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Taynuilt to Glencoe, the long(7 day/86 miles)way
by mountainstar » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:18 am
Date walked: 15/05/2010
Distance: 139 kmRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Planning a new backpacking trip is great, pondering over OS maps through the winter months, imagining what it would be like to camp by a loch you choose that looks a good spot, and trying to plan the days to be fairly equal in mileage, this I have done countless times. This latest one also needed to be near good public transport for my start, and end up somewhere that I could meet my wife who would be meeting me at the end of the walk, who would be travelling up by car, so a reasonable days journey away from Wales. This meant finishing no further than Fort William, and I wanted it to last around 7 or 8 days. So after pouring through the maps for a few nights, this route soon came together, and saw me walking through some glens and country I had not walked along before, another consideration.
So after buying my train (Chester to Glasgow) and bus (Glasgow to Taynuilt) 3 months before at a bargain total price of around £20, I was all set to go. The week before I sent 2 food parcels on to “By the way” campsite at Tyndrum, where I would be camping, and to the tea room at Rannoch station where I would be passing, saving a bit of weight. I was lucky to win Trip report of the month , so I decided to put the £40 towards a new Thermarest Neo-air sleeping mat, which I arranged to pick up in Tiso’s Glasgow in between my Train and bus connections, saving me more valuable weight again (this proved to be a great bit of kit, which I highly recommend)
Sat 15th May 2010
Taynuilt to Inverliver, Loch Etive 5.83 miles
Weather Sunny periods, breezy, later more cloud and showers and calmer.
It was going to be a long day, up at 6.15 am, after a lift to Chester I caught the 7.40 am train to Glasgow, 1 hour gave me time to buy my new Neo-air and have a quick pint before my journey by bus which dropped me of in Taynuilt at 2.45 pm, good timing for this walk to my camping spot tonight. After about an hour I got my first view east up the Loch, this was what it was all about, and it was great to be back.
I reached by planned camping spot at 5.05 pm, on a lovely grassy area by the lochside.
Around about there was plenty of dead wood, so I had a good fire to warm me through the chilly evening, at 10 pm the dark clouds moved in and the forecasted rain started which was to continue through the night, so I hit the sack, tired but contented.
Inverliver, Loch Etive to Loch Dochart 12.07 miles
Weather. Sunny periods, some showers.
After a good nights sleep I was up at 8.30am, happily finding the rain had passed to leave a lovely sunny morning, after a leisurely breakfast, I packed and was away by 10.30 am along the good vehicle track which turns from Loch Etive…..
And then leads to the lonely Glen Kinglass Lodge,
a good path continued from there up to my high point (290 meters) of the day, a great viewpoint of a panorama of nearby Munro’s.
30 minutes later at 3.45pm I reached Loch Dochart and soon found a cracking spot to camp near to the east end of the Loch, by an old stable, which is marked on the map.
Another chilly and windy evening, this time with no fire, again I was in my sack at 10pm.
Loch Dochart to Tyndrum 13.34 miles.
Weather. Sunny spells, more cloud in the afternoon.
Up at 8am, greeted to a nice morning and less wind, away by 9.35am, and it was nice to start my walk downwards. At Forest Lodge I hit the West Highland Way, and immediately started to pass other walkers marching north, what a difference to the previous 2 days when I passed a handful of others, for the next several miles I passed around 100 or more…. You do tend to get fed up of saying “Hello” to that many passing you!
My highest point of today’s walk came just after the Inveroran Hotel, which has a great view of Loch Tulla.
I reached the ever busy Tyndrum at 3pm, and camped as planned at “By the way” campsite where was some late afternoon & evening sun and warmth, so my time was spent reading in the sun, and later I enjoyed a fish & chips in the excellent (but pricy) Real food café.
I also noted a sign outside The Tyndrum hotel advertising a buffet breakfast for £5, starting at 7.30am that sounded good to me, so my alarm was set for 7.20am as I got my head down again at 10pm.
