/ Longest walk in

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jezzah - on 04 Dec 2017
Dear all,

Following another thread about the popularity rise or fall of winter climbing (personally I think it's been about the same for the last 15 years or so). Which is the longest/ furthest walk in you have done to a winter climb in the UK?

For me it's been to Shelterstone Crag or Carn Etchachan in the Cairngorms

any other suggestions... oh and this also assumes you found the crag straight away rather than getting lost across a plateau en route!

Cheers
Jez
davidbeynon on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Probably Eagles Rock in the Cairngorms. Not that far in terms of distance but with the snow conditions as they were it seemed to take forever.
Dave Kerr - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:
The Shelterstone is just a tiddler! ;)

Fishmonger on Foinaven is pretty far although we used bikes for the first bit. Also in that corrie is the Long March which gives a clue.

Not done it but The Great Game on A'Mhaighdean must be one of the more remote routes. Or something on Seana Bhraigh although I doubt anyone walks all the way to that for a day.
Post edited at 20:31
wilkie14c - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Cwm Idwal in Wales is horrendous, had to stop for a drink once
LakesWinter on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Beinn Lair, was miles!
top cat on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Two days for the White Nile................weather was a little unkind
davidbeynon on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to LakesWinter:

What did you think of it? I have been vaguely planning to go there for ages.

My scheme involves taking a boat to cut out the worst of the walking.
Dave Kerr - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

> What did you think of it? I have been vaguely planning to go there for ages.

> My scheme involves taking a boat to cut out the worst of the walking.

We used a canoe to get there in the summer which was great.
ScraggyGoat on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Seana Bhraigh can be done in a day with mountain bikes.

As you mentioned above a certain amount of effort venues become better two day affairs, making Friday nights rucksacks a cruel burden with the bivi/camp kit and results in a long thousand yard stare when you top out after a route on Sunday and see how far you have to walk out.

One venue I never considered for a weekend was something mountaineering'ish on Lurg Mhor at the head of Loch Mullardoch, but probably not as bad as other venues mentioned.
Post edited at 21:57
mattierd on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

I have climbed in winter on Seana Bhraigh but in a day it would depend on the snow cover low down. we had an easy cycle in but the snow came in overnight and the wind blew some really large drifts and it was a nightmare cycling out. my partner was cursing the panniers that had made it easier for him to cycle in, my heavy bag was a mare on the way in but made pushing the bike through the drifts a dream in comparison. the bothy is great so way rush.....
andrew ogilvie - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:
Not climbed there but the walk in to Alderwand on Ben Alder is pretty hefty (though hugely diminished by bike). I've not looked at the maps tonight but I'd say Ben Alder and Ben bheoil every bit as remote as Seana Braigh. My (late) mate James did mitre ridge on Ben a Bhuird in winter 94/5, and reputedly the North face of Aonach Beag is hard to get to. Climbs on Ladhar Bheinn must be hard to get to too.
And anything that requires access along the north of Loch Mullardoch: if the voyager probes had been pointed towards the end of Loch mullardoch they still wouldn't have reached the end.
Post edited at 22:44
PPP - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

A summer walk, but I was stupid enough to take a train to Inverness and hitch to Thurso/Durness/Cape Wrath.

I climed Ben Klibreck a day before, stayed in the Achnanclach bothy, then hitched a ride towards Ben More. I was feeling like I am not going to get a ride on a single track road with no traffic, so I started to walk towards Ben More. 10 mile walk, fairly flat and easy going, so why not? I walked all the way, and I believe two cars passed me in the other direction. I climbed Ben More, got down, met a guy in a truck who worked as a nature sound recorder and was hoping to see some eagles in the glen. Stayed overnight, walked back. Two cars passed by, but didn't stop.

So... 25 miles walk for a single Munro.
Tricadam on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

