Sgurr a’Mhaim

On a sunny morning, half past nine, Frank and I reached the end of the road in Glen Nevis and parked our car. Putting on our gear we looked around, glimpsed views of the surrounding summits through the lifting clouds and finally started the tour, heading into Glen Nevis. We crossed the river by means of the wire bridge, then crossed the Allt Coire a’Mhail below the Steall Waterfall and picked up the path leading into the northern corrie of An Gearanach. This path heads up into the corrie over terrain characterized by gravel, grass and slabs. Higher up in the corrie it zigzags until after one final right turn the ridge is reached leading steeply onwards to An Gearanach. Here the view opened up.

The weather conditions being as they were the Ring of Steall, Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg, the Aonachs and the southern flank of the Grey Corries sprang into full view. Alas, the summit had to be gained and so we continued up the last 300m to the summit of An Gearanach. A snack replenished exhausted reserves of carbohydrates and then we headed on to An Garbanach. This section of the ring provided most of the fun as scrambling goes and was far more interesting than the Devil’s ridge. All too soon we reached the more spacious summit of Stob Coire a’Chairn from where our eyes explored the eastern part of the Mamores with Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean standing out as the major attractions.

And on we went over some bump in the ridge before we had to tackle the north-east ridge of Am Bodach which is really quite steep, rocky and has some sections strewn with scree. But steep terrain allows quick gain of height and in no time at all we banged into the summit of this third Munro of the day. No real rest here. On the way to Sgur an Iubhair we met a dozen elderly hikers who were doing the ring in the opposite direction and who seemed to be enjoying themselves … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:55+02:00May 10th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Stob Coire a’Chairn

On a sunny morning, half past nine, Frank and I reached the end of the road in Glen Nevis and parked our car. Putting on our gear we looked around, glimpsed views of the surrounding summits through the lifting clouds and finally started the tour, heading into Glen Nevis. We crossed the river by means of the wire bridge, then crossed the Allt Coire a’Mhail below the Steall Waterfall and picked up the path leading into the northern corrie of An Gearanach. This path heads up into the corrie over terrain characterized by gravel, grass and slabs. Higher up in the corrie it zigzags until after one final right turn the ridge is reached leading steeply onwards to An Gearanach. Here the view opened up.

The weather conditions being as they were the Ring of Steal, Ben Nevis, Carn Mor Dearg, the Aonachs and the southern flank of the Grey Corries sprang into full view. Alas, the summit had to be gained and so we continued up the last 300m to the summit of An Gearanach. A snack replenished exhausted reserves of carbohydrates and then we headed on to An Garbanach. This section of the ring provided most of the fun as scrambling goes and was far more interesting than the Devil’s ridge. All too soon we reached the more spacious summit of Stob Coire a’Chairn from where our eyes explored the eastern part of the Mamores with Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean standing out as the major attractions. And on we went over some bump in the ridge before we had to tackle the north-east ridge of Am Bodach which is really quite steep, rocky and has some sections strewn with scree. But steep terrain allows quick gain of height and in no time at all we banged into the summit of this third Munro of the day. No real rest here.

On the way to Sgur an Iubhair we met a dozen elderly hikers who were doing the ring in the opposite direction and who seemed to be … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:55+02:00May 10th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Beinn Eunaich

The Munros closest to Stronmilchan are Beinn a’Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich. After a very good first night’s rest in our cottage on the right bank of the River Orchy we threw our stuff into the boot of the car and drove off to Castles farm where we parked just west of the bridge over the Allt Mhoille. We went back to the bridge, crossed it and took the landrover track leading to Castles Farm. The Angry Corrie had carried reports of rather unfriendly attitudes towards walkers which this estate had apparently shown during the FMD crisis of 2001 and afterwards. So, it was with some apprehension that we approached the farm buildings. And: Soon we saw a massive bull only 50 metres away from us outside the fenced grazing ground. Oh dear! We looked for good emergency escape routes should the bull prove to be aggressive but fortunately the animal took no interest in us and we proceeded as planned. Twohundred metres before the farm the track forks and we took the left-hand branch which steadily climbs up the hillside. Here we met a Landrover whose driver greeted us cordially. No sign of bad feelings here.

