walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts


Postby BlackPanther » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:23 pm

Route description: Meall a'Phubuill, from Glen Loy

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall a'Phubuill

Date walked: 15/11/2014

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 15.7 km

Ascent: 918m

5 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).

I'm not the fastest hill bagger in history, I guess everybody has their own pace when it comes to mountains. As 2014 is slowly coming to an end, I have already reached my annual targets and I'm more than happy with 36 Munros and 17 Corbetts (2 repeats) done this year. I didn't expect to reach the round number of 80 C's so soon but somehow I managed to get that far - it pays to be stubborn! :lol:

Looking back at my Corbett statistics I noticed, that after the initial couple of years I started to use Corbetts as easier, usually shorter walks for autumn-winter time, or for semi-good summer days. Hence some of my Corbett climbs were done in grey, cloudy conditions. On the other hand, I have some fantastic winter memories from various hills all over Scotland. Corbetts shouldn't be called "lesser Munros" in my opinion - some of them are more difficult than their higher brothers and can give the walker a superb day.
My first C' was Beinn Liath Mhor a'Ghiubhais Li, the hill with unbelievably long name and great views over Loch Glascarnoch :D It was also my first winter climb.
Number 10 was Garbh-bheinn on Skye, one to remember! It was my first scrambling test which I passed with only a few tears in my eyes :lol:
Number 25 was Sgurr a'Mhuilinn, my local Corbett, climbed with its neighbour, Meallan nan Uan.
Number 50 was Sguman Coinntich in Kintail, done on a bright February day, with traverse to Faochag - another walk to remember.
Now number 80 was coming and this turned out to be Meall a'Phubuill, a mountain many of you never heard of :roll:

If asked which is my fav C', I couldn't say for sure. I'm stuck somewhere between Beinn Dearg (the Torridon one), Glamaig (done it twice already), Quinag (all three tops) Ruadh-stac Beag and Arkle. and I'm not even half way through them yet, so many more to come, including Foinaven, Beinn Tharsuinn, Streap, The Cobbler and so far...

Back to number 80, I didn't plan any special celebrations, just wanted to enjoy another day on the hills, taking advantage of unusually warm and sunny November weekend. The best weather was said to be on the western coast, so Meall a'Phubuill was an obvious choice. A perfect hill for a shorter day (about 16km circular) and not too far away from Inverness. Kevin is worried that we are running out of winter routes within reasonable driving distance, but I don't have a problem with repeating mountains, especially if the first visit was in cloudy conditions.

At the moment, I was still able to find something brand new to do. Meall a'Phubuill has been on the radar since last summer, when we climbed the neighbouring Beinn Bhan. The day was boiling hot and we were chased by cleg army, but I really enjoyed the climb - and the summit views. In this area, every hill is bound to be a good viewpoint, so I expected some breathtaking panoramas from Meall a'Phubuill ridge - and I wasn't disappointed.
Our intention was to follow WH route, but in the end we decided to stay on the ridge for longer on the way back... No difference distance-wise, additional 200m of ascent, but it's worth it:

Track_MEALL A PHUBUILL 15-11-14.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


On Saturday morning we drove up Glen Loy to Achnanellan, where we found parking space at the end of public road (next to rubbish bins). We crossed two gates and started the walk-in on a quite wet pony track up the glen. Some remains of morning mist still hung in the air, but the day looked promising, though at the moment we still walked in the shadow:
Image
The track follows River Loy and en route there are many small waterfalls to admire:
Image
The Brian Chollie forest is hardly a forest at all...
Image
...and when in the glen, the best views are back east, towards Beinn Bhan:
Image
Kevin kept glancing to our right and up the slope, murmuring something about "the sooner we start going up the better", but I insisted on staying on the beaten track as WH route suggested - the mountain side above us looked waterlogged and very slippery :?
In Brian Chollie woods:
Image
We almost missed the old stone dyke, marking the start of the climb. It's so overgrown that I walked past it without realising it was something man-made :lol: Kevin was better at fence-spotting and we turned up to face the steep slope. One-two, let's go!
Image
When seen from below, these slopes look off-putting, but as we pushed on, we discovered the ground wasn't as wet as we expected. The ground is mostly grassy, with some areas of bracken, now long dead and decaying. We manoeuvred a bit to avoid countless small streams sipping slowly down the hillside and aimed for the col between the two easternmost tops of the ridge (it would be easier to write, if they actually had names on the map!!!).
View back east to Beinn Bhan:
Image
West into the glen:
Image
We walked out of the shadows and into the sun - another bright November weekend! Kevin noticed that tops of higher hills were now "popping out" from behind lower ridges on the south-western horizon, and of course he ordered a break to take some snaps...
Image

