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Creise and Meall a'Bhuiridh from Rannoch Moor

Creise and Meall a'Bhuiridh from Rannoch Moor

Postby weedavie » Thu May 23, 2013 12:34 pm

Munros included on this walk: Creise, Meall a'Bhuiridh

Date walked: 17/05/2013

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1200m

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This is a fine route with an odd starting point. It gives you a taste of walking on Rannoch Moor and it avoids most of the ski debris. Still someone can always find a way to damage it.

We parked on the A82, just north of the River Ba crossing. The layby is totally mawkit. Garbage big and small, but my favourite piece was a half empty jar of mussels. Delicious. Going a bit north and in by the stalkers’ path is normally a complete pleasure as the road immediately disappears as you thread through the hummocks of the moor. But there was evidence that a bunch of trail bikes had been through a couple of days before. The path was severely rutted and wherever it got boggy they’d spread out to cause maximum damage. I can’t say for certain but it looks like it was people connected with something called the Scottish Six Day Trial, which hit the area in the week before. Anyway I’ve got some of their number plates (literally, we picked them out of the bog) so let’s see if we can hunt them down.
Evidence of things not seen

Forty five minutes from the road we crossed the West Highland Way. Funny to think of this as the main road north, which it was into the 1930s. In WH Murray’s Mountaineering in Scotland he talks about looking at the new road from the Buchaille. He says people are fussing about the new road defacing the moor but he says it’s like a scratch on Chartres Cathedral. When Murray’s over-writing he can be obscure but I think that he just means it's insignificant. We just think the A82’s always been there. It’ll be the same with wind farms – a new generation will see them as part of the landscape.

After the WH Way it’s rough going till you climb into Choire an Easain. This is a hanging corrie above the moor, really attractive. The nose of Clach Leathaid, Sron nam Forsair, looks a bit forbidding but it’s just steep. Clachlet was the Munro before resurveying resulted in demotion to Top status in 1981 when Creise took over. It’s still a finer viewpoint than Creise.
looking up to Clach Leathad

I once did this circuit and threw in a descent and renascent to Beinn Mhic Chrasgaig.
looking down to Chrasgaig
I must have been on form, today I was just worrying about what looked like a decent sized cornice over the ridge to Meall a Bhuiridh. It turned out quite sugary and easy. We’d been watching two walkers coming across the ridge towards us and commenting unkindly on their speed. Now we saw they were carrying downhill skis and boots. They took to the snow. One of them now was ascending at an awesome speed, driving with poles like a steam engine. Finally they put on their skis, turned and swooped 200 metres. It looked fun. They’d head cameras and it’s probably now on U-Tube but it seemed a huge amount of work for one run. I suppose we’d done as much work and weren’t getting the run.

We met two people at the bealach who noted our ice-axes and said theirs were in their car. Ours had been comforting but not necessary in crossing the cornice. You should have them every time when there’s snow on the hills. I’d had a slippery time on Stobinian at the start of winter: I’d not brought my axe because the Pentlands were completely snow-free.

At the summit cairn of Meall a Bhuiridh you can’t yet see the mess of ski equipment and there’s amazing views. MWIS had threatened cloud and rain in the afternoon but got it wrong. This was the first day this year for just stretching out in the warmth at the summit and soaking it all in.
Looking north to Nevis

It’s not a bad descent to Ba Cottage where on the lower slopes we found more signs of the idiot bikers. They seemed to have ploughed their way 100 metres up the slope then turned back. The stalkers’ path as usual seemed to take twice as long going out as going in. Also the bog that the bikers had churned, we skipped over in the morning. Now we plodded and sank.

Thanks to Gordon for his photos and for working this route out last century. He does his own blog at http://www.ga-highland-walks.co.uk/blog/

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Re: Creise and Meall a'Bhuiridh from Rannoch Moor

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu May 23, 2013 8:12 pm

Sounds like a fun & different day out :wink:

Like the number plates - for the record FJ62ELC is illegal anyway, incorrect font :D
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