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Gleouriach & Spidean Mialach - an excellent double

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 1:18 pm
by Myth
Spring 2006 (5 guys and a dog), Summer 2007 (3 families and a dog) description from the latter walk...

I did this walk the other way round (clockwise) both times - especially recommended for those suffering from downhill knee...

We parked on Loch Quoich at NH 029030 arriving early after camping overnight - the others only just got parked... there is not much room here. Right at the car park is an estate notice basically asking you to stay out of the centre area (and the path described to ascend on this site) to avoid disturbing the deer. We did, but observed all other parties on the hill taking the shortcut back across the middle ground and sure enough disturbing the deer and grouse.

Anyway once the party was assembled we hit the trail - passing by some rhoddies, you are straight into a superb stalkers path that follows the ridge, with at times incredibly tight zig-zags up onto the low shoulder of the Gleouriach ridge where the path branches to a stalkers butt overlooking the coire below. Observe the rude walkers scaring up the deer below before backtracking and ascending the ridge...

This is a hard unrelenting but rewarding climb - there is only brief respite on the shoulder before the ridge - all the way to the summit and lunch, where we huddled over the north side in some shelter and tried to identify peaks visible all around - from both the Glen Shiel ridges, with some Affric and Strathfarrer hills identifiable, and the mass of Kintail / Knoydart hills in close behind (but I don't know them...).

The exit to the east is very steep in places down to the fiar bhealach, and then starts the long slog up Spidean Mialach, which features some small boulder fields, and several false summits to deter the kids who were flagging by this stage, with a longish walk. Possibly worth taking a compass bearing and heading direct rather than following the ridge all the way round... There's a shelter at the top, but with lunch a distant memory, too big a party to fit, and rain blowing in from the southeast, we moved off smartly...

The path goes south then south west down towards the lochan, and then crosses the coire that we've been asked to avoid... so on approaching the lochan we detoured to gaze into it's black waters, and dropped past its outflow down the ridge bearing south west by west, then dropped to catch a delightful path beside the waterfall which followed the stream down to the roadside. Here we dumped the families and backpacks, and the drivers went to collect the cars.

This walk was well worth repeating, and having done it in bright sunshine and overcast/rain, I can confirm that it is great in spite of rather than because of the weather. The westernmost stalkers path is an amazing feat of simple engineering, and worth the trip alone! Gleouriach is the signature peak here for me, with Spidean Mialach a slight let down in contrast, but overall the walk is an ideal length, and the views over Kintail and the ridges to the northwest fantastic.

Worth the early start.