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Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet


Postby malky_c » Sat May 11, 2013 8:08 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Creag Each, Creag Gharbh, Creag Ruadh, Meall Buidhe

Date walked: 05/05/2013

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 33 km

Ascent: 1790m

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Grahams: Creag Each, Creag Gharbh, Creag Ruadh, Meall Buidhe
Date: 05/05/2013
Distance: 33km
Ascent: 1790m
Time taken: 8 hours
Weather: Breezy sunshine, turning to showers halfway through.

(I wrote this a few days ago but it has taken me ages to sort out the photos)
We were staying down in Dundee for a couple of nights, so I managed to get myself a day free to go walking. Initial thought was to go over to to Glen Lyon to do a couple of walks over a few Corbetts there, but with a poor forecast, I decided to go lower and closer. I had a feeling that this would be a bit of a comedown after my South Uist trip earlier in the week, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

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Grey weather driving over gradually turned to sunshine, and by the time I'd parked up in one of the litter-strewn fishermen's laybys just beyond Dalveich, it was looking nothing like the doom 'n gloom forecast. I had planned to head up Glenbeich for a short while before hitting the east flank of Meall a' Mhadaidh, but as I was parked further round, I took a more southerly line. There were a couple of fences to climb to get across the old railway low down, then it was steep but lovely easy grazing for most of the ascent, with views of Loch Earn and Ben Vorlich getting more spectacular by the minute.

Loch Earn from the road:
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Sgiath a Chaise and Strathyre:
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Beinn Each, Glen Ample and Sgiath a Chaise:
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Loch Earn and Ben Vorlich:
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East along Loch Earn:
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Meall na Fearna, Ben Vorlich, Stuc a Chroin and Beinn Each:
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Zoom to Stuc a Chroin:
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Once the gradient eased off, peat hags dominated, and the best line for Meall Buidhe went to the west of the highest point. There were a coupe of hags to negotiate, then lots of boggy grass. I made fairly quick progress though with great views to Glen Ogle and Creag Mac Ranaich.

Ben Vorlich and the Stuc:
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Benvane and an old railway viaduct:
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Across the bog to Meall Buidhe:
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Glen Ogle railway viaduct:
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Creag Mac Ranaich:
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The final ascent was a little steeper, weaving between outcrops, and then Ben More and Stob Binnein suddenly popped out to the west. This was great as I hadn't expected to see any of the larger hills out of the clag.

Back to Ben Vorlich and the Stuc:
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Stob Binnein and Ben More:
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Down Glen Ogle:
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Meall nan Tarmachan appeared on the northern skyline too, so I decided to take in the northern top of this hill for a better view of it. I got that, and a look right down Loch Tay. The whole area was hoaching with mountain hare - some of them pretty large.

Killin and Meall na Tarmachan:
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Loch Tay and Ben Lawers:
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Then it was a rough descent NE to the edge of the forest, where I had to climb a deer fence. Very wet going took me past a secluded little waterfall, then down to join the Rob Roy Way, which was a decent forestry track. I had gone for the lightweight approach with trainers today,so I decided to jog for a couple of miles along here, as I knew I had quite a distance to go.

Meall na Tarmachan from the edge of the forest:
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Stob Binnein and Ben More:
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There were some nice views from the track, and the second leg up to Loch Breaclaich was tarmac. I was passed by a contractor in a van who had been up to service a couple of generators at the dam and communications mast - nice job!

Loch Breaclaich dam:
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...with Stob Binnein, Ben More and Ben Challum in the background:
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Up past the reservoir and it was an easy 10 minutes across rough grass to the summit of Creag Garbh. I was rewarded with more great views down Loch Tay, as well as across to Ben Lawers, which had briefly popped out of the cloud. I stopped for an early lunch here, and was glad I had done some jogging, as the forecast low cloud and showers moved in at about 11:30, just as I was leaving the summit.

Glen Lochay from Creag Garbh:
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Down Loch Tay to Beinn a Ghlo eventually:
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Meall Corranaich, Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers:
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Meall nan Tarmachan:
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Glen Lochay, Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich:
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It was quite a steep descent to the track, which then took me past a comms mast and down into the upper reaches of the Ardeonaig burn. I passed a trio doing the Rob Roy Way at the high point. The track flattened out,following the hydro pipeline, before ending and depositing me back on the rough ground.