After about 200m we had to rest to drink some water and to take photographs of the Dalmally Horseshoe on the other side of the glen. After another ten minutes we passed the cairn marking the spot where the descent path from Stob Maol meets the landrover track. We continued, soon crossed the Allt Lairig Ianachain and went on to the next fork in the track where we took a right turn. After another 300 metres we left the track and started climbing the grassy and bouldery south-east ridge of Beinn a’Chochuill. This section of the climb proved to be quite steep but also manageable due to the benevolent character of the terrain. After doing zigzags for about 200m we found the path up the ridge. Enjoying the developing views of Ben Cruachan we quickly gained height on this rather uniformly steep slope. Then, … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:55+02:00May 9th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Beinn a’Chochuill

The Munros closest to Stronmilchan are Beinn a’Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich. After a very good first night’s rest in our cottage on the right bank of the River Orchy we threw our stuff into the boot of the car and drove off to Castles farm where we parked just west of the bridge over the Allt Mhoille. We went back to the bridge, crossed it and took the landrover track leading to Castles Farm.

The Angry Corrie had carried reports of rather unfriendly attitudes towards walkers which this estate had apparently shown during the FMD crisis of 2001 and afterwards. So, it was with some apprehension that we approached the farm buildings. And: Soon we saw a massive bull only 50 metres away from us outside the fenced grazing ground. Oh dear! We looked for good emergency escape routes should the bull prove to be aggressive but fortunately the animal took no interest in us and we proceeded as planned. Two hundred metres before the farm the track forks and we took the left-hand branch which steadily climbs up the hillside. Here we met a Landrover whose driver greeted us cordially. No sign of bad feelings here.

After about 200m we had to rest to drink some water and to take photographs of the Dalmally Horseshoe on the other side of the glen. After another ten minutes we passed the cairn marking the spot where the descent path from Stob Maol meets the landrover track. We continued, soon crossed the Allt Lairig Ianachain and went on to the next fork in the track where we took a right turn. After another 300 metres we left the track and started climbing the grassy and bouldery south-east ridge of Beinn a’Chochuill. This section of the climb proved to be quite steep but also manageable due to the benevolent character of the terrain. After doing zigzags for about 200m we found the path up the ridge. Enjoying the developing views of Ben Cruachan we quickly gained height on this rather uniformly steep … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:55+02:00May 9th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Stob a’Choire Odhair

The second day of the spring outing in 2004 saw Frank and me parking our car near Victoria Bridge close to the west end of Loch Tulla. There were quite a few cars there already at 10 o’clock – but we did not meet many walkers on the hills later in the day. We packed our rucksacks, changed into our walking clothes and started the days work. On the land-rover track by the Abhainn Shira we strolled to the green hut where the path beside the Allt Toaig heads up north into Coire Toaig. We followed this path until it crossed the burn coming down from between Stob a’Choire Odhair and Beinn Toaig. From there we climbed up the zig-zags of the path leading to the upper slopes of Stob a’Choire Odhair.

Higher up the slope eased and we reached the summit of the first Munro of this day in due time. Good views of Rannoch Moor and the marvellous eastern corrie of Stob Ghabhar. After a good snack we continued down the west ridge of Stob a’Coire Odhar to the col at the head of Coire Toaig. Here Frank and I decided not to climb Stob Ghabhar by Sron nan Giubhas but by the steep north ridge of Aonach Eagach. From the foot of the ridge we marvelled at beautiful Corein Lochain, the cliffs and the lochan in the sunshine. The rocky side ridge proved to be quite interesting and entertaining but this sort of fun soon ended when we reached Aonach Eagach which, contrary to its evocative name, forms a perfectly straightforward and easy traverse to Stob Ghabhar.

