walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Late start for an Ardgour traverse


Postby malky_c » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:12 am

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Uamha, Sgurr Dhomhnuill

Grahams included on this walk: Sgurr a'Chaorainn

Date walked: 14/06/2012

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1300m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Corbetts: Sgurr Dhomhnuill, Beinn na h-Uamha
Grahams: Sgurr a' Chaorain
Date walked: 14/06/2012
Distance: 21 km
Ascent: 1300 m
Time: 8 hours
Weather: Warm and partly sunny. Cold breeze high up.

After too long messing around on imaginary Corbetts, it was time to come back and do some more of the real thing. There are so many great places to walk in the vicinity of Glenfinnan that it was hard to know where to start. Top of my list for a while has been a visit into the middle of section 10A, having only nibbled at the edges previously.

Long ago (in the mid '90's really), dad and I had climbed Sgorr Mhic Eacharna, Beinn Bheag and Garbh Bheinn in a classic horseshoe of Coire an Iubhair. That had been a grand day out, but Sgurr Dhomhnuill had been prominent throughout. Despite dad's preference for shorter walks these days, I thought I might persuade him to join me on Sgurr Dhomhnuill. I wasn't wrong, and Laura (my sister) decided to come as well.

We settled on the Strontian approach, getting dropped off some distance up the road to Polloch to give us a bit of a height advantage at the start (about 250m). Despite my best efforts to have an early start, we didn't leave Glenfinnan much before 11:30 am. Going round the western way was probably a mistake as it was longer, and resurfacing work was taking place at Loch Moidart, with the road only open for an hour at lunch time. Mum dropped us off on the Polloch road before retreating to the nature reserve walks down at Ariundle, but we still weren't walking until 1:40 pm. Not the best time to start such a rugged peak, particularly as I knew we wouldn't be going that fast. Oh well, at least we had daylight on our side.

Ardgour.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Sgurr Dhomhnuill, Sgurr na h-Inghinn and Sgurr a' Chaorain from near the Polloch road:
Image

A track led us to a cattle grazing area, from where we headed uphill to gain the high ground. At this point it could barely be called a ridge. First obstacle was an electric fence, but there were crossing points built in and anyway it was only a single strand of wire - easy to shimmy under. Another 10 minutes took us to the trig point of Druim Glas, a good spot to observe the best route ahead.

...and again from Druim Glas:
Image

While Sgurr Dhomhnuill didn't actually look too far away from here, the intervening ground didn't look like it would give speedy walking! Luckily the conditions underfoot were much drier than normal, so despite the numerous ups and downs, the walking was easy. A number of lochans also enlivened the route. As we joined the Druim Garbh, we contoured the initial summit before Lochan a Ghille Dhubh to the south, saving some ups and downs. Lochan a Ghille Dhubh actually has a small dam at one end, perhaps suggesting that it was a water supply for the old lead mines below.

From a lochan lower down the Druim Garbh:
Image

Laura and Dad on the Druim Garbh:
Image

Small impoundment at Lochan a Ghille Dhubh:
Image

Once past Lochan a Ghille Dhubh, the 803m summit of Druim Garbh finally began to look reasonably close. As the sides steepened up, the views improved and the sun came out.

Sgurr Dhomhnuill finally getting closer:
Image

Back to Loch Sunart and Ben Resipol:
Image

South to Garbh Bheinn and Sgurr nan Cnamh:
Image

Sgurr Dhomhnuill peeking through a gap in the ridge:
Image

North across Carn na Nathrach to the Corryhully horseshoe and Gulvain:
Image

Laura and dad were lagging a little (this was Laura's first hill in a few months) so I suggested they contour the 803m summit slightly while I went over it. It didn't save much, but time was ticking on. Descent to the col below Sgurr Dhomhnuill was mainly straightforward, with a couple of short steeper sections.

