The Polldubh Club

Author Topic: Lurching to and from Lurchers  (Read 1896 times)

John Workman

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Lurching to and from Lurchers
« on: 1 February 2016, 10:44 »
Weekend of the 31st of January 2016 was to be Lexâ??s last â??properâ?? weekend at his cottage at Inchriach. Heâ??s moving from his beloved Heelanâ?? Hame to a caravan on a Site near Kirkcudbright. Why? You may weel know â?? there has to be a woman involved â?? right?
So we couldnâ??t let the occasion pass without at least an attempt at a sojourn into the hills.
I arrive at Inchriach on Sunday morning at eight, having driven through heavy snow on dicey roads most of the way from the Fort but as usual on reaching the A9 it cleared up. Saturday had been another day of stormy winds and snow all day on the hills so we were back with the problem of â?? do we take skis or climbing gear? After our abortive day on the hill near Creag Meagaidh â??we decided that in marginal conditions we should climb â?? because you can usually salvage a route but ski-ing can be just awful â?? so a climb it was but what about all this deep new snow?
Lexâ??s proposal was that we head for Lurcherâ??s Crag in the Larig Ghru which is west facing and according to Lex the storm force winds would have scoured the slopes on this aspect â?? sounds convincing doesnâ??t it?
The ski road was closed [again] initially but opened by the time weâ??d donned the gear and packed the rucksacks. We left the car at the Sugar Bowl car park. We climbed  a grade three icy gully â?? North Gully â?? in four long pitches â?? the ice was Ok â?? even good in parts â?? even the turf was pretty good but the climbing was almost secondary to the walk in [and out]. On this we had to cope with knee deep, occasionally thigh deep and sometimes waist deep snow â?? on that delightful mix of path [occasionally if we were lucky], heather [more often] and boulder fields [the bastards] â?? all the way to the crag â?? passing the Chalamain Gap and then into the Larig Ghru [ so much for the scouring theory]. Subsequently we arrived at the crag quite late and then finished on the summit area in the dark. The navigation back wasnâ??t too difficult but picking our way by torchlight so as to avoid boulder fields and thigh deep snow was the main issue. Eventually it levelled off a bit after weâ??d made a high traverse â?? avoiding the infamous Chalamain Gap - the Cumberland Gap [wherever that is] has nothing on this wee beauty under deep powder. Now we found ourselves on a level but very boggy area. Lex bravely went in front and fell into to several brown, wet traps â?? varying from knee deep to thigh deep and one that required a couple of butterfly strokes to reach the other side. Meanwhile I followed at a discreet distance â?? using alternative routes where required.
Eventually Lexâ??s excellent map reading paid off and we hit our trail from the walk in. Only one more kilometre back to the Sugar Bowl.
We hit the bright lights of Aviemore just before nine pm. Just in time to catch the last bag o chips each from the Happy Haggis. I guess the Haggis was Happy and so were we. A reasonably fitting memorable day for the occasion.


Phill T

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Re: Lurching to and from Lurchers
« Reply #1 on: 1 February 2016, 21:27 »
Sounds like skies might have been useful for the approach !  We were going ski touring but got taken down by a virus  >:(

geoff h

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Re: Lurching to and from Lurchers
« Reply #2 on: 4 February 2016, 22:29 »
Never dull John  :)