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Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre


Postby John Burgess » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:55 pm

Munros included on this walk: Carn Dearg (Corrour), Sgor Gaibhre

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Pharlagain

Date walked: 18/10/2009

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 25 km

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The forecast was perfect, sun symbols the length and breadth of the land. So what to do with such a day? Our choice was, perhaps, not the most obvious one. Why not some epic in Glencoe, or a long tramp over the Cairngorms?
I’d been on Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre before on a day of wind, cloud, rain and had always felt cheated of what should, I guessed, have been a wonderfully extensive view. Today would be the exact opposite. Hours of lazy contemplation of the surrounding hills whilst dawdling up and down the gentle ridges surrounding Coire Eigheach. Call me past it if you will, I prefer to think of such choices as showing the wisdom which comes with age :lol:
So it was up early for Carol and me, round to collect Dan and off on the tortuous drive along Tummel and Rannoch. Mist lay in the valleys and it was an eerie scene that greeted us as we parked by Loch Eigheach.

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We heard rather than saw the geese taking off from the lake and the roaring of the stags. A more mechanical sound alerted us to the departure of the morning train from Rannoch station.

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Across Rannoch Moor the Blackmount was glorious in the soft morning light. The moor itself was invisible under the mist which we had now risen above into a landscape luminous with the palette of Autumn.

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Ahead our chosen hills swelled gently out of the moorland. We crossed the Allt Eigheach, followed the ‘Road to the Isles’ for a little while longer, then branched off up the slopes towards the first little top on the ridge.

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The ascent to this first top on the ridge was a slow process, the temptation to stop and enjoy the ever expanding views proving overwhelming. No rush anyway, the plan was to descend in the last light of the day so we had plenty of time.



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The Glencoe Hills


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Aonach Eagach


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The ridges to Ben Lawers




We finally arrived at Sron Leachd a’ Chaorainn – just the place for morning coffee we declared. After a lie in the sun and some more photos we roused ourselves to tackle that gentlest of ridges leading to Carn Dearg.

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Corrour Station dwarfed by the Aonachs


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Blackwater, Bidean and Buachaille


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Coire Eigheach and Sgor Gaibhre


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Onwards and (ever so slightly) upwards!


The view North to the hills above Loch Ossian had opened up and by now it was lunchtime, of course. More excuses to sit and gaze around.

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A lovely view of the Mamores and Ben Nevis (and, of course, Carol!)


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The view North


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Loch Ossian


Eventually we headed off along the easy ridge to Sgor Gaibhre, just the sort of stroll where the body is happily occupied so the mind is free to roam.

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The ridge to Sgor Gaibhre


This time I took to wondering why photographs from days like this can so often disappoint. That remembered array of majestic peaks somehow seems diminished, smaller than our memory of them, a few pixels on the horizon.
I looked around. The North Buttress of Buachaille Etive Mor was, indeed, a tiny speck yet in my mind it grew with the memory of that Easter day years ago when the sun beat down and the rock was warm to the touch. That was with Steve and John, a few hours grasped en route to Skye. Or there’s the top of the Lancet Edge and Geal Charn, a New Year’s day with Andy and Gav after a memorable Hogmanay in the Pattack bothy, now sadly burned to the ground. Then there are dreams of days still to be. The crossing of Rannoch Moor by Canoe I’ve been promising myself, a night or two at Benalder Cottage. Maybe that’s it, dreams and memories, the mind sees much more than the eye. The camera too often simply captures what the eye sees so can easily disappoint. Rambling thoughts but they eased the way to Sgor Gaibhre.

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Dan approaching the summit


The ridge headed south to the last peak, Meall na Meoig (Beinn Pharlagain). The lowest but by far the most interesting. The OS 1:50000 shows a loch draining both ways, the 1:25000 has it right.

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Earlier in the walk I’d been checking the map and realised: 868m, a rise of almost 200m from the col – that makes it a Corbett. Another tick. Somehow it didn’t matter. A tick won’t sustain you through the long hours at the work bench. But a memory might, and a dream surely will.
Speaking of memories, we lingered. The sun raced us down and won. There is a magic in such moments.