The evening continued clear, finishing off nicely with a red glowing sunset.
Tyndrum to Lochan Learge nan Lunn via Gleann a Chlachain & Glen Lochay. 12.74 miles.
Weather. Sunny and warm morning, more cloud later.
7.30am, breakfast time! And what a bargain, help yourself to cereal/the full monty bacon sausage etc./toast/jams/tea/coffee/fruit juice all for a fiver, and looking out from the window enjoying it to clear blue skies….both not expected today. So after that good start to the day I left at 9.30, again following the WHW for the first few miles as for as Straithfillan, where I left the crowds behind for the next few days ahead. I followed a track up the glen, then trackless for the last mile over the 580 meter Beallach Ghlas Leathaid, and from there again trackless until I reached the surprising Hydro road that follows the hillside for several miles at an easy going constant walking level. This finally met up with a “B” road heading to Glen Lyon, now its been many years since I came this way before, so I’d forgotten it was a road, (it doesn’t look like a tarmac road on the map) so even when I was walking up it I was surprised at the first of several cars passing. At its high point is the Loch I was heading for a few minutes walk from the road, I reached it at 3.45 and found a place to pitch near the outflow.
My first problem of the trip turned up as I cooked my evening meal…..my gas was really low, I kicked myself for not realising this in Tyndrum, as I could have bought a new one there. I guessed now that there was only enough gas for one more meal and not enough for any more tea etc, so my next few days plans would have to alter, as I had intended to do the rest of the route in 4 days, but as this would require making 2 more Dehydrated meals this would not be possible, so I would have to do the rest of the trek in 3 days instead. I think the mistake was due to packing a half used Gas cylinder instead of a full one.
My plans for the following few days would have been:-
Day 5 Lochan Learg nan Lunn to Loch an Daimh via Loch Lyon 6 miles, and a possible Munro of Corbett en route.
Day 6 Loch an Daimh to Rannoch Station via Bridge of Gaur. 14.73 miles.
Day 7 Rannoch Station to the Kingshouse Hotel via Rannoch Moor 11.29 miles
This plan was now scrapped; luckily I was able to re-jig it into 2 reasonable do-able days.
The sun returned by late afternoon, and it remained warm and calm into the evening.
Lochan Learg nan Lunn to Bridge of Gaur via Loch Lyon 14.46 miles
Weather. Cloudy and calm.
I was surprised after the lovely evening to hear rain in the night, by the morning it had eased, but had left low cloud shrouding the mountains and hanging not far above my camp site. After my extravagant breakfast of yesterday I was back to dried fruit and chocolate peanuts again, and no tea! As I set off at 9.30am I knew that instead of this being the easiest day, it was now going to be the hardest, with 2 high passes and a big mileage ahead. I followed the road to the village of Pubil, in a lovely situation at the head of Glen Lyon, from there a track zigzagged uphill until I left it and followed the burn over the trackless pass at 610 meters. The cloud was still shrouding the mountains, so I did not mind missing out on climbing a mountain en route today. From the pass I dropped down steeply at fist, then found a path leading to Loch an Daimh where I would have camped tonight, but anyway it was far to early to set camp (12.15 pm) I noted that it would be a good place to camp, with short grass and trees to shade me if needed.
The water level was low, so I walked along the stony “beach”
and after a mile I headed uphill and found a vehicle track which led NW Towards Meall Cruinn, this made the going easier on otherwise rough ground, but led me away from my intended route of towards the pass to Coire Gorm, instead I dropped down Coire Dubh, as it turned out a bit of a mistake, I now had to skirt NE across the rough hillside and ended up at the forest edge a couple miles from its eastern end, now walking along the top of the forest was purgatory, badly eroded, very boggy and several 8ft high deer fences to climb over, so by the time I finally got to the path to the east of the forest I was knackered, and with dark rain bearing clouds behind me I needed to find a good camping spot soon, after about 1.5 miles at 5pm I found a nice grassy area about 1 mile away above Bridge of Gaur, I was so glad to set the tent up and rest for a while, it had been a long hard day.
