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A Lyon Loop

A Lyon Loop

Postby joenorris » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:06 am

Munros included on this walk: Stuchd an Lochain

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall Buidhe, Sron a'Choire Chnapanich

Date walked: 12/03/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 19.4 km

Ascent: 1601m

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Having just returned from uni for my spring holiday (I don't think I'd be justified in calling it an Easter holiday) I was looking to get out in the hills before all the remaining snow disappeared. Unfortunately this was not to be the case as I discovered driving along Glen Lochay this morning - the crampons and axe were to stay in the car today.

I had knocked off the hills to the north of Loch an Daimh with a wild camp last summer, so was looking for a route that would complete the hills around the loch for me. I settled to doing Stuchd an Lochain with the two adjacent Corbetts from Pubil - perhaps not the most conventional way of doing the Munro but a great route nevertheless.

I set off from Pubil by 8.30am, heading along the track to the north of Loch Lyon for a while. The cloud was sitting below summit level and was to remain there pretty much all day. Regardless, the views from the walk along the loch were still cracking.

The dam

Down the loch from the start of the ascent

I cut up into a river valley that would lead me onto the unrelenting southern slopes of Meall Buidhe. Eas nan Aighean had carved out a particularly impressive gorge, ridden with landslips, that required a bit of careful negotiation to get into and back out of.

Gorge (note the sheep doing a Lion King pose at the top of the mound on the right!)

The slopes of Meall Buidhe were perfectly pleasant underfoot, but didn't relent until the very summit - a real leg burner. The limited views gradually opened up as I gained height.

Back to Loch Lyon

Through to Meall nan Tarmachan?

Towards Meall Daill

I eventually entered the cloud at about 850m, so the summit views were somewhat limited. My hope was for a view right out over the Rannoch, but today wasn't the day for that.

After recovering for a while at the summit, I took a bearing SE to gain the 709m bealach. On the way down I found the first snow of the day - fortunately not enough to have justified lugging an axe and crampons up the hill.


South from the bealach

Down Loch Lyon from the bealach

Meall Daill from the bealach

Down towards Gleann Daimh, through the narrow valley between Meall Buidhe and Sron a'Choire Chnapanich

The traverse through the valley containing the Feith Thalain was much more difficult than anticipated. The eastern slope wasn't steep, but the terrain was really quite touch underfoot. All the while I could see the peat-hag-infested bealach below Sron a'Choire Chnapanich approaching - not particularly motivating!

I reached the bealach soon enough and avoided the worst of the peat hags by keeping to the western edge. The ascent of the Corbett was simple from here - a nice spongy bed of moss providing for an easy walk.

A peat hag at the summit?! Typical.

Loch an Daimh

Across Gleann Daimh

A little snow on the Sron

From here I dropped down to Bealach a'Mhaim, from where the ascent of Stuchd an Lochain proved surprisingly easy. Although the summit was in cloud, there were some good views on the way up.

Back to Sron a'Choire Chnapanich

I was hoping that the slightly lower top of An Grianan would be out of cloud, as I imagined it provided a cracking vista of Glen Lyon. In standard fashion, it was not, so I had yet another cup of tea on a cloudy cairn! From the bealach just north of this top, I did get a glimpse of the spurs of Meall Ghaordaidh, but that was about the extent of what there was to be seen.

Towards Meall Ghaordaidh

From the top, I headed west before cutting a straight line down towards Pubil. This was all straightforward, and there was perhaps the best view of the day down towards Pubil and Loch Lyon from here.

Back towards Pubil and Loch Lyon from the descent of An Grianan

All in all, this was a cracking walk. Careful avoidance of the worst of the peat hags prevented the depression that prolonged exposure to them can trigger, and, despite the limited views, the route was really nice - a great way to get back into walking and up to fitness. An extremely underrated corner of the glen.
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Re: A Lyon Loop

Postby Gavin99 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:01 am

That seems like a nice route , I was looking at Sron a'Choire Chnapanaich but didn't fancy the Loch an Daimh approach,I might give this way a try , hopefully avoiding the hag induced depression . Cheers :)
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Re: A Lyon Loop

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:14 am

When i first saw your route map i was trying to work out how you'd did the loop with Meall Bhuide without going round the Loch then it clicked it was the Corbett you did. I should have known though as i've looked at doing this route myself. Looks a good one, cheers for posting :D
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Re: A Lyon Loop

Postby dooterbang » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:09 pm

Thats a great route if wanting to stay that side of the Loch.

May do this one day.

Thanks for posting.
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Location: Isle of Skye from Feb 2019 (Originally Glasgow)

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