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BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett


Postby malky_c » Wed Mar 02, 2011 2:26 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Talaidh

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cnoc Reamhar

Date walked: 28/02/2011

Time taken: 2.75 hours

Distance: 7.5 km

Ascent: 900m

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I seem to have a large backlog of reports from the last few days - I'd really consider taking my laptop with me on longer trips if the point of going wasn't to get away from that sort of thing! To be fair, the point of going away this time was actually work, but no need to let that get in the way of a little fun. Lacking too much logic, I'll start right in the middle.

I had a trip to Lochgilphead to dig through some archives, followed by a site visit in Tobermory. I put out a small pile of maps and even printed off a couple of areas that I didn't own the proper OS sheets for - surely on a 2 day trip I would mamage to squeeze a short walk in somewhere.

As I was driving round Loch Creran, I got a text from my wife asking if I'd meant to leave that big pile of maps on the table? Bugger - good thing I'd committed the most likely targets to memory (sort of).

Part 1: Knapdale
Marilyns: Cnoc Reamhar
Date walked: 28/02/2011
Distance: 2km
Ascent: 240m
Time: 1 hour
Weather: Warm and sunny. Was it really February?

After a fruitful morning in Lochgilphead, I emerged into the warmth and sunshine with 3 hours or so to go before the Mull ferry left Oban. There are a number of Marilyns dotted about the route to Oban, but this one in particular had caught my eye as a convenient way to spend my lunch hour. Short, and hopefully with great views across to Jura.


Reamhar.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


To be honest, the map hadn't been much help for my route, as it had just shown the road, a wooded hillside and the summit. Fortunately my road atlas also displayed a little triangle for the summit, so it gave me a reasonable indication of the starting point. A passing local confirmed my idea, indicating that my random point on the road, was as good as anywhere, although I could also try from Gallachoille farm. She called the hill Gallachoille Hill rather than Cnoc Reamhar - obviously the local name for it.

Having done a few of these lower Marilyns now, I had a suspicion I would be in for some difficult terrain. Although there was a gate at the start, I wasn't disappointed, as I was met with a succession of barbed wire stock fences, thick conifer plantations and boggy streams. I'll not bother with the detail, as it is unlikely that anyone would find my precise route! That I appeared to be crossing the grain of the land didn't help matters.

Summit of Cnoc Reamhar from the ascent. Some obstacles shown:
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A rare nice bit of woodland on the ascent:
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Some more typical woodland:
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After half an hour or so, I crossed my last fence to do the final 50m. This was steep, but the ground was grassy and pleasant to walk on. Bracken could be an issue in the summer though. I could see a herd of Highland Toffee coos to my right on the ridgeline, but too far away to photograph.

View NE across Knapdale:
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I had a minor concern that I would pop out on the ridge miles away from the trig pillar and have to cross more awkward ground, but (more by luck than anything else) I emerged right next to it. If this route redeems itself in any way, it it the fact that it saves the best view until you are right on the summit, at which point it suddenly opens out before you. And damn, it is worth it!

Ah, this is what I came for! Mull and Scarba:
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South down Loch Sween and the Sound of Jura:
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Across the Sound to the Paps of Jura:
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Zoom of the Paps:
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Loch Sween and Tayvallich:
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South down the Mull of Kintyre:
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Summit photo:
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North across the Moine Mhor to Ben Cruachan:
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Such a great spot for an extended break, and it was fairly warm too. I wish I'd taken my road atlas up with me, as it would have helped identify some of the smaller islands. A bit hazy, but this is probably the closest I've been to Jura - somewhere high on my 'must visit' list. I only found out about the passenger ferry from Tayvallich to Jura fairly recently, and it appears that its' future is now in doubt. Hopefully it can carry on, as it makes access to Jura much more straightforward.

Sadly, I had no time for an extended break as I had a ferry to catch. So after 5 or 10 minutes, I dropped back down roughly the way I had come. More misery, but I managed to avoid wet feet or getting my eyes poked out by any twigs, so I couldn't have asked for much more.

Looking at the map, and at some of my north-looking photos, I think the best approach for this hill is to start at Crinan and follow the forestry track SW through Gleann Sabhal, on the NW side of hill. The difficult ground could probably be kept to an absoloute minimum then. Retrospect is a great thing!

