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Happy goes lucky for five

Happy goes lucky for five


Postby Silverhill » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:20 pm

Route description: Creag Meagaidh circuit

Munros included on this walk: Beinn a'Chaorainn (Glen Spean), Beinn Teallach, Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh), Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair

Date walked: 08/06/2014

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 27.4 km

Ascent: 1855m

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Carn Liath, Stob Poite Coire Ardair, Creag Meagaidh, Beinn a' Chaorainn, Beinn Teallach.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


For today I had a traverse of the five Creag Meagaidh munros planned. Whilst driving to Aberarder it was dry, but it looked rather murky up the Monadhliath, whereas it was nice and sunny south of the A86.

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Good view to Creag Pitridh, Geal Charn, Beinn a' Chlachair

Rain had been forecast, but MWIS had been wrong two days on the trot. So it could go either way. It could be nice and clear, it could be wet and grey. Also I might catch a lift at Roughburn, I might have to walk back to Aberarder.

As soon as I arrived at the car park, a downpour got going. So it was straight into the waterproofs. The path from the car park to Aberarder and beyond is excellent. Like yesterday I was walking on a Landranger map. It didn’t show where the path for Na Cnapanan would leave the main path. So I kept looking out for any cairns or paths going off to the right. One did, so I followed it, only to emerge back on the main path after 20 odd meters :lol: . The next path was the right one. It was very rough and wet as it went through the woods. It looked more like a river than anything else, but there were lots of strategically placed rocks. So all in all the ascent went pretty quickly.

The views from Na Cnapanan were promising: still sunny south of the A86, sunny on Stob Poite Coire Ardair. If that cloud could move from Creag Meagaidh and that mist lift from Carn Liath, that would be fab thank you.

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View on The Window

Soon after, I got above the cloud base, but there was a path and it was going in the right direction so happy days! When the incline eased off I took a NE bearing for the summit. This was very necessary as I’d lost the path and visibility was pants.

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Summit Carn Liath

After a quick sandwich I followed a SW and later W bearing and got below the cloud base sooner than expected. This mist was shifting! With the increased visibility walking got much easier. With every step the cloud base was slowly but surely lifting! :D

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Cloud lifting from Carn Liath

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Cloud lifting from Stob Poite Coire Ardair

All the while the views towards south towards Loch Laggan and north towards Corrieyairack Forest were great.

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Loch Laggan

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View towards Corrieyairack Forest


From pt. 1051 the view back towards Carn Liath was stunning. What a beautiful ridge! 8)

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Looking back along the ridge to Carn Liath


And ahead...
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Creag Meagaidh and Stob Poite Coire Ardair


And then the dark cliffs of Coire Ardair and Lochan a’Choire below it. Just great.

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Dark cliffs of Creag Meagaidh

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Lochan a' Choire

By the time I arrived on Stob Poite Coire Ardair, even Creag Meagaidh was cloud free!

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Summit Stob Poite Coire Ardair

The wind up here was pretty strong so lunch was delayed till lower down in ‘The Window. It was quite cold here too, which explained the abundance of snow still around.

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Sitting in the Window

Onwards to Creag Meagaidh. The ascent was short and steep, but worth it. The views from the plateau down the glen were amazing.

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View into the glen

I soon got to the massive ‘Mad Meg’s cairn. Then more easy walking to the true summit, with a huge snow field still on the slopes.

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Snow field below Creag Meagaidh

It was 1.00pm when I got to Creag Meagaidh, good going and enough time to continue to Beinn a’ Chaorainn. The weather seemed to be holding out as well. So onwards after a sandwich and a few piccies.

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Summit Creag Meagaidh

Easy slopes to where the ridge forks and then slightly steeper down to Bealach a Bharnish. Great views of Beinn a’ Chaorainn’s impressive craggy hanging corries and also of the hills around Loch Treig. 8)

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Views towards Loch Treig

I heard the thundering of hooves before I saw the deer. A big herd of them all fleeing to the bealach and a bit beyond, out of my view. Then another herd. The remaining ones then sussed out that I was going to the bealach as well, so they then fled uphill in the opposite direction.

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Deer

More easy slopes from the bealach. Once on the summit ridge the views towards Loch Treig and the Easain’s, the Grey Corries, the Aonachs and even Ben Nevis were awe inspiring. This is one of the many things I like about walking in general and hill walking in particular. You get a much better feel for the lie of the land, than by driving. The summit ridge is nice and narrow. It was great walking along it. The view from the summit was particularly photogenic. I very happily sat there for a while. :D

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Summit Beinn a' Chaorainn

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View back to Creag Meagaidh

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Ben Alder hills

It was now 2.45pm. There were some moody clouds in the west, but the wind was coming from the north. So the weather should continue to hold out for the last munro. Anyway, if needed I could always make a quick exit along the Allt a’ Chaorainn. So, back to the north top and then down the northwest ridge, quite steep if I may say. Yet more great views on the descent of Loch Treig and the hills on either side of it.

At the curious cairn near the bealach I stopped to scout for the best route across the bog and up the ridge.

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Bealach with cairn

The bog traverse was OK, the steep start of the ridge required considerably more effort from my not so fresh anymore legs. Once past this, the rough ridge made for an interesting ascent. Lots of knobbles and crags and hence a twisting and turning path. And with the equally knobbly north west ridge coming in from the right, it was a great sight. 8)

On the summit I saw another cairn a short distance away to the south west, which looked slightly higher. The Landranger map was not of much help here, just showing the 900m contour line and a dot for the summit.

