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Last of the Glencoe hills

Last of the Glencoe hills


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:56 pm

Munros included on this walk: Bidean nam Bian, Sgor na h-Ulaidh, Stob Coire Sgreamhach

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall Lighiche

Date walked: 20/10/2013

Time taken: 14 hours

Distance: 31 km

Ascent: 2996m

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In my bid to be "all blue below the Great Glen" by the end of the year, I had unfinished business in Glencoe. Bidean and the "lost hill of Glencoe", Sgor na h-Ulaidh were to be the targets of a wet weekend. Up to the Red Squirrel on friday after work, a few pints in the Clachaig watching a band and a night of pelting rain on the tent. We had thought about going up Bidean by the Gearr Aonach zigzags, but a combination of the wet weather and the effects of 2 pints of Cullin Beast (a nifty little Belgian-style number at 7% ) put paid to those plans. And for once it was me, not Sickly Child that was feeling a bit rough on Saturday morning :roll: .

What was meant to be an early start was delayed by heavy rain til 9am, and it was nearly 10.30 before we set off to climb Bidean by the usual route of Coire nan Lochain and back via the Lost Valley.

Ascent route
Image
P1040852 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040853 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040855 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I was in Zombie mode, slogging up the side of the stream in slow motion pace. I was glad I'd packed my headtorch as at this rate we'd be descending in the dark :lol: . At the top of the valley the clag came down and the rest of the day was spent in mist. This diminished the more spectacular sights of the mountain, but did create a little bit of mystery and intrigue.

Image
P1040857 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040859 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040860 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We sat and had a sandwich just before the climb to Pinnacle Buttress, which had the desired effect on the remnants of my hangover and lent a boost to my legs. Clambering up to Stob Coire nan Lochan I could sense rather than see the plunging drops over to our left. A further rocky descent then climb led to the top of Bidean itself.

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P1040861 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040862 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Then it's off to the east over undulating terrain to the bealach dearg and up a short sharp incline to the top of Stob Coire Sgreamhach, the Peak of the Horrible Corries. We couldn't comment of the horribleness or otherwise of the corries, as we couldn't see any of them. Met another walker there who'd just come up from bealach dearg and exclaimed "well, there was a lot of point to that!"

Image
P1040863 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back down to the rather steep looking slash in the mountainside that forms the descent route. Initially loose scree and red mud, picking a careful path was essential. Despite taking care, managed to get a cracker of a bash to my shin with accompanying egg-sized lump. Saw some large blocks of creamy/greenish rock looking smooth as cheese.

Image
P1040864 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Soon the terrain became more forgiving and we headed towards the flat table of the Lost Valley, backed by the yellow/brown flanks of Am Bodach. The knobbled peaks of Gearr Aonach loomed through the clag on the left with the sun trying to break through.

Image
P1040866 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040871 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We got to the flat area of the Lost Valley with its huge boulders - did think about trying the clamber up on the largest of them, alongside some young kids, but I decided it was far too slippy in the wet to be embarrassed in front of a bunch of under 10s 8) .

Image
P1040875 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Finally down by the side of the river through woodland with the leaves all yellowed and back up to the car park, in good time to head back to the campsite and grab an meal in the Clachaig - missing out on the Cullin Beast tonight :lol:

Image
P1040877 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040879 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040881 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040883 by 23weasels, on Flickr

After another night of rain it was time to pack the tent away and head off to climb Sgor na h-Ulaidh. We made the dim mistake of parking in the old visitor centre car park (signed for Signal Rock) rather than the little parking area immediately before the roadbridge which is basically at the start of the walk, meaning we'd almost a kilometre to march each way along the A82 - not to be recommended :roll: We got to the gate and followed the Allt Gleann Leac na Muidhe up past the buildings, taking the boggy detour off to our left to skirt round the "private gardens" then through the farm and up to the river.

Image
P1040884 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040885 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040888 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040890 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There's a faint path that more or less follows the fence heading west up onto the slopes of Creag Bhan and a steep grassy ascent follows, with a little rocky outcrop to scramble up and over(rather than avoid to the R as the WH route suggests). Then more steep grassy slopes until the ridge of Creag Bhan is reached. A stag watched and waited until I almost reached the top, then thundered off at top speed.

Beinn a'Bheithir
Image
P1040891 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040892 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Bidean peaking over the top
Image
P1040895 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The path to the summit of Meall Lighiche is easy going after all the steepness that preceeds it and we enjoyed views out west to Beinn Fhionnlaidh and the double peaks of Bein a'Bheithir. We also got a chance to look at the slopes of our next target, "the peak of treasure" and bemoan the drop of 300m to the bealach and then up, up, up again. Sat and had lunch looking out to Loch Etive.

