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A long walk for a corbett

A long walk for a corbett


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:16 pm

Route description: Falls of Glomach via Glen Elchaig

Munros included on this walk: A' Ghlas-bheinn

Corbetts included on this walk: Sgurr Gaorsaic

Date walked: 04/07/2013

Time taken: 11.3 hours

Distance: 41.4 km

Ascent: 2193m

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Today was supposed to be our opportunity to walk the South Glen Shiel Ridge, but a forecast of gale force winds up to 75mph kind of put that idea to bed. Allison had come up the previous evening for a couple of days on the hills and I was reluctant to do nothing, so had a think about our other options. Ridges of any variety didn't seem a particularly good idea, which included our hopes to tackle the Saddle, so what was left? Having done A Ghlas Bheinn 2 days earlier i was quite sure it would be OK in strong winds - and there was a Corbett - Sgurr Gaorsaic - "the peak of horror" sounded a goodie :lol:
Looking at the map it seemed that it would be possible to do these from the house, using the bikes kindly provided by the owner to cycle the 11km along the track at Glen Elchaig, head up the hillside along the path to the Falls of Glomach then ascend A Ghlas Bheinn from its north aspect, tracking down to bealach a sgairne and heading north again up the fencepost line of Sgurr Gaorsaic, then coming down the shoulder and re-ascending to the bealach between AGB and Meal Dubh - well that was the plan anyway.

Set off reasonably early after the usual plate of porridge and enjoyed a cycle with the wind on our backs along the Glen track. Allison hadn't cycled for several years and would find the impact on her back and knees to be problematic later in the week :roll: I found it quite strange to be moving at such an accelerated speed when out on a hillwalk - kilometres were passing at under 3 minutes each with minimal effort. Almost ran over a couple of frogs on the path - something that wouldn't be a problem on foot - you'd see 'em easily, nor in a car - you'd nat see them at all and squish... but on a bike it was all a little too close for comfort :shock:

We reached the start of the path for Glomach, hid the bikes behind some ferns and heather, although we didn't really expect that many folk would be out on such a grim day to notice them anyway. There's a wee track that leads down to the river and a good bridge over - just as well as the river was full after a night's heavy rain.
Image
P1020919 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The path up the side of Allt a'Ghlomaich was even signposted with one of these "victorian style" markers and rose quite steeply up the mountainside.

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P1020980 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020920 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020921 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020922 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There was a slighlty awkward crossing of one of the tributaries which Allison shuddered a bit at - she just loves such things :lol: .
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P1020923 by 23weasels, on Flickr

As we rose to around 400m and headed west around a cleft in the hillside we got our first view of the Falls - a white gash dropping through lush greenery
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P1020925 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020928 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Didn't seem to be able to get that near to see a good drop mind you. We reached the plateau at the head of the Falls then followed a faint path to Reah bhealan Ohdar and Meal Dubh - which afforded views of the Horror Peak and its Loch, with the Mullardoch peaks behind

Image
P1020932 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It was a steep climb up the side of Meal Dubh which then led onto Creag na Saobhie and a view towards A Ghlas Bheinn's north aspect

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P1020933 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I preferred this route of ascent, with a steep last 100m from the bealach to the route I'd taken on Tuesday from the South. The wind was blowing up quite a storm on top and we cold see very little - time to get down and plan our next move.

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P1020935 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020937 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020938 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I just didn't fancy walking down the south path from AGB, nor did it seem sensible to descend then re-ascend to the bealach on the return from Sgurr Gaorsaic - so we altered the plans to go straight down from the bealach between AGB and Creag na Saobhie towards Loch Gaorsaic, use the "stepping stones" on the map and climb up the north west shoulder of Sgurr Gaorsaic.

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P1020940 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Was a steepish and boggy descent in the rain. came to a strange building with thick stone walls and no roof? maybe a tiny church - map didn't help with info, but didn't really look like a dwelling.
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P1020941 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Then we came to the stepping stones - which would have been OK if you were 8foot 6 - neither of us managed to avoid slipping into the (fortunately shallowish) river going over

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P1020943 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It's a pretty unrelentingly steep slog up the hill from this direction. Wet grassy slopes with patches of bog.

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P1020944 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020945 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Did give good views over to Beinn Fhada and AGB though

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P1020946 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020947 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020948 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Reaching the shoulder, the grassy pointy top came into view
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P1020949 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhan loomed over to our left looking a massive hill from this angle

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P1020950 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally we got to the flattish summit, littered with giant jaggy rocks

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P1020953 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We saw the north cluanie tops
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P1020954 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020956 by 23weasels, on Flickr

and a cracking view to Ciste Dubh
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P1020955 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020958 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Allison looking over at Ciste Dubh, which would hopefully be her 100th Munro in a couple of days time
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P1020959 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020961 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We lingered at the top for a bit - I kept looking over at Sgurr nan Ceathreamhan and thinking - "it's not that far - we could just nip over and bag that one too" - though I knew it was a long up & down then a lengthy journey to the summit, and of course there were 3 other Munros attached to it - STOP IT :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :lol:

We decided instead to head down, and came down further east than the shoulder we'd ascended on - this didn't prove to be a good idea as it was steep and rocky. I made faster progress than Ally as I contoured round to the west and I lost sight of her for a bit. Where the hell has she gone? I track back a bit to find her waving her poles in some distress, having fallen and broken one of her poles, punching herself in the face in the process :shh: At least the pole stopped her tumbling anywhere, but she was a bit shaken. Managed to make some field repairs to the pole which enabled her to keep on using it and we descended, rather more slowly towards the valley. Rather than go back over the stepping stones and rejoin our original route, it looked easier to just follow the direction of the Abhain Ghorsaic which we knew flowed into the Glomach falls.
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P1020964 by 23weasels, on Flickr

This proved rather arduous as we had to contour over heather, streams, bogs etc, but we finally made it into the plain. Crossing the river by this point was a straighforward "lets just wade straight through it" relying on gaiters to keep the majority of water outside of the boots, and this was fairly successful for me, less so for my unfortunate buddy :(

The bog revealed lots of old forest remnants including this bizarre suspended roots image

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P1020966 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020967 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally we turned west along where the 2 rivers meet and saw my old friend Carnan Cruithneachd looming over proceedings. I love this hill - it's such a wee cracker

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P1020969 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Walking along past the Falls, we noticed a narrow path went down beside them, we'd missed this on the way past first time - but it took us down to a vertigo-inducing viewpoint. The falls looked magnificent, the water roaring and tumbling around.

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P1020970 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020975 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020976 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020977 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Deninately worth a visit!

back along the path beside the river to where our bikes awaited.

Carnivorous Plant
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P1020979 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1020981 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The wind was blowing in our faces, the rain was driving against us and the initial section of the return route was a bit uphill - wonderful stuff :roll: Still, it made me feel alive if nothing else. After what had been a very long day - 11 and a half hours, we made it back to the cottage to find Mrs Weasel had been busy cooking up a delicious curry, which was a great way to end the day. A long day to add one Corbett onto my list, but the Falls were superb and I was just glad to get something climbed in the weather that day.

Image
P1020982 by 23weasels, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1899
Munros:214   Corbetts:44
Grahams:76   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:359   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: A long walk for a corbett

Postby wjshaw2 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:30 pm

That looks a great walk and is a well written report. Good photos too - I've never actually seen a fly in one of those sundews before.
User avatar
wjshaw2
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 114
Munros:100   Corbetts:62
Grahams:55   Donalds:75
Sub 2000:160   Hewitts:26
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Feb 16, 2013
Location: Edinburgh

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