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Loch Laidon and Loch Ba


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The ridge to Carn Dearg


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Last edited by John Burgess on Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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John Burgess
 
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby mountain coward » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:14 pm

Some beautiful photos there, especially the early and late ones - great light! What a good idea to do this walk from that end - I got the train to Corrour which was fine but made it a bit of a rush! After we'd rushed like mad, especially half way back along Loch Ossian, we realised we were actually going to be waiting a long time for the train and so then slowed down! It's really hard to judge but the penalty for missing the train would have been waiting from around 1630 to 2130!
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby John Burgess » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:25 pm

Hi MC,

The first time I climbed them I had to get down for the train. I was supporting a couple of friends doing a charity walk over the 4000's. We'd stayed in the Ossian Hostel overnight and they'd walked out to Dalwhinnie with daypacks so after climbing the hills I had to collect all our kit, get it to the afternoon train to Tulloch where I'd left the car, and then drive round to meet them. All went like clockwork. I was on time, so was the train. Only it was heading South instead of North (not my finest moment for reading timetables!). Nothing for it; I headed South, shared a pint or two with Tom Rigg (then the warden at Loch Ossian) in the Rannoch Hotel, finally caught the next train North and arrived very late in Dalwhinnie. It took me a while to live that one down :lol:

All the best,

John
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John Burgess
 
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby mountain coward » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:32 pm

:lol: How embarrassing!
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby John Burgess » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:45 pm

Especially as Andy ended up as a bit of an author and saw fit to mention it in his 'Munro Phenomenon' :lol:
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby kevsbald » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:46 pm

Ha ha.
Nice account and very nice photos too. The 1st one looks like it's from the 1800s. But, it's a super pic.
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby John Burgess » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:53 pm

kevsbald wrote:The 1st one looks like it's from the 1800s.


Hi Kev,

I see what you mean. That's the way the light was though - sepia with no Photoshop trickery required at all!

All the best,

John
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby Alan S » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:58 pm

Cracking report again john,some great pics there 8)
A lot of good weather reports the now
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby Paul Webster » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:34 pm

It's another stunner :shock: Amazing early morning light in the first few pics.

I've still these to do and can't decide whether to do from the train or from Rannoch. Probably the former as Rannoch is one big drive from Skye :D
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby Stretch » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:40 pm

Some day out Saturday wasn't it John? Those last few photos are keepers! We got a bit of a late start yesterday and didn't get the fog or mist and then once we got to the ridge over Bridge of Orchy the clouds came rolling by. Luckily they went by quickly and the views returned every so often. Love the report though, keep them coming.
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby John Burgess » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:48 pm

Stretch wrote:once we got to the ridge over Bridge of Orchy the clouds came rolling by. .


We saw them. Looked lovely from where we were :)
Glad to hear they didn't spoil your day :D

All the best,

John
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby John Burgess » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:54 pm

Paul Webster wrote:
I've still these to do and can't decide whether to do from the train or from Rannoch. Probably the former as Rannoch is one big drive from Skye :D


Hi Paul,

Whichever route will be nice if it's a good day. Otherwise (hate to admit it) they are a bit of a plod! The view is superb!

All the best,

John
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John Burgess
 
Posts: 208
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby Graeme D » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:08 pm

Thought I'd revive this old relic (the TR that is, not the author! :lol: ) as it clearly passed me by at the time it was written but I came across it while doing some research for the much delayed and much anticipated 100 Munros outing on 11th April 8) . An absolute belter of a report Mr Burgess - epic prose and stunning photies to grace it too. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it several times for full effect!
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby malky_c » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:20 pm

This is brilliant - glad you bumped it as I don't remember seeing it before. I had a shock for a moment as I thought John had started posting again. Shame he doesn't post anymore, as his reports were brilliant 8)
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Re: Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre

Postby Graeme D » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:34 pm

malky_c wrote:I had a shock for a moment as I thought John had started posting again. Shame he doesn't post anymore, as his reports were brilliant


I (and doubtless many other long term denizens of this forum) would heartily agree with you there malky! :thumbup:
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