The N/NE ridge of Creag an Duine on Seana Bhraigh is a cracking easy mountaineering line. We did it after a big dump of powder late one November with a Friday night stop off at The Schoolhouse. Temps must have plummeted below -5 but I slept like a baby in my super dooper American down quilt on one of those cosy ExPED inflatables. Meanwhile my partner - a notable miser - gained a valuable lesson in the false economy of airbeds for an eBay fiver: completely lacking in warmth and unable to stay up for more than 5 minutes. The next day he had his revenge, capturing some beautiful shots of my tortured face as I forded a knee deep nigh-on-freezing stream, barefoot to spare the boots. Good times. I'd love to go back for some of those routes on the face and stay in the nearby bothy.
Tricadam on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Perhaps the next question should be, what's the longest you've walked in for a Scottish winter climb - but not climbed it?
Michael Gordon - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to andrew ogilvie:

yes Mitre Ridge for me, and I suspect many others would be the same answer.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:
Shelter stone is not a big walk in imo it’s what 2.5 ish hours?. The Ben is further to the base of many of the routes I reckon. For me it’s Braeriach, Garbh Choire Dhaidh - done in a day along with chimney pot, we cycled a fair bit of the way but it’s still something like 4.5 hours each way IIRC. The path was icey so slow cycling but the snow was neve for muchof the way so quick progress. A glorious cold sunny winters day.....
Post edited at 08:21
Doug on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Garbh Choire for me too, especially the first time when we walked all the way from Aviemore (after hitching from Stirling). Later visits were often at least partly on ski & much quicker but always with at least one night in the bothy. Also walked/skied into Ben Alder but then didn't climb due to the terrible weather - without a bike I suspect its just as long.

And I've no doubt there are longer approaches in the NW - how long does it take to get to Wisdom Buttress on Beinn Lair in winter?
ianstevens - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to wilkie14c:

> Cwm Idwal in Wales is horrendous, had to stop for a drink once

I feel your pain, the walk back to the cafe to get one more than doubled my approach time.
Andy Nisbet - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

I would think A' Mhaigdean would win, but I haven't climbed there in winter. It's too far and you have to go past Beinn Lair to get there.
rogerwebb - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Tricadam:

> Perhaps the next question should be, what's the longest you've walked in for a Scottish winter climb - but not climbed it?

I think the longest walk outs are more seared into my brain, especially after failing.....
ScraggyGoat on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to andrew ogilvie:

Ladhar Bheinn; I've done it twice from Aberdeen on a Friday night leaving after work; walking in, arriving at the bothy about 0100hrs and then up next morning for a route, granted I didn't climb on either Sunday, but did another knoydart munro on one of the Sundays.

However deploying a sea kayak for an amphibious approach (if tides convenient) would easily cut two hours off from Kinloch Hourn, or alternatively launching from the north side of the loch beyond Arnisdale. Bringing the walk in to the foot of the mountain down to about an hour (including packing if your swift), without actually walking a step! With c. 200 liters of storage space in the boat the camp could be a luxury affair as well. I've done it this way in early spring alpine conditions and was amazed how little effort it was compared to going on foot.

Keeping my eye out for the weather / conditions this winter; Would be ace paddling in with a moon...obviously you need a sea paddling skills set as well as a climbing ones, or be lucky and get very good weather.
baldie - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

Your multiple walks to the back of Slioch for routes, must take some beating.
Pids - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Longest walks ins for me would be:

Anchor Route, Coire Sputan Dearg - walk in from Deeside

Bens Fault - walk in from Cobbler car park, down climb Forked Gully to base of Bens Fault

Longest walk in / out though would be Terminal Buttress, accessed from Ling Hut - long (but great) day
rogerwebb - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to baldie:

> Your multiple walks to the back of Slioch for routes, must take some beating.

It's actually not bad, it's more in the 3.5 to 4.5 category rather than really long.

The descent is evil though as it starts with 150 to 200m of grade I/II ascent, has a peat hag experience followed by knee killer slope then the frustration of walking past Kinlochewe. How pleasant that lot is is in direct proportion to how good your day was.
Wee Davie - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Garbh Coire isn't too bad if you can use bikes up from Tomintoul. My personal most- etched memories of long walk outs are Dubh Loch back to Loch Muick with the most painful placky shin I ever had. Bruises still present weeks later. Thank crunchie placky boots are relics of the past these days.
Also- sounds like a short walk out, but descending back to Glen Croe car park 1/2 way up the Rest & Be Thankful in Winter. It had been blizzarding all day, and after we completed Jughandle & SE Ridge link up on the Cobbler the snow was thigh deep to waist deep. I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it down!
James Jackson on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Loads of these approaches are skiable for most of a decent season (I.e. Not last year!). How many combine this, as I can't imagine slogging over to (for example) Loch Etchachan on foot over a snowy plateau!
Pids - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Wee Davie:

> Thank crunchie placky boots are relics of the past these days.

