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Baking in Beautiful Argyll
by Fife Flyer » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:29 pm
Route description: Beinn Sgulaird
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Sgulaird
Corbetts included on this walk: Creach Bheinn (Loch Creran)
Date walked: 18/04/2015
Time taken: 8.15 hours
Distance: 17 km
Ascent: 1560m3 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).
This little day out was planned by Simon (simon b) who was up north of the border for another short stay, making the most of the favourable forecast Simon decided to base himself in Connell and had tackled the couple of Munro's near Ballachulish the day before. Simon had looked at my red balloons and suggested we head to Argyll and tackle Beinn Sgulaird and if we felt OK the Corbett Creach Bheinn which looked fairly close on the map
Beinn Sgulaird had been on my radar for over 12 months and as it was over a 2 hour drive, I had left it for a good day. Simon had already attempted to conquer Sgulaird but was forced to retreat when on Meall Garbh due to winds so strong it had become difficult to even stand up
There was plenty of activity planned over the weekend and I was almost tempted to head NW and tackle the 5 Sisters, but opted to join Simon, especially as the forecast was for the sun to make a long appearance and the views from Sgulaird are supposed to be breathtaking.
Another early rise, 5.45 seemed almost like a lie-in and as Simon was in a B&B he wasn't going to miss out on his breakfast I offered to pick Simon up in Connell just after 8.30.
There was hardly a cloud in the sky and the drive after Tyndrum was awesome and I decided to stop by Loch Tulla as it offered the chance of some superb photo's, the water was mirror-like and the reflections were outstanding
DSCF0814 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Loch Tulla
DSCF0815 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
DSCF0818 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
Picked Simon up and we headed off to the start point, there were already about 5 cars squished into the limited parking area, I managed to squeeze my wee'r car into a slot There were a noisy rabble preparing to set off, who soon realised/found out that they were regular WH users. Apologies for not catching everyone's names, I recognised Dave (spiderwebb) and we ended up intermittently walking with Gus Patullo and his son MARC (mountainboy). Apologies for spelling your name wrong on FB Marc
The initial part of the walk was up a well used track, once you reach a small cairn it is time to start climbing a bit more seriously. The ascent up the shoulder towards Meall Garbh is steady but not steep. Before you reach the minor summit of Meall Garbh there is a descent of about 50m before you start climbing up again.
The views behind are more than a great excuse to stop for photo's and a chance to catch your breath
DSCF0833 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Nice view behind of Loch Creran
DSCF0838 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Zoomed in a bit with Mull across the water
DSCF0850 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Busy hill with stragglers strewn over the dry slopes
DSCF0834 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Happy family, Gus Marc and Hamish
DSCF0840 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Simon and Gus
DSCF0841 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
DSCF0845 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - The Ben and neighbours
DSCF0846 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
DSCF0853 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Beinn Sgulaird looking quite dark and moody
Once the top of Meall Garbh is reached, another descent of about 50m is required over boulder fields and a couple of snow patches to tackle
DSCF0859 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Simon adopting his snow field descent posture
DSCF0869 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Much easier descent, soft slushy snow
DSCF0870 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Hamish enjoying the snow in amongst the boulders
DSCF0876 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - a steeper patch of snow
DSCF0877 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Mountainboy descending
DSCF0878 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Mountainboy just getting to his feet
DSCF0890 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - One of the first views of the Ben, zoomed
DSCF0910 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Ben Cruachan zoomed
DSCF0931 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Cruachan again with Loch Etive in the foreground
The views in all directions were amazing, luckily Simon is a font of hill knowledge and recognition and his pronunciation certainly impresses me
DSCF0934 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Loch Etive not a ripple
DSCF0936 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - the monster known as Starav
As we got higher the views just got better and it becomes obvious why Sgulaird has to be climbed on a good day with decent visibility. The views across to the islands, albeit a bit hazy were incredible. I tried my best to get a photo of Jura and the Paps, but unfortunately the photo doesn't do them justice, so you aren't getting to see it
DSCF0961 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - the view behind, which would be our next target
DSCF0882 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Mull zoomed
DSCF0884 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Meall Garbh and Creach Bheinn to the left, our next target
DSCF0894 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - small snow patch with Cruachan in the background
After a bit more ascending, descending and ascending which is a constant feature of Sgulaird the summit was reached.
