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Late summer on the Glen Galmadale Horseshoe

Late summer on the Glen Galmadale Horseshoe

Postby DaveSan » Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:17 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Creach Bheinn (Morvern), Fuar Bheinn

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn na Cille

Date walked: 28/09/2021

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 16.7 km

Ascent: 1341m

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It always feels like a bit of an adventure to start a day with a ferry ride, even if it is only 5 minutes! The forecast looked quite reasonable, staying dry with some clouds as I drove off the ferry at Corran and turned left for Inversanda and then left down the narrow B8043 beside the shore of Loch Linnhe. I parked in the car park just before the bridge over the Glengalmadale River and set off for a short way down the road until reaching the start of a forest plantation. Both my guidebooks suggested heading up the steep but faint path next to the plantation - from the bottom this looked stupidly steep and overgrown and no sign whatsoever of any path. I decided to give it a try anyway and within minutes of clambering over boulders at the bottom, it was obvious there was no path, so I started scrambling steeply up the rocky stream bed, ducking under and around brambles and beating down the bracken with my walking poles.
After 15 minutes I stopped to consider if there might be a better way up but I didn't fancy going back down the boulder stream and so carried on up, cursing and hauling myself up. Further up I was onto slightly firmer ground but still very steep and just beyond the top edge of the forest I veered leftwards as suggested to avoid the crags. I obviously didn't go far enough left as I soon reached a series of small crags which required a bit of awkward scrambling to overcome - but once over them, the slope thankfully started to relent a little and I could actually walk without having to hang onto vegetation and rocks. I was now on the grassy SE ridge of Beinn na Cille - further ahead I could see that the two Corbetts were capped in thick cloud - I ploughed on hoping the cloud would lift later on.
I stopped briefly at the rounded summit of Beinn na Cille (a Graham) and then carried on northwards down to the col and began heading up the broad south ridge of Fuar Bheinn.
View of Fuar Bheinn from Beinn na Cille - not too promising!

Nine minutes after the previous picture - that's more like it!

The summit of Fuar Bheinn looking towards Creach Bheinn

The cloud was beginning to thin slightly as I approached the summit and I did get some views from the high point, although it was quite atmospheric.
From Fuar Bheinn there was a long traverse round to Creach Bheinn, starting with a detour to the NW to avoid the crags on the eastern side. I headed down to the broad saddle and then up grassy slopes scattered with rock outcrops to the summit, which unfortunately was still clagged in and marked with a rock wall surrounding the rusting remains of an old trig point. It was now 1:45pm so I stopped for a late lunch.
The summit of Creach Bheinn

The next section of the walk was more interesting starting with a descent down the narrow rocky NE ridge, across a col and up steeply the other side to the rounded top of Maol Odhar.
View back down the glen from the col between Creach Bheinn and Maol Odhar

The weather was also improving with pleasant sunshine and thinning clouds. Continuing in a SE direction I came across the cairn built from the remains of an aircraft that crashed on this hill in May 1964. It was a USAF McDonnell F101C Voodoo fighter-bomber on a training flight which exploded in mid-air at 28,000ft.

An easy descent on short grass led to a broad saddle and then up to the summit of Meall nan Each. There were now good views to the left over Loch Linnhe and the hills beyond to the east as the route continued along the undulating ridge of Druim na Maodalaich and gradually down to the start point.
Loch Linnhe

As the end of the ridge drew near, there were good views across to the start of the walk and I could see just how steep the climb up by the forest was - I should have checked the WH route - it suggests carrying on until the telecoms building above Ceana Mòr - but does say that the route is very rough and overgrown with bracken in late summer - so maybe not much better!
zommed in steep ascent.jpg

The final descent back to the road was a bit tedious with steep rough ground to negotiate before a final boggy field to cross onto the road just before the car park. Despite the struggle at the start, this was a very enjoyable walk and highly recommended.
Mountain Walker
Posts: 61
Munros:37   Corbetts:222
Fionas:11   Donalds:8
Joined: Jun 27, 2017
Location: Tallentire, Cumbria

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