Hydro track high point, Ben Vorlich in background:
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Creag Uchdag:
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Following the pipeline:
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Rob Roy Way leaves my route here and goes down to Loch Tay:
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The route up the east side of Meall Daimh was very heathery and peaty, and reminiscent of hills east of the A9. Up until now, the poor weather had restricted itself to greyness and the occasional spit of rain, but full clag and a heavy shower came on close to the summit of Creag Ruadh. Shame, as the top was in a nice spot, on a big slab of rock with a 10m drop on one side.

Creag Ruadh summit:
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The poor weather continued on my descent to Loch Eas Domhain, where a substantial path turned up much to my surprise. I lost it again soon after. There were a lot of grouse butts around, so it may have been related to those rather than the summit.

Clearing clag in Glen Tarken, looking to Beinn Fuath:
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In Glen Tarken, I was going to follow the hydro track around the head of the glen, but impatience got the better of me and I cut across the floor instead. I met a couple of Aussies at the track junction where I was going to strike off up Creag Each. They were up to see a large boulder just off the track. This was apparently the location of a 1511 battle between clans McNeish and McNab, where the McNeishes were pretty much wiped out. Obviously not entirely, as these guys were McNeishes.

Battlefield boulder and Mhor Bheinn:
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The route up Creag Each started well - firm ground and more interesting boulders and outcrops to look at, before turning into harder going bog and hags. Not paying much attention to the map, I went to the wrong summit. I soon corrected myself and was rewarded with a lifting of the clag and a decent view down to the east end of Loch Earn. The sun even came out. It was a nice spot to sit for a short while and have a final lunch before descending over featureless moorland to the track end above Glenbeich. There was a nice descent down to the lochside then, with the air feeling positively warm, then a short wander back along the main road to the car. I was relieved to find the car in one piece, as it was parked rather close to the edge of the road on a corner. I half expected to find the wing mirror missing.

More boulders heading up Creag Each:
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St. Fillans, Mhor Bheinn and Loch Earn from the summit of Creag Each:
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Mist over Ben Vorlich:
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Final descent:
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These aren't the type of hills to keep you awake the night before in anticipation, but the views of the surrounding hills (particularly the Munros), and relative quietness of the area (compared to the packed shores of Loch Earn) make them well worth a visit. Glad I got good weather for the larger part of the walk. A bit of a steal really - two good days out on the hill in a week of pretty poor forecasts.
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malky_c
 
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Re: Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Postby PeteR » Sat May 11, 2013 8:17 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed this malky_c :D

I've not done enough of it myself, but I like the idea of walking hills that give great views of their lofty neighbours and this walk certainly does that. Some great views :D
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Re: Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Postby gmr82 » Sat May 11, 2013 8:31 pm

That's an outstanding walk taking in those 4 :clap: , had mapped it a little while back for when winter disappeared but never got round to it. Bit lazy not adding in Shee of Ardtalnaig though :lol:
gmr82
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Re: Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Postby ScottishLeaf » Sat May 11, 2013 9:48 pm

Enjoyed reading this walking around the almost forgotten land between the munros and two of Scotland's most accessed lochs. Looks like you had a cracking day too :)
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Re: Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Postby simon-b » Sun May 12, 2013 1:14 pm

That looks a good route, Malky. Those hills do look good from Killin, Glen Ogle and Loch Earn, although I've never been on them. You were definitely lucky with the weather, particularly considering your late decision to change plans from a Glen Lyon trip. On that day, the weather started fine there, but soon turned to mist, rain and wind, as I found out on the Carn Mairg 4. On Friday I had a nice walk along Glen Ogle, looking up at the hills you'd been on.
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Re: Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Postby malky_c » Mon May 13, 2013 7:55 pm

Thanks guys :D

gmr82 wrote:Bit lazy not adding in Shee of Ardtalnaig though :lol:

If only it hadn't started raining :wink:

simon-b wrote:You were definitely lucky with the weather, particularly considering your late decision to change plans from a Glen Lyon trip. On that day, the weather started fine there, but soon turned to mist, rain and wind, as I found out on the Carn Mairg 4. On Friday I had a nice walk along Glen Ogle, looking up at the hills you'd been on.

Yes, I'm glad I changed my mind. In glen Lyon, I had 2 (or possibly even 3) consecutive shortish walks planned. I reckon I would have packed up and gone home after the first one if the weather has turned.

Glen Ogle is great - totally out of character with most of the surrounding area. The Sma' glen east of Creiff is similar if you're ever stuck in the area in poor weather again.
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Re: Surprise sunshine on Loch Earn quartet

Postby Bod » Mon May 13, 2013 11:22 pm

A tantalising not so wee route there malky :wink: :D :D
Cracking aspects right enough and inspiring stuff again, cheers the noo :D
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