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The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)


Postby Mountainlove » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:31 pm

Route description: Maol Chean-dearg ascent, Coulags

Munros included on this walk: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 02/06/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

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With the end of my holiday approaching, I knew 3 days of hillwalking in a row was pushing it, but I could not let the opportunity pass to climb one last Munro. Even though I was itching to climb some more Munros in Torridon I wanted to keep them for another day and I opted for Maol Chean-dearg. A single Munro which would only take 3-5 hours, (that’s if you believe one of my hillwalking books). It sounded easy enough and I was looking forward to it.

The night before I had seen an increase of people at my wee campsite, including two hill runners, who wanted to join the hill race up Slioch on Saturday 2nd of June.
They are all mad 8) :shock: 8) in my opinion anyway, but the fasted person competed the 20km race in 1:54:17 this year. :shock: :shock: :shock:

I had a chat with one of the runners and shared some midgy repellent, after watching him fight with the midges, while trying set up camp for the evening. After wishing him good luck for the race, I settled in my car with a glass of wine and did some research on some more Munros before I went to sleep.
With plans to stay at another campsite in Glen Carroch, I left in the morning and arriving at the camp side, I was told it was fully booked – bummer! :(
Not really knowing where to stay next, I decided to climb the Munro first and worry about a place to stay afterwards.


The small car at the foot of the hill was full when I arrived, but thanks to my wee car, I managed to squeeze in a corner. I set off and with the sun shining and a cool breeze it was a pleasant walk. After 45min I was surprised, to find the wee bothy on the way in such good conditions. I walked inside to have a look and thought it was a nice touch to see the information about the first owners of the house.

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The bothy


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I left the bothy and felt pretty tired at that stage. Yawning profoundly, I carried on and soon the path started to lead up the mountain. From that time I became aware about the condition of the path. Loose rocks and boulders littered the path and made every step annoyingly difficult. I am not sure if it was the combination of feeling tired, or the cold wind, which seemed to have picked up, but my mood seemed to be on a downward path and I became more and more grumpy. With every step I seemed to slide on the loose stones and cursing the person who made the path in any way possible I moved on.

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This is no fun to walk on!!!!!!

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The first glimpses


I usually love hillwalking, but in a bizarre way, that day reminded me about days as a child when I was dragged on walks I did not wanted to go. Only the beautiful views towards the mountains around me seemed to lift my mood a bit, until the drag up boulder fields continued. The path seemed to go on forever and after 3 long hours, I finally reached the top.

I was rewarded with some of the most stunningly views this country can offer you, but the freezing wind soon saw me in 3 layers of cloths. Huddled in a corner, at the great cairn up the top (brilliant cairn), I had my lunch while cursing the wind which seemed to come from all directions and made me feel the cold even more. The Corbet right next to the Munro looked amazing, but even though I kind of planned to climb it, the 3h of hell on the way up, did not convince me that it was a good idea ...there are only so many loose stones I can take for one day.

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The way down seemed to be even worse than the way up and by the time I reached the bottom, I was more than happy. On my way back I decided that doing this hill in 3h would be madness…possible? maybe, but the book was definitely wrong, as it took me 6h including some breaks.

Close to the end of the path, I suddenly saw another person carrying a Mountain bike.
Not surprisingly, when you think about the condition of the path!! When we passed each other, he told me, that he was on his way to Torridon. I did check my map afterwards and only then realized, that it was indeed the public path from Glen Carron to Glen Torridon…interesting!

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Easter islands in Scotland?


Back at my car I set off to find a campsite. I had a few in mind, but after driving through Glen Shiel, I decided to try the wild campsite close to the Cluanie Inn. Driving down the wee road I managed to find a place and set up my tent right next to the burn.
Sitting outside my car, while cooking a large pot of food on my camping cooker, I was approached by another woman, who asked me if I could give her a lift.

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Wild camping


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Cooking dinner


Looking down at my boiling pot of food and back to her I wondered if she really expected me to leave my food to give her a lift? :? :roll: :shock: :crazy: Don’t get me wrong, I am usually happy to give anyone, but that was taking it too far! 8) :lol:

After telling her I could not, she left and soon after I was able to enjoy my food while watching a grazing deer in the distance.
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Mountainlove
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby dooterbang » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:47 pm

Your best sticking to the pathless routes to save you from getting angry :wink:

Brilliant photos, looked a great day.

You should have given that lady the keys to your car :lol:

A great 6 days for you, well done.
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby FestinaLente » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:26 pm

Tks for the pics inside the Bothy. In very near future intend an overnight in the Bothy and include the Corbett with the Munro. The Bothy being somewhere to stay as I still have 4 Munros to bag in Strathcarron.
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby BoyVertiginous » Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:40 pm

Old Kenneth must have decided that, at a shilling per mile for the upkeep of the path, it wasn't worth the hassle.

