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Breac-Bheinn & Meall Dheirgidh fae Ardgay rail station.

Breac-Bheinn & Meall Dheirgidh fae Ardgay rail station.


Postby Norman_Grieve » Sat May 25, 2013 9:52 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Breac-Bheinn, Meall Dheirgidh

Date walked: 24/05/2013

Time taken: 5.75 hours

Distance: 31 km

Ascent: 876m

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Scaled Breac-Bheinn & Meall Dheirgidh, cycling up Strath Carron fae Ardgay rail station yesterday.
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Last edited by Norman_Grieve on Mon May 27, 2013 6:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Norman_Grieve
 
Posts: 378
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Herebe yon photies.

Postby Norman_Grieve » Sat May 25, 2013 9:52 am

Herebe yon photies:-

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Norman_Grieve
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Jan 10, 2011

EMap noo added.

Postby Norman_Grieve » Mon May 27, 2013 6:26 pm

EMap noo added. :clap:
Norman_Grieve
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Jan 10, 2011

TR pt.1c

Postby Norman_Grieve » Wed May 29, 2013 1:34 pm

Rose afore half six in t' morn & rode mein hoss trois mile doon t' hill, arriving in good time tae bag ma auld foggies ticket, yon scheme haein' just restarted. However, I was shocked tae the core when the lassie behind t' counter asked moi fae nearly 70 quid, then turned ma an even deeper shade o' pale when querying me advanced years. However, I was soon tottering awa on shaky legs, twa precious return tickets tae deepest, darkest Sutherland clutched in ma sweaty haund.

After the standard nervous wait 'til the platform finally appeared on yon huge electronic destination board, indicating that the barriers would at last be letting us thru' for a quick dash tae oor choo-choo, I hoisted mein steel hoss aboard, only tae find that all the tethering posts were already taken. Twa o' them were not available & the other already held the twa hoss maximum permitted. I thus adopted a high risk strategy of propping mein untethered hoss up against the rail & hastily disappeared up the carriage tae find a spare seat on the very full, rush-hour train.

Ah couldnae recall any seriously sharp bends 'til after the 1st stop at Dyce, where many folk got off, thus thought there was a fair chance o' mein hoss remaining upright. However, I decided tae check hoo things were going as we got to the following windy section, just in time tae see mein faithful steed crash tae the deck, fortunately missing all fellow travellers. I'd just got her back upright when the feared conductor appeared, who then, rather than expounding the expected wrath & dark threats, attempted tae stretch the tethering strap o'er mein hoss, with nae great success. Somewhat relieved at the official's seemingly relaxed attitude, I then returned tae moi seat & immersed mesen in the final volume o' SK's 'Dark Tower', odyssey.

This was interrupted by further wee inspection trips, as we passed each station, to see if either the guy in the wheelchair, or either o' t'other twa riders had disembarked, aussi tae check that mein hoss had nae further unfortunate tumbles. It was not 'til around Forres, an hour or so later, that I could fully relax, as the tethering rails were finally vacated. Being mistakenly under the impression that I'd got 15 mins or so when we arrived at the HC, afore the train tae Wick departed, I rashly thought ma transport concerns were over... Thus once there I sauntered off into Inverness station, glancing idly up at the large electronic destination board, only to find that it was due tae leave at ony second.

Springing intae action, I dashed o'er tae Platform 6 and up the side o' t' train, only tae find that none o' yon doors would open, a railway mannie's whistle fae back doon yon platform seemingly confirming that I was too late. However, as I spun round in despair, I caught sight o' said mannie waving furiously at moi & I trotted back doon tae see what the trouble was. Rather late in the day, I then realised that he was waving moi round tae the other side o' t' train, where I found, much tae ma relief, that yon doors were still open. Mein troubles were still not at an end however, as I soon discovered that yet again both tethering rails were full and worse still this time the ticket mannie was standing guard o'er them...

After pointing out the obvious, that they were full, he then added that he wasnae supposed tae let ma on wi mein steel hoss, although I soon detected a crack in his petty official's armour plating, as he asked moi hoo far ah wiz gang? I assured him that I wasnae gang faur & in desperation, even offered tae stand guard o'er the beast for the duration, in the unlikely event that it should topple o'er. He then suggested that I turn the outer hoss round, so's it's neck rested over the rump o' the far beast, which eureka! enabled moi tae pull the strap o'er all trois, including mein ain steed. Afore yon mannie could change his mind, I then disparu up yon carriage & sat doon in a handy 'reserved' seat.

