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No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hills
by Huff_n_Puff » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:53 pm
Route description: Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach
Munros included on this walk: Gleouraich, Spidean Mialach
Date walked: 10/09/2014
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 12 km
Ascent: 1130m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
By the time we reached the small parking area opposite the route from/to Gleouraich there were a couple of cars parked whose occupants were already away. We didn't really think too much about which way round the hills we went – we just followed the WH route and headed off for the track leading to Spidean Mialach, marked more by a twig that a post .
Roger and marker twig
(Ignore the ugly new track heading up the hillside)
Once a bit of height had been gained we had beautiful views across Loch Quoich
and over to the shapely Sgurr na Ciche.
The day was getting hotter and hotter, the dogs took advantage of any water we passed, and were delighted when the path brought us to the Allt Coire Mheil.
Bertie making the most of the water
We had brought extra water for the dogs, but on this part of the walk it wasn't needed – there was plenty of water – indeed the path was on the boggy side of wet. At this point we were walking into the sun and although there is a path beyond the Allt Coire Dubh it was difficult to see, as was the bog hole I stepped into .
(Given the heat of the day I had no worries about drying out pretty quickly )
I've recently taken to playing the fiddle and so my walks have been accompanied by mental strains of whatever tune I'm playing at the moment – from here up to the summit of Spidean Mialach I kept time to Macphearson's Lament (more a comment about slow walking than wet feet ).
We passed some berries (not sure what they are – any suggestions?)
As we got closer to the summit of Spidean Mialach we could see some bobbly bits on the southern flank of the hill – closer look and – yes a herd of deer.
We were taking no chances with the dogs – the deer were too far away for them to have alerted the dogs attention, but we had them on the lead before they could cause any hassle .
As we neared the top we caught a gentle breeze which eased away the heat of the climb and created almost perfect conditions. I took advantage of the views back along Loch Quoich to take more photos – all to perfect the art, nothing about needing a breather, you understand.
And from the summit just staggering views...
Hungry hiker and food fixated fiends
The Ben looking hazy
Western part of the South Glen Shiel Ridge
North west to the Saddle
Knoydart and Ladder Beinn
The route ahead
Loch Quoich again
After plenty of time to relax and take in the views we set off for Gleouraich
With magnificent northern cliffs on the way.
Looking back at Spidean Mialach and Loch Garry
The deer were still on the southern flank of Spidean Mialach so the dogs stayed on the lead until we were safely away.
The path to Gleouraich is clear and very straight forward – straight down and then straight up .
While my mental musical accompaniment on the way up had been a lament, on the downward slopes it was a rousing chorus of “You canna shove yer granny of a bus” (Dogplodder is this your doing? ). However with a dearth of public transport in the area we were safe .
At the bealach between the two Munros we met three walkers heading in the opposite direction, so we stopped for a quick bleather. They were form Lancashire up in Scotland for a holiday and as much walking as they could pack in. Like us they were retired and headed off to the hills (for them the Lakes) whenever they got free time plus good weather – and like us had turned into 'good weather walkers'. You do lose some skills this way but I reckon we see so much more of the landscape because we have the luxury of choice. (Yes, I can remember what it was like when we worked, when we had to take what we got if we wanted to walk. I can also remember the frustration of having to go into work on beautiful hill days …)
It was only when we met this group that I started to wonder why we'd just followed the WH route and come this way round. Initially I thought that it gives the best views – west into the Knoydart rather than east along the Glen Shiel Ridge, but to be honest the view east is beautiful too. It was only when we were coming down Gleouraich that the true advantage of doing the hills this way round dawned on me.
The route up Gleouraich looked steep, but it really wasn't that bad and we were soon at the top … and yes more photos.
By this time the dogs did need that water
The route down was a joy, wonderful views of Loch Quoich with the afternoon sun glinting off it,
But it was the path down that really stole my admiration – it's superb, a really graceful descent with gentle zig zags on the steep parts. Yes this was my idea of how to come off a hill – the boggy path we ascended in the morning would have been far more of a trial at the end of the day than this beauty.
Last look backwards.
These two Loch Quoich hills had not disappointed – they and their environment were stunning. Great hills to keep us going on a four week Scottish hill-fast.
During those 4 weeks we'd be off to the Andes, now would they live up to expectations??
by Beaner001 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:28 am
I was in Argentina in 2011 to watch the Coppa America Football tournament and we took a trip from Mendoza to Santiago going through the Andes, absolutely superb scenery, never got the chance to hike though, would love to go back to do some walking. Let us know how the trip went, maybe post some pics??
by dooterbang » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:59 pm
Have a similar photo of the Ben taken from Sgurr a'Mhaoraich.
by Silverhill » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:16 pm
by dogplodder » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:40 pm
by electricfly » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:58 am
by Huff_n_Puff » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:10 pm
Beaner001 wrote:I was in Argentina in 2011 to watch the Coppa America Football tournament and we took a trip from Mendoza to Santiago going through the Andes, absolutely superb scenery, never got the chance to hike though, would love to go back to do some walking. Let us know how the trip went, maybe post some pics??
Watching footie in South America - that was brave - must have been great fun though.
The trip was wonderful - although the weather in the mountains was more like autumn in Scotland than I'd expected, except for the cloud forest - I've never watched clouds move so quickly up a mountainside, with not a breath of wind, just the effect of the thermals rising from the Amazon. Still sorting through the photos - as usual took far too many
dooterbang wrote:Fantastic day to be in this area. I did these hills clockwise, the path out was a bugger!
You're right about the day - shame that it wasn't clever planning on our part that we got toe better way out, but either way this is another stunning part of Scotland
Silverhill wrote:I don’t envy you, you retired fair weather walkers. Not at all. Not a bit. At least I get to practise my navigational skills. I very much look forward to doing these hills and hopefully will get a glorious day for it like you.
I just hope you are around when we get ourselves lost again These hills are worth saving for a great day.
They might just fight back - amazing what you can do with walking polesdogplodder wrote:As for shoving grannies off buses - with free bus travel for over 60s there's certainly no shortage of grannies not to shove!
electricfly wrote:What a cracking day you had there. Love these two hills, and your fantastic pics have reminded me of the reason why.
Thanks - you are right about the area - its stunning - but then we have so many stunning places to walk in Scotland, its a real privilege to live here
by dawnfoth » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:46 pm
by kev_russ » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:50 pm
by rockhopper » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:58 pm
by AnnieMacD » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:05 pm
by Huff_n_Puff » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:56 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:54 am