Log 31 Jan 2016

CREAG THARSUINN (Cowal) - Sunday 31 Jan 2016

Donald, Noelle, Barbara and Fraser met at 07:00 and decided that as Rest and Be Thankful road was open, we would go as per the programme.   
The forecast was for a calmer day than of late with some light snow showers in the morning, excellent visibility and 80% chance of cloud free Munros.   
From 16:00 hours there would be persistent rain.   It was calmer, and the rain started on cue, otherwise, it was low cloud, poor visibility and light snow all the time we were on the hill.

My proposed route was as in the recent Grahams and Donalds book from the forestry car park in Glen Branter, but Donald and Noelle had a more recent map, showing the Cowal Way in detail and this would provide a longer access, but mainly on forestry roads, and allow a traverse of the hill.   Given the snow conditions on the ground this was an excellent choice.  

From the vehicle road, the upward trek was in a good covering of soft snow.   This hill has no obvious cairn, so we stood on every bump on the highest section of the ridge, and then continued on what might have been our upward route. En route we found a convenient shallow cave for a lunch break.   Recent snow had blown from the ridge onto this side, and some of the drifts were quite deep.   We therefore ignored the guide book route and headed above the forest to a break leading down onto the Cowal Way.   

Quite a trudge back, but we got to the car as the rain started.
After a short but welcome stop at the Arrochar Village Inn we were back in Milngavie by 18:40.   
We felt we had made good use of the somewhat opaque window in the weather.   Time on the hill, just under 7 hours.
Report by Fraser Gold