Carn Dearg

3 June 2014 started out as a rainy day with drizzle and showers taking turns in raising the enthusiasm for hillwalking in remote hill country. But the Metoffice predicted a shift in the pattern and forecast nice weather with sunshine for the second half of the day. Accordingly the late morning saw Frank and me standing on the platform for the southbound trains at Tulloch Station.

The station is a nice building and it features a large roof which very conveniently protected us from the rain. In due course the train arrived; we boarded it, took our seats and bought our return tickets. The short trip from Tulloch to Corrour takes about twenty minutes. Loch Treig and the Eassins on the right-hand side, the very steep slopes of Stob Coire Sgriodain on the left of the track. Very scenic indeed. Then the train had finally climbed to the more open and level terrain of Rannoch Moor where Corrour Station came into view. There we disembarked, took a look around and then followed the Land Rover track towards Loch Ossian. We were accompanied by a dog, two horse riders and a cyclist who came from the Hotel at/in Corrour Station. There was even some car traffic on the track: Two Toyotas and a delivery van. Ahead we could see vehicles moving since some hydro works were under way.

Just before came to the shore of Loch Ossian we turned right and picked up the path skirting the northern slopes of Meall na Lice and leading towards Peter’s Rock. The boulder carries a memorial plaque for one of the wardens of the Loch Ossian Youth Hostel who died there one lonely winter. From the Rock we climbed uniform slopes of grass and heather until we reached the broad north-east ridge of Carn Dearg. As height is gained the view opened up thanks partly to the Metoffice having been right. There was a delightful mix of sunshine and clouds. after maybe another thirty minutes we reached the summit cairn of Carn Dearg, covered in clouds, … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:01+02:00June 3rd, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Carn Liath

As i mentioned in the sister post to this one, Cord was on his day off, which did not meant that he was off duty. Having driven me to Balsporran, then shopping in Aviemore, then fetching me up again at Balsporran and then driving us to our cottage for a nice warm lunch was much more than one can expect from a “day off”.

The lunch at home between two Munros was a first in 20 years of munrobagging. After a short rest Cord drove me to the car park at the entry of the Creag Meagaidh National Park, a most scenic area with an excellent approach path which i had to leave too soon. The walk through the birch wood was not really funny as you can imagine. Lots of bogs and water but ok’ish. Soon i reached the summit plateau where i had to navigate carefully in the featureless stony terrain due to mist. After 1h 30mins i reached the summit cairn, touched it and returned.

On the return leg i had some nice views towards Cread Meagaidh – the summit and it’s plateau which we had conquered years ago in zero sights with the help of our trusty compass. Nice. After having reached the path again i felt energetic enough to do a little return run and i arrived at our rental car where Cord was waiting reading a newspaper 1h 10min after i had left the summit. A nice afternoon exercise.

Thanks Cord for chauffeuring me!

 

2001 Clouds, spells of sunshine and strong westerly winds were forecast for this day. The weather was as predicted when I left the car park at Aberarder and vigorously walked along the path into Coire Ardair. I met several other hill walkers on my way into this very beautiful corrie. The cliffs of Creag Meagaidh are truely awesome. At the foot of the steep ascent to the col between Creag Meagaidh and Stob Poite Corrie Ardair I put on my crampons and the rest of my winter gear and … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:01+02:00June 2nd, 2014|2001, 2014, 2019 - 2010, Glen Roy to the Monadhliath|

Geal-charn

Since Cord took this well earned day off i used the opportunity to fill in this Munro which i had not ticked yet (Cord bagged it in 2002 together with Mike). So he dropped me off at the car park at Balsporran Cottage and headed off to Aviemore to do some shopping of forgotten items. That was not a nice surrounding at all. In front of me a scarmarked bump. Behind me the A9 with it’s traffic and the new pylons. So i stormed over the rails and instantly chose the wrong track up the hill. After a short crossing i reached the right track and now it was a straightforward ascent to the 3009ft hill. I thought there was no other accuse than just it’s height and the Munro status. But i was proven wrong since the views from the west side of the summit were really nice towards Ben Alder and down the long stretched Loch Ericht. I contemplated the track along the shore which we had cycled 4 times over the weekend – my legs still arching from that memory (and certainly Cords too). The weather was not too bad. I took my 10 minutes to eat, stroll around and take pictures before i hurried down. Some 15 minutes from the A9 away i saw how Cord entered the car park. Just in time for dropping my rucksack in and drive to our cottage for getting a nice warm meal. A first in over 20 years munrobagging. And then off to Carn Liath.

