1100 m. |
The White Corries is the name given to the ski area on the north-west slopes of Meall a’Bhuiridh. I had climbed this hill and its stately neighbour Creise in September 1998 in the company of Stephanie and Birgit. That was an easy day: We did the tour up and down the ski slopes and to and fro the nice sharp connecting ridge and col between the two Munros.
This time round Frank and I had opted for something slightly more challenging: A circuit route of the two Munros. No matter what choice of route you take, the hike invariably starts at the car park of the White Corries ski centre. On the day we visited these hills there was a down-hill MTB-race going on. Gee, some of these down-hill racing guys are real techies.
We did not linger long. As planned we set out across the moor in a westerly direction below the crags of Creag Dubh. The going was ok. There were traces of several parallel paths on this grassy, heathery and boggy section. Then after half an hour or so we rounded the corner and reached the Cam Ghleann. There a path leads down to the Allt Cam Ghlinne and sticks to the left bank of this burn. The surroundings are really impressive with the craggy ridges and slopes of Creise/Sron a’ Ghlais Choire and the beautiful Allt in the glen which sports several waterfalls. The good weather also helped in raising our expectations.
Well, our expectations were high since we wanted to climb the steep north-east ridge of Creise’s subsidiary top Stob a’ Ghlais Choire. Looking at the ridge from the glen it looks rather foreboding but we just believed the books, crossed the Allt Cam Ghlinne and started the ever steepening climb first over grass, then, after a first line of crags had been outflanked, directly on rocks. This was great fun. After some time of sustained scrambling the terrain became less steep and the more open slopes interspersed with some rocks and crags made for easier progress. Here on the higher ground there were also quite a few snow patches left. Then the snow cover became more complete and the summit of Stob a’ Ghlais Choire came into sight. At the summit we stopped for a while and soaked up the winter/spring mountain scenery. Great. Then we continued, heading more or less due south and climbing another 150 metres on solid snow before reaching the summit of Munro No.1 Creise. How different this approach to Creise’s summit is when you compare it to the one taken by Birgit, Stephanie and me 14 years earlier.
At the summit of Creise and on the plateau we met a number of other hill-walkers who enjoyed a nice day out in the hills. Frank continued in the direction of Clach Leathad (nice cliffs) to get some photo opportunities. I strolled on to Mam Corrie Easain, had a short nap on a big slate of rock and waited for Frank to return. When he was back we headed down the steep (and snowy) spur that is the start of the connecting ridge between Creise and Meall a’ Bhuiridh. The snow was quite wet which made for one or two situations where things started to get slippery on the descent. Soon, however, the steep section was over and we walked the more level part of the ridge to the col. From there it was another 200 or 250m over a steepening and sharpish ridge to the summit of Munro No.2 Meall a’ Bhuiridh. There we chatted again with some other hill-walkers and then set out on the final leg of the day: The walk down the ski slopes in the company of all the less beautiful paraphernalia of a ski centre. Once in Corrie Pollach we aimed for the lip of the corrie, hiked down the rather eroded path below the pylons of the chair lift and soon were back at the White Corries car park, where many of the MTB riders were packing up their stuff. Well, that’s what we did as well and headed for your cottage in Glencoe Village.
This was a sunny day in the hills. The steep and interesting north-east ridge of Stob a’ Ghlais Choire is a real cracker. That was fun. A nice 10 mile circuit. I guess we’ll be back when we do the Black Mount traverse from Victoria bridge to Kingshouse some day!
Max elevation: 1113 m
Min elevation: 335 m
Total climbing: 1289 m
Total descent: -1279 m
Total time: 06:24:58
Description These two mountains are the highest points at the north end of the great range of the Black Mount. They look very impressive as seen from Kingshouse Hotel, particularly Creise and its projecting ridge Sron na Creise which form a steep face above the Cam Ghleann. Creise is the highest point of a long level ridge from Clach Leathad to Sron na Creise, and from the middle of this ridge a spur juts out towards Rannoch Moor, with Meall a' Bhuiridh at its end.The simplest ascent of these two mountains starts from the carpark at the foot of Meall a' Bhuiridh and goes up the north-west side of Coire Pollach, avoiding the ski tows and chair lifts. This leads directly to the summit of Meall a' Bhuiridh. Descend the narrow west ridge and from the col at its foot climb steeply to the ridge above. In winter and spring this climb will probably be up steep snow with a cornice at the top. Turn north along the broad level ridge for 600 metres to reach Creise. Return by the same way.An alternative route to Creise is round the foot of Creag Dhubh to the Cam Ghleann and then by a steep climb to either Sron na Creise or Stob a' Ghlais Choire , but these routes involve some steep scrambling and are only for the experienced.