Nae lang after we rolled oot o' yon station I treated mesen tae a well earned cuppa, thence chased after the dozy ticket lassie who'd overcharged moi by nae less than a whole poond for moi beveridge. I was then entertained by the antics o' a wee laddie, who taunted his ma all the way tae Dingwall & beyond, as the skies cleared rapidly and the fierce late May sun made a rare appearance. Nae lang after noon we disembarked at Ardgay & in view o' the fact that ma supply o' apple juice was already running low, I was nae best pleased tae see that the cafe/pub & shop which I'd relied upon in times of yore - were noo either all closed doon or had found at new use... but nae tae moi.

I turned left off the A836 after a few yards beside the former shop [noo an estate office], up the lane bound for Strathcarron, signposted tae Croick. I kept right past the school & kirk, pausing for a 1st snap at the bridge o'er the River Carron, beyond which I turned left up the glen at a T-junction. After running along the lower edge of the forest a fast stretch led doon tae close beside the river and a wee climb up o'er a wee hill, cutting off a meander in the watercourse. Not far after leaving the river wance mair I paused again tae snap a large bird of prey soaring above, with the zoom full on - seen to the left of Peterb's 'tadpoles'.

A lengthy straight stretch followed, the lane wance agin following closeby the river for 1/2 mile or so, beyond which I paused wance mair to snap ma twa objectives, still fairly distant, fae across the meadows sporting thoosands o' buttercups & assorted other wildflowers. Yet another wee halt was called for just 1/2 mile or so further up the glen, where I snapped the view up the river past Gruinards Lodge, the higher peaks around Gleann Mor noo coming intae view in the distance. Nearer at hand, the cone of Meall nan Eun, a forepeak of Meall Dheirgidh was prominent, behind which the reigning peak was noo hidden.

The lane then climbed up to run alang the foot of the lang line o' plantations on the north side o' the strath, passing the large, whitewashed Braelangwell Lodge on the left after another mile. I thought aboot leaving the lane for a wide forest track leading up right, nae far short o' the lodge but decided to press on for another mile tae the end o' the forest, too many nightmare memories of fighting ma way through twisted felled timber in past times still fresh in ma subconscious...

I crossed a stream just past the western boundary of the forest, then up a wee rise reached a path leading off left to a bridge o'er the river. Here I back-tracked a short distance to the watery start of a rough track heading up the hillside to the north, up the far bank o' the stream fae the edge of the plantation. I spread ma waterproof oot on the mossy bank across the lane fae the gate, changed intae ma fancy red SK4 Verto boots, then tethered ma faithful steed tae yon fence behind some wee trees beside the start o' yon track.

It had taken well under an hour for the leisurely ride up the glen fae the station, it noo being c.1pm, as I set off up the track on foot, pausing after a few minutes beside the ruins of Whale Cottage, snapping the view across the glen up to the Graham, Carn Salachaidh. The track continued climbing steadily beyond the derelict building, deteriorating slowly, as it passed the top edge of the felled timber wasteland across the stream tae ma right, which made ma reflect that mayhap I'd come tae the right decision for wance, in avoiding yon treacherous forestry plantation.

The Corbett, Carn Chuinneag, noo came intae view, further tae the right o' the aforementioned Graham, sporting several large snow patches and I recalled the icy wait for a recovery truck tae rescue ma kaput rust bucket, upon return fae that fine peak wi GC, many moons ago. I continued up the increasingly boggy track, which was by noo little mair than of glorified ATV proportions, 'til it levelled oot & veered tae the left, awa fae the Allt nan Eun. Here I dropped doon intae the head of the burn & hopped across it, to begin the grind up steepening, heathery slopes, directly towards the summit o' Breac-Bheinn.

The cone of Meall Dheirgidh soon came into view, back across the stream, o'er the NW shoulder of Meall nan Eun, with a line of distant, flat topped, high snowy plateau visible through the dip in between. In the other direction, unconquered sub2k Marilyn, The Struie, was prominent at the far left end of the dark brown heathery hills, beyond the bright green & yellow strip of Strathcarron, up which I'd just ridden. This view was framed on the left by the steep SW flank of Carn Smairt, the SE top of Breac-Bheinn and in the opposite direction Loch Meall Dheirgidh soon came into view to the left of the peak of the same name, my 2nd objective.

As I zig-zagged up a steep, heathery nose to the left of a shallow corrie, the dramatic sight of the snow-capped peaks of Coigach appeared far to the west, which was mein cue tae zoom-in for mair 'tadpole' infested shots, in which Suilven, Canisp & Cul Mor were all prominent. As the angle lay back, approaching the summit plateau, the snows of Conival, Ben More Assynt & well to their right, a distant Ben Hope & much closer Ben Klibreck, all put in an appearance.

