After a superb morning climbing above a cloud inversion on Ben Tee, I was headed to Spean Bridge, where I dropped in for a quick coffee and cake before driving to the car park just after the first bridge on the road to Corriechoille. Having read several accounts of how bad the track is from the latter to the car park beyond, I decided to cycle in and see how far I could get.
Once through an open gate, I was glad I'd not driven as the surface was awful with pot-holes, large stones and gravel. It was so bumpy I could barely stay on the bike and about 100 yards past the parking area, I gave up and padlocked the bike. Conditions couldn't have been better with the sun blazing out of a cloudless blue sky as I set off on foot along the stony track through an area of forestry and into the open glen, the Lairig Leacach. The Munros of the Grey Corries loomed impressively ahead on the right, dwarfing Cruach Innse on the left. I had decided to climb the far hill first, so carried on along the path to its highest point and when it was opposite the lowest point between the two hills, made my way on rough grass up to the southern end of the wide bealach.
The steeply angled north face of Sgurr Innse loomed directly ahead and looked quite intimidating. After a short but steep scramble over boulders and scree to the right of the face, I made my way diagonally leftwards on fragments of path interspersed with some easy scrambling. On reaching the north shoulder of the hill, the angle relented and an easy walk took me onto the rocky summit plateau with the cairn perched on a small crag. The views all round were superb - a fantastic viewpoint after a short but enjoyable clamber up from the bealach.
I rested awhile in the pleasant sunshine, finding it hard to believe I'd climbed all the higher peaks nearby in the distant past - most of them in the winter! It was now time to get back down and with the multitude of paths developed over the years, I lost my route up, but somehow managed to rejoin it near the bottom. I traversed over the wide bealach to the foot of Cruach Innse and climbed up to its large flat stony summit via a series of grassy rakes which weaved around a multitude of crags.
It was now 5pm, but the sun was still blazing down with only a few developing clouds. I headed off the northern end on grassy slopes, going past a number of crags before heading SW back to the main track. The low afternoon sun coloured the lower slopes of grass in tints of gold and bronze and were quite mesmerising to walk over.
If I was expecting a fast return back down to the bike, then I was in for a surprise, as the track was strewn with large rocks and boulders and ball-bearing gravel, making progress fairly tedious in places. With much relief and with sore feet, I reached the bike and held on tightly to negotiate the track down to Corriechoille. In contrast, the tarmac road was pure bliss and was an enjoyable way to end the day - and what a day - Ben Tee with a cloud inversion in the morning and two interesting hills in the afternoon in blazing sunshine.
Dè an latha sgoinneil !
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.