If you really want to emulate my approach, this gate on the Tayvallich road is where you need to start:
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In transit: Tayvallich to Mull
The area south of Oban is very scenic, with the road darting over hills and along lochsides, but it certainly isn't fast! also the lack of higher hills means it all starts to look the same after a bit. Not sure I'd want to have to drive this on a regular basis for work.

As it was, it took me an hour to get back to Oban, despite the distance being about 35 miles, and I rolled in at 3:30pm, thinking I had plenty of time for the 4pm ferry. Alas, when I read my e-mail print-out, it told me I needed to check in at least half an hour in advance! When I got to the terminal, the gate was shut. Luckily for me (and 2 or 3 other cars) there was still room, so we got on. As it was the last ferry of the day, missing it would have landed me in some moderate turd, as I had a hotel room booked through work in Craignure.

The journey was beautiful, and I took loads of photos. Sadly most of them were rubbish, but there were a couple of decent ones.

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Part 2: Mull
Grahams: Beinn Talaidh
Date walked: 28/02/2011
Distance: 5.5km
Ascent: 660m
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Weather: Overcast but clear. Cold breeze on summit

Throughout the afternoon I had had a hare-brained plan. If the ferry got into Craignure in time (4:45pm), I would have a short window of daylight in which to climb a hill and watch the sunset. As I had no work to do on Mull until the following day, this would present no problems.

I was in on time, so charged round through Lochdon into Glen More, parking at the start of the forestry track under Beinn Talaidh at 5pm. The weather was much more overcast on Mull than the mainland, but it still represented my best weather on the island so far (Beinn Fada, Ben More and Dun Da Gaoithe had been done in rain and zero visibility). I had a feeling the cloud would produce some nice sunset colours, too.

Beinn Talaidh used to be a Corbett until a re-survey in the 1990's (I think) demoted it to one of the highest Grahams. I'll need to check my SMC book, but I have a feeling the route I am describing is the standard way up. I have to say I'm not overly proud of the time it took me to do this hill - I would happily have spent twice as long on it. But getting up before the daylight faded and down to check into the hotel meant that it was shoehorned into a very small window. Too small, perhaps, but when you get the opportunity to climb an island peak on the west coast after work to see the sunset, you take it, dont you?


Talaidh.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Along the track and over a rotting deer fence (this was quite awkward, but the guidebook I looked at on the ferry home suggested there is a stile somewhere) and you are straight into the ascent. It is a pretty steep grind up Maol nam Fiadh, but after 50m of tussocks, the ground is very easy going with short grass - more like Snowdonia or the Lakes than most of Scotland.

Initial ascent up Maol nam Fiadh from the start point:
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On the shoulder of Maol nam Fiadh, the gradient eases a bit and there are some nice slabs of bare rock to stroll over. Ben More also appears to the left carrying a dusting of snow. Good views back down Glen More and over to Creach Bheinn and Ben Buie as well.

Annoyingly my camera seems to put a horrible blueish hue on photos unless there is decent sunlight. The camera in my phone is better at this but doesn't have the same definition. I've included some views taken with both cameras, so I may delete the inferior ones after I have seen them side by side. Time to spend some proper money on a better camera probably...

More Grahams: Creach Bheinn and Ben Buie:
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Back down Glen More to Loch Spelve:
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The last haul to the summit is now in view. Steep again, but some of the most pleasant underfoot conditions you could ask for.

Summit from Maol nam Fiadh:
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The little top of Beinn Bheag, which sticks out to the NE of Beinn Talaidh:
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Ben More and A' Chioch? Or is it Beinn Fada:
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Back to Loch Spelve and the Firth of Lorn:
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Corra-bheinn and Ben More:
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I got there in 55 minutes - rather faster than I was expecting. Looking at the map later, I realised that this was because I started at over 100m above sea-level. Hadn't realised that! A small patch of snow then the summit cairn and trig point hove into view.

The summit and total amount of snow on the walk:
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Looks like all that rushing paid off:
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Well worth the effort. As you can see, I was still in my t-shirt, so it wasn't that cold either. The breeze had me reaching for my coat before long though. I read somewhere that Beinn Talaidh has the best views on Mull. Can't confirm that, as I've barely seen any other views, but they would need to work hard to beat this! Of note was Ben Nevis - the snowy summit of this could just be seen floating above the haze, although the photo isn't good enough to show it well. I was also confused briefly by some lights on a hillside in Kingairloch - surely not a 3 peaks charity walk gone wrong? Then I realised it was the Glen Sanda quarry (saw it lit up again on the way up the road the following evening). Photos don't quite capture the atmosphere unfortunately.

