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Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:29 pm

Route description: Stob an Aonaich Mhòir, from Loch Rannoch

Corbetts included on this walk: Stob an Aonaich Mhòir

Date walked: 12/06/2021

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 33.2 km

Ascent: 970m

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The forecast for today seemed better in the east so I plumped in the end for Stob an Aonaich Mhoir which is just to the east of Loch Ericht. Hopefully I would get a good day with a bit of breeze.

It's the first time for a few years that I've driven along the Loch Rannoch road and it was a shock to see abandoned cars and vans everywhere (including some laybys) with all different shapes and sizes of tents littering the shoreline (it was the weekend and presumably it's not this busy during the week?).

Initially I drove to the point where the walk starts but I decided not to leave the car there as there was only room for one and it was a bit tight so headed back to the large parking area a few hundred yards beyond the power station. As I parked the first thing I noticed was two guys standing in the car park, each with a roll of toilet paper trying to decide where to head for and squat (nice start to the day!!).

Anyway, I was parked up and walking for just before 8am and it was a nice morning, a bit of sunshine, a lot of clouds around and a fairly strong breeze blowing.

1.JPG
Early morning at Loch Rannoch


2.JPG
Looking out to Eilean nam Faoileag Folly


I headed along the road past the power station and a couple of houses to the starting point (WH say the car park is 1.5km from the point where the track leaves the road which sounds about right). There is an easy pedestrian gate at the far right hand side and once through that it's just a case of sticking to the main track and climbing fairly gradually. At the point where there is a track heading off to the power station I met a herd of cows with some calves but they seemed very settled and with the exception of one light coloured beast they showed little interest in me (that would change on the way back).

3.JPG
First open view


About 10 minutes after passing the cows I came to a bolted gate. There is probably a knack to easily opening this gate but I certainly didn't find it and it took a bit of time to get the gate open.

Now it was just miles of gently climbing road which in places is smoother than I was expecting and in other places was rutted and pot holed, another hill where if time is tight I can see the benefit of getting the bike out.

4.JPG


5.JPG
Looking back


6.JPG
Still more climbing - when does this road end?


Where the road crossed the Allt Ghlas I was able to stop and have a drink from the river. Not a great flow but enough for the water to be clear and cold.

There were a couple of times where I thought I had reached the high point of the road but when you arrive there it is very obvious with a large cairn to the right of the road and the first view down to Loch Ericht.

7.JPG
High point of road


Now it was time to leave the road behind and choose a route through the heather. WH recommends heading WNW, I could see a prominent rock on the hillside slightly west of this bearing and decided to head for that. With all the road walking I went for approach shoes today and just hoped the hill wasn't too wet, unusually for me it turned out to be a good choice as underfoot conditions were pretty dry and the peat hags were very easy to cross without any problems. Having reached the rock I mentioned earlier I then headed more or less WNW so my route to the top was always slightly west of that recommended by WH.

8.JPG
The view back down to the road looking towards Loch Rannoch


It took me just under 30 mins from the point where I left the road to the summit. I knew from other reports on this hill that the views looking down to Loch Ericht were good but it is actually a much better view point than photos can show. It was brilliant looking over to Ben Alder and pals, Loch Pattack and all the other surrounding hills most of which I still have to climb.

But sadly the sun was hidden by the clouds, the wind was strong and it was cold. Had I brought gloves I would have worn them (left them in my bag in the car - by mistake) as it really was that cold. I took a few pictures and found what shelter I could to grab a bite to eat.

Just as I was about to leave the top the sun came out on some of the surrounding hills so I quickly grabbed the camera.

9.JPG
Loch Ericht


10.JPG


11.JPG
Summit cairn looking over to the Ben Alder group of hills


I followed more or less the same route down to the high point of the road where I took off the long sleeved top that was needed on the summit. I had planned to continue along the road to the lodge but when I looked at the drop down I didn't fancy climbing back up so just headed down the road.

The night before I did this walk I had a look online for what on my map is Coire Bhachdaidh Lodge but which now seems to be known as Corrievarkie Lodge. I didn't know the first thing about it - was it a ruin or was it lived in? It's now a luxury lodge on the Ben Alder Estate. The minimum stay is for 4 nights and if you want to go there in August and you have a spare £3,820 ( :shock: ) then this could be the place for you.

And so it was back down to the road, downhill nearly all the way but with a strong wind blowing in to my face.

12.JPG
The greenest of greens


13.JPG
Ruin to the west of the road


When I got down to the turn off for the Loch Ericht dam I couldn't resist a quick detour. The sun was now fully out and with losing height it was warm so a good place to stop have a sandwich and take in the views before the final short walk back to the car.

