Hill: Creag Each
Date: Friday 16th January 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 9.2km, Ascent: 580m
Time: 3Hrs 45Mins
Given the MWIS forecast for today was suggesting gusts to 60mph, snow showers, possible lightning and -23C windchill, I opted to stay below Munro height and ascend a couple of Grahams. I set off with the intention of ascending Creag Each and Creag Ruadh from Glen Tarken.
I parked in a small lay-by a short distance East of the start of the track.
Prior to setting off up the Glen Tarken track, I took a small diversion to take a photo of Loch Earn.
There were a number of cattle just beyond the start of the Glen Tarken track, however, as they were in the process of getting fed by the farmer they showed no interest in me.
Loch Earn from Glen Tarken track:
After passing some buildings and continuing on for perhaps 400m, I then left the track to make my way up the South-East ridge of Creag Each.
The depth of snow on the southern slopes of Creag Each was only one or two inches. The weather today changed frequently between blue sky and snow showers. The wind was however fairly constant.
Here comes the snow:
Ascending Meall Reamhar:
Looking across Loch Earn:
There are several knolls to ascend en-route to Creag Each.
Sheep on top of Meall Reamhar:
Looking down to Loch Earn and St. Fillans:
On reaching the top of Meall Reamhar, I could see Creag Each in the distance with a couple of knolls in between.
The depth of snow in the relatively flat section of walk between Meall Reamhar and Creag Each was around three to four inches with numerous deeper drifts. Still not too bad.
Ascending knolls en-route to Creag Each:
The rock on Creag Each reminded me of The Cobbler. I assume it is schist.
En-route to Creag Each:
The wind was now fairly strong with a bitter chill.
During the final ascent to the summit, I stopped to take some photos of ice-covered rocks.
Approaching the summit of Creag Each:
More icy rocks:
The summit rocks are easily avoided by walking round to the West.
Summit of Creag Each:
It was disappointing to get minimal views from the summit. It was now blowing a hoolie with spindrift adding to the falling snow.
Minimal views from the summit of Creag Each:
I opted to descend via the North ridge of Creag Each instead of returning the same way. While this looked easy on the map, it was far from easy on the ground.
Poor visibility during descent from Creag Each:
I hadn't realised that the southern slopes had little snow because most of the snow had blown onto the northern slopes of the hill.
Looking back to Creag Each during descent:
Instead of descending via three or four inches of snow, it was now mostly between nine and eighteen inches in depth. The snow was mostly soft and unconsolidated with a thin icy layer on top that was insufficient to hold my weight but sufficient to be annoying. I broke through this crisp layer with every step.
The descent was ardous, except for sections that I was able to glissade down. I was really looking forward to reaching the Glen Tarken track.
Descent to Glen Tarken:
Looking back during descent:
The Glen Tarken track was however also covered with nine to twelve inches of soft snow. I therefore abandoned any hopes of also ascending Creag Ruadh and ploughed my way through the track back towards Loch Earn.
Sun highlighting ice-covering on snow:
The weather remained very changeable during the walkout.
Sheep in a snow storm:
Creag Each from Glen Tarken track:
Glen Tarken track:
Following the track out to Loch Earn:
Looking back to Creag Each:
While trudging through the snow, seeing a group of deer raised my spirits somewhat. I always enjoy seeing wildlife on the hills.
Looking back to Creag Each:
During the walkout I also passed several Stonechat.
By the time I reached the car, the snow was again falling heavily. In summer, this hill would be really easy. Today it wasn't.
The hills are looking fantastic at the moment but the snow really needs to consolidate; either that or I need to purchase snow shoes.
On passing through Killin, it is always worth stopping to see the Falls of Dochart, so I did just that.