Sunday 3rd February 2019
- Stuchd an Lochain
It’s the right time of year here in Scotland to be out and about practicing some winter mountaineering.
So the weather forecast on Stuchd an Lochain predicted nice views at the summit as it was going to be a sunny kind of day, cold with snow on the ground but views to make your heart skip a beat. I have read that summit views are superb.
Getting to the start of this walk isn’t the easiest of tasks. There are 20 miles of single track road to negotiate.
On reaching the mountain range you could already tell there was going to be a massive dumping of snow on the mountain. All around us things were white, it was so beautiful.
Once layered up and ready to go we had only been 10 minutes into the walk when it was crampon and ice axe time.
The initial climb was steep and in addition to this it was covered in snow which had frozen over so there was no grip whatsoever. However the crampons overcame this problem and we were on our way…slowly.
Temperatures were cold, skies were not blue and we could hardly see a thing!
We reached the ridge traverse which follows around above a Corrie cradling little Lochan nan Cat…but the delight we were meant to have witnessed was a complete whiteout and we were lucky to be able to just see what was in front of us never mind a view!
We followed a line of fenceposts which helped us to get to the summit more quickly.
We persevered but were not rewarded with 360 views. It was another whiteout, windy but bearable with hat and hoods on.
At this stage we should have saw Ben Nevis clear to the north, Rannoch Moor to the north west, Glencoe to the south east and Schiehallion and Ben Lawers to the south west, it should have been simply stunning.
On reaching the summit and feeling tired as it had been hard work on the legs and shoulders getting to here, we pulled out our shelter for a 10 minute rest, recharge of the batteries and dined on our spicy chicken and bean soup…such a delight!
Due to conditions we didn’t waste much time as we wanted off this mountain before darkness fell as it was quite technical.
It was very slow going as things were very steep and very slippy. Darkness came but due to the snow lying on the ground it kept things light enough until we were eventually down which felt good.
It had been a hard challenging day in tough conditions.
The Giorra Dam taken from the parking area
- Thursday 14th February 2019
- Meall Ghaordaidh
Today’s peak is Meall Ghaordaidh , approximately 10km north-west of Killin.
Meall Ghaordaidh is not a massively distinguished peak. Some have called it ‘a characterless lump’! I have decided to make up my own mind.
So we headed of early to get to our destination at a reasonable time. On reaching the one and only lay by nearby we parked the car. Standing outside it was warm with no wind….we were excited by the opportunity of some good weather, we were being spoiled. The forecast predicted good weather so could superb visibility be in store at the summit?
Firstly we started off walking through some lovely farm track, then onto a grassy hillside.
From here it was a gradual climb all the way to the top.
Today snow conditions were non existent so no crampons were required. However todays terrain did involve walking through peat bogs all the way to the summit with some boulder scrambling right at the top. It was ‘mushy’, but pretty straight forward.
Spoiler Alert – the weather did not turn out to be all that! As we ascended it got windier, it got colder and literally 10 minutes from the top the clouds ascended…why does this happen to us!
Nevertheless, the clouds did break for a minute or so, we saw a view, took a few quick photos and it was gone.
We then had to retrace our steps on our return.
If I am being honest it was probably one of the less inspiring Munro’s I’ve done but its a Munro that had to be done if we are going to bag them all.
And we got to see one of these!