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Sun on Glen Spean Pair

Sun on Glen Spean Pair

Postby old danensian » Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:13 pm

Route description: Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Teallach

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a' Chaorainn (Glen Spean), Beinn Teallach

Date walked: 27/08/2014

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1224m

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My other half kept texting me while the sun had been shining over the last couple of days.

“It’s been pouring since I got here.”

“Lashing it down today.”

“Dull and drizzly.”

Well, that’s the south coast of England for you after an August Bank Holiday.

Cloud caps Chno Dearg across Glen Spean

Meanwhile, at Roughburn beside Loch Laggan, I swatted away a few midges that had been sheltering amongst the trees. Chno Dearg wore a cap of wispy cloud and the Grey Corries were beginning to show their true colours.

Beinn a Chaorainn awaited, as did the adjacent hill that qualified as a Munro by about 60 centimetres at the time of the last survey.

The walk up through the trees was a pleasant enough start to the day: sun, shade and the early-morning air with the touch of autumnal chill. The track rises with a sweeping zig and then a zag, before a tiny cairn on the right-hand side marks the entrance to what once may have been a firebreak. The path plunges into what more closely resembles a tunnel with the glimmer of sunlight in the distance definitely not masquerading as an oncoming train. Fungi-finders would have a field day on the forest floor once the occasional muddy stretches and root trip-hazards of the path have been avoided.

Woodland fungi

One advantage of solo walking is that nobody is there to take the embarrassing photograph. Slipping off the top of the deer fence, before even getting over it, wasn’t the best of moves. Neither was landing on my walking pole: that’s four I’ve been through in the last eighteen months.

Loch Treig Munros, Grey Corries and the Aonachs across Glen Spean

With pride dented, I attacked the slopes of Meall Clachaig with a vengeance. Two trips out in the last three days must have put some fitness into my legs as I was soon into a rhythm that ate up the intervening metres to the top of Beinn a Chaorainn. The ridge extending northwards comes into view as you get higher and is a useful reminder that the high point is at the far end so don’t get too keen and eager at the sight of the first cairn.

Slopes rising toward Beinn a Chaorainn

Summit cairns on Beinn a Chaorainn

The only drawback about the fine stroll along the summit ridge is that the magnificent views are behind you. OK, Creag Meagaidh hunkers down to your right, but the rounded hump is hardly the impressive prospect normally seen above Coire Adair. However, cairns at both of the tops provide plenty of opportunity to lean back in the sun and savour it all.

Ben Nevis and the Aonachs from Beinn a Chaorainn

Now don’t be fooled. Across the valley sits Beinn Teallach: the mini Munro, the baby of the family, the runt of the litter. Mind you, a tectonic hiccup in the Great Glen and it’d be the first to get demoted in the aftermath. But don’t be complacent. The loss in height between the two is not insignificant, so having a good rest on Beinn a Chaorainn was a good idea.

Beinn Teallach from Beinn a Chaorainn

There appears to be no definite path, but then again I’m the sort of walker that can lose the clearest of well trodden tracks after looking up to catch the view for ten seconds. At least the slope isn’t too severe and height and distance are soon gained.

Summit cairns on Beinn Teallach

Again, a pair of cairns gives a choice on the top and the chance to dwell at either to enjoy the panorama before continuing south then east to drop to the Allta Chaorainn below. At last the immensity of the view lies ahead and encourages a sedate descent to enjoy it safely and without the end of the day finishing as embarrassingly as it started.

Back down by the Allt a Chaorainn

Beinn Teallach

The track hugs the river as it bends towards the woodland and the lack of rain in recent days meant that its crossing posed no problems. Once amidst the trees and on the forestry track, the views became just occasional glimpses and pace quickened to get back to the car after a great, if straightforward, day out.
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old danensian
Posts: 438
Munros:282   Corbetts:88
Joined: Jul 6, 2009
Location: Ayrshire

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