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Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith


Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:34 am

Route description: Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith

Munros included on this walk: Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Corranaich, Meall nan Tarmachan

Date walked: 16/11/2011

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 16 km

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At long last my weekend had arrived today, on a Wednesday- still better late than never :D

The forecast on MWIS looked superb and there was no way I was going to spend it traipsing round the shops or -shock horror- doing housework :shock: And more importantly Inverness's answer to Gok Wan, Rocket Ron had pointed me in the direction of a Norwegian outdoor kit- Norrona. Sure enough their clothes looked really cool and were similar in style and price to Haglofs. Could I ditch my beloved Swedes and switch my alliance across the border to Norway??? Would it be goodbye ABBA and hello A-HA??? I decided to dip my toe into the fjord and buy a long-sleeve baselayer :D It was just a case of getting it on and see how it performed.

Walkhighlands website being the axis around which my whole world revolves (er sometimes) gave me so many ideas about where to go. There had an overload of fantastic reports over the past two weekends and choosing where to head to. We had had brocken spectres galore- Tomyboy's were especially creepy!!!, we had Mountainlove meeting ceilidh dancing hill-walkers, Frogwell was getting in fankle (?sp) with his sums but fortunately not his photos and then there was Kev and Graeme D going all 'Brokeback Mountain' and having impure thoughts all alone in a bothy, jings I wonder which one was Heath and which one was Jake :D ? Among all this drama was a smashing report from Del246 on Meall Corranaich and Meall a'Choire Leith. He had gone for this area because an equally fab report from Lomondwalkers. Domino effect or what???

Dave(LW) and Derek (Del246) had both gone for Choire Leith first and had complained about the bogfest, so I decided to leave that treat to the end and head up Corranaich first. Both hills have the same starting point which is next to a pretty big cairn with blue sign.
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Cairn and sign

There were no other cars parked up so I didn't have my usual flaffing about looking for a space. At 9am I was off. I followed the path behind the cairn and it was pretty poor. I plodded on for about 10 mins and then when I looked to my right there was a cracking path-where did that come from??? Once this runs out you are on your own and have to pick the best route you can find. I kept heading in an easterly direction until I spotted the all important fenceposts. Although its not too steep you gain height pretty quickly and it was smashing to turn round and enjoy the view and the blue sky.
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Blue sky!!

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Lochan na Lairige

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Fenceposts

And so onwards and upwards with the fenceposts and a not too bad path leading the way. Both of these both run out as you near the top but if the conditions are clear you can see where you're heading anyway. The visibility which had, for the most part, been pretty good now began to give way to misty conditions and also a rather chilly wind. I spotted a cairn ahead and used it to shelter me while I tried to put my lovely quilty jacket-very difficult to do when you're cowering down!!! I also put my hat on, not to keep my head warm but to stop my hair from whipping up and slapping me in the eyes- very very sore :( It was during this clothing wrestling match that I heard voices, out of the mist came to local lads who were out for a wee stroll. They very kindly took my photo and wished me well- thanks guys. (I'm a wee bit worried that I may have called them 'jammy gits' when they said that they lived in Killin :shock: )
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Cold!

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Corranaich summit


About two minutes after I left them I was on the summit. It wasn't braw to look at and it was still rather nippy , so quick photo and I was off. The wind very kindly blew away the mist and I got a clear view of Choire Leith. Unfortunately this is a broad grassy area and I struggled to find a path, so I just carried on my bearing. Again it wasn't until I looked over to my right that I saw a very distinct path-I must list to left!!!! Because I could see exactly where I was going I stopped paying attention to where I was putting my feet and plodded straight across what looked like an innocent wee burn.

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Beware of bog!

And how was my careless behaviour rewarded? By sinking down in a really wet bog!!! It was awful. My GPS/iphone, gloves and poles all ended up with me!!! Oh lordy, I knew I was in trouble because I started laughing hysterically. Oh no no no!!! The first thing I saved was my phone- no way I could sacrifice that! Luckily my right leg managed to locate some firmer ground and I was able to get myself out. I very tentatively reached over to get the rest of my belongings before reaching the safety of the path.
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Guess which leg got it!!?

Once there I took off my left boot and sock and cleaned as much muck as I could off my foot. A quick change of sock and I was off, drier and a lot more comfortable. The rest of the walk over to Choire Leith went without incident! A good path leads you up to the summit cairn and now it was time for lunch. A quick glance at my watch told me it was only 11.30, fantastic I could get myself comfy and relax and enjoy my food. The main course was to be a Tesco Super Mega Value Macaroni pie as recommended by Frogwell, I however had opted not to have a side order of grass but after a look at my hands it looked like my condiment of the day would a dollop of spicy bog!

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Lunch!

