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Corranaich and Choire Leith - by the back door

Corranaich and Choire Leith - by the back door


Postby old danensian » Thu May 09, 2013 1:52 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall a'Choire Leith, Meall Corranaich

Date walked: 07/05/2013

Time taken: 3.45 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 876m

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Meall a Chiore Leith had been one of those stubborn ones: passed by all too frequently and its slopes were yet to be tramped.

An innocuous, rounded hump, it instils little in the way of inspiration or encouragement.

On one July afternoon while on the summit of Meall Corranaich, it offered insufficient enticement to launch me out into the clag and horizontal rain. Once you’re soaked to the skin the only response should be “well I can’t get any wetter:” not that time. The day didn’t even warrant the obligatory “cairn in the clag” photograph.

On a subsequent late afternoon visit, the view across the bog-fest bowl of Gleann Da Eig was enough; “there must be a better way up that” I thought, and promptly walked back to the car. An already successful day didn’t need to be spoiled by a quagmire trudge.

Corranaich-01.jpg
Bioling, roiling clouds mask Meall Corranaich and Beinn Ghlas first thing in the morning


The only decent way to Meall a Choire Leith has to be along the ridge from its partner to the south. But, to avoid the equally swampy approach to Meall Corranaich’s south west ridge, I elected to go in through the back door; not over Sron Dha Mhurchaidh but up the nicely engineered path towards Ben Lawers, and then ambling along the path that runs parallel to the Burn of Edramucky.

Logic bore fruit.

Corranaich-02.jpg
Meall Corranaich and the Burn of Edramucky


Melted snow still made the place somewhat damp but both paths had drained well. Coupled with a comfortably easy angled gradient, dry feet arrived at the bealach between Beinn Ghlas and Meall Corranaich well within an easy hour, still feeling fresh and raring to go.

Corranaich-03.jpg
South east slopes and crags of Meall Corranaich


Those ascending the steeper route to Beinn Ghlas and beyond appeared to be making considerably slower progress before they became dots on the skyline. Rather them than me, on what was fast becoming the first day of something rumoured to be called “summer.”

Turning left at the bealach, the path, not obvious from below, twisted its way between the crags. Half an hour later, the cairn and jumble of rusting fence posts broke the horizon just as the slope relented. With only the occasional bit of breeze, and 360degree visibility, the scene bore no resemblance to my previous visit: the fact that I could simply see helped enormously.

Corranaich-04.jpg
Summit of Meall Corranaich


The ridge towards Meall a Choire Leith snaked away to the north, edged with the remains of the winter’s snow, while wisps of drifting clouds added a character to the snow-spattered slopes of Ben Lawers and An Stuc. That impressive line of Munros from Meall Garbh to Beinn Ghlas contrast markedly with the gentle curves on this side of the glen.

Corranaich-05.jpg
North towards Meall a Choire Leith


Corranaich-06.jpg
An Stuc and Ben Lawers from Meall Corranaich


The walk along to Meall a Choire Leith proved to be little more than a gentle stroll, made all the more enjoyable by a lengthy sandwich stop on the bealach between the two. You know the year has finally moved on when you realise that the only item missing from a hastily packed sac is the Factor 15.

The view from the top was pretty much the same as that from Meall Corranaich and, as the cairn offered little in the way of armchair support, the reasons to avoid the potential bog-fest below were running out.

Corranaich-07.jpg
An Stuc and Ben Lawers from Meall a Choire Leith


Back at the bealach I attempted to apply some optimistic logic.

By heading off down the northern slopes of Meall Corranaich and across Coire Gorm, I thought I’d avoid damper ground by staying higher for longer. Dropping down immediately above the small dam on the Allt Gleann Da Eig would minimise the distance I might have to wade.

Corranaich-08.jpg
Across the Gleann Da Eig to Meall nam Maigheach from bealach between Corranaich and Coire Leith


Oh well: best laid plans and all that. Thank goodness for the Christmas pressie gaiters.

The sting in the tail was the two hundred foot squelch upwards before reaching the track to the road, where I’d left my bike at the start of the day.

Corranaich-09.jpg
The innocuous rounded hump - finally exorcised


Largely free-wheeling back to the car, I calculated the masochistically perverse timings of the day: 220 minutes walking – 10 minutes to cycle back.

Still, I’ll no longer suffer that guilty pull when I next drive by.
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old danensian
 
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Re: Corranaich and Choire Leith - by the back door

Postby mrssanta » Thu May 09, 2013 7:13 pm

indeed it's a vicious bog at the end of the day. but looks like a good route up.
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mrssanta
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Re: Corranaich and Choire Leith - by the back door

Postby Graeme D » Sun May 12, 2013 10:59 pm

It may be a rather innocuous rounded hump, but still looks like it was a grand day! 8)
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Re: Corranaich and Choire Leith - by the back door

Postby kevsbald » Mon May 13, 2013 12:22 pm

Nice report and good rendition.
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kevsbald
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Re: Corranaich and Choire Leith - by the back door

Postby rockhopper » Mon May 13, 2013 12:52 pm

Nice one - did the same approach as you, certainly made sense - cheers :)
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