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Sgiath Chuill - A walk of two halves
by icemandan » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:09 pm
Munros included on this walk: Sgiath Chuil
Date walked: 10/09/2011
Time taken: 4.15 hours
Distance: 16.8 km
Ascent: 1115mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Is anyone familiar with neglected twin munro syndrome. You do one of a pair but due to short day length/weather/lack of moral fibre, you go up the charismatic attractive one and leave the other one for later. So by the time completion begins to look like a realistic proposition, you have lots of odd singletons dotted around the place.
And so to Sgiath Chuill. Having run out of daylight on a short November day on Meall Ghlas many years ago, we left it for another day. Today's plan was Ben More and Stob Binnein (another neglected twin) but rain coming down like a jet wash put paid to that. After a leisurely coffee in the Ben More hotel, the rain let up and Sgiath Chuill seemed like a good Plan B.
The hydro road up from Auchlyne looked like a good way of cutting out a lot of bog so we parked up in the woods by the the bridge. The sun briefly emerged and gave us some encouragement.
Not entirely sure what this sign was trying to say...
The hydro road gave a good, quick route up to 450m. The weather closed in again and Sgiath Chuill loomed gloomily ahead in the clouds.
The Auchline Burn, augmented by the hydro board's water capture scheme, had some impressive cataracts;
At the crossing, the burn was overtopping the bridge by a foot of fast flowing water descending into a churning white torrent. A slip here would mean certain drowning so we detoured around it through the bog.
The rain was now coming down hard and the mist had descended. Giving thanks for GPS, we struck up the lumpy hillside towards Sgiath Chrom. Peat hags, slopes going off in all directions, bogs and streams, we blundered up in the mist until we reached the ridge where a faint path appeared. Over a series of rounded knobbles, seemingly applied with a giant ice cream scoop, we reached the top of Sgiath Chrom, then stuck north on a narrow path which led us through some low rock walls to the rain lashed summit.
After a perfunctory energy bar we headed down. The moment we left the summit, the mist began to lift and looking back from Sgiath Chrom we could see what we had climbed up.
The Sgiath Chrom was a completely different place with grand views down the crags over Glen Dochart.
The sun came out and we made short work of a descent which on the way up had been a maddening topographic maze on the way up. An easy sunlit stroll down, the wet gear dried out and we finished with an alfresco pint at the Luib hotel.
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