Sgurr Dhomhnuill from the summit of the Druim Garbh:
Image

East down Glen Scaddle to the Ben:
Image

The final ascent from this direction is about as steep as it is possible to get without scrambling. Indeed the SMC book suggests that this ridge is a fine scramble the whole way up, which is a bit of an exaggeration. It is possible to scramble on the odd outcrop (which Laura did, as she hates steep grass), but there isn't a continuous line.

The summit towers over the col:
Image

Laura and Dad on the final ascent:
Image

Image

Finally there, and what a spot! There was a chilly wind coming from the south so we found a place to shelter just to the north of the summit. We arrived at about 5:30pm - that didn't leave me much time for my planned addition to the walk.

Across Beinn na h-Uamha to Glecoe:
Image

Sgurr a' Chaorain, Beinn Bheag and Garbh Bheinn from the summit:
Image

Ben and the Mamores again:
Image

Laura and dad had had enough ascent for the day, so were going to return via Sgurr na h-Inghinn, the lead mines and the Strontian Glen, but I had other plans. I didn't think it would take me much longer to do a full traverse to Loch Linnhe, so I left them on the descent and dropped steeply down the south face of Sgurr na h-Inghinn. This is one of those ascents where a bit of patience is needed to find a route between the cliffs, and one where you can't work out which way you went when you look back at it. It delivered me to the painfully low sub 500m col under Sgurr a' Chaorain.

Looking back to the summit:
Image

Image

Sgurr na h-Inghinn:
Image

The descent off the south side of Sgurr na h-Inghinn:
Image

Another outcroppy ascent to Sgurr a' Chaorain, but not as steep as the north side of Sgurr Dhomhnuill. The views to Garbh Bheinn and Sgurr nan Cnamh had been good for a while now, but they got even better from here. Despite the biggest crags on Garbh Bheinn facing into Coire an Iubhair, there is a vast expanse of rock and jumbled ground on the northern face.

Sgurr na h-Inghinn and Sgurr Dhomhnuill from Sgurr a' Chaorain:
Image

Garbh Bheinn and Sgurr nan Cnamh:
Image

Garbh Bheinn from a lochan on the west ridge of Sgurr a' Chaorain:
Image

Beinn Bheag and Garbh Bheinn:
Image

Ardgour doesn't do straightforward connecting ridges between summits, but the walk east to Beinn na h-Uamha manages a fair imitation. There were still a couple of steep sections, both on descent and ascent, but the going was fairly easy. Oddly, these summits have only 1m difference in elevation, Sgurr a' Chaorainn being the highest Graham and Beinn na h-Uamha being the lowest Corbett (although I think there are a few contenders for each of those positions).

East to Beinn na h-Uamha:
Image

Down Glen Gour. Ballachulish horseshoe central:
Image

Sgurr na h-Inghinn and Sgurr Dhomhnuill:
Image

West to Ben Resipol:
Image

Ridge to Beinn na h-Uamha:
Image

The sun was now going down, making for more interesting lighting. I had a quick stop on the summit of Beinn na h-Uamha before descending the E and SE ridge into Glen Gour. Had we started a few hours earlier, I would have continued across A' Bheinn Bhan to Druim na Sgriodan and then onto Corran, but I was happy enough with Glen Gour.

West to Sgurr a' Chaorain and Sgurr Dhomhnuill:
Image

Beinn Leamhain and Sgorr Mhic Eacharna:
Image

Looking north across the rocky eastern end of Beinn na h-Uamha:
Image

Straightforward terrain higher up led to more rock as I descended. After Stob an Uilt Dharaich, I got off the ridge to the east, another case of having to dodge the crags to find a way down. After some weaving about I picked up one of the many parallel depressions which led to the Allt an t-Sluichd, then across Glen Gour. I was able to walk a long distance across the floodplain to cut a corner and join the track, something which would have been very wet normally.

Beinn Bheag across Glen Gour:
Image

West up Glen Gour to Sgurr nan Cnamh:
Image

Lochan na Beinne Baine:
Image

Druim na Sgriodan across A Bheinn Bhan:
Image

Glen Gour and Beinn Leamhain:
Image

Well folded strata:
Image

A Bheinn Bhan:
Image

It was now a good track all the way out to Loch Linnhe, with a nice sunset and the mountains of Glencoe turning redder and redder.

