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Catch up in Glen Feshie & Loch Earn

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 12:01 am
by weaselmaster
Wet weekend forecast, so out went the plans for a trip to Mull and instead it was up the A9 to get Sick Kid's remaining Cairngorms bagged. Got away late after work and called in at Tiso's in Perth to get some scrambling shoes for later in the month, then drove to Auchlean and parked up, planning to walk down Glen Feshie and camp tonight then tackle the hills in the morning. This was the route I'd taken to climb them back in October - I had thought about varying the route and heading in from Linn of Dee, but I rather like Glen Feshie, so opted for a reprise. It was a calm and peaceful evening as we headed into the Glen, pinks and purples in the clear sky, little wind. We came to the crossing of the Allt Fhearnagan - easy to step across last time I was here, but tonight needed removal of the socks and shoes and some paddling. Dunking the toes in icy water did bring a vibrancy to tired feet. Then through the heather and into the twilight of the trees - beautiful Scots Pines all around, birdsong, silver moon rising - a lovely evening. Last time I'd camped in the open grassy area just before the track turns up to Mullach, but tonight we decided to pitch in the trees around Coille an Tor. Springy heather and spongy moss carpeted the forest floor and made for a comfortable rest. We pitched as the last of the evening light faded and feasted on M&S Indian dishes. Sleep was deep and restful, occasionally stirred by the call of a cuckoo, plover or wild cat (or maybe that was a dream). Morning came with clouds and breezes - we ventured forth and made for the track up to MaCB - a bulldozed landrover track that does the business of getting you up the hill in reasonable time. SK was slow and sore today, but as we had all day it mattered little what time we went around in. There were still some lingering snow patches at the top of the track which we crunched over before walking along to the slightly raised pimple that marks the summit of MaCB. One down. It's really cold, drizzly rain and a knifing wind - I eventually resort to my Dachstein Mitts to keep the circulation going in my fingers. Returning to the track we headed east til the track disappears, then turned down the hillside to meet the river Eidart. The water level here was substantially higher than last time too, and some proper wading was required. We had lunch on the east bank to recover from the scintillating shock to the system. Next it's a matter of contouring round the hillside, reaching the stony flank of Beinn Bhrotain and ascending. Clag down, not much to see, very similar to our ascent of Beinn MacDui last autumn, same rough red granite boulders to cross. After some huffing and puffing the summit cairn and trig are reached and we start out to find the descent route - less easy when you can't see the high bealach you're aiming for. Eventually we get on track for this and head up Leac Ghorm before some more featureless wandering over the flat, mossy terrain to Monadh Mor. Number 3 in the poke, now turn westward aiming for Tom Dubh, with another river crossing just before that. We pick up the ATV track on the other side of Tom Dubh and follow this seemingly endlessly back over to our ascent route up to MaCB. For some reason I'd thought the descent route was before Coire Gharblach, but no, keep on along the path for just a few more KMs...We turn to go down hill and the distance passes more quickly. Soon we're back down to the river, where we fill up and return to find the tent has not been plundered or devoured and all is where it should be. I bring a few logs over to sit on and it's still enough to allow cooking outside - much easier than in the little tent. Another Koko Noodle extravaganza, with added veggies and nuts and a Chinese sauce, meal fit for two tired hillwalkers. A cup of tea and some squares of chocolate, sitting in the still of the forest, looking at the multitude of young Scots Pines around us, restful on the eye and spirit. The tent has been transiently colonised by all manner of small woodland creatures which we escort off the premises before setting down for another quiet night.

Higher than expected levels in the river
ImageP1010606 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sunset over Feshie
ImageP1010608 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010609 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010610 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Into the Trees
ImageP1010612 by 23weasels, on Flickr

#1 - Mullach Clach a'Bhlair
ImageP1010614 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010616 by 23weasels, on Flickr

#2 - Bhrotain
ImageP1010617 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Side of Leac Ghorm
ImageP1010618 by 23weasels, on Flickr

#3 Monadh Mor
ImageP1010619 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Weather clearing
ImageP1010620 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgor Gaoith
ImageP1010621 by 23weasels, on Flickr

South to Beinn Bhreac
ImageP1010622 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010623 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010624 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Up after 7, light, intermittent rain patters gently on the tent. Porridge and packing then a short walk back to the car. The rain favours us by generally staying off til we get back to the motor, then it pours, lashing the road and trees. We drive past Ruthven barracks, somewhere I've often wondered about but never visited. Despite the heavy rain I decide we should go and have a look - even if it means donning full waterproof kit. Of course as soon as we get up there the rain lessens then goes off, leaving us looking rather over-prepared. Then down the road through Crieff to the parking spot south of Strathyre to climb Stuc a'Chroin. We'd tried this a couple months ago from the Vorlich side, but bad quality snow on the prow decided us against it, so it was an approach from the south we'd be doing today. By this time it's 12.30 and we set off, expecting the forecast heavy rain to appear at any moment. By 1pm we reach the bottom of Beinn Each and stop for lunch - it's sunny and warm. Up the path to the top of Each, and good views over the knobbly green ridge to Sa'C. It's an undulating path over delightful open hillside, views to the West of Stobinien and Ben More catching the eye. It's a pleasant amble up to the top, although the promised rain does come for a time as we near the summit. Afterwards it's heading off the NW shoulder, there are several paths to follow and none seemed to be going the way we wanted. Headed down to the north of Coire Chroisg over steep grassy slopes, avoiding the crags and aiming for the Allt Coire Chroisg, round the top of the tree line for a bit then through a gap in the deer fence and following a fire break in the trees to reach the path along Glen Ample. Along the track, puddles hoaching with tadpoles and pond skaters, more uphill sections than I'd expected until we reached the sign for Beinn Each and knew we were near the end. Back to the car in just over 5 hours, again in nice time before the rain started in earnest. A diligent weekend, working away on Sick Kid's deficit, which now stands at only 16.

Ruthven Barracks
ImageP1010626 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010628 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stobinien & More
ImageP1010630 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Each
ImageP1010631 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit, Each
ImageP1010632 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010636 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010637 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Prow and Vorlich
ImageP1010641 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stuc Summit
ImageP1010643 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010645 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010647 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1010650 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Re: Catch up in Glen Feshie & Loch Earn

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:44 pm
by AnnieMacD
That was a great read. Always look forward to your reports - I don't know what I'll do on Mondays when you guys finish :lol:

Re: Catch up in Glen Feshie & Loch Earn

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:41 pm
by weaselmaster
AnnieMacD wrote:That was a great read. Always look forward to your reports - I don't know what I'll do on Mondays when you guys finish :lol:

Ach, planning to move onto Corbetts full time after that, so hope to continue publishing away :lol:

Re: Catch up in Glen Feshie & Loch Earn

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 8:25 pm
by SuperMillie
Well done weaselmaster, a great read!

I met you last year up Carn an t-Sagairt Mor on the White Mounth and you told me that was your 200th. You're definitely a man on a mission!

Personally I think you been evicted from your home and have been keeping it a secret? :wink:

The great thing is, you'll never run out of hills (though by the rate you've been knocking them off I'm starting to wonder) and the good thing for us is that we'll never be short of a good read