DSCF0888 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Mountainboy on the summit of Sgulaird
DSCF0889 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
DSCF0899 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
DSCF0903 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Hamish posing happily on the summit
DSCF0905 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Posing with a superb backdrop
DSCF0906 by martin_beswick, on Flickr
DSCF0908 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - busy summit
DSCF0911 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Cruachan again
DSCF0914 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - snow falling apart
Simon and I had already decided we were heading off to Creach Bheinn and we asked the rest of the group if anyone fancied joining us, but no one was interested So we headed off, Simon's initial plan was to go back up Meall Garbh and descend down the other side. However after assessing the terrain and looking at the contours on the map we decided to traverse along the side of Meall Garbh descending slightly and then descending a bit more steeply down to the bealach.
DSCF0918 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Creach Bheinn in the background and the angle of the traverse/descent to the bealach
Just after leaving the bealach we noticed hang gliders soaring high above us, I took a few photo's and this is the only one that managed to capture one of them
DSCF0919 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - hang glider
We had no real path/route to follow so we were using visual reference points and the approach to Creach Bheinn from the north involves yet more ascending, descending and ascending. We were trying our best to limit the ascending by traversing small humps and bumps The large snow fields on the ascent were avoided by climbing up the bouldery grassy slopes as the snow was soft and slushy - ideal for descending I did mention to Simon that this hill doesn't see to many folk and I suggested that we wouldn't meet anyone. As it turned out a short time later about 1km from the summit we met a couple with 2 boys who were enjoying descending on the snow fields
DSCF0923 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - snow patches on the way up to Creach Bheinn
DSCF0942 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - One of the snow fields we ascended, following foot steps
The summit of Creag Bheinn offers even better views of the islands and especially Ben Cruachan and I suggested we had the summit to ourselves.
DSCF0949 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Simon propping up the trig on Creach Bheinn
DSCF0948 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - speedboat on Loch Etive
DSCF0953 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Castle?
DSCF0963 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Simon posing on a perfectly placed boulder
DSCF0964 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - same boulder, different occupant
DSCF0965 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - arty shot, trig with Starav in the background
DSCF0967 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - arty shot number 2 with the Ben
DSCF0969 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - still plenty of snow
After reluctantly leaving the summit we started the descent, on the way up we had briefly discussed the options and there were 3 of them:
1. Descend directly down the ridge to Loch Creran, this was binned as it was unknown terroitory
2. Descend back the way we came, but that would involve quite a bit of extra ascent, that was binned too
3. Descend down as far as we could and then traverse and descend round the lump marked on the map as 804m
DSCF0981 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - Simon enjoying the descent, nice and easy on lovely soft snow
DSCF0985 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - the traverse back to the track in the distance, turned out to be very easy
DSCF0984 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - the way back down to the car, there was a small forest fire and the smoke was drifting across from the left
The descent was very straight forward and actually didn't take long at all. We arrived back the car having spent 8 hours in the sun and as usual with me, my neck and arms are a tad red
DSCF0988 by martin_beswick, on Flickr - parking area, not many cars now
Another fantastic day, a huge thank you to Simon for inviting me and hand picking a fabulous hill/s to spend the day The forecast is still favourable for the rest of the week, so Tuesday is my next day out
Stob Ban here I come
by simon-b » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:21 pm
by JimboJim » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:33 pm
by simon-b » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:47 am
2015-04-18.gpx Open full screen NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts
...to be fair, it was a good plan to do that, and it was your idea .
by jepsonscotland » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:19 pm
Nice to see 'summer' peaks again.
Let's get the 200 up...............
Look forward to catching up on the hill soon.
by rockhopper » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:53 pm
by guspattullo » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:18 pm