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Glen Roy Weekender - 2 Innses, 3 Carn Deargs & 4 Meggy Tops

Glen Roy Weekender - 2 Innses, 3 Carn Deargs & 4 Meggy Tops

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:19 am

Munros included on this walk: Creag Meagaidh

Corbetts included on this walk: Càrn Dearg (North of Gleann Eachach), Càrn Dearg (South of Gleann Eachach), Càrn Dearg - Glen Roy, Cruach Innse, Sgùrr Innse

Date walked: 05/07/2014

Time taken: 24 hours

Distance: 61.5 km

Ascent: 4630m

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We had the benefits of a monday holiday this weekend and for the last couple of weeks had been thinking about what exotic and exciting places to go to - Assynt? Torridon? Letterewe? Harris & Skye? The weather forecast got grimmer and more unsettled as the time drew near and it seemed pointless to head off somewhere exotic and exciting and simply get rained on. So we settled for modest aspirations around Roy Bridge. We'd stayed in Bunroy Campsite before and quite liked it, and there were a few things we could do in easy range from there. Drove up from work on Friday afternoon on amazingly quiet roads for a holiday weekend and arrived at the campsite at the back of 6. Bit noisier than it had been the last time we visited (at the end of October :wink: ) but plenty of space and we picked a pitch near the midge-buster. Now all we needed was some reasonable weather.

Day 1 - The Innses
We'd seen these two hills when returning from the Grey Corries last year - initially I mistook them for the Essians, which run in that direction but are somewhat further away. So they looked like an ideal outing for one day. Now that we are aspiring Corbetters we can get used to short days with late starts, ambling up small hills and being back for lunchtime. No more going up over 914m for us. Oh no!

We did start late, but that was cos I had a migraine and needed to give my meds some time to kick in. Left the campsite after 10 and drove along the extremely uneven track past Choire Choille Farm. Having just fitted a set of new tyres to my wee car I was apprehensive about how they'd fare. Parked up by the Lairig, paid our respects to the Wee Minister and set off at an easy pace onto the track. Cruach Innse appeared as a rounded green hump to our left, but eyes were drawn to the magnificence of Stob Coire na Ceannain over to our right. When we'd done the Grey Corries, we'd come off Stob Coire Claurigh to the south, to take in Stob Ban, so had missed this top (and Stob Coire Gaibhre for that matter). Maybe we'd rectify that today.

Wee Minister
ImageP1020531 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Cruach Innse
ImageP1020533 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stob Coire Ceannain
ImageP1020534 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back to the matter more immediately in hand. It was a wee pauchle up the wet grassy slopes of Cruach Innse. All the time my eyes were being pulled over to the Corries ridges. Weather came and went - mist rolled in then was banished by sunshine - a very changeable day. We made the top of CI and spotted the craggy but diminutive form of Sgurr Innse ahead of us. Setting off towards it, my eye was caught by a pool on the flat top of CI, reflecting the nearby hills. Down a steep craggy section then onto Bealach na Cruaiche, with the knobbly form of Sgurr Innse ahead. didn't take long to get to the bottom of the rocky climb up to the summit, Stob Ban dominating the views. Met a few other folk coming up as we were descending.

Nearing top of CI
ImageP1020539 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ceannain still catching the eye
ImageP1020540 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top CI, looking to Sgurr Innse
ImageP1020542 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ceannain again
ImageP1020547 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Down to SI
ImageP1020549 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top Sgurr Innse, looking along Grey Corries
ImageP1020557 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stob Ban behind
ImageP1020556 by 23weasels, on Flickr