Cough, some of us still persevere with placky boots - too tight to buy new boots - they still work so will wear them until they fall apart.
French Erick - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

Nah...it's a big day no matter how you look at it! You're just blocking it out in denial!!!

OP
Biggest/longest days for me:
1. Vikking gully Ladhar Bheinn (angling for Tir na og that had a section of ice missing high up).
2. Slioch the sea, the sea.
3. Mitre ridge without bikes (I know crap strategy but I was a novice)
4. Fishmonger, Foinaven.
5. North east ridge of anoach beag approached from glen nevis.
6. the corridor, creag a'choire etchachan from cairngorm car park (previous day stag rocks, ampitheatre gully previous day...coire raibert felt like hell!!!)
7. Any days on beinn eighe...love/hate relationship.
8. Tango in the night, sgurr ruadh.

So many other venues I want to get to but never quite managed
French Erick - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to James Jackson:

> Loads of these approaches are skiable for most of a decent season (I.e. Not last year!). How many combine this, as I can't imagine slogging over to (for example) Loch Etchachan on foot over a snowy plateau!

never came to bothering with this in Scotland yet. The plateau is never that bad. I guess it depends on whether you are willing to climb in touring boots (which I have done a lot in the Alps for easy ish WI3/4). I do not think skiing in climbing boots is a viable option for mortals...in my experience it is barely skiable without a heavy rucksack!!!
rogerwebb - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to French Erick:

Longest approach was a crag in coire dhorrcail Ladhar Bheinn. We had to ditch the car some miles short of Kinlochourn due to ice and snow. 16 hours later we reached the route. (that did include a couple of hours off at Barrisdale) . The walk out was interesting with the hill at the end.
Possibly conditions weren't ideal for walking....
Roberttaylor - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to PPP:

Did a runner pass you just before the summit of Ben Klibreck?

If so, that was me.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Wee Davie:

Ha that reminds me the day we did Labyrinth Direct on the Dubh Loch, we walked in from Clova. Henning marched us at top speed to beat the Aberdeen lot. That said Garbh Corie felt like a bigger mission and I'm sure took longer, however we did visit a couple of the corries, as the first we visited the cornices were too crazy. We cycled from the ski centre road to Loch Eanaich IIRC.
Sean Kelly - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to andrew ogilvie:
>My (late) mate James did mitre ridge on Ben a Bhuird in winter 94/5, and reputedly the North face of Aonach Beag is hard to get to. Climbs on Ladhar Bheinn must be hard to get to too.

Approach from Glen Nevis near Steal and cut over the East ridge and a bit of up and down but not so far to walk. Agree with Mitre Ridge and probably best to wait until Easter.
Gordon Stainforth - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I once walked to Mitre Ridge to take photos of climbers on it, and camped on the way. It was still a monstrous round trip.
CurlyStevo - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I’ve walked it in summer and it was quite a slog.
Tricadam on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

> I would think A' Mhaigdean would win, but I haven't climbed there in winter. It's too far and you have to go past Beinn Lair to get there.

Not winter, but Maiden Buttress on A'Mhaighdean is a beautiful place to climb in the rays of the setting May sun. Stunning camping spot too. Queues unlikely.
Jasonic on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Tricadam:

The N/NE ridge of Creag an Duine on Seana Bhraigh is a cracking easy mountaineering line.
Sounds great- any idea of the grade- on subject of this thread, did walk in to do Alderwand once but was unable to find it in the mist! Stayed at the bothy which was then open-
Nathan Adam - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to French Erick:

Perhaps carrying climbing boots strapped to your bag and swapping into them on the flat ground where you leave your skis may be a reasonable approach. I know some people have done this on Aonach Mor before to totally avoid any uphill walking by using the tows. If its not too aggressive a ski at the end of the day then the extra weight shouldn't be too bad. Reliant on having to return to the coire to collect you stuff though.

Definitely something I've been thinking about as I've got a reasonably light touring set up that would suit well.
Patrick Roman - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Not exactly long in terms of mileage but I once walked in to the Ben to do a route on the Little Brenva Face. By the time I reached the CIC the visibility was really poor so I decided to head up Observatory Gully and instead did Psychedelic Wall (easier to find).

Things started to clear on the summit so I walked down the arête and dropped into Coire Leis. Cloud descended again and I couldn't see much beyond my own arm. Waited for probably an hour hoping for any improvement but nothing. I had no idea where my start was so I abandoned again, walked around NE Buttress, back up Observatory Gully and did Right Edge on Gardyloo Buttress (vis was still poor but at least the routes up there are better defined).