I hit the summit plateau of Breac-Bheinn at what looked like the highest point, mid-way twixt the wee eastern top, complete with trig point - OS column & the cairned NW top, equidistant. I first triapsed o'er tae the trig point, fae where there was a fine view doon the Dornoch Firth, to the right of the wee white dots o' Bonar Bridge, Loch Migdale nesting in between the wee hills just beyond. 'Twas noo c.2.20pm, having taken c.1 1/4hr for the rather leisurely ascent & following a wee swallie o' ma precious dwindling apple juice, I skipped back o'er tae the NW summit, bypassing some incipient peat hags on their south side.

I hadnae gang faur doon the steepening west face fae here, when I heard shouts fae awa below, nae far left of the top l.h. corner of a plantation covering the north side of the wide col. I spotted a figure clad in light blue waterproof & it crossed my mind that it may be gamekeepers or hunters, although it was outside the stalking or grouse shooting season. In view of this I thought mebbe I was the cause of some alarm & decided tae give the folken a wide berth, crossing o'er the rough, heathery slopes leftwards, tae gain an ill-defined WSW ridge.

After an easier angled mid-section, this steepened up wance mair to drop doon a grassy tongue tae the headwaters of the Allt nan Eun, fae where I could see my twa possible 'hunters', had stopped on the col above to ma right, presumably tae line ma up in their rifle sights... If so I was in nae position for a quick getaway, as across the burn the tussocky ground soon levelled out but became increasingly boggy, slow, heavy going.

However, my initial theory soon took a knock, when I spied a large group of rucksack clad youths standing around, apparently waiting upon the other twa 'hunters'. After a wee while a 'breakaway', group apparently got fed up with this inactivity & losing patience with their twa leaders?, set off up towards the east ridge of Meall Dheirgidh, the gentle lower section of which I'd by noo almost reached mesen. Here I was just a few hunnerd yards north of Loch Meall Dheirgidh and was glad to find the conditions underfoot improving on the firmer, higher ground.

I thus kept ahead of the faster moving scouting? party and by noo fairly confident that ah wasnae going to be headed off at the pass, I even took the liberty of pausing for a shot back o'er tae Breac-Bheinn, back the way I'd come. I wove ma way through a few scattered wee rocky outcrops, then veered rightwards over tae follow the l.h.s. of a high deer fence, zooming in for another snap of my pursuers, who had all by noo set off up alang the lower section of the said fence.

The ridge soon broadened & levelled oot as it approached the summit, where I soon saw that I had been outflanked, as there were yet mair fearsome warriors up ahead. Evidently surrounded I calmly walked past the hostile forces, who upon closer inspection appeared tae be largely made up of 15 yr auld schoolgirls. However, fearing that the fierce sun had induced heatstroke or a mirage, noting that none of the mysterious figures had voiced any greeting - fiendly or otherwise - I proceeded tae scale the high deer fence, having spotted the wee summit cairn just a few yards o'er the far side, perched just a foot or so higher.

I dropped doon t'other side, relieved tae noo hae at least some form of barrier between moi und the unlikely band of bonnie fair maidens, who were by noo trudging off in any case, some muttering dark, unladylike words including a remark on the vast distance still to cover afore reaching the haven of Croick. After shooting off at the fine sunkissed panorama, not hugely dissimilar tae that encountered earlier on Breac-Bheinn, although snowy Ben Wyvis noo peaked o'er the right shoulder of the Corbett, Carn Chuinneag, I hoisted meinsel' back o'er yon deerfence.

I'd nae sooner dropped o'er t'other side when the 1st twa 'hunt leaders', appeared, bringing up the rear of their young army, although they soon turned oot tae be far friendlier than I'd mayhap expected. Indeed it transpired that earlier thoughts I'd had, idly wondering whether it wasnae aboot time I bumped intae another SHiller - Squiz/Realsquiz having been the only such so far several years back - were something o' a premonition. It emerged that the elder o' the couple was none other than 'Lochivroan', who is apparently named after the bothy, which I remarked upon having seen a note on my last visit several years back, stating that it was awa tae be overrun with youths for a week in the near future.

This turned oot tae hae been the work o' the very same chap who stood before moi, who teld ma that he'd been bringing such parties up the obscure wee hill on which we stood for 34 years & I was only the 2nd personage who they'd ever encountered. I commented that none of today's fair charges had aktually reached yon top, as it was o'er the other side o' yon deer fence, although he assured moi that he hiself had done so some years back, afore the damn thing had bin erected.