What would we do now? It was only about half-past one so way too early to think of finishing for the day. I fancied the elegant lines of Ceannain and fortunately Allison agreed to "another of your bloody plans" to head straight up the east slopes of SCnC from the track. A mere matter of 750m ascent awaited and this was initially over moss and heather but became increasingly stony as we got within 200 metres of the shapely summit. Mist continued to appear then wisp away. The small lochan in Coire Ceannain glimmered when the sunlight caught it. The Grey Corries appeared sculpted and preened as I looked along their ridges - what fantastic mountains. Eventually we neared the top, disturbing a gaggle of high-altitude sheep who bundled themselves off. We were presented with a fine rocky top and narrow ridge that took us west back towards Stob Coire Claurigh. I did think about heading off up the Munro summit too, but it was just too much effort :lol: Instead, we made our way over stony ground towards Bealach Coire na Ceannain and onwards to the second Top of the day, Stob Coire Gaibhre. This was a much less impressive fellow than Ceannain, but did afford superb views back to its neighbouring top. We followed what I imagined to be the standard route off the hill, with me managing to plunge my entire left leg into a well concealed boggy hole en route. Fortunately the sun came out for the remainder of the trot back to the car and I was more or less dry by the time we arrived at the RoyBridge hotel for a pint and a swatch of the Belgium v Argentina game.

Initial slopes up Ceannain
ImageP1020559 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Cruach Innse
ImageP1020560 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Getting stonier
ImageP1020563 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgurr Innse, Stob Ban behind
ImageP1020564 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Coire na Ceannain
ImageP1020566 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Ridge back to SC Claurigh
ImageP1020568 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top Ceannain
ImageP1020569 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View over to the Aonachs
ImageP1020571 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020572 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The aptly named "Grey Corries"
ImageP1020576 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sheep making for Aonach Mor
ImageP1020578 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stob Coire Gaibhre
ImageP1020581 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking back on Ceannain
ImageP1020582 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020585 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Hairy fella
ImageP1020586 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020588 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Day Two - The Carn Deargs of Glen Roy

Amongst the hill names of Scotland there are a number that recur - Meall Bhuidhe, Geal Charn, Beinn Dearg etc. It's a rather unusual occurrence to climb two hills with the same name on the same day. It's even more uncommon to be faced with climbing 3 - all Corbetts; all in the same area, which bear the identical name. Says a lot for the imaginative language of the inhabitants of Glen Roy that they come up with 3 Red Hills. Must've made for a bit of confusion when describing where you were headed. Anyway, that was today's plan. I'd not driven up the twisty road to Glen Roy before and was interested to see the famous Parallel Roads for myself. These are apparently tide-marks from successive waves of glaciation, where the outlet to the glen was blocked at different levels, and run right round the hillsides - an impressive sight. We parked up by the cattle grid at the end of the glen and set off to the northernmost of the Deargs, passing through the outbuildings of Roybrae lodge, noting the walls of one of the barns were studded with skeletal stags' heads.

Parallel Roads
ImageP1020590 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lonely Glen Roy
ImageP1020591 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The more southern of the Carn Dearg pair from the Lodge
ImageP1020592 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We ambled along a rough track, past a couple of "minimalist" houses - all that they had was a hearth and chimney - one with a grate in place that looked - from the pot and old kettle there- that it had seen some action in recent decades :lol:
Following the path alongside the River Turret, we came to the head of Glen Eachaich. The SMC Corbett book advises continuing up the glen and climbing each Dearg from the col, but we elected to head NE up Teanga Mhor to reach the summit of our first Dearg that way. Possibly a mistake as there are large peat hags covering a good chunk of the terrain that have to be negotiated. The weather was proving highly changeable - warm sun one minute being replaced by clag and showers. it was fascinating to watch the rain sweep along one side of us, whilst the other was still in sunshine. Gaining the top just in time for the rain to start more heavily, we huddled in our waterproofs and ate lunch.

