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Stewed on my Seventieth
by ScottishLeaf » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:15 am
Route description: Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan
Munros included on this walk: Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glenfinnan), Sgurr Thuilm
Date walked: 20/07/2013
Time taken: 10.5 hours
Distance: 23 km
Ascent: 1444m4 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).
The Ancient Machine had a gear problem and I knew I'd be limited in my choice of gears, but as we set off I realised I'd have the grand total of one gear to choose from. Fortunately there isn't much in the way of a climb until Corryhully Bothy is reached and the one gear did me fine, with only one push to needed!
We tied the bicycles up at the bothy, just 20 minutes after setting out from the car park.
From the bothy the first real ascent of the day is undertaken up a gravel track, past a waterfall and over a burn crossing to reach the point where the path back down from Sgurr nan Coireachan is reached.
Keep straight on here we followed the track up to it's conclusion at a deep looking ford, but to the left there is a bridge of sorts. Four iron bars layed across concrete foundations takes you across the burn.
On the other side there is still a track, but it's much older and far rougher and we followed this round the hill a bit until we were underneath Streap's outlying top Stob Coire nan Cearc. We then broke off the path and headed directly up Sgurr Thuilm's ridge, quickly finding a damp path which was quite erroded in places. It had taken us half an hour to reach the bottom of the hill from the bridge and despite the early hour, there was already a heat in the air and shadows were quickly disappearing from Glen Finnan and Sgurr nan Coireachan was already bathed in sunshine. It was going to be a scorcher.
Thankfully, for now, were still in the shade as we headed up the first stage Sgurr Thuilm's ridge, Sron a'Bheithe. As we gained the top of the Sron, the sun's light and heat began pouring over Sgurr a Thuilm and we stopped to rest against a blissfully cold rock and it wasn't even 8am yet!
Leaving ugly sweat patches on the rock we continued the plod up hill, on the second stage of the ridge, Druim Coire a'Bheithe. The views across the corrie to Meall an Tarmachain and Beinn Garbh on the ridge connect Sgurr Thuilm to Sgurr nan Coireachan really did make you feel like you were climbing round the edge of a giant cauldron.
Whilst behind the shadows continued to diminish down in the glen and sun began to highlight the arches of The Hogwarts Bridge.
Eventually the gradient eased off again and the summit came into view, the central peak on the point where two ridges met.
I was in my usual position of 3rd of 3 and lagging well behind Alec and Wullie, who scooted off for the top, while I meandered my way up over the last hump of the ridge and drank in the views of Gaor Bheinn and Streap silouhetted against the increasing power of the summer sun.
One glen over, in Glen Dessary, I could see the glen was in an inversion.
On the final push up to the top, the path thinks about coming close to the corrie edge, then forgets that idea! Making a beeline for the summit cairn instead. So number 69, was in the bag and it's cairn made a fine drying line!
Now all that remained was for a baking hot trudge across the ridge to Sgurr nan Coireachan to get 70 and the quarter way mark (-ish.)
From the top of Sgurr Thuilm the ridge looked a lot up and downs, but nothing too strenuous.
With the sun now reaching it's zenith, the ridge had a bit of everything. Some steep bits, some grassy bits, some wee scrambly bits, some awkward big steps but; thankfully the wet bits had near enough dried out in the recent good weather. The ridge never feels really narrow, but the side are almost sheer down into the corries on either side and it gives some grand views of the surrounding scenery.
Nearly three hours after setting off from Sgurr Thuilm under the roasting sun, I arrived at the top of Sgurr nan Coireachan and munro number 70.
We sat and munched what food we had left, that wasn't either turned bad or melted before beginning the descent down over Sgurr a'Choire Riabhaich. The descent was a torture, once again the rugged terrain throwing in a bit of everything and seemingly going on for ever. The wee scrambles were a thrill, but the loose, steep paths were annoying to say the least! In another section, the path rounds a rocky section right next to a chimney, dropping hundreds of feet down to the glen, giving a spectacular sight.
Eventually I caught up with the other two back on the track by the waterfall we passed nearly 10 hours earlier. It was too good to resist!!!
After a suitable soaking, it was a 10 minute wander back down to Corryhully and then the cycle out again, mostly free wheeling it back to the viaduct in less than 15mins.
In the end I drank over 5L of fluids and guzzled down 2 bottles of Irn Bru and 2 bottles of Highland Spring in the car, trying to battle the sun... I think the sun won, but it was still a great day for my 70th munro.
by kev_russ » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:12 am
by Lightfoot2017 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:15 am
You receive an extra point for legitimate use of the word "zenith" in your report too!
by LeithySuburbs » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:34 pm
by Rottiewalker » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:02 pm
by quoman » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:22 pm
by Tomsie » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:01 pm
Didnt see Bear hope his ok
by Collaciotach » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:15 pm
by gammy leg walker » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:34 pm
by ScottishLeaf » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:09 am
Certainly I found it tough going in the conditions, but we got there in the end in a respectable time and another wee landmark reached. The heat didn't spoil it too much
Bear wasn't with us this time, think Alec chose to leave her behind as we were cycling in to the bothy and due to the heat.
by trekker53 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:51 pm
by PeteR » Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:49 pm
by ScottishLeaf » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:37 pm
We didn't pass anyone until we were about 1/4 of the way down Sgurr nan Coireachean and even then I only saw 4 others all day.
Definitely two hills that are a wee bit harder and give further walking than they seem at first glance.
by jonny616 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:53 am
by rockhopper » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:33 pm