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Into the night at Inverlochlarig
by malky_c » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:33 am
Corbetts included on this walk: Stob a' Choin
Grahams included on this walk: Meall Mor (Loch Katrine), Stob Breac
Date walked: 07/07/2013
Time taken: 6.8 hours
Distance: 21 km
Ascent: 1715m5 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Grahams: Stob Breac, Meall Mor
Distance: 21 km
Time taken: 6 hours 50 minutes.
Weather: Hot, sunny and very still
I managed to get the car for a couple of days, so decided to put it to good use heading for all those places that are really awkward to reach on public transport. As I was starting from Dundee, I headed for the southern highlands for a change. I had come up with this route 2 or 3 years back but not managed to get round to it. A couple of brownie points were on offer for dropping my nephews off in Perth, so I took them. This meant I didn't arrive at Inverlochlarig until 6pm. With the weather so good and almost infinite daylight, I decided to plough on and do the entire route anyway - I was sure I could be back on the track down the glen before it got too dark to see. I reckoned on a midnight return to the car.
I'd only ever been down the side of Loch Voil once before, and I'd forgotten how impressive this corner of the highlands can be. It was partly down to the switchbacks and potholes, but it made me think of the road down Loch Arkaig. Despite being evening, the thermometer in the car had been climbing steadily since Perth, hitting 24 degrees when I parked up.
Stob a Choin:
Along a farm track, then a couple of forestry zigzags, taking me to a track contouring the hillside. I had decided on the short-and-brutal approach straight up the fire break on the nose of the hill. It was very steep, but mainly on good firm ground. Main inconvenience was crossing a deer fence, as it towered above me from the downhill side. A couple of short scrambly moves and some more steep grass led to the bobbly summit ridge. Loch Voil now disappeared from view, but it had looked nice on the way up. More impressive was Stob Binnein across the glen. It is easily the more shapely of the Ben More/Stob Binnein pair, and here it could be appreciated in full without Ben More getting in the way.
Stob Binnein from the front of Stob Breac:
...and again from the summit:
There were a number of bumps of similar height, so I picked one at random to stop on. It was still very warm and the flies were swarming. Ben Venue now popped into view to the south, looking much higher than its' 730 odd meters.
South across the summit ridge to Ben Venue:
North to Stob Binnein:
Loch Katrine and Ben Venue:
I decided to miss out An Stuchd, as I had quite a lot to get through. I hoped that the likely view down Loch Katrine from it would be repeated from the back of Stob a' Choin. A roughish descending traverse led to a deer fence, the forestry edge and the col, from where it was a good long way back up again. At least the lower section was in the shade - not usually a concern after 7pm!
Stob Binnein from the Breac/Choin col:
Gargunnock Hills, Loch Katrine and Ben Venue:
Stob Binnein again:
Loch Katrine again:
A mixed ascent up grassy gullies and crags led to a leveling, then the SE ridge proper. The eastern summit looked really imposing from here, and I would have crossed it if I'd had more time. Not to worry though - there was plenty more like it on the summit ridge . In fact the number of bumps with steep descent made it feel more like Knoydart than somewhere near Loch Lomond.
East summit of Beinn a Choin:
Ben Lomond was the next interesting view - the hidden NE face rather than the usual one, and it was good to see into the Loch Arklet/Loch Katrine area, somewhere I've never been. I suddenly had a plan for a weekend route through here - watch this space (although you may be watching for a couple of years).
Ben Lomond, Loch Katrine and Loch Arklet:
Beinn Buidhe and Beinn a Chabhair:
Ben Lomond again:
Summit ridge of Stob a Choin:
The Crianlarich quartet: Cruach Ardrain, Beinn Tulaichean, Ben More and Stob Binnein:
Beinn a Chroin and Cruach Ardrain:
Ben Lomond from Stob a Choin:
Ben Lomond and a zip wire :
Ups and downs on the summit ridge:
Finally, at about 9:15pm, I hit the summit. Well worth another stop - I think Stob a' Choin now has to tie with Beinn an Lochain as my favourite summit in the southern highlands.
Crianlarich hills again:
Beinn Chabhair and Beinn a Chroin:
West up the Lairig:
Ascent route up Meall Mor:
I wasn't especially looking forward to the next bit. Memories of reading about Kev and Graeme's recent overnighter in this area meant I knew what to expect. It's fair to say that if I'd done this route the other way round, I'd have been put off by the slopes of Stob a' Choin. It goes down 500m in about 500m of distance (only a slight exaggeration). Still, at least it was fast - less than half an hour and I was setting to work on the ascent on the other side. The light was now becoming pretty rubbish for photography, but it was fine for walking still. I contoured the intermediate summit of Stob an Duibhe, but there were still more ups and downs (surprisingly steep ones only hinted at on the map) before the cairn. I arrived at 11pm on the dot, with some nice colours still to the west.
Looking back to Stob a Choin:
Last light over the Tyndrum hills:
Loch Katrine from Meall Mor:
Ben Lui and Beinn Chabhair:
This could have been anywhere, but it was actually on the summit of Meall Mor:
It was getting a bit hard to see now, but still no need to get the torch out. I hoped to descend the upper part of the north face quickly, using the remaining light to dodge gullies and craglets. My plan paid off, and I was able to reach the floor of the glen in about 30 minutes. Across the river, the track was made up of very light gravel, so still no need for a torch. A peaceful hour and 20 minutes took me back to the car, with surprisingly little starlight given the clarity of the air. A thin veil of cloud must've crept in. My judgement was a bit out - I got back to the car at 12:50am rather than midnight, and with flies and midges hovering, I quickly decided to sleep in the car rather than faff about with the tent. By winding the seat back, I was able to get much more comfortable than last time I'd slept in the car, and got a pretty decent sleep.
by pigeon » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:38 am
by LeithySuburbs » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:55 am
by Johnny Corbett » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:01 pm
by malky_c » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:55 am
LeithySuburbs wrote:Jeez... do you ever do a normal walk ?
...coming from the guy who is a fully paid-up member of the Basscadet Ministry of Silly Walks
by kevsbald » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:17 pm
by ChrisW » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:41 pm
If you ever come to Canada and fancy a hike.....I'm getting a horse
by gammy leg walker » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:44 pm
by Bod » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:12 pm
by Collaciotach » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:43 pm
Slept in the car last night prior to an early start on Sgorr Ruaidh ,Beinn Liath Mhor .... only woke up twice due to dreams first one I had two flat tyres ,went out to check they were fine ,second one the hand brake was off and I was rolling down the hill ... was I feck
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