Minimalist house
ImageP1020593 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Tea, anyone?
ImageP1020594 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View down River Turret
ImageP1020597 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Carn D #1 on Left, #2 on Right
ImageP1020598 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Loch Lochy hills
ImageP1020600 by 23weasels, on Flickr

South to Grey Corries
ImageP1020602 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020605 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020606 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020607 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Weather coming in...
ImageP1020608 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We headed down to the col and across some more peat hags then up the easy grassy slopes to our second Dearg of the day. More showers on the way up. We headed south over the back of the hill, with views opening up to the Creag Meagaidh plateau ahead of us. As we descended we came down onto one of the Parallel Roads which was a flat area, maybe 25metres across. Descending further we found ourselves hemmed in by very steep gullies on either side as we headed back to the track, and had to climb back up a section to find a place to cross the stream before it plunged down into a chasm. I'm assuming these deep channels in the roack were made by glaciation melt. Back down on the road we looked over the River Roy to our third Dearg...the route starts a short way down from where we were parked, at Brunachan, but it looked to me as though ti would be just as easy to head directly up Sgurr an Fhithich and thence on to Carn Dearg. Allison groaned at another of my impromptu routes up steep things :lol:

Carn Dearg #2
ImageP1020615 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020616 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Cairn ornament
ImageP1020617 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View over to the 3rd Carn Dearg
ImageP1020619 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Creag Meagaidh
ImageP1020621 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgurr an Fhithich, Carn Dearg #3 beyond
ImageP1020622 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Parallel Roads closer up
ImageP1020623 by 23weasels, on Flickr

...and as seen from above
ImageP1020624 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Heading for the river Roy
ImageP1020629 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Moody Glen Roy
ImageP1020630 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Another parallel roads shot
ImageP1020632 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The going up Fhithich was steep - we contoured round below a craggy area then headed for the summit. Coire na reinich came into view, topped by Carn Bhrunachain. This was a far grander hill than either of us had been expecting, a mighty lump sitting astride the landscape. We headed over boggy ground, circling the coire and making for the gently sloping summit. Views were fine, especially down to the Aonachs and Corries in the south. We deliberated about what to do now - Allison was pretty tired and the options were to return down the northern side of Coire na Reinich or to head along to Coire Dubh. We opted for the latter (my plans to tag a Graham onto the route being shelved). The initial section down Coire Dubh is very steep indeed, although grassy/heathery underfoot. We carefully edged down, following the Allt Dubh until it joined the Allt Brunachan, then heading straight down for the road, rather than traversing the parallel roads as the WH route suggests. Clegs followed us, one drawing at least a teaspoonful of blood from my hand. I briefly considered a hitherto unforseen cause of death "exsanguination by cleg" on the certificate would look unusual...
We reached the road, having a brief, toe-enlivening dip in the river to cross over to it. A couple of kilometers back up to the car with the sun beating down on our backs - superb. had i been on my own I'd have used the opportunity to nip up Beinn Iaruinn on the opposite side of the road, but that'll be for another day. We had a fine drive with the top down back along the twists and turns of the road, meeting a few sheep but no other vehicles and having the vista of the Grey Corries to look out on as we neared Roy Bridge.

Steep work!
ImageP1020633 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Coire na Reinich
ImageP1020638 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Carn Bhrunachain
ImageP1020641 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit carn Dearg #3
ImageP1020642 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View West across Glen Roy
ImageP1020645 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Aonachs and Nevis behind
ImageP1020647 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Iaruinn, with the great hollow of Coire nan Eun
ImageP1020648 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020649 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Steep descent down Coire Dubh
ImageP1020650 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Coire Dubh
ImageP1020651 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Down towards Brunachan
ImageP1020653 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020655 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Carn Bhrunachain
ImageP1020657 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Grey Corries on the road back to the campsite
ImageP1020659 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020660 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Day Three - Back to Meggy on Tops business

For our final day I though it would be nice to head back to Creag Meagaidh and cover some of the tops we didn't do when we walked the circuit back in March 13. That was in full winter conditions, with a frightening ascent from the Window to the top of Creag Meagaidh in total white out, relying entirely on GPS. I recall thinking we'd be able to use out footprints to navigate our return by, only to find the wind covering them over almost as soon as we'd trod them in the snow. So some views of what we didn't see would be nice. There was heavy rain for most of the night battering down on the tent, but it had eased by the time we packed away and set off along Glen Spean and Loch Lagganside. There were a few cars at the parking area at Aberarder. Off we headed in sunshine, but with awareness that it might be another very showery day. We left the trail soon after the visitor centre, crossing the Allt Dubh and making our way as best we could through a defence of thickly packed beech and rowan trees before gaining the open hillside. We headed for Bealach Ghoire, a long slog up through soft moss and heather, the ground studded with flowers of all colours and sizes. Very pretty. After reaching the col it was an easy walk up to the rounded top of Sron a'Ghoire, which afforded great views down into Coire Ardair.