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Summit Beinn Teallach

Just to be on the safe side I also walked to the other cairn. Best to keep on the move anyway as the wind was quite fierce.

At home I checked on an Explorer map, which does show the 910m contour lines. And the first cairn (the north east one) is marked as the summit.

Then it was down the south ridge, aiming for the edge of the forest. Nice easy-angled slopes, first grassy, then more heathery and surprisingly dry. This was compensated for by the path along the forest edge, the wettest and boggiest I have come across so far. But this then was redeemed by a nearly bone-dry Allt a’ Chaorainn, which apparently can be difficult to cross when in spate.

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Allt a' Chaorainn

Into the wood, which was dark at first, but this improved as soon as the path became a track. Turning left at a junction then downhill to the A86. Ten hours, not bad! Now for the return leg: get a lift. Roughburn is in a bend of the road, and I reckoned cars wouldn’t see me. So I started walking and stuck up the thumb. I caught a lift within 10 minutes. How good is that, considering there is not really a suitable place to stop on that side of the road! :D

The benefactors were two guys from Salisbury, who had finished the Low Alpine Mountain Marathon today. Respect and many thanks gentlemen! I’d just got into their car when the downpour started. Very timely! During the short drive we made jokes about training for the hills on the Salisbury Plains and the area where I come from, seeing as they both lack any major hills. They dropped me off at the Aberarder car park. After having thanked them profusely, I sprinted to my car in the idle hope of dodging the rain. I was drenched instantly but what a fantastic day! :D
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:50 pm

Hi Silverhill - great effort to get these 5 done in one go. I settled for your first three and still have the last two to go back and do. Although I wimped out at three it was probably my best day out last year, mid October, beautiful day and the constant sound of the red deer rut going on all around me. Great memories.

I had forgotten how much snow was still around in early June - amazing.
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby rockhopper » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Aye, it's a good walk and lucky you getting a lift at the end of the day even if it did rain. Probably a good idea - can remember cycling the road instead but the traffic was quite fast - cheers :)
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Silverhill » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:59 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Hi Silverhill - great effort to get these 5 done in one go. I settled for your first three and still have the last two to go back and do. Although I wimped out at three it was probably my best day out last year, mid October, beautiful day and the constant sound of the red deer rut going on all around me. Great memories.

Thanks Gordie12! I have just read your report. What a great day you had. I can see why it was your best day out last year 8) .

rockhopper wrote:Aye, it's a good walk and lucky you getting a lift at the end of the day even if it did rain. Probably a good idea - can remember cycling the road instead but the traffic was quite fast - cheers :)

Thanks rockhopper! Very brave of you to cycle back along that road. Although the bike is my main means of transport at home, I wouldn’t have fancied cycling (nor walking) on that bendy road with the fast traffic.
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby jonny616 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:10 pm

Great read. Did these as a five the other way around. Great walk :clap: :clap:
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:56 am

Great read, and nice pics. Particularly gratifying to see that you beat the gloomy forecast :clap:
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:49 am

Might give this a go as i did them as 2 walks first time round. Cheers :D
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Silverhill » Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:41 pm

jonny616 wrote:Great read. Did these as a five the other way around. Great walk :clap: :clap:
Thanks jonny616! You had a stunning day for it, can’t believe that was in May, it looked like August (apart from the snow)! :D

Alteknacker wrote:Great read, and nice pics. Particularly gratifying to see that you beat the gloomy forecast :clap:
Thanks Alteknacker! On this occasion it was great that MWIS got it wrong. Well partly. But who moans about a downpour at the start and finish of a walk if it was dry in between! :D

Johnny Corbett wrote:Might give this a go as i did them as 2 walks first time round. Cheers :D
Thanks Johnny Corbett! It’s a great walk, you’ll enjoy it! :D
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby litljortindan » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:39 pm

Great stuff. Quite fancy a look at those cliffs.
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Silverhill » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:35 pm

litljortindan wrote:Great stuff. Quite fancy a look at those cliffs.

Thanks litljortindan! I have learnt that ‘having a look at…’ in climbers lingo means ‘going up that way’. Is that what you meant? Now, thát would be great stuff (and scary!) :D
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby litljortindan » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:52 pm

Silverhill wrote:
litljortindan wrote:Great stuff. Quite fancy a look at those cliffs.

Thanks litljortindan! I have learnt that ‘having a look at…’ in climbers lingo means ‘going up that way’. Is that what you meant? Now, thát would be great stuff (and scary!) :D


Eh no, just plain old peering over the edge from a position of safety for me.
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Silverhill » Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:20 pm

litljortindan wrote:Eh no, just plain old peering over the edge from a position of safety for me.

That’s also the preferred view point for me! :wink:
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby mikewest » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:29 pm

Being a'Chaorainn was my first Munro, Creag Meagaidh my second and Ben Teallach my last (18 years later). Great report - happy days.
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby simon-b » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:04 pm

Well done, Silverhill, doing all these five in one day. I did them in two walks the week after you were there. It's good that you got a lift so quickly.
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Re: Happy goes lucky for five

Postby Silverhill » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:19 pm

mikewest wrote:Being a'Chaorainn was my first Munro, Creag Meagaidh my second and Ben Teallach my last (18 years later). Great report - happy days.

Thanks mikewest! You went full circle there, starting on Chaorainn and finishing on Teallach. 8)

simon-b wrote:Well done, Silverhill, doing all these five in one day. I did them in two walks the week after you were there. It's good that you got a lift so quickly.

Thanks simon-b! And you had good weather too for your trip! I don’t mind long days as it means more time out on the hills. :D
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