Beating The Bog and Crags on Heasgarnich and Creag Mhor
by ScottishLeaf » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:11 pm
Route description: Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Heasgarnich, Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)
Date walked: 12/01/2013
Time taken: 9 hours
Distance: 23 km
Ascent: 1450m1 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).
Quoman and Rottie had been out the week before and ticked off Creag Mhor, so they would be joining myself, Scoob, Fiona, Tomsie and Brian for just the one hill.
We chose to almost exactly follow Gavin99's route, but in reverse, so that Quoman and Rottie wouldn't have to repeat Creag Mhor.
We parked up just short of Kenknock and were out and walking around 9am on a gloomy Saturday morning.
Walking on a tarmac road a junction is soon reached and we took the right hand turn, the so called High Road. This immediately winds it's way fairly steeply upward until another junction with a gated stoney track, near the point where the hydro pipeline disappears into the bowels of the hill.
From the High Road there are good views back up and down the glen.
After a little while we passed an abandoned all terain vehicle and shortly after this we reached the dam above Badour, where we would turn off and head uphill.
You can see in the background of the vehicle shot that the road has been swept away in all the recent rains, leaving only a narrow and rather shaky footpath-wide section of road to tiptoe across.
The sight leaves you no in doubt to the power of water and the damage the flood has done looks considerable, almost all traces of the road completely gone and washed away downhill, as well as a good chunk of the hillside.
From here we followed the now, thankfully, passive burn upstream for a short while before taking a bearing aiming, just left of the crags labelled Creag na h-Achlaraich. The steeps slopes eventually gave way to some flatter and mildly boggy ground, though this was almost entirely frozen as we made our way past.
The clag was also closing in as we made our way higher and the views behind became more limited and then non-existant.
After crossing some patches of hard packed snow ice, it was time for one last steep trudge up the side of the hill.
But in the clag we had aimed for the slightly shorter of Heargarnich's two peaks (1027m) so the celebrations were cut short as we crossed the gently sloping plateau to the higher one at 1078m.
For Brian it was number 75 and just as I went to take a celebratory picture... iPhone said no! MEMORY FULL. Well in gales and a severe windchill I wasn't for taking the time to delete stuff!!! So from here on in, I hope some of the others can add in more pictures!
We didn't hang about on Heasgarnich's summit, it wasn't the day for that and we were behind schedule to get down Creag Mhor before darkness set in. Quoman and Rottie headed back down the way we had ascended, their mission complete. The rest carried on towards Creag Mhor.
By this time there was a decent path heading down Heasgarnich's side which we picked up and it soon brought us over the outlier peak of Stob Fhir-Bhogha and then below the snow line and then the frost line and we took the chance of shelter to grab a quick bite to eat and a cup of coffee.
The bealach looked awfy far down below, indeed over 400m of height must be lost down the steep side of Heasgarnich known as Sron Tairbh. The bealach was also shining, the weak sunshine reavealing just how much water was lieing down there.
As it turned out the bealach was easily crossed, it wasn't half as bad close up as it looked from above. I was amazed that I had conquered the Mighty Muck Heep Heasgarnich and my gaiters weren't even dirty! Now it was time to gain 400+m up the sides of Creag Mhor!
The steep ascent and descent had taken it's toll on me and Brian though. He felt he wasn't able to continue, whereas I managed to slog on. After much debate and a bit of soul searching Brian reassured us he'd be OK walking along the bealach to the dam above Batavaime. The rest of us plodded up hill. It wasn't an easy descisions to leave Brian, so don't anyone think we abandoned him. He was adamant he would be OK and had all the proper equipment and his walk would be along more or less flat terrain to reach the dam and then a good track back to the car.
The rest of us knew we could do the hill, so we marched upwards and onwards.
Creag Mhor is well named, it is full of big steep crags and we made our own route up through them. The path lost down in the bealach. A big ice field loomed in white on light grey, barely disearnable from it's surroundings. Crampons on! My first time walking with them... good practice. Scoob made sure they were on OK and the rest opted for microspikes. Ice field conquered! As soon as we were across though we had to stop to take the spikes off as we had to cross a small boulder field. Five minutes later we were at CM's summit and the weather still wasn't any better!
Thanks to Fiona, I have one last picture. Me with white frozen hair on Munro number 40.
(Forty munros since April 2012, doing not too badly )
It was nearly dark and we were still at the top. All haste was made down the ridge, once again on a good path. However we either followed it too far or not far enough.. hard to tell in the claggy gloom. When we could just about see the track homeward down below.... we were standing at the top of a huge crags... no this wouldn't be an easy descent.
Head torches on and with Scoob and Tomsie acting as path finders we somehow managed to trek back uphill and around the top of the crags, finding a steep, wet, grassy slope, that with a few twists and turns to avoid more crags, eventually made it's way down to the dam above Batavaime.
From here it was a long trudge along the good track, back to the point where we had left it hours before and then finally past Kenknock and back to the cars.
At the end of the day, it was two tougher than expected but, less than stellar hills bagged and most of the infamous boggyness avoided. Strangely satisifying in a peverse, we conquered all, sort of way.
Also, much thanks to Scoob, Fiona and Tomsie for the patience with me as I was a good bit slower than them.
by quoman » Mon Jan 21, 2013 2:57 pm
- some of the troops
- the way up
- fiona flying
by Rottiewalker » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:02 pm
by Tomsie » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:25 pm
But even after the long walk was ok for Shiehallion next morning
Until next time
by Silverhill » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:43 pm
by jonny616 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:08 am
by fipriestley » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:14 am
Few more pics:
- gang's all here
- climb up, even this wasn't too boggy
- descent between hills
- next target, across the bog and into the clag :D
- Creag Mhor summit; loving the spikes :)
- starting final descent before complete darkness :)
by rockhopper » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:02 pm
by scoob999 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:26 pm
Was a great day and good experience routefinding down the crags in the dark
Here's my video link for the day