Beinn Bheag and Sgurr nan Cnamh up Glen Gour:
Image

Loch nan Gabhar:
Image

Last look up Glen Gour:
Image

A call from dad suggested that they would arrive at Glen Gour at about the same time as me, their walk-out having been a bit slower. Good timing! I had told them to stop near the Gour bridge on the A861, so I headed left when I hit the loop of old main road. I walked all the way to the A861, then south towards Strontian, wondering where they were. Another call and I found that they had pulled in on the bit of old loop road just after I had left it. Some pointless extra walking, but I got some great views across Loch Linnhe, so it was well worth it.

South down Loch Linnhe:
Image

The Glencoe peaks:
Image

Fraochaidh:
Image

Ben Nevis, Beinn na Gucaig and Tom Meadhoin to the Pap:
Image

Glad to have finally made a crossing of Ardgour, and I'm looking forward to more walks in this area.
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5806
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:250   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby dooterbang » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:52 pm

Another top report.

Looks a great area, looking at the fab photies.

I honestly dont know where you find the time to do all these walks and write up trip reports...do you hire someone :lol:
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:57
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:10 pm

That's a cracker malky and a great idea for the linear route. Haven't managed to get to this area yet but hope to at some point - the views are certainly stunning - cheers :D
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6269
Munros:282   Corbetts:187
Grahams:59   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby ChrisW » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:02 pm

What a stunner Malky, your dad takes you to all the best places :lol: though I think I would have stuck with him and your sis on this one and had a nice steady day. I think your dad makes you start late to curb your wandering ways :lol:
User avatar
ChrisW
Scrambler
 
Posts: 4938
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby gaffr » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:10 pm

This area, for me, was a late discovery having only known the Garbh Bheinn up until fairly recently. Have subsequently enjoyed many trips to the Corbetts in this corner and slightly beyond. :) I didn't know that the other end of h-Uamha was one of the lesser hills.... I seem to recall that the heights of both were given on my memory map as the same. :lol: I must come here more often for info on the Grahams. :lol: We went in via glen Gour and found that by linking up the 'wee craggie sections' we had some pleasant scrambling up onto the higher ground but of course you were descending this section late on in the evening. :) Something for those involved in the Munro chasing to find out about in later years. :D
User avatar
gaffr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1661
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
Grahams:33   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby malky_c » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:37 pm

Cheers all :)

dooterbang wrote:I honestly dont know where you find the time to do all these walks and write up trip reports...do you hire someone?

Seriously thinking about it. The walks aren't a problem but trying to keep on top of the reports is getting painful!
User avatar
malky_c
 
Posts: 5806
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:250   Hewitts:256
Wainwrights:102   Islands:33
Joined: Nov 22, 2009
Location: Inverness

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby mountainstar » Sat Jun 23, 2012 11:09 am

So this is what you were up to when you could have been drinking Ale with me in Inverness....messing about on mountains again....priorities Malky, priorities! :roll: :crazy: :wink:
User avatar
mountainstar
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2459
Munros:282   Corbetts:221
Grahams:24   Donalds:8
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:218
Wainwrights:214   Islands:24
Joined: Dec 7, 2009
Location: Wrexham

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby Gavin99 » Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:57 pm

Lovely stuff , hope to get up to this area soon , great photos 8)
................and I also now know what an impoundment is !
User avatar
Gavin99
Walker
 
Posts: 1154
Munros:279   Corbetts:133
Grahams:75   Donalds:67
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:14
Wainwrights:16   
Joined: Jul 26, 2011

Re: Late start for an Ardgour traverse

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:16 pm

I look out onto Sgurr Dhomhuill every morning ...bonnie country and a grand report :clap:
User avatar
Collaciotach
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1727
Munros:282   Corbetts:114
Grahams:29   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:27
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Catherine1002, PeteR, robmurr2017, weregettingthere and 33 guests