As I savoured this repast, the mist had the good grace to disappear and the sun came out. It was absolutely glorious and warm 8) This munro is described as the least distinguished hill of the Lawers range but to me it was heaven. Just as I was stretching out, my phone bleeped and I received a lovely message from a fellow WH member. :D
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A Leithy Summit

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Hello sunshine

After a break of about 20 mins I thought I better get a shift on, there was a bog waiting for me :( There's not much of a path but you can make out enough of a trail to get yourself back to the start. I think I must have been lucky or maybe the bogmonsters had decided that they had had more than their pound of flesh from me because I didn't have too many problems getting back to car. Talking of which I found out where that good initial path comes from. When you park up, don't go up to the cairn instead stay on the road and walk back about 20 metres and you will see the start of this path.
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Start here!
Much better :D

So there I was back in the car and it wasn't even 1pm. I toyed with the idea of finding another hill but then I also thought if I head home I could tackle that ironing. mmmm tough one :lol: My Macy Gray album was telling me to 'get up, get up and do something!' Given that she's a big bit of lassie, I decided not to ignore her and got my map out. I had fancied Meall nan Tarmachan but always thought that I would like to make a day of it and do the whole ridge but it was too good an oppotunity to miss, after all I would be passing within a few feet of the start. I drove along for about 5 minutes and got parked up no bother despite there being 6 other cars. The weather was still warm and the path ahead looked clear and substantial. I wasn't too sure how long it would take me to reach the summit but I knew that no matter what happened I needed to be back in the car by 4pm, there was no way I wanted to be on the hill in the dark. I had my headtorch in my bag but that didn't mean I wanted to use it. The condition and design of the path meant that I made good progress and reached height pretty quickly. On my way up I met two very nice ladies, one of which was carrying a very attractive large stone-(oops she'll be in someone's bad books!!!) and it was while we talked that it dawned on me that they looked so clean and pristine and I became very aware that I looked positively feral!!!! A quick wipe with a spit dampened hankie and a coat of lip balm and I was covergirl perfect!! :lol: :lol:
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Hiding in the clouds


Hopefully I wouldn't bump into anyone else- wrong!! I looked up to see a guy and his dog coming down towards me. I looked up and thought I better whip out a hankie make sure my nose is clean. The dog looked up and thought she's going into her pouch to get me sweeties. I'm not lying when I say that dog was over at me in the blink of an eye. It could tell I had a bag of Fizzy Fish in my pocket but there was no way it was getting any!!! I had good long chat with its owner. He was staying at the Lawers hotel and said that they stocked some fantastic local ales. So tempting!!! A quick photocall and then I was back to this hillwalking malarkey.
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Wild woman!

The path continues upwards towards the ridge and then at 923m you dip down and there's a stile to go over- I wasn't expecting that so high up on the hill!
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Stile

The path really does steepen and you have to take care to use the well-paved route. The visibility was terrible it was just a case of concentrating on getting up this one and only tricky bit safely.

Once it levels out the path reaches a T-junction and to reach the summit you turn left and follow the path for a very short distance before you see the cairn.
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Summit

It was only about 3pm so I did have a wee bit of time to stop if I wanted to but it was really cold, so it was back on with the fleece, hat , jacket and gloves- oops no gloves I left them in the car!!! My hands were so cold I had to put them in my pockets- dangerous I know but a necessary evil. On the way down I met the two guys who had parked up just after me. One of them very kindly offered me his gloves but I reassured him that once I was out of the mist I would be fine. And I was. The path is so good that I was able to run most of the way down and I was back at the car at 15.45-excellent :D Time to eat my Jarlsberg cheese (thought the Norwegian theme could be continued into the food) and finish off my coffee- delicious :D
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Losing light but gaining beauty

It had been a brilliant day out. The weather wasn't as good as had been forecast, well not for this area anyway. Rocket Ron reported later that the conditions on Skye were perfect but hey I wasn't complaining I had just spent most of the day in a long sleeve tee-shirt :D Oh and how did it perform? very very well. I'll definitely be buying more :D :D
Last edited by pollyh33 on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby foggieclimber » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:49 am

Well done on nipping across to also ascend Meall nan Tarmachan after doing Meall a'Choire Leith and Meall Corranaich. Great getting the TR posted up so quickly too.
My kind of lunch - a pie and quality chocolate :D.
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby PeteR » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:52 am

Another great report Polly. Pity about the weather at times though :( Suffered the same fate myself on Monday - was cursing MWIS and their supposed 90% chance of cloud free tops as I enjoyed sweet-fanny-adams visibility :lol:

The Tarmachan is one of my favourite hills, combined with the ridge walk that follows the initial walk to the summit. It has to be at least an annual pilgrimage for me (snow covered preferably :D ). When I did the other two I distinctly remember the bog in places :shock: Unfortunately it was a claggy day, so didn't get much in the way of views. Glad to see you enjoyed some sunshine at one of the summits :D
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:00 am

foggieclimber wrote:Well done on nipping across to also ascend Meall nan Tarmachan after doing Meall a'Choire Leith and Meall Corranaich. Great getting the TR posted up so quickly too.
My kind of lunch - a pie and quality chocolate :D.



