Carn na h-Easgainn again

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Attachment(s) Grahams: Carn na h-Easgainn
Date walked: 31/01/2016
Distance: 7km
Ascent: 330m
Views: 8

Snow curbs optimism on South Loch Tay hills

Corbetts: Creagan na Beinne
Grahams: Shee of Ardtalnaig

Date walked: 16/01/2016

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 1125m

Corbetts: Creagan na Beinne.
Grahams: Shee of Ardtalnaig.
Date: 16/01/2016.
Distance: 7.5km (walking), 8.5km (cycling).
Ascent: 845m (walking), 280m (cycling)
Time taken: 5 hours 15 minutes.
Weather: Grey and clear, turning to snow falling. Very calm.

The forecast looked quite decent for Saturday, so having the car again, I made an early start and headed down to Loch Tay. The dilemma was whether to go via Ballinluig and Aberfeldy, or chance the high road over to Trinafour. I went for the Trinafour road, and although it hadn't been gritted and had some snow and ice, it was driveable with some care. The roads across Glen Errochty and Strath Tummel were well cleared and I was in Kenmore in a little over two hours. The road down the south side of Loch Tay was probably in worse nick as there was a fair amount of frozen runoff on parts of it. I was glad of the winter tyres I have been using for the last couple of years - without them I wouldn't have fancied my chances on parts of the journey.

Ben Lawers and Meall Greigh from the South Loch Tay road:

I parked up in an area normally used for the hydro works (but empty on Saturday) and pulled my bike out. I wasn't sure how much help the bike would be today, but my intention was to Go up the two Corbetts and Graham in the area, which I knew could be a long day if the snow was as soft and deep as feared. Therefore any assistance would be useful.

Ardtalnaig.gpx Open map in GPS Planner  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

The road up Gleann a' Chilleine is steep and I was puffing and pushing the bike straight away. I pedaled it on some of the flatter sections until I reached Claggan, where the tarmac ran out. Two guys with quad bikes looked set for some hind culling (dressed in winter camo, rifles and trailers on the bikes) but seemed more concerned about me avoiding the hydro works. I assured them I wasn't going anywhere near them and carried on.

Loch Tay and the Lawers range from Gleann a’ Chilleine:

The cycling was pretty tough - either icy tractor ruts or soft snow. I was probably half on the bike and half pushing it - was there any point? At the copse of trees beneath the summit of Creagan na Beinne, I decided I had done enough on the bike. It had probably got me here 15 minutes or so faster than walking - about the amount of time I spent fiddling with the brakes at the bottom :? .

Snowy track – abandoned my bike at this point:

I went straight up the hillside above the bike, as this appeared to be the shortest way to the summit. I had been concerned about the stability of the snow on this slope when planning the route, but there was enough black showing through that I decided it would be OK. It was slushy low down, but firmed up later on, although the hard stuff was lying on a bed of softer stuff which I occasionally broke through. Much thicker or steeper and this route probably wouldn't have been advisable.

Creag nan Eun and Shee of Ardtalnaig:

Back to Lawers range…

…including An Stuc and Meall Garbh:

The sun:

The summit looked close by, but never seemed to get any closer. As things leveled off, the snow had a different consistency with every step. It was hard-packed one minute, creaky windslab the next then deep powder and drifts. Overall better than my worst-case prediction (knee-deep soft powder the whole way), but I pretty much decided then and there that I wasn't going to get to Creag Uchdag on this stuff - there was just too much high plateau to cross and re-cross.

The sunshine promised in the forecast didn't show, which ensured that my photos have the same greyish hue that I have had on all my other walks since the beginning of December. However the forecast wind was also absent, giving a dead quiet atmospheric feel to the summit that just doesn't come across in the photos. Beyond Ben Chonzie looked quite nice.

Some nicer light to the south:

Top of Creagan na Beinne:

Looking north:

The snow on the descent was even worse than on the way up, although again it didn't bar me from going down the steep lower slopes of the hill towards Dunan. Originally I was going to return the same way and use the bike to get me further, but now I was doing a shorter walk, a proper circuit seemed more appealing (bike would have been a drag further up the glen anyway).

Ben Chonzie:

Glen Lednock with Dumyat in the distance:

Lower Glen Almond:

Across the Shee towards Killin:

Creag Uchdag – not today:

The Shee from Creagan na Beinne:

I had a lunch stop lower down. The clag which had been hanging over the hills west of Killin appeared to be moving in. I wasn't sure if I'd make the summit of the Shee of Ardtalnaig before it got obliterated.

Ben Chonzie and upper Glen Almond:

Shee of Ardtalnaig:

I crossed over the glen and went straight up the other side, crossing over the estate track shown on the map. Before I did, the quad bikes passed again, heading up the track round the back of the Shee. As I got higher, I got a bit stranded in a few of the deeper drifts, and the clag moved in and it began to snow. Shame there was little to see as this appeared to be the more interesting hill of the two.

Near the summit of the Shee:

Can’t Shee it!

I had planned to descend some way along the NW ridge, but the going was hard. When the murk cleared slightly, I saw a large herd of deer further along the ridge. Rather than scatter them and annoy the estate workers, I dropped into the glen immediately - there was a convenient slope at this point. I dropped down just before the fault and slope failure that forms some small cliffs on the eastern side of the ridge. It didn't take too long to reach the floor of the glen.

Back down to Gleann a’ Chilleine:

A short walk down the track led to my bike. I had heard the quad bikes go up and down the glen several times throughout the morning, so the route was cleared a little better for me than on the way up. I thought I'd end up pushing the bike much of the way back down (the brakes were a little ineffective in the snow) but I actually cycled it all the way back to Claggan. I doubt I ever broke 8mph, but it was faster than walking and quite good fun. There was a knack of not leaning too much into turns as once the back wheel kicked out, it tended to slide into a skid. The irony was once I reached the tarmac I had to push down the steep sections as I had seen some patches of ice on the way up that had since been obscured by a thin layer of snow. The bike was in some state back at the car (I still haven't cleaned it or taken it out).

