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Glen Lyon 6

Glen Lyon 6

Postby jayforres » Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:53 pm

Munros included on this walk: Càrn Gorm, Càrn Mairg, Creag Mhòr (Meall na Aighean), Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon), Meall Garbh (Càrn Mairg), Stùcd an Lochain

Date walked: 08/07/2021

Time taken: 7.3 hours

Distance: 35.8 km

Ascent: 2500m

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Yes I know it's supposed to be the Glen Lyon 4, but I got greedy...

Packed the car the night before (including camping gear for plan B, which involved an overnight at the dam), set the alarm for 6 and was on the road by 7.15 (which counts as very very early for me). Roads were pretty quiet and there were still a few spaces in the Invervar car park at 9.30, with 2 more cars arriving just after me: the occupants of which were off and gone while I was still faffing around changing, sorting kit and wondering what I'd done with the midge spray :roll:

Finally got going just after 10, having settled on shorts and T-shirt, striding up through the woods, earwormed by John Grant's "Queen of Denmark". Dutifully followed the waymarkers through all the heavy-duty gates, across the rickety bridge (although rickety really doesn't do justice to exactly how knackered this bridge is) and out onto the open hillside. Had already passed 2 couples and could see three more walkers ahead. Was feeling quite strong here and got my stomp on, enjoying the good path and reaching the sad trig point of Càrn Gorm in ~65 minutes.


T-shirt predictably drenched and breeze was chilly so swapped it out, scoffed a bar and snapped a few pics - all rather grey-green and hazy today. Had a moment's worry while checking out the route ahead - blimey Càrn Mairg is a long way off - before realising I was looking at Schiehallion, d'oh..

Carefully down the first bit (funny how legs always take time to adapt to downhill) then managed a bit of a jog on the rather lovely An Sgorr bypass path, then back to a walk up the rocky slope of Meall Garbh and its scrap heap cairn, finally catching the young guy who'd left the car park maybe 15 mins ahead of me and clearly wasn't hanging about either.

Quick pics and then on my way - it's a fair way to Càrn Mairg but very little up and down and plenty of scope for dog trotting. Went to the SW top first...but found the summit eventually :roll: Great side-on view of Schiehallion from here.

Time check showed 12.25 so I was ahead of schedule and began thinking that all 6 were doable. Slight hitch when i failed to look at map / directions and set off on a direct route down the boulderfield, grrr, but once clear of the rocks made good time out to Meall na Aighean and then back down the ridge, jogging the gentle bits and mincing the rest, arriving back at the car at 13.35.

Had decided to go for it by this stage so limited the faffing to a drink and a change of top, jumped in the car and set off up the glen. Paused for a quick refuel stop at the very busy Bridge of Balgie tearooms (magnum, calippo and takeaway coffee - the lunch of champions), and (despite missing the turn-off at the first time of asking) eventually found myself at the Giorra dam - maybe 10 cars here, a couple of which had left before i started walking.

From the maps and WH descriptions it looked as if Stuchd an Lochain was the tougher of the two, so I thought I had better tackle that first. Refilled my soft flasks and set out - still only 14.50 but somehow there was a bit of an evening vibe to proceedings, reinforced by the walkers heading down off the hill as I was starting up. Tbh the path up the steep section is a bit crap but it's mercifully short and once you get up on the ridge you can crack on. Snacks, pics and stretching at the summit and then an attempt at a jog on the way back - feeling ok on the flat but knees really didn't appreciate the loose, steep section and by the time I got back to the car I was beginning to wonder if I should just get the tent out.

Two coffees (hurrah for Jetboil), some food and another change of shirt later I was ready to go again. By now there was only one other car around - presumably the two women I'd seen near the summit of Stuchd an Lochain. After the first few hundred metres the route is a peaty path with a steady gradient - could be a 'mare when wet but a steady plod was what i needed today. The cloudbase had been gradually dropping all afternoon and by the time I got to 850m I was in the mist, but the route north along the flat ridge was straightforward enough and I was at the summit in little over an hour - one big cairn and some modern stone-balancing on display.


Back along the ridge in mist, but managed to turn left at more or less the right place and bimbled back down across the hags and bogs, finally back at the car at 19.20, feeling pleased, tired, and wondering about the 3 hours drive home. Jetboil to the rescue again: multiple coffees and as much of a rehydrated meal as I could manage before hitting the road.

35.8km, 2500m, 7.30 on the hill (6.58 moving time) plus 1hr 50 in or at the car between walks. Might take a day off tomorrow :D
Posts: 5
Munros:238   Corbetts:12
Fionas:2   Donalds:2
Wainwrights:10   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2015

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