The Cowboy Heart of the Monadhliath
by gordon l » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:12 am
Route description: Càrn Dearg, Càrn Sgulain and A'Chailleach
Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach (Monadhliath), Càrn Dearg (Monadhliath), Càrn Sgulain
Date walked: 29/04/2013
Time taken: 9 hours
Distance: 25 km
Ascent: 978m7 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
The sense of space was lost for a while as we turned to follow the Allt Fionndrigh upwards but the weather continued to be fine and the going was good on the easy path.
Beyond the bridge things turned boggier and all of a sudden wilderness beckoned. Plenty of fresh snow helped to mask the boggy hags which I wouldn't fancy crossing in warmer or wetter conditions, I imagine it could be a an excellent setting for a bog-snorkling festival.
A straightforward pull out of upper Gleann Ballach took us onto the plateau where the views opened up for miles around.
Leonide's previous experience of these hills had been a 12-hour whiteout epic a few years ago. This time, we were both treated to superb visibility for this part of the walk on the western side. In the far distance, we could see our final peak, A' Chailleach, hours away and miles across the glen.
I enjoyed the bizarre sensation of looking down from the summit of Carn Dearg to see the opening titles of Eastenders.
Very little height is gained or lost from this point all the way round to Carn Sgulain and on such a great day, we were happy to take it all in at an easy pace and enjoy the peace and our pieces.
It is a fairly featureless area although we were lucky to enjoy views far into the Cairngorms in one direction and to Creag Meagaidh and company in the other. In less favourable conditions the fence posts would be a great navigational aid as they go straight over to munro 2 of the day. Mind you there is also a fencepost junction on the top of Carn Ballach so unless a walker fancied a detour to Drumnadrochit, compass and due care would be essential.
Sometimes a slower pace helps you spot the finer details.
The summit of Carn Sgulain is a fair old hike away and it is not a place that many would be likely to linger on, given that you reach it either with the big cairn of A'Chailleach beckoning you onwards, or because you still havethe trek over to Carn Dearg ahead.
After 18km, one final slope of ascent took us to our final summit, where all of a sudden, civilisation, in the form of Newtonmore, seemed like no more than a snowball throw away.
We took a fairly direct line down from A' Chailleach, effectively heading straight for the town, rather than detouring south-west and south-east again. On the way down we bumped into this cool guy.
As we descended the slope the little iron shelter in the distance grew larger and we popped in for a wee nosey. It was exceptionally clean and seemed perfectly water proof although there was clear evidence that the sheep in these parts can open doors.
Had a wee chortle at the page of regulations that someone had drawn up and left and also enjoyed checking out the various signatures/ graffiti on the walls. Some names dated back to the 1920s and 30s which gave the hut a small sense of place and time on the hill.
Further down, a final obstacle had to be negotiated. We knew that the alt would be in spate because of all the recent snow melt so we would have to deal with wet feet higher up or a dodgy bridge crossing further down. The bridge is taped up on both sides and has a warning saying it should not be crossed...
Without any mishaps, or wet feet we were soon back to collect our wagon, with the big open spaces behind us. Until next time.
by The Rodmiester » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:46 am
by gordon l » Wed May 01, 2013 8:38 am
by Tomsie » Fri May 03, 2013 7:46 am
Hoping to head there tomorrow was it icy on top or any parts of deep snow, was thinking of trying it anticlockwise, did ye get across river higher up
by Klaasloopt » Fri May 03, 2013 10:51 am
by gordon l » Tue May 07, 2013 8:37 am
Klaasloopt, thanks for the compliment about the title. I love the wide open spaces of this area, not sure if I would like to see it swarming with walkers, unlikely as that may be!
by Tomsie » Tue May 07, 2013 4:33 pm
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