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Glen Dochart to Lochearnhead (2 Corbetts en route)

Glen Dochart to Lochearnhead (2 Corbetts en route)

Postby Graeme D » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:35 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Creag Mac Ranaich, Meall an t-Seallaidh

Date walked: 26/09/2009

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 20 km

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Present - myself and Robin (alias skyepilot2)
Absent - Lucy (after her head to head with a car on Wednesday)

The forecast for Saturday was good, especially towards the eastern half of the country. I had been keen recently to take in a few more Corbetts and the two just west of Lochearnhead had caught my attention. Skyepilot2 was also keen to get back into the saddle after a few months off the hills but wasn't keen on an epic - yet again our joint attempts to get at Cruachan would have to be further delayed. So we decided to take two cars, leaving one at Lochearnhead before driving round to park the other one at the start point at Ledcharrie in Glen Dochart. North-west to south-east seemed best, as we reckoned we would get the best views that way.

So, Skyepilot2 arrived at the door shortly after 8am. Lucy hobbled out to say hello but she clearly knew what we were up to and did not look happy at the prospect of being left behind :( .

Not a happy camper!

By the time we got to Ledcharrie in my car and got ourselves organised, it was 9.45am. We set off through the farmyard holding our noses against the overpowering agricultural stench and choosing our steps very carefully. I don't know what had been through here before us but it had left its mark!

Beyond the farmyard, a very faint path (public footpath to Balquhidder) heads across a fairly boggy field towards the old dismantled railway line. At the railway line the path continues on under the bridge but we climb up the embankment onto the old railway bed and head east along the line for about 2.5km. There are decent views to our left over to the Glen Dochart hills on the other side of the A85.

Glen Dochart hills

On the old railway line

After a couple of kilometres we cross a stream on a very long, very high bridge, just beyond which a track leads off to the right and heads up into Gleann Dubh.

Heading into Gleann Dubh

As the track climbs into the glen, there are soon fantastic views back over Glen Dochart towards the prominent summit of Meall Ghaordaidh.

Over to Meall Ghaordaidh

Ahead to Meall an t-Seallaidh

The sun is now beating down quite strongly and a layer or two has to be lost by the time we reach the high point at the bealach below the crags of Creag Mac Ranaich.

From here it is a fairly short but steep and hard ascent up onto the flat plateau before a straightforward walk of a few hundred metres over to the distinctive craggy summit protrusion at 809 metres (811 according to skyepilot2's GPS reading).

Summit of Creag Mac Ranaich ahead

The wind is fairly whipping around the small cairn so despite it being lunchtime, we decide to head back down to the bealach for lunch. The views south east down Glen Kendrum towards Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin are superb, but over towards Loch Tay and the Lawers range beyound is a bit clouded in.

View over to Meall an t-Seallaidh

Killin and Loch Tay

Descent back to the bealach

The descent back to the bealach is tricky in places but quickly accomplished before lunch in the shelter of a huge boulder and we then set about Meall an t-Seallaidh but not before I have replaced the shorts with longs. The ascent up to the col between Meall an Fhiodhain and Carn Chreag is directly into the dipping sun and at time we are walking blind. I just about manage to make out the solitary female walker coming down towards us - the only other person we see all day until we are on the cycle track almost at Lochearnhead.

Creag Mac Ranaich from Meall an t-Seallaidh ridge

Once the ridge is reached it is a flatish walk of a kilometre or so along to the summit of Meall an t-Seallaidh. This is the highlight of the day with fantastic close up views over to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a Chroin (probably the best view I have seen of these two, except obviously for the view from my classroom window :lol: ) with the two Corbett peaks of Meall na Fearna and Beinn Each on either side of the two Munros. Ben Ledi and Benvane are also prominent to the south in Strathyre. But the pick has to be the view to the east along the length of Loch Earn. As skyepilot puts it, if you only ever climbed Munros, you would never get this view. I can't possibly imagine how many times I have driven along the side of Loch Earn but I had never seen it like this.

Me at summit of Meall an t-Seallaidh (two Munros sandwiched by two Corbetts in background)

skyepilot2 and Loch Earn

Ben Ledi and Benvane

From the summit we head down the slopes on a bearing slightly north of due east to pick up the track below the southern slopes of Creag Mac Ranaich. The ground is very boggy in places and lower down the going becomes very awkward with a few potential ankle breaking bits thrown in for good measure. Once on the track, it's a straight march back down towards Lochearnhead.

Back up Glen Kendrum to Creag Mac Ranaich

Other than a slight scare when skyepilot2 thinks he has left his phone back up the track, it is an uneventful walk back down onto the old railway track before joing the cycle track which winds down towards Lochearnhead before emerging at the church onto the A84 for a short walk back to the junction and along to the carpark. We head straight back up to collect my car before returning to Lochearnhead for a quick pitstop in the Clachan Cottage Inn before returning to Perth.

Pi(n)t stop
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Graeme D
Posts: 4012
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Re: Glen Dochart to Lochearnhead (2 Corbetts en route)

Postby fatdogwalks » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:11 pm

Have to admit to avoiding this route as the farm start held little appeal. I think it's a fairly notorious muck heap with some speculation that it was deliberately kept so.

I enjoyed both trips to these 2 hills one from Balquidder and the other from Lochearnhead though I have to admit having a soft spot for the walk up Kirkton Glen (from Balquidder) to Rob Roy's Putting Stone. Agree on the view, the one down Loch Earn is a cracker. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about these 2 again....thanks for that :D !
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Posts: 52
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Re: Glen Dochart to Lochearnhead (2 Corbetts en route)

Postby walk aboot » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:17 pm

Is that a stookie your dog is wearing, Graeme? Aw, hope her leg is on the mend.
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walk aboot
Posts: 2465
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Joined: Feb 12, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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