Weather improved again on top, so back down to Coire Leis where I finally managed to do Cresta Direct. 9,000 feet of ascent and 14 hours car to car but at least I got it done!
Tricadam on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Jasonic:
> The N/NE ridge of Creag an Duine on Seana Bhraigh is a cracking easy mountaineering line.

> Sounds great- any idea of the grade-

About grade II I'd say. Absolutely stunning day out!
Post edited at 13:10
French Erick - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Patrick Roman:

Some day! I often wondered how you could solo so much of this stuff!! I am impressed but probably will never emulate despite probably being physically capable. Respect!
Patrick Roman - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to French Erick:

Ah, thank you! It was ok that day. I'm still gobsmacked by Roger's (and Simon's?) 16 hour approach just to get to the start of their route! I did all the Knoydart Munros from Kinlochhourn one day in May and figured a winter route on Ladhar Bheinn would be perfectly doable, but then I read an account by Martin Moran's son (I think) and that put me off for years! I quite fancy it now though...
rogerwebb - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Patrick Roman:
The 16 hours wasn't intentional.
I think you could get the time down considerably if you didn't have to start a couple of miles short of Kinlochourn or have to wear crampons on the path.

Longest walk in I have done in benign conditions was 9 hours to pillar buttress on A'Mhaghidean. That included an abseil descent to get down to the start. The paths are easier over the top. All done in daylight though to arrive at the route at dusk.

Walk out from A'Mhaghidean once took Martin Hind and me 10 hours in rubbish weather. We had a map but it was for Ben Dearg and it was before gps and mobiles. Nil visibility and snow which turned into driving sleet from the west. Made it to the car at 4am with work in Inverness at 9.
Very miserable.
(one of the reasons we called the route 'a ridge too far,')
Post edited at 21:30
Dave Kerr - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to rogerwebb:

16 hours is peanuts. The Seam took you years. ;)
rogerwebb - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:
Thinking about it I may have walked 30 hours for the Seam.
Possibly a record?
Post edited at 22:49
CurlyStevo - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to French Erick:
Have to agree the snow on the Cairngorm plateau is either normally thin, ice or neve as it’s blown somewhere else. It’s rare for deep snow up there which you can’t avoid imo

Post edited at 23:27
Michael Gordon - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Of course if there is a lot of snow you may have trouble reaching the plateau...
PPP - on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to Roberttaylor:

That was you, indeed! I felt so slow that day.
Heike - on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to jezzah:

Mitre Ridge when I was six months pregnant and there was tons of snow, so no bikes. Fought our way in through thigh deep snow-drifts etc only to find we couldn't climb because the weather was too severe...probably the most horrendous/emotional day out I have ever had in the hills ;-) (Or it might have been the hormones.....) And it was my birthday, too.
French Erick - on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to Heike:

I'm with you Heike...only time when as an adult I sat down and REALLY felt like crying for my mum! That walk back left me scarred. Those last few miles on tracks....
It didn't help that I was in SCnL the previous day mind.
CurlyStevo - on 00:20 Mon
In reply to Michael Gordon:
I once struggled to find a safe way off the platuea. The wind had really picked up (70 mph ish) and was making a lot of slab on the north faces. It was horrific every way we tried the snow was cracking up and we had to go back up. Bitterly cold in the wind and didn’t feel like we had a good safety margin. Taught me a lesson or two though.
Post edited at 00:20
Tricadam on 16:16 Tue
In reply to Heike:

Beinn a'Bhuird without bikes, you two? I'd be too soft to try that in summer, never mind winter! Respect! (I think...!) Having said that, my pal and I went in back in June, when the following ensued. At the midnight rendezvous at Keiloch, it turned out he'd sold his bike so was going to run in. Thoughtfully, he'd brought a trailer to attach to my bike for all our stuff for the weekend. The first few miles on the road were great, and I was left waiting for him. However, this was followed by a purgatorial slog up the Slugain in one of the lower gears while he breezed on ahead. To add to the pain, it then pished all weekend, so we went soggy running instead and all the climbing gear turned out to have been dead weight! Freewheeling back down was great craic though. Can recommend that bit. And running Beinn a'Bhuird and Ben Avon in 60mph rain is actually more fun than you would think. Or at least that's what we were telling each other.
French Erick - on 17:33 Tue
In reply to Tricadam:

I said it had been a school boy error! Never again...

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