Beinn Fhada

17 June 2016 was the last but one day in the 2016 hiking season. We had packed all our stuff into the car and had quit our quiet cottage in Glen Roy not too early in the morning. The drive up to Glen Shiel and then to Loch Duich had been swift, pleasant and uneventful. There wasn’t too much activity at the Morvich outdoor centre and camping spot that Friday morning. We set out towards Strath Croe first walking on the road and then, after crossing the Abhainn Chohaig, along the signposted and well-maintained footpath. It was a warm day. Soon a thin film of sweat appeared on our faces and forearms. We passed the grassy area below the steep face of Beinn Bhuide and entered Gleann Choinneachain.

I had been there several times before and remembered that the very convenient and well-maintained path climbs steadily and very gradually into the beautiful glen. Some pools and small waterfalls seemed quite inviting — if difficult to reach — from the high path. When maybe six or seven kilometres had been covered we reached the spot where the path towards Beinn Fhada branches off. Thereabouts we dropped our rucksacks and continued towards Bealach an Sgairne since we wanted to climb A’Ghlas-bheinn first. On the next kilometre the path leading to the bealach winds its way through and over boulders in the ever-narrowing glen. Quite interesting.

From the bealach we could not see much in the direction of the Affric hills since some clouds blocked the view. A pity. But the close-up details of the craggy and steep north face of Meall a’Bhealaich compensated a bit for the lack of grand vistas towards the east.

The continuation of the remaining 350m climb to the summit of A’Ghlas-bheinn was entertaining. First the path climbs steeply through rocky terrain broken by grassy […]

2017-09-19T14:14:57+00:00June 17th, 2016|1998, 2016, 2017 - 2010, Glen Affric and Kintail|

Sgurr Thuilm

The Corryhully Horseshoe had long been on our list of very desirable hill walks in Alba. Maybe not as grandiose as the Ring of Steall or Sgurr na Ciche but nonetheless some tour to look forward to very much. 12 June 2016 saw us go about fulfilling that plan. It was a warm day and the midges were already showing us some attention when we prepared our kick-off for the day at the parking beside the River Finnan in Glenfinnan Village. Off we went and quickly reached the viaduct which I had last seen, when Birgit, Stephanie and I had visited the eastern Munro of the Horseshoe in 1998. Harry Potter films had then not been known and the viaduct had not acquired its present notoriety.

Of course progress was swift and easy. The glen is beautiful and so is the meandering River Finnan. After 45 minutes we crossed the Allt a Caol Ghleann and passed Corryhully Bothy. There the Landover track becomes a little steeper and we gained some height as we progressed another kilometre. Then, however, the cairn indicating the start of the ascent of Sgurr nan Coireachan’s steep and rocky southeast ridge appeared to the left. We deposited a bottle of water for the return leg of the hike and commenced the long climb towards the Sgurr.

The path is rather well-engineered and there was some material left beside it which indicated that maintenance work had been done. Somebody had even left a wheel barrow there. Rising first gently and then after a major bend more pronouncedly the path climbed over several rocky steps in the ridge which took turns with slightly more level grassy sections. Soon the terrain got more and more rocky. At a spot where the path leaves the crest of the ridge to climb a few dozen metres to […]

2017-09-19T14:14:58+00:00June 12th, 2016|1998, 2016, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

A’Chralaig

We started the first hike of 2016 basically from the Cluanie Inn where we had spent the night. The day before we had arrived in Scotland at Edinburghís Turnhouse Airport and had driven up to Loch Cluanie in a leisurely fashion. Having arrived early enough meant we could even take a pint at a picnic table in front of the Inn before lunch. A relaxed start to the “nine days nine hikes”-holiday.

We started the climb of A’Chralaig from the parking on the north side of the A 87 which is close to the bridge over the Allt a’Chaorainn Mhoir. A few metres on the public footpath to Alltbeithe Youth Hospital in Glen Affric were enough: We immediately found the small cairn that marks the path leading up to the southeast ridge of A’Chralaig. This path climbed steeply beside a burn up to the high ridge above. The going was easy enough, the ground being relatively dry. Steadily we climbed along the burn. Once on the ridge proper the terrain became more and more stony. Much of the ascent was spent in clouds and fog but very occasionally views of Loch Cluanie, Am Bathach and (higher up on the ridge) of the Munros further to the east could be had. Then, after some considerable exertion at least on my part, the *massive* cairn of A’Chralaig came into view. Visions of my first climb of this Munro almost 20 years ago in late December 1998 sprang up from my memory. It had been a snowy and icy affair which I only managed to complete thanks to a pair of crampons I had packed. That had been my first solo Munro and my first solo Munro in winter at the same time!