 

2002 Parking by the A9 two or three kilometres north of the Pass of Drumochter we crossed the railway at the Balsporran B&B heading for the north-east ridge of Geal-charn. All the glens were filled with morning fog and clouds. Even though there had been a few very dry days before the walk the ground on the track up the ridge was quite boggy torn open by some caterpillar vehicle. Needless to say that the going was unpleasant in such conditions. At … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:01+02:00June 2nd, 2014|2002, 2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Rannoch to Drumochter|

Carn Dearg

1 June 2014 was my (Cord) 49th birthday and Frank had a special present for me in store: The four Munros of the Geal Charn Group from Culra. But first we needed to get there.

So the morning saw us unloading our bicycles from the car at Dalwhinnie station, shouldering our rucksacks, crossing the railway line and starting the long cycle trip to the bothy. The long track along Loch Ericht held nothing new for us since we had already used it the day before when we had climbed Ben Alder. Frank was out of sight quite quickly. My wobbly legs did not permit too much effort to be put into the 15 to 16 km leg to Culra. When I arrived there quite a while later than my companion it started to drizzle. Rats. It was to be only a short shower, however.

We then embarked upon the walk towards the Bealach Dubh which is on a very well-maintained path that makes progress easy. We skipped the Lancet Edge (my wish, a birthday has got to be good for something, you know) and soon found ourselves at the bealach which we crossed without a pause. Then we continued for a short while along the path down into the next glen. When we were past Sron Ruadh we quit the path crossed the stream and climbed into Coire a’Charra Bhig. This is a grassy corrie holding a burn with a steeply flanked bed in the upper corrie. Staying on the left bank of the stream makes life easier considerably for the wary hiker. Frank did so, I did not: another birthday present for me.

Once on the ridge we turned left (west) and headed for Beinn Eibhinn’s long curving summit ridge a kilometre away. There are two cairns on this level ridge and to be sure we visited and touched them both. The books later confirmed that this was right since it is of course the one further to the west (or more precisely to the north) which is the “real” summit. From … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:01+02:00June 1st, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Beinn Eibhinn

1 June 2014 was my (Cord) 49th birthday and Frank had a special present for me in store: The four Munros of the Geal Charn Group from Culra. But first we needed to get there.

So the morning saw us unloading our bicycles from the car at Dalwhinnie station, shouldering our rucksacks, crossing the railway line and starting the long cycle trip to the bothy. The long track along Loch Ericht held nothing new for us since we had already used it the day before when we had climbed Ben Alder. Frank was out of sight quite quickly. My wobbly legs did not permit too much effort to be put into the 15 to 16 km leg to Culra. When I arrived there quite a while later than my companion it started to drizzle. Rats. It was to be only a short shower, however.

We then embarked upon the walk towards the Bealach Dubh which is on a very well-maintained path that makes progress easy. We skipped the Lancet Edge (my wish, a birthday has got to be good for something, you know) and soon found ourselves at the bealach which we crossed without a pause. Then we continued for a short while along the path down into the next glen. When we were past Sron Ruadh we quit the path crossed the stream and climbed into Coire a’Charra Bhig. This is a grassy corrie holding a burn with a steeply flanked bed in the upper corrie. Staying on the left bank of the stream makes life easier considerably for the wary hiker. Frank did so, I did not: another birthday present for me.

Once on the ridge we turned left (west) and headed for Beinn Eibhinn’s long curving summit ridge a kilometre away. There are two cairns on this level ridge and to be sure we visited and touched them both. The books later confirmed that this was right since it is of course the one further to the west (or more precisely to the north) which is the “real” summit. From … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:01+02:00June 1st, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Aonach Beag

1 June 2014 was my (Cord) 49th birthday and Frank had a special present for me in store: The four Munros of the Geal Charn Group from Culra. But first we needed to get there.

