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Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn


Postby Beaner001 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:39 pm

Route description: Gulvain, near Kinlocheil

Munros included on this walk: Gulvain

Corbetts included on this walk: Braigh nan Uamhachan

Date walked: 05/04/2015

Time taken: 8.35 hours

Distance: 24.5 km

Ascent: 1632m

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I had really been looking forward to this Easter Weekend for a while now and pencilled into the notepad in my head was Gulvain. We were to be staying at my brother and sister in laws in Ardgour. I kept an eye on the weather, all reports on social media contained warnings from various Mountain Rescue teams and experts to be wary of the snow conditions above 600m. I therefore packed the full kit in case. Originally Saturday had been penned but one too many Drams with the brother in law Friday night led to a late night or more accurately an early morning, so Saturday was swiftly ruled out. We instead went a walk up Glen Scaddle with all the dogs.

The weather on Sunday morning started foggy but the heat outside threatened that it would burn off, this is the good thing about staying within 30 minutes of your starting point for a hill walk, on the spot decisions can be made. I loaded the mutts into the car and took off North along Loch Linnhe which skirts the loch all the way round to Loch Eil where I parked just before reaching the A830 in the small layby on my left just after the railway bridge. Signs were that I was going to be correct and the fog would burn away. I packed crampons, ice axe, waterproofs, 2 x jackets, food & water for 8 + hours walking anyway.


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I crossed the A830 and turned up towards the houses and took a right over the Fionn Lighe. I took a left up the track signed by a right of way to Strathan through a gate which was open and headed off up the Glen.
photo 1.JPG
Take a right at these house to cross the Fionn Lighe

photo 2.JPG
Go through this gate leading up the Glen, marked for right away up Strathan

I had read that bikes would be advantageous for this walk but my want, need and getting lists are over spilling so I walked. I set off at a decent pace up the Glen, it rises gently and drops again and upon reaching the first of two small wooden bridges I could smell decay, the dogs promptly found a decaying Stag just off the track. I prised them away and we soon reached the bridge we would cross over to follow the track on the West side of the Glen. The water below was clear and beautiful, the dogs had a swim and then we continued.
photo 3.JPG
Cross this bridge to switch to West side of the Glen

photo 4.JPG
Track continues up to unused tin building

photo 5.JPG
Tin Building

photo 22.JPG
Gate after the Tin Buildings - two peas in a pod

After reaching the deserted building at Wauchen we went through a couple of gates and once round one of the corners it opened up a bit on the East side and I heard the ‘seeir’ noise of what I recognised to be a Golden Eagle, I immediately went for my camera and looked to the sky but saw nothing, a few seconds later I saw the Eagle sitting right at the top of one of the trees to my right about 50 meters away. It was disturbed by the dogs quartering the terrain and it took off before I could get a picture, it looked massive and it was a pleasure to hear and see one at the same time. The scene reminded me of a programme I watched a few years ago about the American Bald Eagles of the Chilkat Reserve where hundreds of them perched on trees waiting on the Salmon run. Ok this was only one Golden Eagle but the scene was similar in looks if not in Eagle numbers. This picture will remain in the hard drive of my head for a lifetime. It was around here I got my first sight of Gulvain, mist still shrouded the initial slopes but I felt confident by the time I got there it would be gone.
photo 23.JPG
First sight of Gulvain

photo 24.JPG
Mist still circling the Mountain

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Looking back to where we've come from

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Mist clearing the closer we get

In no time I reached the small cairn indicating the turn off for the hill path, it started fine but after taking a left it soon started to steepen significantly. The higher I got the better the views and I was correct the fog did burn off.
photo 7.JPG
A clear Ben Nevis from the shoulder of Gulvain

photo 8.JPG
Zoomed, over the Corbett Meall a'Phubuill

The path zig zags in sections up the slope and after many stops due to a mixture of not being fully fit, the heat and photo ops I got to the 855m minor bump. I could see the ridge ahead passing over the trig point and down to the bealach and up to the summit in the distance.
photo 9.JPG
First sight of both Summits of Gulvain

photo 10.JPG
Capering at the Trig Point

I felt absolutely wonderful. We capered on the southern summit for a while and I filled my water bottle with snow to keep me going as I had drunk a lot more than I envisaged due to the heat. The dogs ate snow balls and got a few pieces. We continued over to the true summit, you drop into the bealach and we passed around 6 walkers returning from their summit.
photo 11.JPG
Summit ridge proper

photo 12.JPG
The Ben zoomed, not often you get a clear day up there

The snow fields were deep over to the summit and there were a few cornices but we made it to the summit and it was deserted so we got it to ourselves. We stayed and admired the views and rested up for 20 minutes enjoying the views.
photo 13.JPG
Summit dogs

photo 14.JPG
Todays Corbett, Streap and then the Glenfinnan Munros

The Gaels called this mountain Gaor Bheinn - the Noisy hill, this must be after the noise the wind makes when hitting it in its isolated position after sweeping up the many surrounding Glens, and amazingly I could hear a pin drop today!! It was here I decided to include the Corbett Braigh nan Uamhachan. I had included it in my timings but wanted to see snow conditions and see how my feet were in winter boots before making the final decision. Another plus of bagging the Corbett meant I would get cracking views over to Streap, a Corbett that is high on my To Do List.

