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Do the Monadhliath Squelch!

Do the Monadhliath Squelch!

Postby icemandan » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:24 pm

Route description: Càrn Dearg, Càrn Sgulain and A'Chailleach

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach (Monadhliath), Càrn Dearg (Monadhliath), Càrn Sgulain

Date walked: 13/08/2011

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1342m

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Like the brussels sprouts which you leave til last when you eat your Christmas dinner, there are some hills which among the walking feast that is the munroes, don't set the pulse racing in quite the same way as the jagged peaks of the west. Some of them are also shaped like over-boiled sprouts and some even have the same unappetising yellow colour.

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Still prejudices exist to be challenged, so I set forth for the adrenalin thrills of the Monadhliath. The first piece of good news was that it had stopped raining. The second was that there was no shooting going on.

Glen Balloch

I parked up in lonely Glen Balloch with its abandoned farms disappearing into forest and bog and headed up the track along the Allt a Chaoruinn.

Allt a Chaoruinn Track

A boggy path led up the Burn from the end of the track. A slightly awkward burn crossing led to a quad bike track which led up to the tiny bothy, its curiously ornate filials on the roof giving a strangely architectural touch to a small tin shed that you can barely stand up in.

A Chailleach bothy

Carrying on, a good path led directly up to the top of a Chailleach

A Chailleach

A decent path off the top degenerated into a morass of what Lancashire people onomatopeically describe as sinky slutch. A mile of floundering through a mixture of tar, whipped cream and chewing gum led to the unremarkable summit of Carn Sgulain.

Carn Sgulain summit

At this point the cloud broke and there followed a long stride across the moor with distant views over the wide open spaces around the Findhorn and the distant Spey valley, with a constant soundtrack of squelch...squelch...squelch. As Carn Ban approached, the ground got rockier and the fog came in again. I parted company with the fence which runs the length of the ridge and headed south towards Carn Dearg.

Here there was a sudden change of scenery. Carn Dearg is a proper mountain. A narrow ridge with a neat peak and cliffs that fall precipitously away to pillow like peat hags, 1000 ft below.

Carn Dearg

A pleasant stroll down the grassy ridge, over the entertaining subsidiary top of Carn Macoul and a long squelch down an intermittent path back down the Glen. All in all a much better round than I was expecting.
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Re: Do the Monadhliath Squelch!

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:27 pm

Good report icemandan,on that first river crossing,you seemed to have missed the wee bridge across,may have saved a tricky crossing.
Have you got a plan when you get closer to compleating.
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gammy leg walker
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