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Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:20 pm
by weaselmaster
After couple of weeks of walking on my own, Allison returned to the fold and an easy weekend up by Glen Roy was proposed, weather not being forecast for brilliance. I'd bought a new car for winter hill duties nd was keen to see how it would perform, but didn't want to take it too far from home just in case... so a wee trip up past Fort William and pitching in one of our favourite sites, Bunroy, was the order of the day. Made reasonably good time up the road and pitched by 6pm on the Friday night.

Saturday dawned with better looking weather than I'd imagined we'd get and we drove the short distance up to Glen Roy and found a place to park. Much easier with a 4x4, I admit. We had two Leana Mhors and Beinn Iarunn to climb today, although if we finished early I had a yen to nip up Stob Coire Dubh on Carn Liath as it was my final Top in the region. We'd see. There's a faint track that takes you up the West Leana Mhor then loses itself in the undergrowth - we just headed up the broad back of the hill, an easy task through short heather. About halfway up rifle fire echoes around - much more sinister than the grouse hunters and their shotguns. Allison's leading and I muse to myself - if she takes a headshot, being mistaken for a deer, could I carry her body back down myself? Given the weight she's put on in 2 weeks off the hills I decided I'd be much better off getting a stag pony to do the job. Anyway, as it happened the firing ceased after a few rounds and we made it to the top of Leana Mhor alive. Good views across to the Grey Corries from here, though mist was hampering vision. Then it was down to the bealach with Beinn Iarunn and easily up the other side, with good views down the huge scoop of Coire nan Eun down Glen Roy, the Parallel Roads being seen to good advantage. Then retraced our steps back down to the bealach in a biting wind, took some shelter for a spot of lunch then followed the track alongside Allt a Bhreac Achaidh back down to the car.

Beinn Iarunn from the start
ImageP1030970 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Leana Mhor (W)
ImageP1030971 by 23weasels, on Flickr

LM Summit
ImageP1030975 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Looking N up Glen Roy
ImageP1030977 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Cairn of Beinn Iarunn past Coire nan Eun
ImageP1030979 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View S to the Grey Corries
ImageP1030980 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Glen Roy
ImageP1030981 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Iarunn simmit
ImageP1030983 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Leana Mhor (E) with good view of the Parallel Roads
ImageP1030986 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Fox Moth caterpillar
ImageP1030987 by 23weasels, on Flickr

There was no elegant way of including the east Leana Mhor in the circuit, just decided to go straight up and down. First of all there was the River Roy to cross. We looked for a relatively shallow spot, as the river just beside the sheep pens looked distinctly deep in places, but walking south a few hundred metres got us a good spot to cross that was not deeper than knee height. We both had on Salomon mesh trail shoes which were great for the purpose -socks removed before plunging in then put back on once we'd emerged from the chilly foot-spa - much easier crossing with shoes on your feet than bare feet. We wandered up through the sheep pen, passing one of several decomposing sheep we saw today, and went straight up the flank of Leana Mhor, parallel to Coire Bohaskey. Smooth ascent on heather and short grass, good incline, easy stuff. Up to the small cairn then back down, having glimpsed the many Carn Deargs in this glen. As we'd been ascending we'd seen about half a dozen cars stop around mine and after milling around for some time, the occupants started up the West Leana Mhor - when we came back down the cars had all gone - very odd as they couldn't have got very far up the hill (unless they were lightning quick). We got back to the car at around 3.30 - I reckoned too late for Stob Coire Dubh, and couldn't really face ticking off the remaining Graham in the Glen, Creag Dhubh, so we headed for a pint in the Roy Bridge hotel and an early tea.

River Roy
ImageP1030988 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1030989 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Grey Corries
ImageP1030991 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Leana Mhor (W)
ImageP1030992 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit, view to Carn Dearg(s)
ImageP1030995 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Iarunn
ImageP1030997 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Leana Mhor (W)
ImageP1030998 by 23weasels, on Flickr

iarunn_mho.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Rain overnight left the tent wet and midges in evidence as we rose on the Sunday morning. The forecast suggested "heavy rain" would be our fair today and I'd chosen two rather unremarkable hills over near Garva Bridge for the conditions. Meall na h-Aisre and Gairbeinn, joined by what looked a boggy plateau would do for today. Packed up and headed off about 9.30, getting to Garva Bridge for 10.10. Tops of the hills were clouded, but it was dry and quite mild. We set off following an LRT crossing the Allt Coire Iain Oig by a ricketty bridge nd heading up the gently sloping heathery back of Leathad Gaothach. Soggy underfoot in places, as we climbed we rose into the clouds and the views diminished to little. There's an 844m top before Meall na h-Aisre summit is reached, but there was little to see from this point on. The rain was light but enough to cause a bit of chill and we stopped for a warming cuppa in the shelter of some boulders just past the summit. Then it was on over the peat hags to Gairbeinn. For the next couple of hours we were treated to incessant stag roaring, which seemed to come from all directions. Eventually we came in sight of Gairbeinn and could see groups of stags on the skyline bellowing at each other. We skirted to the north of Min Coire and onto the back of Gairbeinn, walking for about 3km along its broad spine, getting pretty wet in the process.

Setting off from Garva Bridge
ImageP1040002 by 23weasels, on Flickr

nearing summit Meall an h-Aisre
ImageP1040004 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040005 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Typical of the terrain between to two hills
ImageP1040007 by 23weasels, on Flickr

On the back of Gairbeinn
ImageP1040010 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040011 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Gairbeinn
ImageP1040012 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Having made the summit we followed a path to the southwest before losing it in bog. We descended almost to Meall Garbh Beag before heading SE towards the power lines and the new road that isn't on the map, then back down to General Wade's military road which we followed for a long way back to the car. Good to have a fine surface to walk along on a miserable afternoon - although the sky began to clear as we got back to the start, with blue sky about the hills - typical!

New road
ImageP1040015 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Splash of colour
ImageP1040016 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040017 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040018 by 23weasels, on Flickr

airse+gben.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Re: Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:10 pm
by goth_angel
You'll be in the doghouse when Allison notices the weight comment!! :shock:

Don't fancy the Sunday conditions much :(

Re: Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:37 pm
by weaselmaster
goth_angel wrote:You'll be in the doghouse when Allison notices the weight comment!! :shock:

Don't fancy the Sunday conditions much :(

Yeah, I'm waiting for the repercussions of that! :wink:

Sunday was pretty miserable, provided a bit of navigation practice and excellent opportunity to hear stag roaring, but not much else

Re: Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:22 pm
by Collaciotach
Your keen , Sunday was miserable :D

Re: Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:46 pm
by rockhopper
Saturday looked good :thumbup:
Not as hardy as the two of you.....think I'd just have gone home on Sunday though :roll: :wink: - cheers :)

Re: Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 8:47 am
by RiverSong
Enjoyed your report and photos. I've only been to Glen Roy once and it was a very sunny day, so I got some good photos of the parallel roads. By the way, don't believe people who tell you the roads were formed by glaciers and stuff - given the sheer size of the place there's no doubt in my mind they were formed by the local giant who lived in that huge Glen way back!!

Re: Glen Roy & the Monadhliath

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:11 pm
by Fife Flyer
Good read & some 'interesting' photo's :clap:

One thing that you notice immediately is the summit cairns, did you add a few stones each to double their size :lol: