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Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise


Postby Graeme D » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:24 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall Buidhe, Sron a'Choire Chnapanich

Date walked: 18/01/2014

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 14.9 km

Ascent: 999m

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This was another case of Beinn Mheadhoin getting off the hook - again! I'm losing count of the number of times I've had plans to do this one but had to call off or bail out for one reason or another. For the last 4 or 5 years, my first walk of the year has never been later than the first week of January, so this was also a case of being late out of the blocks for what looks set to be a year full of promise on many fronts - hillwalking plans, job, and house move to name but a few.

Kevsbald and I had planned to do the walk in from Linn of Dee to the Hutchison Hut on the Friday night before nailing Mheadhoin on the Saturday morning, but heavy snowfall at that altitude meant it was probably going to be a grim slog in the upper reaches of Glen Derry and up to the hut in Coire Etchachan. And I speak here from bitter personal experience having failed in a previous attempt in heavy snow one February night a few years back.

We batted around some alternatives and finally settled on the Gaick Corbetts but research suggested that given the recent levels of rainfall, there might be a couple of potentially tricky river crossings involved. That led us to the upper Glen Lyon Corbetts of Meall Buidhe and Sron a'Choire Cnapanaich and a 7.30am meet up at Bridge of Balgie.

The rain was lashing down by the time I pulled in beside Kev's car at Bridge of Balgie and the cloud was barely above the roofs. We considered jacking the whole thing in but decided to give it a go - we might only get the one Corbett in and get a drenching in the process but we'd come all this way. And after my aborted Hogmanay attempt at the Roughburn Round in Glen Spean, I was determined not to go back home empty handed again.

We drove along to just short of the Loch Lyon dam before doing a bit of cross country to pick up the track on the north side of the loch.

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Parking below the dam

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Meall a' Chall beyond the Loch Lyon dam

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Loch Lyon from the northern end of the dam


We didn't stay on the track for long before taking to the slopes and heading up onto Meall Phubaill. We soon got above the murk and into nicer conditions. The views may have remained limited for most of the day, white room stuff for much of it, but it was oddly atmospheric and, as long as the wind wasn't pummeling us full in the face, quite pleasant.

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Across the dam to Meall nan Subh from the ascent of Meall Phubail

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Kev entering the world of winter


We contoured round Creag a'Chaorainn and dropped down into the bealach before following the fence posts up the south east ridge of Meall Buidhe. Once onto the broad curving plateau, it was a nice high level pad along to the big domed summit which sits just a few metres below Munro height.

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Cnapanaich through a brief window

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A man alone in the vast white emptiness

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Back along the fence posts whence we came

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Summit of Meall Buidhe


The walk back into the howler was less pleasant and necessitated the wearing of goggles. It was a relief to be back down at the bealach, from where we picked our way along the Feith Thalain and over an area of rough peat hags onto the nose of Cnapanaich. There were some nice views down to Loch an Daimh and the stand of trees by the shoreline.

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Start of the plod along the Feith Thalain

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Cnapanaich 12 o'clock!

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Loch an Daimh visible down at the bottom of the glen


We soon got back up into winter proper .............

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Return to winter on the ascent of Cnapanaich


............ but from the summit there were no more views down to the loch - I walked over to the drop off to check but there was nothing to see.

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Summit of Cnapanaich


From there we headed off the south ridge and descended into the swamps of the Allt Phubaill before picking up the track at the little dam and dropping back down to Pubil.

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Picking up the track near the little dam - An Grianan in front of us

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The end is in sight


Not exactly what was hoped for but at least we got a result of sorts in the end, and I got what promises to be a big year on and off the hills up and running. :D :D :D :D :D


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Graeme D
 
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby gammy leg walker » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:33 pm

At least someone has got their walking year started the last summit I was on was July last year :shock: :(
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby pigeon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:06 am

Aye well done both ,it's been grim of late so any day outs a bonus,also been looking at these 2 hills for a while but still looking for a break in the weather :roll: Hope you get to that pesky Cairngorm soon :lol:
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby rockhopper » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:07 am

Happy belated new year, MrD - maybe not what you'd planned but must've felt good to get out - still to start myself but I live in hope - cheers :)
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby ChrisW » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:05 am

Great read as always Graeme, love the second summit shot too :lol: I never really got at it last year so have started well this time around...hopefully I'll keep it up :wink:

Good luck with, what sounds like a very busy year :thumbup: and don't forget, if you need a break from it all there's still time for you to change your mind and come along to North Carolina in April :wink:
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby The Rodmiester » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:17 am

Good effort you two, out at last! :D This weekend not looking good either! :(
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby kevsbald » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:00 pm

Twas two weeks ago! Drove up to the lairig over to Glen Lyon today with Em and pooch - no chance of getting over so we had a nice pad in the snow. Good to get out - are we still up for something on the 17th?
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby PeteR » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:14 pm

Getting out is getting out, so well done the two of you for......er.....getting out. Shame it wasn't Beinn Mheadhoin, but that day will come :D And it's a cracker by the way :thumbup:

Not been down this way for a while and have been thinking I ought to get myself over there and tick these two off.
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby Collaciotach » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:22 pm

looks mighty wet right enough !

Good shout though getting out the weather has been hellish !

:shock:
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby dogplodder » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:29 pm

Brave souls indeed. :clap:
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby Johnny Corbett » Sun Feb 02, 2014 11:04 am

Good stuff, shame about the weather as Meall Buidhe is a great viewpoint towards Glen Coe :D
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Re: Buidhe & Cnapanaich - a late start to a year of promise

Postby Graeme D » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:57 pm

Cheers folks!

kevsbald wrote:Twas two weeks ago! Drove up to the lairig over to Glen Lyon today with Em and pooch - no chance of getting over so we had a nice pad in the snow. Good to get out - are we still up for something on the 17th?


Nope. Not up for anything on the 17th. Working! Up for something on the 20th though. Or 21st. 8)
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