Now it was time for my meal with my last dregs of gas, which turned out to be a disaster, I forgot to keep stirring the dehydrated mince beef casserole, so a large chunk of it burnt at the bottom, and to save boiling another pan of water I decided to mix the instant mash straight into the now burnt casserole, another mistake, it now looked and smelt horrible, I forced myself to eat about a quarter before I chucked the rest. The only positive part of the affair was there was just enough gas to have a last cup of tea to try to get rid of the taste left in my mouth.
It remained cloudy into the evening, with cloud low on the mountains, a shame as this was a great view point to distant hills to the west, north and east, so another early night, to bed by 9.30pm.
Bridge of Gaur to the Kingshouse Hotel, via Rannoch Moor. 17.9 miles (minus 4.2 miles saved by road walk lift.)
Weather. Cloudy and calm.
Not sure if I would get a lift along the road I needed an early start, so was up by 8am and walking by 8.40, after 20 mins I was on the road, then after 2 mins of walking I got a lift off the first car to pass, who turned out to be the lady who ran the Rannoch Station café, I had to wait for it to open at 10 am, but was entertained by character who was also waiting for it to open before going fishing, so after the crack, a cup of tea and picking up my food parcel (which include another meal I didn’t really need now) I set off at 10.30. Now I was looking forward to this journey across Rannoch Moor, having not done it before, but I was somewhat disappointed, The cloudy weather didn’t help, but I found the views to the hills to far away, and didn’t really change apart from getting more distant or less distance, it would have got better nearing Glencoe, but as the cloud was still fairly low, these great mountains were hardly visible. I arrived at the Hotel at 3.30pm and camped just across the river.
Had a pint and a meal later in the bar, then another early night, to bed by 9.30pm.
Kingshouse Hotel to Glencoe. 9.6 miles
Weather, Sunny with hazy high cloud, calm and warm.
Again up at 8am and away by 8.40am, back on the WHW for the first few miles, after leaving that I followed the old drovers road through Glencoe, this I really enjoyed, apart from the fantastic surrounding mountains, you feel your walking into history, and can just imagine stagecoaches and highwaymen passing this way.
I reached The Clachaig Inn at 1.10pm ready for a couple of pints, then the short walk to the Red Squirrel camp site, where I lazed and dozed in the sun, contented that another good trip was over.
Any one wanting to do this trek, and would like to extend it so it becomes a circular walk, could take one of the passes to Glen Etive from Glencoe :-
1/ Fionn Ghleann and over Bealach fhionnghaill.
2/ Lairig Eilde
3/ Lairig Gartain
From there follow the road to the head of Loch Etive (where you could wild camp), and follow the east shore of the Loch to end up at Inverliver again. This way you could start and finish the walk at any convenient point.
by malky_c » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:47 am
Anyway, lovely scenery down by Loch Etive. Rather like the look of Loch an Diamh as well.
by walk aboot » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:02 pm
by LeithySuburbs » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:39 pm
by maddjock » Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:44 am
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by munrowalker » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:03 pm
by Dannyboy » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:10 pm
by FloozySuzie » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:58 pm
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by bazer100 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:25 pm
- Mountain Walker
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by malky_c » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:02 am
by magicdin » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:09 am
"HOW'S" about that then !
by walk aboot » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:55 am
Yup, it's his house. My mum and dad passed it on one of those Highland coach tours a few years ago, and Jimmy Saville and Prince Charles were sitting outside, supping tea and waving.
I keep meaning to post my 'Dear Jim, will you fix it for me...' letter through the door when I pass by, but it looks empty most of the time now...not sure he visits often enough to collect his mail .
by walk aboot » Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:58 am
magicdin wrote:house also used to be owned by Hamish MacInnes
...Didn't know that .
by magicdin » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:00 pm
One line is not too PC nowadays