A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Laggan Munros

19-20 December 2015
Laggan Munros 1 The 'winter months' have turned mild ! So, our Laggan Munro bagging trip which was listed as a winter event, was more likely to be an autumnal weekend. John Walker was leading, here's his tale !

After two nice wintery weekends, we seem to be stuck back in a very warm and stormy weather pattern that didn't promise an easy day out this weekend. Saturday began with a balmy 11C in the glen, predicting 8C on the summit - very unseasonably warm. Rain was forecast for most of the day with a sw wind gusting - not for the faint hearted !

Not deterred, (after a pause to swap bikes as Lisa's chain snapped), Lisa, Cathy and me cycled in to the atmospheric Lochan na h-Earba where we left the bikes, and headed up the excellent stalker's path towards Beinn a'Chlachair. We quickly realised the exposed walk across the summit ridge would be nigh on impossible, and instead decided to hedge our bets and go straight for Geal Charn, as we had relative shelter and a tail wind.

The burns were challenging and the conditions were marginal as we ascended. In bits, Cathy and I had a giggle while we headed up in a sort of three-legged race style, me holding onto her rucksack. It was really gusty as we made the summit, where we headed behind the large cairn for shelter and a welcome rest.

In Monar We decided to give Creag Pitridh a miss, normally very easy in good conditions - we decided to play safe as we might have been blown over on the rocky terrain. Down to the high Bealach Leamhain and to relative shelter. Back to the bikes we had to wait until we turned the corner at Allt Meall Ardruigha, and then weeee, down we flew.

A short but testing day - as I said to Cathy, if you are still smiling after a day like that, other days are easy!

Sunday dawned cooler, 5C valley, and with 0C forecast for the summit. The wind was still strong and with forecast of gust later in the day, we were looking forward to snow above 800m later :0).

Laggan Munros 2 Cathy showed her mettle and did turn up smiling despite her baptism of fire the day before, and we shared a car to meet Angela at Fersit. We aimed for Stob Coire Sgriodain over the rough, pathless and very boggy terrain, buoyed by the pauses in the rain. We avoided the craggy nose by skirting the crag and coming up the NE flank to retain some shelter.

Once on the broad ridge, we were exposed to the wind that gusted and eddied around the crags and cliffs, unpredictably. We were braced and ready for the gusts as we negotiated the slippery schist. Snow started to settle ! With some more three-legged race holding onto each other, we made the summit safely, and took a couple of pictures before beating the retreat the way we came.

In Monar Sometimes the weather dictates to play it safe and still enjoy a challenging day, rather than aiming for the five Munros we had originally set out to bag this weekend. I like to think we succeeded in ticking two when the odds were stacked against us, and we all had fun and a sense of satisfaction having made the most of a challenging old time.

Roll on the blue skies and crisp, snowy days!!

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