Image
I spent some time watching a small herd of deer on the slope above us, but they were too far to get any decent pictures... Kevin said he had already photographed hundreds of deer in his life and he preferred to photograph cats :roll: :roll:
Image
Again, like last weekend, we had to strip to single layers, it was much warmer than one would expect in November. This time last year I was plodding up An Socach in knee deep snow, this year it felt more like summer!
We reached the ridge and from now on, the steep trudge was over and the true mountain p*o*r*n could begin! :lol: Behind me - Meall a'Phubuill ridge and Gulvain:
Image
The stone dyke runs all the way along the ridge, from the easternmost top (698m) to the "middle" one (747m) and then down to the col between that and the main summit. Funny, I felt like this man-made addition to the landscape added an interesting twist to the panoramas. Here, looking back towards the 698m top from the col:
Image
As we stated walking along the ridge (aka follow-the-dyke exercise :lol: :lol: :lol: ), we could play hill-spotting. So many mountains on the horizon, some of them completely unknown to me. Looking south-west towards Ardgour and Moidart, I suddenly realised I know zilch about this corner of Scotland!
Image
If I read the map correctly, this is the ridge of Gairbh Bheinn:
Image
More familiar shapes to the east, including Ben Nevis, at the moment the summit area free of cloud:
Image
Zoomed:
Image
Carn Mor Dearg ridge:
Image
Loch Lochy mountains:
Image
A cat on the fence :lol: :lol:
Image
The day was shaping up nicely, blue sky, some high cloud in the eastern sky but I couldn't wish for better weather to bag my 80th Corbett!
Image
As we gained height on the ridge, views grew even better, if it was possible!
Image
The Northern panorama, including the tops of Knoydart, Sgurr na Ciche and friends:
Image
Zoom:
Image
Nevis ridge clouding up:
Image
Looking NE into Glen Mallie:
Image
View south from the 747m top:
Image
Speechless... This walk was truly delivering!
Image

Image
One more zoom:
Image
Crazy cat:
Image
After five minutes break on the 747m top, we started descending carefully to the col above Coire nan Laogh. This descent was quite steep and surprisingly craggy, but all rocks can be avoided, there is a sketchy path to follow.
The summit of Meall a'Phubuill, Gulvain behind:
Image
Not the worst slope in my life:
Image
We quickly crossed the wet bealach and aimed for the summit. The final climb is not too steep and on easy, grassy ground.
Looking back at the lower top:
Image
A few more minutes and the summit cairn came in sight. Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts!
Image
I couldn't take my eyes of Gulvain, it's only four months since we climbed it, but I still remember how steep it was :? From our Cotbett, the Munro looked majestic:
Image
On the eastern sky, Ben Nevis was still struggling to stay cloud-free...
Image
...but the best views from Meall a'Phubuill are definitely south and west, towards Ardgour/Moidart/Sunart hills. The high cloud was slowly gathering above the rocky ridges and the mountains looked scary to say the least!
Image

Image

Image

Image
View north was more friendly, with blue sky still holding:
Image
Kevin on his 81st Corbett :D
Image
Loch Arkaig and the mountains of Loch Lochy:
Image
Shortly after we arrived at the top, the high cloud followed us and we lost the sunshine. Immediately, the temperature dropped as well :? so in 15 min or so we were shuddering by the summit cairn. Just to add up, my vacuum flask decided to pack up :roll: and instead of hot tea I ended up with the iced version (well, almost :lol: :lol: ).
We discussed the return route and decided that instead of dropping to Coire nan Laogh straight from the col, we would stay up on the ridge, follow it all the way to the eastern top and then descend along the edge of the forest to Achnanellan. This way, we were going to keep the amazing views for longer, and I suspected that whichever route we took, it was going to be wet and boggy anyway.
So we enjoyed the stroll along this ridge:
Image
We followed the fence all the way back to the 698m top (a Graham top of Corbett for top baggers). The sun came back at some point and views were still lovely. Behind us, Gulvain and Meall a'Phubuill now hid in shadows:
Image