With the snow falling, I decided not to hang around and got back to the main road in Kenmore as fast as I safely could. I didn't want to get stuck down here! I decided to play safe and not go back via Trinafour, despite the alternative route adding a good 15 miles to the journey. Still, I was home hours earlier than planned - of course down to dropping Creag Uchdag from the walk. Maybe I could have included it, but it would have been hard work, and unlikely to have been fun, particularly with the weather turning earlier than expected.

Snowy drive to get back to the main roads:

This was the first outing for my new boots, and thankfully they were great (and being Meindl ones, they didn't really require breaking in). Hard to believe my last pair were only 4 years old - I was glad to heave them into the bin! As I say every time I get a new pair of boots - must look after these ones better :roll: .

Glad my new boots fitted…

…meant I could bin these horrors!

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Comments: 3

Long day on Streap and Braigh nan Uamhachan

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Braigh nan Uamhachan, Streap
Date walked: 09/01/2016
Distance: 22km
Ascent: 2010m
Comments: 4
Views: 272

Strathcarron: Maol Chean-dearg the long way

Attachment(s) Munros: Maol Chean-dearg
Date walked: 04/01/2016
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 1130m
Comments: 3
Views: 377

Last of the year - two walks in Glen Artney and Glen Turret

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Auchnafree Hill
Grahams: Beinn Dearg, Mor Bheinn
Date walked: 29/12/2015
Distance: 28km
Ascent: 1845m
Comments: 1
Views: 261

Christmas 2015 - Inverness local walks

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Date walked: 25/12/2015
Distance: 12.95km
Ascent: 500m
Views: 24

Beinn Dubhcharaidh, Dunmaglass

Attachment(s) Date walked: 13/12/2015
Distance: 15km
Ascent: 550m
Comments: 1
Views: 183

Christmas meet - Beinn a' Ghlo

Attachment(s) Munros: Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Carn Liath (Beinn a'Ghlo), Carn nan Gabhar
Date walked: 05/12/2015
Distance: 25km
Ascent: 1500m
Comments: 1
Views: 416

Autumn perfection in Glen Etive

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Mhic Chasgaig, Stob Dubh
Date walked: 22/11/2015
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 1690m
Comments: 10
Views: 629

A journey to the edge of the world in southwest Lewis

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Forsnabhal (Lewis), Griomabhal (Lewis)
Date walked: 11/11/2015
Distance: 7.5km
Ascent: 610m
Comments: 3
Views: 301


User avatar
Location: Inverness
Occupation: Civil Engineer
Interests: Walking, Scrambling, Cycling, Mountain Biking
Munro rounds: 1

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 211
Grahams: 209
Donalds: 46
Wainwrights: 81
Hewitts: 205
Sub 2000: 129

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Trips: 4
Distance: 66 km
Ascent: 4595m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 2


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Distance: 1009 km
Ascent: 58815m
Munros: 10
Corbetts: 17
Grahams: 37
Donalds: 5
Sub2000s: 26


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Distance: 1143 km
Ascent: 56245m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 23
Grahams: 43
Donalds: 33
Sub2000s: 23


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Distance: 1121.2 km
Ascent: 52310m
Munros: 9
Corbetts: 23
Grahams: 37
Sub2000s: 26


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Distance: 1911.9 km
Ascent: 64050m
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 16
Sub2000s: 19
Hewitts: 96
Wainwrights 16


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Distance: 867.2 km
Ascent: 45165m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 21
Grahams: 31
Sub2000s: 11
Hewitts: 18


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Ascent: 49290m
Munros: 7
Corbetts: 33
Grahams: 32
Sub2000s: 10
Hewitts: 4


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Distance: 741 km
Ascent: 35725m
Munros: 8
Corbetts: 36
Grahams: 14
Sub2000s: 5
Hewitts: 1


Trips: 47
Distance: 540.5 km
Ascent: 37865m
Munros: 15
Corbetts: 22
Grahams: 19
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 6


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Distance: 471.5 km
Ascent: 30550m
Munros: 22
Corbetts: 19
Grahams: 7
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 4


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Distance: 472 km
Ascent: 32785m
Munros: 39
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 4
Hewitts: 1


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Distance: 464 km
Ascent: 27635m
Munros: 29
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2
Hewitts: 5
Wainwrights 8


Trips: 43
Distance: 839.4 km
Ascent: 47975m
Munros: 60
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 1


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Ascent: 51905m
Munros: 68
Corbetts: 5
Hewitts: 5


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Distance: 634 km
Ascent: 42245m
Munros: 46
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 3
Hewitts: 24


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Distance: 738.5 km
Ascent: 59035m
Munros: 45
Corbetts: 1
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 52
Wainwrights 23


Trips: 51
Distance: 512.5 km
Ascent: 42190m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 2
Sub2000s: 1
Hewitts: 55
Wainwrights 27


Trips: 47
Distance: 504 km
Ascent: 43786m
Munros: 23
Corbetts: 1
Hewitts: 49
Wainwrights 4


Trips: 37
Distance: 378 km
Ascent: 33525m
Munros: 12
Hewitts: 46


Trips: 43
Distance: 512.1 km
Ascent: 44205m
Munros: 19
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 2
Hewitts: 63
Wainwrights 6


Trips: 40
Distance: 476.5 km
Ascent: 40740m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 2
Hewitts: 75
Wainwrights 17


Trips: 2

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Last visited: Feb 12, 2016
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