Image
P1040898 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040900 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Followed our track back along the fence line then headed east down the steep shoulder of Meall Lighiche. Boggy in places, not surprising after the recent rain. Crossed the river at the bealach then began the slow ascent of Corr na beinn, heading round to the south as the guide suggests then forcing a path directly up. This was tiring and slippy, but the last 150 metres were quite exhilarating as we chose an almost vertical grassy "chimney" to head up :wink:
Got to the top just as the clag came down, the rain started and the wind decided to go from "balmy" to bleedin' freezing! On with some layers and follow the easy path up to the top of Sgor na h-Ulaidh.

Image
P1040902 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040905 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040906 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040907 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The cairn sits perched on the edge of an impressive cleft down into the northern gully and would not be a good idea to walk straight eastwards from it! Clambered over some boulders to regain the path that leads over some high boggy ground then steeply descends before rising again to Stob an Fhurain. Then more rocks to negatiate and a steady descent to the bealach and a westward turn down the flank of the mountain.

Image
P1040911 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Meall Lighiche looks impressive from here, and some sun opened up golden colours on the northern hills. The descent path however was pretty horrendous - slippy grass and wet rock made the going slow and I managed to fall three times :roll: Eventually we made it down to the river, where a path undulates back to the outward route.
Image
P1040912 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040914 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040917 by 23weasels, on Flickr

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P1040919 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Walking back through the farmland we were rewarded with great views of the Aonach Eagach. Back at the car at 5.40, a bit later than planned for and a lovely ((shudder)) drive back down the road in darkness and intermittent heavy rain. How I just love driving in the dark after a day out on the hills :(

But another good weekend - crap for views, but 2 exciting and very different mountains to have experienced.

Image
P1040920 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Image
P1040921 by 23weasels, on Flickr
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weaselmaster
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:57 pm

Nice one and hard luck with Bidean she is a cracker with views.... see her most mornings on my way to work :lol:

Your closing in on the round now a bhalaich :clap:
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby Graeme D » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:35 pm

Good stuff Al. Very interested to read your account of Ligiche and Ulaidh - I am considering them for Thursday. :D
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby PeteR » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:51 pm

Good to see you taking it easy Alistair.....just the three Munros for this trip :lol:

And what's with these Corbetts you keep sneaking in these days? Getting a head start on your next round?

Real shame about your weather, as these are two good circuits. Bidean was the only time I managed to get one of my step sons out........he's never been out with me since :lol: Complains of a bad knee or something or other :crazy:

As for that "forgotten" hill.......one tough b****r I thought :shock:
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:56 pm

PeteR wrote:Good to see you taking it easy Alistair.....just the three Munros for this trip :lol:

And what's with these Corbetts you keep sneaking in these days? Getting a head start on your next round?

Real shame about your weather, as these are two good circuits. Bidean was the only time I managed to get one of my step sons out........he's never been out with me since :lol: Complains of a bad knee or something or other :crazy:

As for that "forgotten" hill.......one tough b****r I thought :shock:


Yep - three Munros is a bit of a pathetic haul for a weekend :crazy:
Hopefully back to more usual numbers this weekend if the weather plays ball

Corbetts I'm really enjoying - in fact I am keen to get these pesky Munros finished so that I can given them my full attention :wink:
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby drammy » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:16 pm

Bidean on the hitlist for this weekend....hoping to see slightly more of it than you did. :lol:
A good couple of walks there.
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby dooterbang » Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:26 pm

Still smiling no matter the weather...great to see.

Another detailed report and enjoyable read, like all your reports.

I've 3 munros to tick off below the great glen and hopefully will manage this before the year is out.

Cheers.
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:05 pm

dooterbang wrote:Still smiling no matter the weather...great to see.

Another detailed report and enjoyable read, like all your reports.

I've 3 munros to tick off below the great glen and hopefully will manage this before the year is out.

Cheers.


I was just looking at your report for the grey corries/aonachs in a day as that's what's on the cards this weekend - sadly over 2 days given the time of year.

As far as the smiles go - yeah, most weather conditions have just to be enjoyed for being what they are, I always feel it would be deadly dull if hills were always seen in sun/clear skies
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby battie72 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:19 pm

PeteR wrote:As for that "forgotten" hill.......one tough b****r I thought :shock:


You're bloody right Pete!
Straight up along the top and straight back down again.....no messing! :crazy: :shock:
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby CatoTheYounger » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:45 pm

Very interesting read, also extremely usefull concerning routes etc.. I was originally going to do this route but in reverse, and catch the Corbett on the way down. But that grass chimney sounds like more fun going up than coming Down it. .
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Re: Last of the Glencoe hills

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:02 pm

CatoTheYounger wrote:Very interesting read, also extremely usefull concerning routes etc.. I was originally going to do this route but in reverse, and catch the Corbett on the way down. But that grass chimney sounds like more fun going up than coming Down it. .


Cheers CtY
From the footprints it looks like lots of walkers do sgor na h-ulaidh the opposite way we did to get to the summit, then retrace their steps. The route we took up would be steep as a descent, and the problem might be reaching a crag that you can't easily see coming down from above. So i'd say the way we did it would be best.
There's a few more pics on flikr if you want more route info
http://www.flickr.com/photos/29312277@N08/sets/72157636769771166/
Al :)
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