We faced no such challenges this day. After five minutes at the summit (no views) we […]

2017-09-19T14:14:58+00:00June 10th, 2016|1998, 2016, 2017 - 2010, Glen Affric and Kintail|

Stob Coire Raineach

2012 On the fourth day of our Scotland 2012 session and after some really great hikes like Creise and The Mamores Cord took his day off so i had the chance to bag Buachaille Etive Beag which he already had bagged some years ago. And it should be the only bad weather day of the complete 2012 session.

Cord drove me to the parking place at the A82 and we negotiated that he should be here 3 hours later again (a little too optimistic). I walked the very good path to the start of the ascent where the modest climbing began. After 30 minutes i reached the bealach which lay just below the clouds and i had some very interesting views of the Bidean ridges which were already covered in clouds. So i headed off to the first Munro of the day Stob Coire Raineach which i reached in no time and with no views which was a pity since it is such a good view point for Glen Coe. I took the mandatory summit picture and returned to the bealach to start the ascent to the next Munro Stob Dubh. This should be a more interesting and longer walking but you sense it: no views at all. At the ascent i met the only group of walkers (with crampons) of the day after a little mountain gossip we both headed our way. Since it was cold, wet and windy i just touched the cairn and returned. From the bealach it was an easy descent and since i was slightly overdue i sped up the last mile and reached the parking place where Cord was waiting – reading a newspaper in the car. All in all it was a good day and i bagged the last – real – Glen Coe Munros.

 

New Munro […]

2017-09-19T14:16:14+00:00April 30th, 2012|1998, 2012, 2017 - 2010, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Stob Dubh

On the fourth day of our Scotland 2012 session and after some really great hikes like Creise and The Mamores Cord took his day off so i had the chance to bag Buachaille Etive Beag which he already had bagged some years ago. And it should be the only bad weather day of the complete 2012 session.

Cord drove me to the parking place at the A82 and we negotiated that he should be here 3 hours later again (a little too optimistic). I walked the very good path to the start of the ascent where the modest climbing began. After 30 minutes i reached the bealach which lay just below the clouds and i had some very interesting views of the Bidean ridges which were already covered in clouds. So i headed of to the first Munro of the day Stob Coire Raineach which i reached in no time and with no views which was a pity since it is such a good view point for Glen Coe. I took the mandatory summit picture and returned to the bealach to start the ascent to the next Munro Stob Dubh. This should be a more interesting and longer walking but you sense it: no views at all. At the ascent i met the only group of walkers – they walked with crampons! – of the day. After a little mountain gossip we all headed our way. Since it was cold, wet and windy i just touched the cairn and returned.

From the bealach it was an easy descent and since i was slightly overdue i sped up the last mile and reached the parking place where Cord was waiting – reading a newspaper in the car. All in all it was a good day and i bagged my last – real – Glen Coe Munros.

[…]

2017-09-19T14:16:14+00:00April 30th, 2012|1998, 2012, 2017 - 2010, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Meall a’Bhuiridh

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 […]

2017-09-19T14:16:15+00:00April 28th, 2012|1998, 2012, 2017 - 2010, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Creise

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 […]

2017-09-19T14:16:15+00:00April 28th, 2012|1998, 2012, 2017 - 2010, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Ben Nevis

Overcast day. Summit of Ben Nevis in clouds all the day. Complete walk of Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis. Start from the Youth Hostel in Glen Nevis along Loch Meall an t-Suidhe, across the Allt a’Mhuilinn to the Carn Dearg ridge, and the Carn More Dearg Arrête to the summit of Ben Nevis (heavy rain and wind). Return by tourist path with loads of tourists indeed.

2017-09-19T14:19:28+00:00September 14th, 1998|1998, 1999 - 1991, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Mullach nan Coirean

Dry but partly cloudy day. Glen Nevis approach with starting point at Achriabhach. Path through the woods and then a climb, very steep at first through sparsely spread trees, up the north-east ridge of the Mullach. Easy slopes apart from the final 100m to the summit shrouded by clouds. Continuation over the south-east top of Mullach and the connecting ridge to Stob Ban. Summit ascent quite steep. Quartzite boulders. No views on Stob Ban – clouds. Descent by the east ridge to the stalker’s path starting at the head of Coire a’ Mhusgain. Beautiful view of small lochan below the cliffs of Sgurr an Iubhair. Good view of Sgurr a Mhaim. Return to Achriabhach on the stalker’s path. Clear views of the north-eastern cliffs of Stob Ban (somehow resembling An Teallach from Loch Toll an Lochan).

2017-09-19T14:19:28+00:00September 1st, 1998|1998, 1999 - 1991, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Meall Dearg

Aonach Eagach partly covered in clouds. Fine scrambles on Aonach Eagach. Very quick assent to Meall Dearg from Glen Coe. Swift traverse of the ridge to Sgorr nam Fiannaidh. Quite a few people on the ridge. Steep decent down dangerously loose scree slopes on the Sgorr. Rewarding day with good scrambles and fine ridge walking.

2017-09-19T14:19:28+00:00September 1st, 1998|1998, 1999 - 1991, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|