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Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon

Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon


Postby zatapathique » Sun Feb 12, 2023 3:08 pm

Route description: Càrn Gorm, Meall Garbh, Càrn Mairg & Creag Mhòr

Munros included on this walk: Càrn Gorm, Càrn Mairg, Creag Mhòr (Meall na Aighean), Meall Garbh (Càrn Mairg)

Date walked: 28/05/2022

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 22.2 km

Ascent: 1675m

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Big plans for today! Four Munros are on the menu: Carn Gorm, Meall Garbh, Carn Mairg, and Meall nan Aighean. As Reinhold's knees felt better in the morning, he came along to more than double his Munro count in one single outing. The weather forecast promised us yet again more strong winds, but otherwise beautiful weather.

When we arrived at Invervar in Glen Lyon, all the available parking spaces were already occupied. It was Saturday, and many hillwalkers were out and about. We finally found some space to park where we felt our car would not be in the way while we were on our way.

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Bluebells near the parking area

Back at Glen Lyon road, there was a short moment of confusion when we first thought we had to go to the left of the cottage, but soon realised that this led nowhere. On the other side of the cottage, there was an information panel with the recommended route to follow. The path more or less followed the Invervar Burn, with some nice tiny waterfalls here and there.

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A little "comb" waterfall

Behind the forest plantation, the path turned left to climb steadily and uneventfully uphill to our first Munro of the day, Carn Gorm, after a mere two hours of walking. Visibility was good, we saw Ben More and Stob Binnein, the entrance to Glencoe, even Ben Nevis with its head in the clouds.

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On Càrn Gorm

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What we'll do next

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Ben Nevis (left background, in the clouds)

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The entrance to Glencoe

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Ben More and Stob Binnein

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Panorama with Càrn Mairg and Schiehallion. Click to see large.

On our way to Meall Garbh, I included the easy Munro top of An Sgorr. Reinhold bypassed it to the left, which earned him praise from a lady who thought it unreasonable to make detours involving more going uphill than strictly necessary. One hour after Carn Gorm, we stood already on the summit of Meall Garbh with its strange summit cairn made of old fence posts. The views were not much different from those on Carn Gorm, so on we went towards Carn Mairg.

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Meall Garbh

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On to Càrn Mairg

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Zatapathique en route (photo by Reinhold)

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Why do I always have my hand in the pockets? (photo by Reinhold)

This was the longest section between two summits on this day, and took us about two hours walking on the plateau, with strong winds and chilly temperatures, but wonderful views all around. On Carn Mairg, we saw a mountain hare, which was gone too fast to take a picture of, and a pair of Ptarmigan. We didn't see them at first because they were so well camouflaged, but they did not seem to mind us and walked slowly away, with many pauses and ample opportunity to take photos of them.

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On Càrn Mairg

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Mr. and Mrs. Ptarmigan, so well camouflaged

To go on, we were not really sure where to go at first, and then probably chose a more difficult way down over some boulders, almost the only ones on the otherwise mostly grassy plateau. ;-)

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Càrn Mairg

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We should have gone down the grassy bit, not the rocky part...

Behind the summit, Reinhold went straight for Meall na Aighean, while I made a detour via Meall Liath, another Munro top. Not that I want to climb all the tops, but if they are this close by, one just has to take advantage of it.
Meall na Aighean marked my 82nd Munro, only 200 left to go now. There was a group of four ladies on the summit, and we had a nice chat and took some photos for them before they went on. We stayed for a little while longer before finally following them on their way down the west ridge of Meall na Aighean. Reinhold's knees started hurting again on the way down, so we went down slowly, enjoying the views along Glen Lyon.

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Panorama from Meall na Aighean. Click to see (very) large.

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Zatapathique on Meall na Aighean (photo by Reinhold)

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On the way down

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Looking back up

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Deep in the glen

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Interesting landscape features

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Looking into Glen Lyon

Before going back to our apartment in Killin, we made a short detour to see the Fortingall Yew Tree, with an estimated 5000 years of age one of the oldest living organisms on Earth.

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The old yew tree in Fortingall

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User avatar
zatapathique
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 111
Munros:96   Corbetts:4
Hewitts:19
Wainwrights:26   
Joined: Sep 3, 2014
Location: France

Re: Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon

Postby Sgurr » Sun Feb 12, 2023 6:10 pm

Bluebells!!! Global warming has certainly arrived. Las saw such a good carpet on Mull in May.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 5691
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:219   Donalds:89+52
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:172
Wainwrights:214   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon

Postby Graeme D » Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:10 pm

Shows what a nice round this can be in good conditions. It was one from my early days, before I was really consistent with taking photos and writing up reports. I will rectify this situation one day but probably not before compleation, so another year or two yet! :roll:
User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 4013
Munros:251   Corbetts:125
Fionas:76   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:62   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:28   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon

Postby Sgurr » Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:36 pm

My reply assumed this was done recently. Seasonal blue rolls after all.
User avatar
Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 5691
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Fionas:219   Donalds:89+52
Sub 2000:569   Hewitts:172
Wainwrights:214   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Feb 13, 2023 5:53 pm

Great photos - nice to see this route in better weather than I had.
Tim
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HalfManHalfTitanium
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3058
Munros:119   Corbetts:28
Fionas:6   Donalds:6
Hewitts:152
Wainwrights:103   
Joined: Mar 11, 2015

Re: Bluebells and Ptarmigan in Glen Lyon

Postby zatapathique » Mon Feb 13, 2023 8:14 pm

Sgurr wrote:My reply assumed this was done recently. Seasonal blue rolls after all.


I thought as much. The beginning of my report with the first sentence including "today" is quite misleading, I admit.

I am way behind with my reports... Four more to come, and I hope I will finish them before my next trip to Scotland.
User avatar
zatapathique
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 111
Munros:96   Corbetts:4
Hewitts:19
Wainwrights:26   
Joined: Sep 3, 2014
Location: France

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