Looking down Loch Ba and Loch na Keal:
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Sound of Mull and Ardnamurchan in the distance:
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Dun Da Gaothie and Sgurr Dearg:
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Probably almost invisible, but Ben Nevis summit floats above Sgurr Dearg:
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Cloud starting to gather on Corra-bheinn , Ben More behind:
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Loch Ba again - getting darker:
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Time for descent, and I just reversed my route up, having no map and not really wanting to explore in the dark too much.

Glen More in the dark while descending:
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More to come...
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby magicdin » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:02 pm

A bit like you malky I nabbed Beinn Talaidh on a winters afternoon 6/12/2005
After not checking the ferry timetable (Lochaline - Fishnish)
Not as late as you though - set off from car at 3 pm
Brilliant afternoon it was
CIMG0348.JPG

CIMG0351.JPG

CIMG0352.JPG

Next day I went up Ben More (in pee awful weather :( )
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby ChrisW » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:05 pm

great report(s) and some cracking pics - loved it, thanks for posting :D
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:26 pm

Good report Malky... and useful as I think Talaidh is on Helen's list.

re: photos, to get rid of a bluish tint you might just need to change the White Balance setting? If there isn't one, you can alter it on your computer afterwards using most photo programs.
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby Klaasloopt » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:05 pm

Fun report, hillwalking as I would like to do it. Grabbing the opportunity, very independent, no logic, just educated guessing, no map, but a lot of attention to details (Marilyns!) and views. Not all suprise taken away by extensive research or bland routes. And the shorts and shirt :shock: 8)
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby kevsbald » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:15 pm

Malky,

I felt exactly the same way over on Beinn Bharrain last week - off the ferry, shoe-horened the hill into a couple of hours daylight but a worthwhile trip all the same. Well done, looks like another island I need to get to.
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby malky_c » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:39 pm

Paul Webster wrote: re: photos, to get rid of a bluish tint you might just need to change the White Balance setting? If there isn't one, you can alter it on your computer afterwards using most photo programs.


Cheers Paul. I'll have a look, but it's a pretty basic compact camera and seems to lack in manual features (that sentence seems to be all the wrong way round :crazy: ). Don't remember anything in Google Picasa, so I might look into some proper photo editing software.

magicdin wrote:A bit like you malky I nabbed Beinn Talaidh on a winters afternoon 6/12/2005
After not checking the ferry timetable (Lochaline - Fishnish)
Not as late as you though - set off from car at 3 pm
Brilliant afternoon it was

Next day I went up Ben More (in pee awful weather :( )


Lovely shots - so clear 8)
Might have been an earlier start but you would've had a similar amount of daylight (maybe less), I'd imagine.

Kev, just had a look at your Beinn Bharrain report. That ridge looked nice. I did the Marilyn to the north once, but ran out of time to get to Bharrain. Great to be able to squeeze something like that in.
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby LeithySuburbs » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:27 am

malky_c wrote:it's a pretty basic compact camera and seems to lack in manual features (that sentence seems to be all the wrong way round :crazy: ). Don't remember anything in Google Picasa, so I might look into some proper photo editing software.


Hi Malky. I've mentioned it on WH before but IrfanView (http://download.cnet.com/IrfanView/3000-2192_4-10021962.html?part=dl-IrfanView&subj=dl&tag=button) is a remarkably powerful program that costs nothing :D . I have used more expensive programs but this gives just as good results for hillwalking photos.

Don't let me forget... another great set of reports 8) . But... does your boss know you do this on his time :lol: ?
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby malky_c » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:Don't let me forget... another great set of reports 8) . But... does your boss know you do this on his time :lol: ?


Cheers for the software advice - I'll investigate. As for my boss, do you mean the bagging or the report posting? :silent: :shifty:

Yes, most people I work with are vaguely aware, but I think he'd rather not know the details. So long as the work gets done properly and I'm not running up any extra costs doing it. I know of others (not in my company but in the same industry) who take advantage much more!
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Re: BOGOF: Knapdale Peninsula and Mull's lost Corbett

Postby kinley » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:30 pm

Great report - looks a different country without the snow.

Need to get back to Mull - got a few odd routes in the offing and it does look very good.

Yes, most people I work with are vaguely aware


Can't believe you got beat that work opportunity on Rum!
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