Looks like he wrote his own contract as well...nice one.
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby snowdonia7 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:12 pm

[quote="Mountainlove"] I decided to try the wild campsite close to the Cluanie Inn[/quote

Isn't that an oxymoron :wink: ?

Another great report - looking forward to reading about your trip to Torridon.
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:06 pm

dooterbang wrote:Your best sticking to the pathless routes to save you from getting angry :wink:
Brilliant photos, looked a great day.
You should have given that lady the keys to your car :lol:
A great 6 days for you, well done.


You are right about that one...wish I would have picked another route up that one 8) Regarding giving her the keys...lol she would have probably taken them!

FestinaLente wrote:Tks for the pics inside the Bothy. In very near future intend an overnight in the Bothy and include the Corbett with the Munro. The Bothy being somewhere to stay as I still have 4 Munros to bag in Strathcarron.

Its a great place. It has 3 bedrooms upstairs as well...well one really tiny one, but an option if you want me time :lol:

BoyVertiginous wrote:Old Kenneth must have decided that, at a shilling per mile for the upkeep of the path, it wasn't worth the hassle.
Looks like he wrote his own contract as well...nice one.

Liked that contract as well! Although it took me a while to read the handwriting! Would like to know how much a shilling would be worth today? Does anyone know?

snowdonia7 wrote:
Mountainlove wrote: I decided to try the wild campsite close to the Cluanie Inn[/quote
Isn't that an oxymoron :wink: ?
Another great report - looking forward to reading about your trip to Torridon.

Lol true 8) :lol: The other trip reports are all out now :)
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:19 pm

Based on this website: http://www.measuringworth.com

1 Schilling back in 1913 was worth....

real price of that commodity is £3.84
labour value of that commodity is £16.30
income value of that commodity is £22.10

The guy got 30 Schillings to upkeep a mile of hillpath....today that would make 489 Pounds.
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby honey_munster » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:56 pm

here's another hazard I came across on the path near Coulags bothy.
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The stone is Clach nan Con-fionn where legend has it the Celtic hero Fionn McCuill tied his hounds.
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:43 pm

honey_munster wrote:here's another hazard I came across on the path near Coulags bothy.
P7230071.JPG

The stone is Clach nan Con-fionn where legend has it the Celtic hero Fionn McCuill tied his hounds.


Wow I am jealous! I would have loved to see that snake!! Thank you regarding the info about the stone :clap: :D
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:52 pm

Have been catching up and reading the rest of your reports on your trip up north - very enjoyable as ever and certainly sounds like you had a great time. Some, esp Slioch, brought back personal memories :thumbup: Had hoped to cover Maol Chean-dearg on a recent trip to Beinn Liath Mhor and Sgorr Ruadh but the weather put paid to that plan. Glad I didn't now as I can see what I missed - hope to go back some time - cheers :D
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby brpro26 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:21 pm

Well that's been "six of the best", remember that one from my school days and the Lochgelly lash, not that I ever got it because I was well behaved. Not in your day perhaps ML.
Your reports are like a must read when you see one you know it's going to be class....infact in one of your photos your nearly showing your class... :shock:
What's next on the agenda?
Nice Chevy BTW Kermie. :lol:
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby brpro26 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:10 pm

Sorry Kermie it's a Kia....easy mistake!!!
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Re: The horrible path up Maol Chean-dearg (6/6)

Postby Mountainlove » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:49 am

rockhopper wrote:Have been catching up and reading the rest of your reports on your trip up north - very enjoyable as ever and certainly sounds like you had a great time. Some, esp Slioch, brought back personal memories :thumbup: Had hoped to cover Maol Chean-dearg on a recent trip to Beinn Liath Mhor and Sgorr Ruadh but the weather put paid to that plan. Glad I didn't now as I can see what I missed - hope to go back some time - cheers :D

Thank you :) You did not miss anything thats for sure! Maol Chean-dearg in the rain...would be even worse I guess- so best to keep it for a dry day! :D

brpro26 wrote:Well that's been "six of the best", remember that one from my school days and the Lochgelly lash, not that I ever got it because I was well behaved. Not in your day perhaps ML.
Your reports are like a must read when you see one you know it's going to be class....infact in one of your photos your nearly showing your class... :shock:
What's next on the agenda?
Nice Chevy BTW Kermie. :lol:

Lol thanks! My wee 'Chevy is doing great...although it always ends up looking like a chinese washhouse :lol:
Next on the plan...mmm I do not plan much, as plans never seem to work out...I usually just grab my books, GSP and walking kit and head up north and see what ticks my fancy...although the Glen Shiel Ridge and the Cuillins are something I am thinking about since a while 8)
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