Petestack Blog

13 July 2010

More Devil’s work

Filed under: Running — admin @ 11:52 pm

Last night the staircase, tonight the ridge…

Met Jon up by Lochan Coire nam Miseach this evening to check out another of Yiannis Tridimas’s outflanking manoeuvres (this time a way of skirting the Devil’s Ridge in one direction), but who knows whether it saves any time or not? On the anti-clockwise traverse we’re looking at, it’s basically substituting a contouring line and climb up a kind of grassy double trough (unmistakable when you get there) below Sgurr a’ Mhaim for the normal climb by zigzag stalkers’ path above the Lochan and run along the ridge. But the spacing of the arrows (one every five minutes?) on the GPS track seems to suggest that the ridge is every bit as quick as the avoiding line and the deciding factor probably boils down to whether or not it’s going to take longer than about 15 minutes up the path (marked in blue on the maps, with the toe of the ‘low rock outcrop’ affecting the contouring line shown as a blue dot).

So there’s some food for thought, with the benefits of following the established path over the top possibly just tipping the balance in favour of the ridge in both directions. Apart from that, tonight’s stats for me (with Jon returning north to Glen Nevis) come out at 10.55 miles and 4,750 ft in 3hrs 29mins, with just 3hrs 5mins actually recorded as ‘moving time’ due to some hanging about (GPS unusually lost signal on the way up!) and discussion of the route.

Something else I was looking at this afternoon was comparing my 2005 Tranter’s Round splits to Charlie Ramsay’s original schedule. And, while I’ve always known that my Tranter ended with more of a whimper than a bang as I squandered a good two or three hours on the second half, perhaps the comparison’s not as completely one-sided as I feared (green text shows where I was quicker and red where Charlie was quicker, with some adjustments made in final column to reflect known factors) with possibly only the ascent and descent of the Ben at the end remaining unmitigated disasters for me! :-O


  1. It looks like you’ve come too far across before coming back on to the ridge for the Yiannis/Stone shortcut see here [2018 admin edit: broken link removed]

    I’m like you though don’t think there is much in it when going anti-clockwise.

    Comment by Bill — 14 July 2010 @ 7:56 am

  2. Looks like your preparation is going well. I hope you have a great weekend and that it all goes to plan!

    Look forward to hearing all about it!

    Comment by John Kynaston — 14 July 2010 @ 8:01 am

  3. @Bill, thanks, that’s interesting. Can see that it’s more of a ‘shortcut’ starting back at the bealach, but think we still followed a natural line (even if not the same one) up to the ridge and didn’t lose out there (have to gain the height somewhere!). Also thought the whole thing (whether the Yiannis way or ours) probably more pleasant anti-clockwise when you’re climbing rather than descending for most of the traverse, but remain unconvinced that it’s quicker (hoping to blog again about this later).

    @John, yes, we stole a good evening for that but it’s looking foul again today and I’m just hoping this mostly rotten start to July can’t last another fortnight!

    Comment by admin — 14 July 2010 @ 8:48 am

  4. […] my recent recces with Jon of some suggested ‘shortcuts’ on Na Gruagaichean and the Devil’s Ridge have initially led us in both cases to say ‘that’s worth having’, the maths just […]

    Pingback by More thoughts about ‘shortcuts’ « Petestack Blog — 14 July 2010 @ 1:06 pm

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