Friday, November 8, 2013

Carn nan Gabhar

Gabhar, now my favourite Munro, almost by definition. 1121 metres, 32th highest in Scotland, but highest in the eastern counties outside the Cairngorms, it commands a huge stretch of land, limited only by the Dee in the north and Loch Ericht in the West. Commands it, but normally ycan't see it, like the famous blind general that actually never existed. Gabhar, on the other hand, exists. Wait, this doesn't make any sense.

The standard route to Gabhar leads over the other two Munros of Beinn a'Ghlo, and it is a nightmare to find. Basically, you come from the mountain, a huge drop to the left, and you have to find the point of the drop that leads to a narrow bridge over to Gabhar on the other side. You grope blindly and fail. And fail again. And fail again. You seek shelter from the storm behind a tiny rock. You crouch and cry. And try again. And fail. And then you see the tiny cairn right where you need to climb down into the clouds. How do people do this? I mean, do they ALL have GPS? Do they all climb it in clear weather? This feels like I am surrounded by cheaters.

All I can say is that it's much more relaxing over the broad and easy north ridge. As well as over the steep and relentless slopes that fall from the summit directly to the head of Loch Loch. The lake as resting point underneath the mountain, as it should be.