We returned to the Bealach and slowly descended due to the ground being very slippy and wet. I made a diagonal towards the southern summit of Gulvain so as to miss the crags I could see below and also it made the descent easier.
photo 15.JPG
My descent off Gulvain into the Bealach

photo 16.JPG
Aiming for the shoulder of the Corbett ahead

This section to the flatter terrain at the bottom took a good 30 minutes and eventually I reached snow fields which I ploughed through to reach the lowest point. From here it was clear this was going to be a tough walk over rough terrain to the shoulder of Leac na Buidheig I was aiming for. Once I got to roughly the centre of the glen (Fraoch Mor) I took a rest on a nice hot rock, the dogs puddled in nearby small lochs and both came out black!! I was really starting to struggle here having to stop after about 20-30 meters of ascent. The weather was stunning though and the clear views pushed me onwards.
photo 17.JPG
Reaching the flatter part of the Bealach

photo 18.JPG
Braigh nan Uamhachan

We tramped over the minor knolls in the bealach and eventually reached the start of the shoulder up to the summit ridge. Another rest was taken then we set off up the shoulder, the views were stunning but I was making hard work of it. I reached one last snow field and once through it I was onto the ridge and to my left I could see the summit ahead.
photo 19.JPG
Summit of the Corbett ahead

The views were all I had wished for to Streap and the Glenfinnan Munros, I could see them from Gulvain but being that extra few kms closer made them better. Streap looked stunning and I can’t wait to get a shot at her! I lay on the summit on my back with one of the jackets out of my pack for a pillow for a good 20 mins, I was shattered plus the warm glow of the sun on my weathered face was good, I could feel the salty texture on my coupon so washed it off with water but this always makes my eyes sting as some gets in. I didn’t care. A text was sent to Mrs MacBean to let her know I was ok and was including the Corbett and that I’d be back around 19.30. I knew it was fish pie for tea so I scoffed my last sandwich so I was starving by the time I got back to the house.
photo 20.JPG
Summit dogs with Gulvain in background

I eventually had to pull myself away from my comfy resting place to start the walk along the ridge following a drystone dyke.

I didn’t want to follow this all the way along the ridge so planned on dropping down the steep shoulder of Sron Liath back to the inward track I took passing a squared off section of land bordered by a wall. After a few slips onto my arse I reached the soggy ground and made it to the path beside where the Allt a’Choire Reidh reaches Gleann Fionnlighe. I simply retraced my steps all the way back to the car, I had to stop for Ibuprofen and tightening of laces as the winter boots were starting to rub a bit. I reached the car and was delighted at the way the day had panned out, a Munro and a Corbett in a smashing location on a smashing Easter Sunday. I met up with a lovely Geordie couple I had met twice during the day and had a chat with them about their plans. I was hoping to go along to the Glenfinnan Monument as I wanted a picture of it in the fading light but that would have to wait as I was Hank Marvin and fesh (eh stuff that sweems in the sea) pie was on the menu!
On another note, I have taken around 8 ticks off the dogs since Sunday, little hitchhikers are officially back for the season :(
The Bean Machine now takes a weekend off from the Heils for wife related activities (Car boot sales and the likes, although clearing the garage means I will make room for more hill walking gear) so until next time….cheers
Last edited by Beaner001 on Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:29 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby weaselmaster » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:32 pm

Nice circuit, that one
Make sure you choose a good day for Streap, unlike us :(
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby malky_c » Wed Apr 08, 2015 3:39 pm

Great way to get a bit extra out of the walk up Streap :) . Might do something similar myself - Braigh nan Uamhachan looks narrower than I expected 8)
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:46 pm

That looked like a great day - loved the last pic of the dogs :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:42 am

weaselmaster wrote:Nice circuit, that one
Make sure you choose a good day for Streap, unlike us :(


Will do Al, it looked fabulous so im looking forward to it :D

malky_c wrote:Great way to get a bit extra out of the walk up Streap :) . Might do something similar myself - Braigh nan Uamhachan looks narrower than I expected 8)


It's only slightly narrow on a couple of sections, the photo maybe makes it look worse than it is Malky, a nice ridge none the less and would make a grand day out on it's own too :D