Visitor centre, Sron a'Ghoire behind
ImageP1020661 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Short crossing over the Allt Dubh
ImageP1020662 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020663 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Open hillside to Bealach Ghoire
ImageP1020664 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Sron a'Ghoire
ImageP1020675 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Buttress of Coire Ardair
ImageP1020677 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Coire Ardair
ImageP1020679 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Our route now took us along an exciting walk round the coire rim, outcrops of rock jutting here and there, spectacular views to the coire and Lochan a'Choire below. No wonder these cliffs are popular with winter climbers. We continued on to the flat cairn marked top of Puist Coire Ardair and peered out over the abyss. Then on over flat ground, keeping the bowl of Coire Choille-rais to our left and reaching the third Top. Another impressive lochan floored coire, waterfalls spuming white down its dark walls. Ahead to the south we could see our final top for the day, An Cearcallich, a minnow at 999m. Easy walking over the hillside brought us there as the rain became more serious. It was cold up this high, with a gusty wind increasing the chill factor. From the final top we could see the flat lump of Meggy herself up to our left. Seemed a shame to not just head up there - maybe we'd get some clear skies, although bands of mist kept roiling close by the summit.

Lochan a'Choire
ImageP1020682 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020684 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020686 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit, Puist Coire Ardair
ImageP1020687 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020688 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Meall Coire Choille-Rais
ImageP1020690 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020692 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Lochan Coire Choille-Rais
ImageP1020695 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Top Choille-rais, looking to An Cearcallach
ImageP1020697 by 23weasels, on Flickr

An Cearcallach
ImageP1020699 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020701 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Soft grassy slopes to Meagaidh Summit
ImageP1020702 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We decided to return via Meggy herself and then down the through the Window, descent from An Cearcallich appearing a little too vertical for our tastes. A romp over the short heather to the top of Meggy was just in time before the clag did obscure our views. This time we managed to find Mag Meg's Cairn, which had eluded us in the white-out previously. Then down the stony hillside to the Window - a lot of snow still lining the bottom of this feature, so we took the hillside path up on the left. Heading down into Coire Ardair we enjoyed a different view of the cliffs from that we'd feasted on from up on Sron a'Ghoire. Then a matter of a brisk trot down the six or so KM's back to the visitor centre, once again in full sunshine. A fine weekend, with a mixture of new hills and old favourites seen from a different perspective.

View south - the Eassians and Beinn a'Bheither in the far distance
ImageP1020704 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Meggy top
ImageP1020705 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Back to An Cearcallich
ImageP1020707 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Clag rolling in on cue
ImageP1020709 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Winter hasn't relinquished her grip on Meggy
ImageP1020711 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Mad Meg
ImageP1020712 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Snow still in the Window
ImageP1020715 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020718 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Coire Ardair
ImageP1020720 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020722 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020723 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1020725 by 23weasels, on Flickr
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Re: Glen Roy Weekender - 2 Innses, 3 Carn Deargs & 4 Meggy T

Postby PeteR » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:48 pm

Good to see the two of you taking it easy following your respective compleations :shock:

The three Glen Roy Deargs look good. I've been meaning to get myself down there for a while now, but haven't managed it quite yet.
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Re: Glen Roy Weekender - 2 Innses, 3 Carn Deargs & 4 Meggy T

Postby rockhopper » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:10 pm

Nice one, WM - can remember thinking the two corbetts looked a good walk when on my way to the grey corries - must add them to the "hopefully some day" list - cheers :)
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