14.JPG
View west from the dam


15.JPG


16.JPG


17.JPG
Another view West


Back on the main track I reached the gate that caused me a problem a few hours earlier. This time I managed to get the gate open but couldn't get the bolt back in position and the gate properly shut. In the end the bolt slammed in to position forcing my thumb to hit a metal pole at speed and for the next ten minutes I kept comparing both thumbs as I was convinced I had broken something but no damage done.

19.JPG
Loch Rannoch now in view


That just leaves the cows. As luck would have it they had moved down to the track with the bulk of the herd to one side and some calves sleeping on the other side. I didn't want to walk between the cows and their calves but couldn't see an easy way past the herd so decided just to go through the middle and stick on the track. That bloomin light coloured cow from earlier was the first to notice me and this time she was far more interested and started to walk towards me. This got the rest of the herd curious and soon they were all either walking or running in my direction but luckily at about twenty yards away they halted and watched me as I passed. I've had a couple of really scary situations in the past with herds of cows and this came nowhere near those experiences but it was a gentle reminder that cows are not always the passive creatures we think of them as.

20.JPG
Lost interest in me now


After the cows it was just 5 minutes back to the Loch Rannoch road and the walk back past the power station to the car.

With my extra bit at the start and end of this walk and my detour to the dam I covered 20.6 miles so a fair hike for one blue balloon but if you have the time it's a really nice wander and I'm glad I've finally got round to climbing this hill.


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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby gaffr » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:40 am

Yes, definitely one for the use of the bike.:-) had time before heading for home to get onto Schiehallion from the western side.
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:51 am

I had this walk lined up for Saturday too but changed to do the Gaick Corbetts at the last minute. I'd passed the start a couple of months ago (was also surprised by how many folk were camping then) and thought parking looked tricky so good to read about the full distance from the power station car park. I'll be walking it no doubt...

:crazy:
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:47 pm

gaffr wrote:Yes, definitely one for the use of the bike.:-) had time before heading for home to get onto Schiehallion from the western side.


I caught a few glimpses of Schiehallion from this walk and it did look appealing - can see why you would add it on. The western approach would be the "old" route to the top???
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:56 pm

iain_atkinson_1986 wrote:I had this walk lined up for Saturday too but changed to do the Gaick Corbetts at the last minute. I'd passed the start a couple of months ago (was also surprised by how many folk were camping then) and thought parking looked tricky so good to read about the full distance from the power station car park. I'll be walking it no doubt...

:crazy:


I was looking at the Gaick Corbetts as well but in the end went for this one so hope to head that way soon - what were underfoot conditions like with you on both hills??

After the walk and driving back along the shoreline there were two ranger vans stopped at the side of the road blocking one of the camping areas. I think from reading online that there was/is a problem at Loch Rannoch as it falls between two national parks and the feeling is that this encourages some people to head there rather than have to comply with stricter national park guidelines/rules. Not sure who pays for the rangers but looks like it could be council/local land owners.
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:14 pm

Gordie12 wrote:
iain_atkinson_1986 wrote:I had this walk lined up for Saturday too but changed to do the Gaick Corbetts at the last minute. I'd passed the start a couple of months ago (was also surprised by how many folk were camping then) and thought parking looked tricky so good to read about the full distance from the power station car park. I'll be walking it no doubt...

:crazy:


I was looking at the Gaick Corbetts as well but in the end went for this one so hope to head that way soon - what were underfoot conditions like with you on both hills??

After the walk and driving back along the shoreline there were two ranger vans stopped at the side of the road blocking one of the camping areas. I think from reading online that there was/is a problem at Loch Rannoch as it falls between two national parks and the feeling is that this encourages some people to head there rather than have to comply with stricter national park guidelines/rules. Not sure who pays for the rangers but looks like it could be council/local land owners.


Conditions were great! Very low water levels so the burn crossings were all a non-issue and all the boggy sections were dried out. The heather higher up is mostly windclipped too so very easy walking up on the tops.

There's a good path up the south of An Dun which I wasn't expecting but it made it a much easier ascent. The descent of An Dun then ascent of A' Chaoirnich were as steep as guidebooks say they are, though!