Image
One more look at the eastern panorama - with Nevis in the middle:
Image
From the 698m top, our descent route followed the ridge (and the stone dyke) for about half a km, to a flatter area covered with peat hags. The ground was not too bad, easy walking on grass and low heather, with the bulky shape of Beinn Bhan dominating the view:
Image
Last glimpse towards Knoydart:
Image
The wet area seen here in the middle of the photo, from here we turned left and started steeper descent into the glen:
Image
Achnanellan and Glen Loy from above:
Image
The final descent was easy at first, but the final 150m or so were on very overgrown ground, with high heather and bracken everywhere. Luckily, the latter was already brown and shrunk, but in the middle of summer this wouldn't be the best way to descend the mountain - I imagine this overgrown slope would be a tick heaven!
Lower down we found a wet path that followed the edge of the forest, which we descended back to the track in the glen. Now we were only 10 min away from the car :D

Summing up, a good route for shorter autumn day. I have to say, what this hill lacks in character, it gains in views, so it is definitely worth keeping for a clear day :D It was a great choice for my no. 80!
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3118
Munros:258   Corbetts:162
Grahams:111   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:08 pm

Beautiful as usual - I really like the shot of you and the dry stane dyke running off into the distance...

Yet another area I don't really know that well that you are tempting me into, thanks :clap: :clap:

PS. I am developing a love affair for Corbetts too :lol: :lol:
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 885
Munros:237   Corbetts:15
Grahams:8   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:17
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:24 pm

Aye that was Garbh Bheinn right enough :D

Lots of good Corbetts , Grahams and subs in Ardgour / Suaineirt and Moidart , in fact some of the best walking , scrambles and climbs you 'll find :D

Good report :clap:
User avatar
Collaciotach
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1727
Munros:282   Corbetts:114
Grahams:29   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:20   
Islands:27
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby gaffr » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:14 am

Meall a'Phubuill, a mountain that many of you never heard of. :) Maybe you have visited Beinn Bhan on a different day? but the two in one day gives a nice day out. :) Of course on a much shorter 'daylight day' in November much more difficult to fit in.
Enjoy the Corbetts still to visit they are a very special group of hills.....much of the time you don't see many other folks and there are often not well worn paths to follow. :D
User avatar
gaffr
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1640
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
Grahams:33   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:11   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:11   
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:27 pm

Thanks for all comments :D :D My love for Corbetts is almost as strong as my love for Munros :lol: It's not really about what's on the list, but about a good day's walk.

Huff_n_Puff wrote: I really like the shot of you and the dry stane dyke running off into the distance...

I liked that old dyke, too, the way it goes on and on and disappears somewhere on the horizon :lol: The only man made structure in sight and somehow it fits nicely with the natural features, I think I have a photo for next months photo competition...

Collaciotach wrote:Aye that was Garbh Bheinn right enough :D
Lots of good Corbetts , Grahams and subs in Ardgour / Suaineirt and Moidart , in fact some of the best walking , scrambles and climbs you 'll find :D


Thanks, I wasn't sure, but the shape seemed right... The whole area looks superb, so many hills to do, I'm tempted! A good idea for week's camping holidays, maybe next year.

gaffr wrote:Maybe you have visited Beinn Bhan on a different day? but the two in one day gives a nice day out.

Yes, we climbed BB in 2013 and indeed, we discussed the possibility of adding MP, too, but the day was scorching hot, we almost boiled alive. Maybe we'll repeat the two as a single walk someday. At the moment, I'm trying to fit in as many shorter routes into my autumn/winter schedule, as possible.
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3118
Munros:258   Corbetts:162
Grahams:111   
Sub 2000:40   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby scottishkennyg » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:24 pm

Shirt sleeves in November and no snow lines...good walk, well captured with the colourful array of photos. Liked the shots over to the Ben..
User avatar
scottishkennyg
 
Posts: 644
Munros:282   
Joined: Jan 2, 2013

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby Beaner001 » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:17 am

I am sitting on 33 Munros and 1 Corbett, I too am not very fast but why rush it, it's going to be an awesome journey :D
I had Short Sleeves all day last Saturday, unreal for November :shock:
Great pics btw :clap:
User avatar
Beaner001
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 743
Munros:234   Corbetts:26
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Sep 17, 2013
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: Around Scotland in 80 Corbetts

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:57 pm

What fantastic photos, BP. Sounds like a great walk with amazing views. (BTW welcome back!)
User avatar
AnnieMacD
Walker
 
Posts: 789
Munros:25   Corbetts:15
Grahams:13   
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Jun 25, 2013
Location: Applecross

5 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Andiprobert, Daveyf, ibeaney, Kazspicer21, trimart, wgordon, woodycreek and 62 guests