Yon gent teld moi that he'd only a few Corbetts tae gang, to which I couldnae help but mention that I'd added the Grahams tae ma Corbett haul early last autumn, prompting a firm handshake fae the fine fellow. I opined that 'twas indeed a pity that his charges had nae bin so responsive, although mebbe they were indeed wise nae tae spek tae strange mannies. Yon bothy namesake then enquired where ah wiz heided, to which I expressed concern that I'd better get orf, as I'd still a fair trek tae gang & ah didnae want tae miss ma train, it noo being half three.

Thus endeth the obscure hilltop mtg. o' twa fully paid up members o' the 'over the hill club', as I scooted off doun sou-east, tae follow the initially steepish heathery slopes, soon easing & broadening twixt Loch Meall Dheirgidh to my left & the narrow wee wooded ravine of the Allt Coire Ruchain down tae ma right. After an increasingly boggy section south of the loch, I was pleased to hit a grassy track, which led doun mair easily, traversing steepening slopes leftwards lower down. I snapped the rushing waters of the Allt Loch Meall Dheirgidh, where it crossed the narrow rushing torrent below a wee Rowan.

Nae far beyond the still grassy track split near a boundary wall running across the hillside, where I took the less distinct left branch, to minimise the distance I'd hae tae follow the lane down the glen below, back tae ma steed. This split again & became even mair indistinct but I managed tae follow it's undulating, windy progress, 'til it came out on the road nae far east of the sheep wash just doun the strath fae Sgodachail farm. 'Twas only half a mile stroll fae here tae complete ma wee horseshoe, closeby the narrow gorge o' the River Carron, which I was soon crossing on a rusty auld wee footbridge, contemplating crashing through the rotting planks into the dark boiling waters awa below.

This led o'er tae Croick schoolhouse which had evidently been turned intae a holiday cottage, judging by the Belgian sticker on the car in the driveway. I brought mein steed tae a halt after just a mile or so, to snap the wooded roadside bank covered with hunnerds of Primroses, then again a few miles doun the glen, past Gruinards Lodge, back up tae the scene o' ma latest wee sub2k Marilyn conquest. A fair headwind sprang up as I toiled back doun lower Strathcarron, nae stopping again 'til nae far short of Ardgay, where I shot a wee Shetland pony & towering fine hoss, which cantered up tae the roadside verge.

After briefly considering the idea of swapping ma steel hoss for wan o' flesh & blood, I decided that would mebbe be pushing ma luck a wee bittee too far with yon petty rail officialdom, recalling a case where some poor auld guy & his wee pony were refused access tae a train fae Wrexham tae Holyhead a few years back. Back in the saddle I sped the last lap back doun tae yon Ardgay rail station, where I arrived afore 6pm, approaching an hour after crossing the perilous wee bridge o'er the Carron. Ah hadnae bin there lang when a lanky middle-aged chap with a wee doggie appeared & strolled doun tae t'other end o' the platform, apparently having failed or chosen nae tae socialise with his ain species.

As I still had 3/4hr tae kill 'til the choo-choo was due, I climbed o'er the fence & made ma way through a few trees doun tae the shore, above which a coupla wee boats were resting upturned on the turf. The tide was well out, exposing mudflats across which led a long line of some large bird's footprints to a reedbed in the direction of Bonar Bridge. Back at the platform I read a few mair pages of the Dark Tower's concluding volume 'til a train pulled up at the platform opposite. This prompted yon mannie & his dog tae climb the steps up ontae the footbridge crossing the line, shortly returning tae inform moi that oor loco was running a few mins late, having spoken to the rail mannies in the train sitting in the station. This advice proved spot on and ah was soon aboard braving the whims of yet mair public service officios on the lang trek back hame...
Last edited by Norman_Grieve on Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:51 am, edited 11 times in total.
Norman_Grieve
 
Posts: 378
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Re: Breac-Bheinn & Meall Dheirgidh fae Ardgay rail station.

Postby malky_c » Wed May 29, 2013 2:07 pm

Looks like the views to Inverpolly are good from here then :) . Was planning something similar myself, as I'd just taken notice of these two recently.

A bit of a relaxing looking trip by your standards :wink:
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Re: Breac-Bheinn & Meall Dheirgidh fae Ardgay rail station.

Postby Norman_Grieve » Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:27 pm

malky_c wrote:Looks like the views to Inverpolly are good from here then :) . Was planning something similar myself, as I'd just taken notice of these two recently.

A bit of a relaxing looking trip by your standards :wink:



Aye Malky, wan can niver relax whence travelin' at the whims o' petty officialdom & their jealously guarded 'public' transport... :roll:
Norman_Grieve
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Jan 10, 2011

Das ist alles mein volk!

Postby Norman_Grieve » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:54 am

That's all folks! :wink:
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Posts: 378
Joined: Jan 10, 2011

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