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Revenge of the clegs!

Revenge of the clegs!


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:10 pm

Route description: Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain

Munros included on this walk: Chno Dearg, Stob Coire Sgriodain

Date walked: 13/07/2013

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 14.3 km

Ascent: 950m

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Another weekend with good weather and we couldn't resist bagging a couple of Munros. Saturday was forecast to be the hottest summer day since 2006 (at least down south). Luckily, temperatures in Scotland stayed at more acceptable level. Still, we wanted to do something a wee bit shorter than the previous weekend's Cairngorm Odyssey.
Originally we eyed the Fannichs, where we have a few Munros still left to tackle, but as the best conditions were forecast for southern ranges, we ended up in Fersit instead :lol: :lol:
Last autumn we climbed the Easains and we had to walk through some annoying bog. Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain, the two on the other side of Loch Treig, have even worse reputation, so we were keeping this route for either very hot or frosty conditions, to reduce the wet experience to the minimum. Now the day has come :D
Route:

Track_CHNO DEARG FERSIT 13-7-13.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


We parked in Fersit, there is an ample car park at the end of public road. The summits of our target Munros were hidden in cloud as we arrived, but it quickly burned off and never returned :D
To begin with, we walked through the village, crossing two bridges:
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The day felt hot but a refreshing breeze was a nice addition :D Past the last houses of the village and a gate, we turned south and charged straight up the grassy slopes of Stob Coire Sgriodain:
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Most walk descriptions for this route state there is no proper path up the first Munro and one simply has to work their way through the boggy vegetation. We did so for the first 15 minutes or so, but then we discovered a narrow path following the stream, Allt Chaorach Beag:
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We were happy to follow the stream uphill, at least we could drink as much water as we needed and even refilled bottles for later!
Looking down the stream, Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach dominate the view across the glen:
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The path and the steep climb still to tackle:
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Just as we were really beginning to enjoy this outing, we reached a small group of trees growing along the stream...
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...and I stopped for a while to strike a "happy-panther" pose...
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... we were suddenly attacked by an army of vicious clegs! Thankfully, I was prepared, with good old deet in my pocket. Kevin was bitten on his neck - just as well he is not allergic. A bite in this part of the body, if swollen, could have serious consequences.
Deet seemed to deter the wee b*&^%ds. And we were desperate to enjoy our walk regardless of the black attackers!!!
As we climbed higher, views were getting better:
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The stream and the north pano:
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We followed the stream path to the height of 620m, with the rocky ridge of Sron na Garbh-bheinne to our right. Then we left the path behind and charger up the steeper slopes. To make the ascent easier, we followed a grassy gully, which in wet weather would probably be a mud-dance, but in hot, dry conditions we had no problem whatsoever. I stopped half way up to eat a few cloudberries :lol: :lol: and soon we landed on the ridge between Sron na Garbh-bheinne and Stob Coire Sgriodain. From here, it was only a stroll to the summit area.
After the steep climb, the views simply MUST be great, to reward the effort! Looking along Loch Treig:
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The Easains across the loch:
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The summit (to the right) and the imposing cliffs of Coire Sgriodain:
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On the southern horizon, I could recognise the shapes of Glen Coe hills...
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...and to the south-west, the distant mountains of Knoydart:
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Just incredible! The heat, the sweat, the clegs - all forgotten in this one mind-boggling moment...
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Aonach Eagach looking just as sharp, just as scary as it always does!!!
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To the east, Loch Laggan and Creag Pitridh group:
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Veni...vidi...vici...miaow! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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We landed on the summit only to discover that it was cleg-free and a perfect spot for a looooong break with fantastic views around! And we were happy to discover, that the remaining part of the ridge (now clearly seen) didn't contain any more steep ascents, just some nice ridgewalking :D
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We spent more time then needed on the summit of Stob Coire Sgriodain, mainly because we knew this wasn't a long walk so we had more than enough time to laze about :wink:
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Kevin posing with the big drops of Coire Sgriodain behind:
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I know, the same view all over again, but it's so beautiful...
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Lunch time...
