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Sgiath Cool Answers All Questions.

Sgiath Cool Answers All Questions.


Postby ScottishLeaf » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:31 pm

Route description: Sgiath Chùil and Meall Glas from Glen Lochay

Munros included on this walk: Sgiath Chùil

Date walked: 24/02/2013

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

Ascent: 875m

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With Quoman stuck working and Rottiewalker recovering from a bad cold I didn't think I'd be out this weekend, but Rottie texted late on in the week to say he was feeling a bit better and would do something relatively local. We'd aim for Sgiath Chuil and depending on how we were feeling, might go for Meal Glas too. Ideal as both about an hour from Stenny and both already walked by Quoman.

Walkhighlands seems a tad confused about this pair of hills.
Looking at the Munro Maps they strangely come under the Loch Lomond region, despite most of their neighbours coming under Perthshire. When it comes to writing your report Meal Glas and Sgiath Chuil from Glen Dochart is a Loch Lomond region walk. While Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay is a Perthshire walk....even althought the WH map places them in Loch Lomond :wtf: :think:

The irony of it is, all of Glen Lochay comes under Stirling! :eh:

Even the walk reports are all mixed up, bad and good in equal measure.
Two hills with twin personalities it would seem.

Anyway, we headed up to the wee valley just beyond Killin and were out walking by 9am. This was my third visit to Glen Lochay this year and I was still hoping for a memorable day, would Sgiath Chuil deliver? Would we get it's good side :angel: or would it be in a bad mood? :evil:

We headed along the "low road" down by the River Lochay, trying to judge it's depth. Would we continue along the low road? Or would we cross the bridge and up the zig zags to the pipeling intake?

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The river seemed low enough, so we decided to stick to the WH route and ford it at Lubchurran. As we walked along, we could clearly see the line on the "high road" above us to the right. We traced the route we had taken up Beinn Heasgarnich a couple of weeks previous, but it was Ben Challum up ahead that stole the show.

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As we approached the ford, the outlier of Sgiath Chuil, Meall a'Churain came into view, struggling to compete with it's neighbours for attention.

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The river was forded with barely a second thought and we were quickly up past the cottage on the rocky landrover track between the two massives of the munros. Soon a left hand fork is taken a short way down to a small dam and intake and the allt is crossed just behind these on stepping stones.

So far the walk was proving rather unspectacular and some frozen wet grassy stuff was slogged up over to gain the start of the ridge up to the Meall a'Churain and eventually Sgiath Chuil.

As height it gained the views became better, with Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich dominating the view north and northwest.

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Then the top of the ridge was gained near the spot height of 577m and the views immediately improved, almost the whole northern half of the glen was now visible and it provided a good panorama from Creag Mhor right along to Meall Ghaordaidh.

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We stopped here, got a quick bite of chocolate and caught our breath. Depsite not being 100% Rottie was still walking a good deal faster than me up the steep slopes, so I appreciated the break in the efforts! As we snacked, we spotted a group of 7 walkers who had come up the zig-zag path to the pipleline and they passed us by on the way up.

They stopped for their 11ses not much further on though and we, in turn, overtook them after finding a narrow path up the hillside.

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The snow was patchy and hard packed, almost ice like, the suns warmth just tickling these north facing slopes, but someone had done the hard work days before and cut footsteps for us.

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The higher we climbed though, the better the northwards views became. Maybe there was some hope for Glen Lochay yet!

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Now with spikes on we made short work of the snow slopes, the band of walkers had caught us up. They turned out to be a very experienced group, some of them on their third round of munros, some just a handful away from compleating. It was good fun walking with them and trading stories. All the time though, I couldn't resist a sneaky peak back north, Beinn Heasgarnich was looking impressive and completely dominated the view now.

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To the east the outlier peak of Meall Eoghainn looked as if it might provide an interesting alternative route up Sgiath Chuil.

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Sgiath is definately a hill that rewards you the higher you climb, the more effort you put in the more you reap...even the grass was in on the act.

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And you do have to work, even the outlier peak Meall a'Churain has a false summit!

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Once Meall a'Churain is summitted though most of the bulk of the hillside is below you and glimpses of the views south and west can now be gotten. Stuc a'Chroin takes centre stage over Ben Vorlich and Ben Each, to the south Ben More and Stob Binnein tower like great pyramids over Loch Lubhair. The star, however, is Ben Lui. Magestic from this angle.

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Having slogged uphill all the way to the top, Sgiath Chuil and the weather gods granted us a fabulous vista in all directions. Poor Sgiath may be unfashionable, but on days like we got, it is a stunning viewpoint. Away in the distance the Paps of Fife could be made out, Drumgoyne Hill in the Campsies, Ben Venue in the Trossachs as well as Ben Ledi were all visible; along with scores of peaks to the north and west.

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After lunch we decided that Meal Glas might be a step too far, the path down to the bealach was iced over and with the day having been enjoyable neither of us wanted to turn it into a slog. So we headed back down Sgiath Chuil and descended over Meall a'Churain. This time though we headed in the direction of the Allt Innis Daimh, crossing the burn on a path over the top of a wee dam. Much of the route down was over frozen bog and peaty stuff and could be pretty nasty on a wet day me thinks. We were treated to cracking views of Beinn Heasgarich, Creag Mhor and a sneaky peak out towards Bridge of Orchy most of the way down.

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Most of the forestry marked on the landranger map is now gone, only a small sections remained and we quickly skirted past it. Passing by the big intake building that stands atop of the huge pipeline that runs across Glen Lochay and then on down the big zig-zag path, crossing the River Lochay on the big bridge near the farm.

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From the bridge it was an easy 5 minute stroll back to the car.

All in all a rather "chuil" day out.
We'd gotten just about the best this area has to offer and enjoyed almost every minute of it.
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ScottishLeaf
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Re: Sgiath Cool Answers All Questions.

Postby jonny616 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:48 pm

Nice one mate. glad you and Alec made it out 8)
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jonny616
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Re: Sgiath Cool Answers All Questions.

Postby SusieThePensioner » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:43 pm

Good report, glad you had a good day :D Excellent photos, some fantastic views :thumbup:
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Re: Sgiath Cool Answers All Questions.

Postby gammy leg walker » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:01 pm

Braw pictures Bryan.
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