Cheers FC!,

There's certain things you can stint on but chocolate's not one of them!!! :D
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:03 am

PeteR wrote:Another great report Polly. Pity about the weather at times though :( Suffered the same fate myself on Monday - was cursing MWIS and their supposed 90% chance of cloud free tops as I enjoyed sweet-fanny-adams visibility :lol:

The Tarmachan is one of my favourite hills, combined with the ridge walk that follows the initial walk to the summit. It has to be at least an annual pilgrimage for me (snow covered preferably :D ). When I did the other two I distinctly remember the bog in places :shock: Unfortunately it was a claggy day, so didn't get much in the way of views. Glad to see you enjoyed some sunshine at one of the summits :D



Thanks PeteR,

Yeah those MWIS folks are evil little devils sometimes!!!

I will definitely head back up to do the ridge- it would be fantastic if you get a clear winter's day :D
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby kevsbald » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:43 am

Almost Monty-esque in the fitness stakes. Nice one P.
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby Graeme D » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:06 am

Jeg likte å lese det! 8)
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby Frogwell » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:31 am

1. Welcome to the dark side. Once tasted you will forever have a hankering for the rubberised, yet crumbly stodge that is the tesco value macaroni pie while on the hill. I hope you put the remaining three in the freezer for future adventures?

2. Photo six is a set of perfectly serviceable bog testers. Photo seven is of a bog. So what up with photo eight?! Did you not read the training manual?

Excellent report though. I'm glad to report I enjoyed better weather on the Glenelg peninsula, but no manical laughing was done, so you're probably ahead.
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:39 am

Tarmachan as well, go you!!! 8)
I hope the phone was ok :lol: I dunked the camera in The Falls of Dochart when I stopped off there after these 2, maybe they are cursed :shock: :lol: Thankfully no lasting damage or I'd have been evicted with a size 5 footprint on my bahooki :lol:
I never thought to mention to you that the path was just slightly back from the carpark :oops: :lol:
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:53 am

kevsbald wrote:Almost Monty-esque in the fitness stakes. Nice one P.


Cheers Kev.

Monty-esque (or as the recently exiled T94 called him... Minty!!) No way!!! Three easy hills- nothing strenuous at all!

Now go and look out your checked shirt for your next over-nighter with Mr D :D
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:57 am

Graeme Dewar wrote:Jeg likte å lese det! 8)



Vaer sa god :D :D
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby iainwatson » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:00 am

well in polly for adding on Tarmachan after the bogfest,

your going through the hills at some rate now!

did these two in horizontal rain last year so its nice to see what the views are like :D
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby dogplodder » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:02 am

I could help you with that Tesco Finest chocolate right now! :D

Tarmachan ridge is one of my favourites. The book said "entertaining ridge" so was expecting dancing girls but it did prove entertaining with me doing a dramatic slip on wet rock - going feet up and bum down - much to the entertainment of son and male friends! :lol:
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:08 am

Frogwell wrote:1. Welcome to the dark side. Once tasted you will forever have a hankering for the rubberised, yet crumbly stodge that is the tesco value macaroni pie while on the hill. I hope you put the remaining three in the freezer for future adventures?

2. Photo six is a set of perfectly serviceable bog testers. Photo seven is of a bog. So what up with photo eight?! Did you not read the training manual?

Excellent report though. I'm glad to report I enjoyed better weather on the Glenelg peninsula, but no manical laughing was done, so you're probably ahead.


Thanks FW.
Ooops they're still in the fridge, might have one for my dinner tonight after the gym- then again, maybe not!!

Crikey what did you want to see in photo eight- my bog encrusted toes? It was a lovely contrast to my shocking pink nail polish :shock:

I knew you would have better conditions up there, you are very good at seeking out the sun- are you in league with the weather gods? If so who was the sacrificial lamb? :(
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Re: Sunshine on Leith

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:13 am

lomondwalkers wrote:Tarmachan as well, go you!!! 8)
I hope the phone was ok :lol: I dunked the camera in The Falls of Dochart when I stopped off there after these 2, maybe they are cursed :shock: :lol: Thankfully no lasting damage or I'd have been evicted with a size 5 footprint on my bahooki :lol:
I never thought to mention to you that the path was just slightly back from the carpark :oops: :lol:


Cheers Dave,

Glad to say that the phone is fine. I once left my ipod in the pocket of my running shorts, put them in the washing machine and only discovered it when I hanging my shorts on the line...and guess what the ipod still works perfectly fine. Much more robust than they used to be thankfully :D

Don't worry about not mentioning the path I would probably have lost it eventually, I'm good at that :lol:
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