Gordie12 wrote:That looked like a great day - loved the last pic of the dogs :clap: :clap: :clap:


Cheers Gordie, took a few attempts to get close to the shot I wanted :lol:
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby rockhopper » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:09 pm

Interesting route - a bit different to the norm.
Cracking day for it - that looked most enjoyable - cheers :)
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby dogplodder » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:04 pm

This is on my to-do-very-soon list so your report will come in handy. I'd love to take the geriatric mutts but suspect it's a bit far for them. No use asking how your dynamo duo coped as they have youth on their side. From now on is going to be a constant battle for me deciding whether to take them or not. :wink:
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:29 pm

Fantastic day on a great duo :D I didn't even consider adding the Corbett when doing Gulvain, the Munro alone was painful enough for my knees :lol:
BnU and Streap are high on our to-do list. It's an area where we hardly scratched the surface...
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby martin.h » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:51 pm

Another fine report Matthew and another route to add to our ever growing list.
Weather must have been near perfect, Roy and Lochy are great looking dogs, they must enjoy every second they are out.
We're coming up to Perth next Wed, if you fancy any Munros around Drumochter or Crianlarich next weekend, give me a shout we've still loads to do.
Cheers.
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby scottishkennyg » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:57 pm

A1 Beaner, the walk along to the Corbett looked very testing and energy sapping. Not so good to learn that the ticks are back out.. :( hopefully the midgie is a good bit away.. :crazy:
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby litljortindan » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:55 pm

Great stuff and good going if you were feeling less than fully fit. Those dogs are priceless. I take it that is them looking like they are half a kilometer away in one of the pics?
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:52 pm

It is rough country right enough but you had the day of it :clap: :clap:

Save Streap for a cold clear day and with a powdering of snow :wink:
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby pollyh33 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:43 pm

Smashing report Matt :clap: :clap:

I really enjoyed everything in your smashing account of your day but the doggie pic stole the show! :D :D
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby Beaner001 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:43 pm

rockhopper wrote:Interesting route - a bit different to the norm.
Cracking day for it - that looked most enjoyable - cheers :)


It was indeed RH, cheers

dogplodder wrote:This is on my to-do-very-soon list so your report will come in handy. I'd love to take the geriatric mutts but suspect it's a bit far for them. No use asking how your dynamo duo coped as they have youth on their side. From now on is going to be a constant battle for me deciding whether to take them or not. :wink:


My dad has the same dilemma with his ageing Terrier, it can't be fine as I'd not feel right without them and imagine your the same. The heart is willing but the body not able and all that :(
It is a fine walk DP

BlackPanther wrote:Fantastic day on a great duo :D I didn't even consider adding the Corbett when doing Gulvain, the Munro alone was painful enough for my knees :lol:
BnU and Streap are high on our to-do list. It's an area where we hardly scratched the surface...


Same BP I've rarely been here for hills, it's a long drive for me so will try incorporate with visits to family. Couldn't believe my luck with the weather :lol:

martin.h wrote:Another fine report Matthew and another route to add to our ever growing list.
Weather must have been near perfect, Roy and Lochy are great looking dogs, they must enjoy every second they are out.
We're coming up to Perth next Wed, if you fancy any Munros around Drumochter or Crianlarich next weekend, give me a shout we've still loads to do.
Cheers.


Thanks Marts, drop me a text once you finalise your plans :D

scottishkennyg wrote:A1 Beaner, the walk along to the Corbett looked very testing and energy sapping. Not so good to learn that the ticks are back out.. :( hopefully the midgie is a good bit away.. :crazy:


Aye it was rough ground mate, but well worth every bit of pain for the views :lol:
Blasted ticks :evil:

litljortindan wrote:Great stuff and good going if you were feeling less than fully fit. Those dogs are priceless. I take it that is them looking like they are half a kilometer away in one of the pics?


Sure is, they get summit fever :lol: :lol: I think they hope to get there ahead of me as they associate summit cairns with food so a good 30 seconds of uninterrupted begging can be squeezed in :lol: :lol:

Collaciotach wrote:It is rough country right enough but you had the day of it :clap: :clap:

Save Streap for a cold clear day and with a powdering of snow :wink:


I felt it in the legs for a few days after Colla so that's testament to the rough terrain :lol:
Cheers

pollyh33 wrote:Smashing report Matt :clap: :clap:

I really enjoyed everything in your smashing account of your day but the doggie pic stole the show! :D :D


Geez thanks Polly :D You'll make the mutts blush :lol:
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Re: Could hear a pin drop on the noisy hill - Gaor Bheinn

Postby mountain thyme » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:06 pm

Nice one Matt.looked a cracking day.
Where's your ciste dhuh report ?? :D
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