MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 50 ( 19th JUNE )
ANOTHER GREY DAY
Creag Pitridh – 924 metres – “Petries Hill”
Geal Charn – 1049 metres – “White Hill”
Beinn A’ Chlachair – 1088 metres ” Stonemasons Hill”
These Blogs are kindly allowed by Graham and Penny his wee dog who is on a continuous round of the Munros !
Parked up for the night where I came off the hill up Glen Banchor ,it was quiet so why move on i didn’t have far to travel in the morning . Had a long lie this morning for a change wasn’t up till 8.30, had breakfast then headed down the A 86 and parked at Moy on Loch Laggan side. The clag was well down the hillside this morning just as the forecast suggested, nothing else for it just get on with task in hand. Used my bike today for the first 3.5 miles and left it just past Lochan Na Earba then continued on a good track to about the 600 contour and left it to follow a boggy track towards Creag Pitridh , the path soon disappeared so it was a walking on a compass bearing to the summit. Found the descent route avoiding the crags down to the bealach and up onto the path which seperates the 2 hills,another compass bearing to find Geal Charn over moss and stony ground. Back down to the good path and followed it up to the high point , had lunch here out of the wind before heading up through the crags and onto broad ridge which had very thick mist on it , again it was compass work to the summit of Beinn A’Chlachair . Returned back the same way for a while before leaving it for a ridge down the side of the corrie which led back to the inward track and back to the bike and an easy cycle back to the van, at least it stayed dry today though it was wet underfoot . Came across a ptarmigan nest today with 6 eggs , apart from that a pretty dull walk stumbling about in the clag all day.
Today’s totals:16.37mls,1321m ascent,4hrs 55 mins
146 Munros to date.
How do they keep going the weather is wild I was only up a local hill under 2500 feet (Ben Rinnes) and the weather was poor and very cold for June! It was kitted up for early winter on the tops! It is such a pity that Graham and Penny are missing so many great views of these hills. In this area there is a classic rock climbing route called Ardverikie Wall! It is on a grand wee mountain called Binnein Shuas.
It was a neglected cliff for many years tucked in behind the Laggan road and missed by many until climbed in June 1967. The famous Tom Patey visited the crag in bad weather and unlike him missed its potential. The first ascent was by a great pal and character Doug Lang and Graham Hunter who during and incredible summer in 1967 where they climbed themselves to a standstill before publishing the climbs in the SMC Journal.
Access is easy with a bike and worth it for the journey home mostly downhill. The crag does not look that great but it is a fun place and the route over 500 feet looks steep and intimidating. I found it so on my first visit in 1975, it is described as “a thin ribbon of grey micro granite” but once on it the journey begins. In these days the route was sparsely protected and the 4- 5 pitches give classic climbing and the view outstanding,
It is worth the short stroll to the summit ( a climb should always do this?) It is a place that at times misses the rain and on the various occasions I have climbed it once or twice in big boots and then the three Munros it was a grand day. Many novice RAF MR rock climbers cut there teeth on this crag and we had a few wobbly leads at time in the rain but what a place to be. There are plenty other routes here and Andy Nisbet has been in action recently and new routes have emerged. I also had a few fun days in winter when the big hills were out we got a couple of winter routes in many years ago.
I would have loved to repeat thus route again and had a chat with Doug Lang (who put the climb up in 1967 ) Sadly Doug was killed in an Avalanche in Glen Clova in 2011 he was 70 years old and still very active and climbing well. The photo below is of Doug Lang on Ben Nevis brandishing a bent warthog ice screw that held him on a fall on Comb Gully Buttress. Doug had a mountaineering career spanning six decades and was one of Scotland’s foremost mountaineers.Doug had been at the forefront of Scottish mountaineering for over 50 years. He is most well-known for the development of Binnein Shuas with Graeme Hunter in the late 1960s, and the first ascent of Ardverikie Wall – one of Scotland’s most loved mountain rock climbs. Doug was at the cutting edge of Scottish rock climbing during that period with first ascents of Falseface and Sword of Damocles on Creag an Dubh Loch.
(Photo Ken Crocket)
Once I get the next operation over I will be back to this place of great memories, any takers for a tight rope for an old mountaineer?