Also, three cars and a campervan had driven up to to Sronphadruig Lodge. Assuming they must have had permission from the estate or were doing work as there's a No Unauthorised Vehicle sign at the start of the track.
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:39 pm

Thanks Iain - heading off tomorrow and might do these two.
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby gaffr » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:26 am

Yes quite irresistible when travelling back from Aonaich Mhoir to reach the A9. :)
Had a look in my SMC book, a recent present, to find no mention of the approach from the Western side. The times when I had been to Schiehallion the approach had been from the East. Bit of a scratching of a path early on then later heather and vegetation until the height gain took it away. :)
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby past my sell by date » Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:50 pm

Gosh Gordie weren't your feet sore? walking far on tarmac is an absolute No No for me . Cows by and large are just curious - they think (hope) you some sort of treat for them :lol:
Decades ago camping in the Torridon woods and knowing there were cows loose, we strung a climbing rope about a metre above the ground from one of the car's wing mirrors round about 6 trees and back to the other one - and camped in the middle. in the morning a circle of highland cattle were standing silently gazing at our orange tent with their heads over the rope :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:40 pm

I remember we took bikes for this route. It took us 40 minutes to cycle back. I think this Corbett is hugely underrated, views from the top are fantastic.

As for cows... They can be scary :wink:
This one blocked our way up Sgiath Chuil:
2017-06-22 sgiath chuil 010.JPG
THOU SHALL NOT PASS!
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:50 pm

BlackPanther wrote:I remember we took bikes for this route. It took us 40 minutes to cycle back. I think this Corbett is hugely underrated, views from the top are fantastic.

As for cows... They can be scary :wink:
This one blocked our way up Sgiath Chuil:
The attachment $matches[2] is no longer available


If it was a fight, I know which one my money would be on (blocking my way to Beinn Bhuide)

4.jpg
Thou Shalt Not Pass
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:09 pm

past my sell by date wrote:Gosh Gordie weren't your feet sore? walking far on tarmac is an absolute No No for me . Cows by and large are just curious - they think (hope) you some sort of treat for them :lol:
Decades ago camping in the Torridon woods and knowing there were cows loose, we strung a climbing rope about a metre above the ground from one of the car's wing mirrors round about 6 trees and back to the other one - and camped in the middle. in the morning a circle of highland cattle were standing silently gazing at our orange tent with their heads over the rope :lol: :lol: :lol:


Your highland cows would have made a good photo.

Four years ago when doing the Borders Abbey Way I entered a large field with a herd of cows in it. I was walking diagonally across the field and I could tell fairly quickly that the cows were agitated. They took off away from me up and over a brow of a hill and I thought that was that until I could hear a quiet rumble that got progressively louder then they all appeared at speed over the hill coming straight for me. They reared up when they were about 40 yards away but they continued to charge several times till they were rearing up about 10 yards from me and by now things were a bit scary as I was in the middle of the field with no quick exit. One cow in particular was having a bad day and she kept trying to charge me from behind and I had to start walking backwards and keeping an eye on her (I don't know if there is any substance to this or not but I have found through experience that cows don't like eye contact and once they see you staring at them they tend to back down). Industrial language seemed to wind her up more and we reached a point where I could have held out my hand and touched her and at one point they had me surrounded and were right beside me. They then bolted back up the hill and I bolted for the gate jumping it and as I looked round they were really close behind me again. To that day I considered cows to be fairly sedate but from that point onwards they had my total respect. I'm not scared of them but I do pay much more attention when they are close by. That said, as you say, the vast majority are just curious and harmless.

As for the feet, Mrs Gordie12 dropped me off at the Fife side of the Tay Road Bridge last week and I walked over to Dundee then up to Arbroath on the coastal cycle path then took to the roads to walk home. The approach shoes did 29 miles (probably about 25 of which would have been on tarmac) that day without blisters so I was hopeful they would be OK with this walk and luckily they were fine.
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby past my sell by date » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:15 am

I have to say I'm pretty amazed you chose this way to walk in - the approaches from the East are so much nicer and not much longer. If you were biking then fair enough - it's by far the quickest way to get to the hill - which as BP says is much underrated.
As for cows, Highland ones are particularly docile - when you look that fierce who needs to be agressive :lol: :lol:
Your light coloured one was clearly not a Highland. I also think it's helpful to talk to them - listen to Adam on "Countryfile". Is'nt a soft soothing voice is likely to reassure them of your peaceful intent
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:01 pm

I don't recognise any of that! :shock: Oh yeah, that's right. I saw hee-haw! :lol:
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Re: Stob an Aonaich Mhoir from Loch Rannoch

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:52 pm

past my sell by date wrote:I have to say I'm pretty amazed you chose this way to walk in - the approaches from the East are so much nicer and not much longer. If you were biking then fair enough - it's by far the quickest way to get to the hill - which as BP says is much underrated.
As for cows, Highland ones are particularly docile - when you look that fierce who needs to be agressive :lol: :lol:
Your light coloured one was clearly not a Highland. I also think it's helpful to talk to them - listen to Adam on "Countryfile". Is'nt a soft soothing voice is likely to reassure them of your peaceful intent


Just had a look at your route and it does look more interesting even allowing for the "weapons grade peat hags"!!!
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