was struggling because of the searing heat and I had to ration my water. Now, I had seen fellow posters on this thread complaining about deer keds. I had never encountered them and had never any issues - until now. They were absolutely relentless. What a nightmare they are to pick off and kill. Their flat bodies seemed to give them immunity from crushing. To make matters worse, I got to the summit of Carn nan Gobhar and was about to give the cairn a good old slap until I saw it was fucking swarming with wasps. I had never seen the likes. Why were there loads of wasps here so high up? Perhaps to predate on the flies? Whatever it was, I wasn't liking it one bit - so I didn't hang about. This really weirded me out and with all the keds on my I couldn't relax as I ate my lunch. I later found more wasps on the cairn of Sgùrr a' Choire Ghlais. Bizarre.

When I got back to the car I took the time to admire the glorious ancient pinewoods that line the glen. There was more woods than I thought there would be, which was nice. A bit like a less impressive Glen Affric. Given a helping hand, Strathfarrar wood could be even more spectacular. I ended the day with a dip in the River Farrar, which was just bliss. A great day all round.

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6 minutes ago, jamamafegan said:

Great effort @Swello. Are you on a mission to bag the corbetts?

Yep - something I said I wasn't going to do after the Munros but I'm right into it now :) The main attraction for me is getting back to places that I'd "finished" a long time back and getting to some new places. So far, it's been great but as most of the walks are largely pathless and the fact that you can't string them together easily means that it's quite tough.

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13 hours ago, invergowrie arab said:

Probably too late now and you are already dead but there not bypass paths to either side. Please stay left

Doing this on Sunday so not dead. I'm sure I'd have found out about the lack of path on the right side one way or another regardless.

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25 minutes ago, Chinatoon Bairn said:

Doing this on Sunday so not dead. I'm sure I'd have found out about the lack of path on the right side one way or another regardless.

Here is a picture that I took when I did the CMD route - you can see that the ground on one side slopes less steeply. It's not something that I would build up too much - going along the crest is straightforward, in summer conditions, it's not a hard scramble or massively exposed - just take it easy and no silly moves.

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As always, whenever I look in this thread I can't help but feel impressed, and feel the wanderlust pangs! Great pictures and tales of some epic hikes, well done boys.

I'm looking for a wee bit of advice from the experienced fellas here. I'm up near Ballachulish for a few days next week, hoping the grey wet forecast is innacurate or at least leaves a window for me. 

Beinn a' Bheithir (Sgòrr Dhearg and Dhonull) is a target, what's your tales? Is the Schoolhouse ridge scramble a must, or not for me? There's an alternative route up Bheinn Bhan. I wouldn't go direct through the forest as I wouldn't want to miss the ridge from Sgòrr Bhan to Sgorr Dhearg.

Bit of background - I'm in D&G so have no problems slogging through fields and forests, hill fitness is ok, but I don't have much experience at Munro level. I'm ok with hands on rock and am drawn towards exposure, but don't have the experience of an exposed scramble. For a fear level gauge, no chance I'm doing Aonach Eagach or Curved Ridge anytime soon, but if I was doing Ben Nevis I'd absolutely be taking the CMD Arete. 

Of course wet rocks and thick clouds might make the decisions for me, but what would you guys advise? Cheers 

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1 hour ago, DG.Roma said:

Beinn a' Bheithir (Sgòrr Dhearg and Dhonull) is a target, what's your tales? Is the Schoolhouse ridge scramble a must, or not for me? There's an alternative route up Bheinn Bhan. I wouldn't go direct through the forest as I wouldn't want to miss the ridge from Sgòrr Bhan to Sgorr Dhearg.

Bit of background - I'm in D&G so have no problems slogging through fields and forests, hill fitness is ok, but I don't have much experience at Munro level. I'm ok with hands on rock and am drawn towards exposure, but don't have the experience of an exposed scramble. For a fear level gauge, no chance I'm doing Aonach Eagach or Curved Ridge anytime soon, but if I was doing Ben Nevis I'd absolutely be taking the CMD Arete. 

Of course wet rocks and thick clouds might make the decisions for me, but what would you guys advise? Cheers 

Beinn a Bheithir is a great walk and the scrambling mentioned is at the mild end of the spectrum - you need to use your hands but there is no big exposure. What I would say is that it is a walk that would be a shame to do in the clag as it's a properly decent viewpoint. and so best for a decent day.

Navigation wise, it's quite straightforward but it is a very steep walk - so lots of ascent in a relatively short distance (and I seem to remember the drop between the two munros is quite a lot) - so a bit of hill fitness would help.

I would suggest alternatives but Bheithir is actually one of the more straightforward walks in the area - there are no "beginner" Munros round there that jump to mind as everything is very steep and either involve a huge amount of ascent or some technical/navigation challenges.

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Thanks very much Swello, great info...

2 hours ago, Swello said:

it is a very steep walk - so lots of ascent in a relatively short distance (and I seem to remember the drop between the two munros is quite a lot) - so a bit of hill fitness would help.

I would suggest alternatives but Bheithir is actually one of the more straightforward walks in the area - there are no "beginner" Munros round there that jump to mind

I should be alright with the steepness, hopefully! As for alternatives, I'm not driven by ticking off Munros so would welcome any smaller suggestions elevation wise. I'm also targeting the Pap of Glencoe, but again that'll be another to save for a clear day rather than clag.

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The Pap is quite a bit lower than Munro height - it's only a Graham - so you could get a view from there on days where a 1000m munro would be clagged in. It's a very straightforward walk.

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Tom a' Choinich and Toll Creagach today. Had these earmarked as a high camp with the three to the west but I was in Inverness kicking my heels today so went for it.

Quite a short day given they are pretty mammoth hills and amazing views. I would have taken an hours rain though. Keds were as bad as I have ever seen them again.

Why is Sgùrr na Lapaich (the Mam Sodhail one) not a munro? I know it's not a huge amount of re-ascent but it's  a long way out

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Edited by invergowrie arab
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5 hours ago, invergowrie arab said:

Why is Sgùrr na Lapaich (the Mam Sodhail one) not a munro? I know it's not a huge amount of re-ascent but it's  a long way out

Sums up the flaws in Munro's tables - there are hills in the East that are classified as munros with way less justification - I remember thinking exactly the same after heading over Lapaich on the way out to Beinn Fionlaidh...

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57 minutes ago, Central Belt Caley said:

Schiehallion today for me and seen some surreal views once I broke through the clouds. Sat at the top and admired the views for a while! 
 

Are Cloud Inversions common or have I been a lucky boy today? 😂

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I have done 200 munros and have seen a proper inversion, as opposed to some misty slopes, twice so reasonably rare. That one looks as good as they get.

That said its also because I'm lazy, they are more common in the morning and they are more common in high pressure winter days and I do most of my walking May to October.

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