So the morning saw us unloading our bicycles from the car at Dalwhinnie station, shouldering our rucksacks, crossing the railway line and starting the long cycle trip to the bothy. The long track along Loch Ericht held nothing new for us since we had already used it the day before when we had climbed Ben Alder. Frank was out of sight quite quickly. My wobbly legs did not permit too much effort to be put into the 15 to 16 km leg to Culra. When I arrived there quite a while later than my companion it started to drizzle. Rats. It was to be only a short shower, however.

We then embarked upon the walk towards the Bealach Dubh which is on a very well-maintained path that makes progress easy. We skipped the Lancet Edge (my wish, a birthday has got to be good for something, you know) and soon found ourselves at the bealach which we crossed without a pause. Then we continued for a short while along the path down into the next glen. When we were past Sron Ruadh we quit the path crossed the stream and climbed into Coire a’Charra Bhig. This is a grassy corrie holding a burn with a steeply flanked bed in the upper corrie. Staying on the left bank of the stream makes life easier considerably for the wary hiker. Frank did so, I did not: another birthday present for me.

Once on the ridge we turned left (west) and headed for Beinn Eibhinn’s long curving summit ridge a kilometre away. There are two cairns on this level ridge and to be sure we visited and touched them both. The books later confirmed that this was right since it is of course the one further to the west (or more precisely to the north) which is the “real” summit. From … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:01+02:00June 1st, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Geal-Charn

1 June 2014 was my (Cord) 49th birthday and Frank had a special present for me in store: The four Munros of the Geal Charn Group from Culra. But first we needed to get there.

So the morning saw us unloading our bicycles from the car at Dalwhinnie station, shouldering our rucksacks, crossing the railway line and starting the long cycle trip to the bothy. The long track along Loch Ericht held nothing new for us since we had already used it the day before when we had climbed Ben Alder. Frank was out of sight quite quickly. My wobbly legs did not permit too much effort to be put into the 15 to 16 km leg to Culra. When I arrived there quite a while later than my companion it started to drizzle. Rats. It was to be only a short shower, however.

We then embarked upon the walk towards the Bealach Dubh which is on a very well-maintained path that makes progress easy. We skipped the Lancet Edge (my wish, a birthday has got to be good for something, you know) and soon found ourselves at the bealach which we crossed without a pause. Then we continued for a short while along the path down into the next glen. When we were past Sron Ruadh we quit the path crossed the stream and climbed into Coire a’Charra Bhig. This is a grassy corrie holding a burn with a steeply flanked bed in the upper corrie. Staying on the left bank of the stream makes life easier considerably for the wary hiker. Frank did so, I did not: another birthday present for me.

Once on the ridge we turned left (west) and headed for Beinn Eibhinn’s long curving summit ridge a kilometre away. There are two cairns on this level ridge and to be sure we visited and touched them both. The books later confirmed that this was right since it is of course the one further to the west (or more precisely to the north) which is the “real” summit. From … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:02+02:00June 1st, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Beinn Bheoil

This was truly a tour which we had been looking forward to doing for a very long time. The remoteness of the hills. The great setting of the Geal Charn Group, huge and central Ben Alder and Beinn Bhoill as the whaleback ridge towering above Loch Ericht. All easily accessible from Culra bothy.

But wait: Easily accessible? Did we mention that remoteness has drawbacks and, hey!, that there was the long three-hour hike in from Dalwhinnie? Or for us, the more technology minded, the long bicycle ride from Dalwhinnie to Culra? We didn’t mention it? Ouch.

So the morning of 31 May 2014 saw Frank and me unloading the car: rucksacks, boots and bicycles. After all equipment was stuffed into the rucksacks and the bicycles prepared for action we crossed the railway tracks at Dalwhinnie station and set out on the 15 km ride towards the remote bothy. The dirt road was level most of the way and the surface was hard and flat. On the ride towards Ben Alder Lodge a small number of rises, one of them significant, need to be climbed only to experience exhilarating speed afterwards when cruising down back towards the shore of loch Ericht. At Ben Alder Lodge the track starts to climb for a kilometre or so and I for one had to be content with pushing my bike for a few dozen minutes. Frank cycled on being in good shape and enthusiastic. I met him again on the right bank of the Allt a’ Chaoil reidhe sitting in the grass quite some time later. On the opposite side of the river there was Culra Bothy.