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We had lots of fun trying to work out the names of the mountains on the horizon :D Something like "hillspotting" :lol: :lol:
From the closer ones, I spotted the Grey Corries peaking out from behind the Easains. Nevis could not be seen from here:
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Kevin was better, he spotted Ben Wyvis!
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We wondered if possibly the hills on the horizon to the very right could be the Fannichs?
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The game could go on and on, as this ridge is a fantastic viewpoint! Well, if you can see all the way from Glen Coe & Etive mountains and Schiehallion allt the way to Wyvis and Fannichs plus Knoydart, you couldn't possibly ask for more!
And I knew that the views will be even better from Chno Dearg as it is higher of the two Munros. So eventually, after a long picnic, we prepared to leave:
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The ridge between the two Munros could be confusing in misty conditions, as there are two minor tops to walk over (neither has a name on the map), but in good weather it's a superb traverse.
Stob Coire Sgriodain from the first minor top (958m):
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A few rocks to climb over but no real scrambling...
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I kept glancing back to the Easains and the Glen Coe mountains behind...
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Posing with Chno Dearg:
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The second minor top (924m) is topped with an unusual, white cairn. It seems someone has gone to the effort of collecting all the quartz rocks around, to create this odd feature:
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So you can see the two Buachailles:
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Zoom:
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Bidean nam Bian - summit still holding a small cloud, and the AE ridge:
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The final climb to Chno Dearg is very grassy:
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Back to Stob Coire Sgriodain and Lochan Coire an Lochain:
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To the south, Meall Garbh, an outlying top, which we didn't bother to climb as we don't collect Munro tops:
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Soon we were on the summit of Chno, my Munro count now up to 106! Kevin is 5 away from 150 :D
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Views from here give more insight into the remote area between Loch Ericht and Loch Ossian, with Ben Alder group in the middle:
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Beinn a'Chlachair and friends - another group yet to tackle:
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View south:
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So now, having done all the uphill, we could sit down, relax, and continue "hillspotting" game. I noticed that Ben Nevis was just making an entrance:
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Shiechallion seen from the narrow side:
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Buachaille Etive Mor:
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Knoydart, with Gairich in the middle and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich to the right, I think:
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One last glimpse at Aonach Eagach. Not today, not tomorrow, but I WILL GET THERE one day :lol: :lol: :lol:
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The return route is simple, just make your way down from Chno Dearg, back to Fersit. Judging by the amount of bog on these slopes even now, after prolonged period of dry and hot weather, I reckon this descent on a wet day would be a nightmare! We decided to cross the slope and return to the path along Allt Chaorach Beag, as it offered the easiest ground for the descent.
From the top of Chno, one can actually see Fersit:
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Clegs tried to intimidate us again on the way down but apart from that and a few peat hags, we didn't encounter any obstacles and returned safely to the car park. Six and a half hours! One could say, a slow walk, but I must admit half of that time was spent on lazying about on mountain tops... I'm so happy that this year we have some proper summer, that I could meow loudly all over Scotland :lol: :lol: :lol:
On Sunday we went to ramble in Culbin Forest - report to come soon 8)
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2891
Munros:242   Corbetts:147
Grahams:106   
Sub 2000:35   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Revenge of the clegs!

Postby basscadet » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:51 pm

Oh looked like an amazing day.. :clap:

Shame about the clegs - they seem to be having a particularly good year unfortunately.. No walker is safe! :lol:

Haven't been to Fersit yet - was looking over to them from the Buachaille on Saturday - but I'll be going up these ones soon after seeing this :D
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basscadet
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2778
Munros:84   Corbetts:51
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Sub 2000:31   Hewitts:10
Wainwrights:14   
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Revenge of the clegs!

Postby dogplodder » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:02 pm

Nice one BP - and impressive hill spotting too! :D
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dogplodder
 
Posts: 3228
Munros:216   Corbetts:50
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Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:4
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Joined: Jul 16, 2011

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