The path from Aonach Eagach to the summit of the second Munro is obvious and before the final 100m rise of the ridge we noticed the cairn marking the start of the descent route. At the summit of Stob Ghabhar there was some shifting cloud cover which broke from time to time and allowed us to have tantalizing views of Coirein Lochain down below. Sitting at the cairn we were joined by … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:56+02:00May 8th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Stob Ghabhar

The second day of the spring outing in 2004 saw Frank and me parking our car near Victoria Bridge close to the west end of Loch Tulla. There were quite a few cars there already at 10 o’clock – but we did not meet many walkers on the hills later in the day. We packed our rucksacks, changed into our walking clothes and started the days work. On the land-rover track by the Abhainn Shira we strolled to the green hut where the path beside the Allt Toaig heads up north into Coire Toaig. We followed this path until it crossed the burn coming down from between Stob a’Choire Odhair and Beinn Toaig. From there we climbed up the zig-zags of the path leading to the upper slopes of Stob a’Choire Odhair.

Higher up the slope eased and we reached the summit of the first Munro of this day in due time. Good views of Rannoch Moor and the marvellous eastern corrie of Stob Ghabhar. After a good snack we continued down the west ridge of Stob a’Coire Odhar to the col at the head of Coire Toaig. Here Frank and I decided not to climb Stob Ghabhar by Sron nan Giubhas but by the steep north ridge of Aonach Eagach. From the foot of the ridge we marvelled at beautiful Corein Lochain, the cliffs and the lochan in the sunshine. The rocky side ridge proved to be quite interesting and entertaining but this sort of fun soon ended when we reached Aonach Eagach which, contrary to its evocative name, forms a perfectly straightforward and easy traverse to Stob Ghabhar.

The path from Aonach Eagach to the summit of the second Munro is obvious and before the final 100m rise of the ridge we noticed the cairn marking the start of the descent route. At the summit of Stob Ghabhar there was some shifting cloud cover which broke from time to time and allowed us to have tantalizing views of Coirein Lochain down below. Sitting at the cairn we were joined by … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:17:56+02:00May 8th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Strath Orchy to Loch Leven|

Ben Chonzie

The first hill in Scotland in 2004. Around noon our plane had landed at Edinburgh Airport. Two hours later we reached the parking at the dam of Loch Turret. The routine of getting our stuff togehter before the walk had become a little rusty. It took us some time to get things going but finally we were on our way along the land-rover track on the east side of Loch Turret. The going was easy, the weather was warm, the sun shone. As expected we made good progress and reached Lochan Uaine after about an hour and fifteen minutes. The broken cliffs of Ben Chonzie high above the lochan did not look boring at all. At least not to us: a year (and more) of abstinence from all Scottish hills helped us enjoy this undemanding Munro. A snack and some water and off we went heading for the col between Biorach a’ Mheannain and Ben Chonzie. The grassy back wall of the corrie is steep below the col. Once at the col we turned left and climbed steadily for maybe another 20 minutes until we saw the cairn of Ben Chonzie. There we congratulated each other on our first hill of the year, looked around identifying hills further to the west and north and had another little meal by the cairn. The hill’s a good viewpoint. We continued our tour around Loch Turret by following the grassy ridge which has some stretches of open peat and can be boggy in places. At Carn Chois we paused again. Nice views of the Loch below and the sky above. It had become a little colder and windier on the ridge. A few hundred metres after the summit of Carn Chois we picked a line down into the grassy corrie leading to the loch and the track on its west side which took us back to the dam and the car. Easy walk, good weather, nice start for a week of hill walking in the Southern Highlands. (2004-05-07)

2017-09-19T14:17:56+02:00May 7th, 2004|2004, 2009 - 2000, Loch Lomond to Loch Tay|