We left the bicycles there and continued up the perfectly well-maintained path leading to Loch Bealach Beithe. After maybe 25 minutes the path reached a white boulder (mentioned by Storer) from which an indistinct rough path headed across the moor and heather towards the foot of the north-east ridge leading up to Beinn Alder’s plateau: The Long Leachas. We crossed the burn coming down from Loch Bealach Beithe and … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:02+02:00May 31st, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Ben Alder

This was truly a tour which we had been looking forward to doing for a very long time. The remoteness of the hills. The great setting of the Geal Charn Group, huge and central Ben Alder and Beinn Bhoill as the whaleback ridge towering above Loch Ericht. All easily accessible from Culra bothy.

But wait: Easily accessible? Did we mention that remoteness has drawbacks and, hey!, that there was the long three-hour hike in from Dalwhinnie? Or for us, the more technology minded, the long bicycle ride from Dalwhinnie to Culra? We didn’t mention it? Ouch.

So the morning of 31 May 2014 saw Frank and me unloading the car: rucksacks, boots and bicycles. After all equipment was stuffed into the rucksacks and the bicycles prepared for action we crossed the railway tracks at Dalwhinnie station and set out on the 15 km ride towards the remote bothy. The dirt road was level most of the way and the surface was hard and flat. On the ride towards Ben Alder Lodge a small number of rises, one of them significant, need to be climbed only to experience exhilarating speed afterwards when cruising down back towards the shore of loch Ericht. At Ben Alder Lodge the track starts to climb for a kilometre or so and I for one had to be content with pushing my bike for a few dozen minutes. Frank cycled on being in good shape and enthusiastic. I met him again on the right bank of the Allt a’ Chaoil reidhe sitting in the grass quite some time later. On the opposite side of the river there was Culra Bothy.

We left the bicycles there and continued up the perfectly well-maintained path leading to Loch Bealach Beithe. After maybe 25 minutes the path reached a white boulder (mentioned by Storer) from which an indistinct rough path headed across the moor and heather towards the foot of the north-east ridge leading up to Beinn Alder’s plateau: The Long Leachas. We crossed the burn coming down from Loch Bealach Beithe and … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:02+02:00May 31st, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Beinn Mhanach

30 May 2014 was Frank’s 48th birthday and the tour planning we had done had a singular present in store for him: The solitary Munro hidden way back in Gleann Ach’Inns Challein where the Allt Kinglass rules and the sheep-hating poet Duncan Mac Intyre lived at Ais an t-Sithean: Beinn Mhanach.

But first we needed to get there. We parked the car at the large lay-by on the A82 where access to Auch Glen and Auch Farm is possible by means of a paved private road. After having got our act together we set off towards Auch Farm, crossed the West Highland Way and followed the track below the (probably) second most famous railway viaduct in Scotland.

The landrover track beside the wide Allt Kinglass allowed for easy progress and we made good headway on this very sunny day. Frank and I crossed the Allt Kinglass dryshod at several fords before we reached Ais an t-Sithean which nowadays boasts a few sheep fanks, a more or less derelict hut and a nice collection of ice age drumlins. Not extremely romantic but in the sunshine the spot was inviting enough. At a T-junction in the landrover track we turned right (east) and continued towards the bealach leading to Loch Lyon. Once the bealach was reached we took a short break sitting in the sunshine beside the tumbling burn coming down from the bealach between Beinn a Chuirn and Beinn Mhanach 450 metres further up.

Then we started to climb the very steep hillside towards this bealach following a more or less distinct path that unrelentingly winds its way beside the burn and over steep grass slopes towards the hill tops. After some considerable effort we reached the bealach and continued over easy grass slopes towards the plateau-ish summit of Beinn Mhanach. At the cairn we rested for a while in the bright sunshine enjoying the great views! Then – with nothing better to do but shopping for food in Fort William and driving to our cottage in Laggan – we returned to the A … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:15:02+02:00May 30th, 2014|2014, 2019 - 2010, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|