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Back down South - Chasing the weather

Back down South - Chasing the weather


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:28 pm

Route description: Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Heasgarnich, Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)

Date walked: 25/04/2015

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 25.6 km

Ascent: 1622m

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The weather gods made my final decision for me on Friday. I noticed a change in % chance of cloud free Munros for the West Highlands and I also wanted to build on the fitness levels I’d built up the last few weeks so opted for the two Munros at the end of Glen Lochay as they were to be a decent length walk. Car was packed Friday night as I was to drop my wife at the hospital for 6.30am for her shift, her car is in the garage getting suspension repaired due to the pot holes on the roads. I crept onwards to Perth, as always listening to the Radio Scotland programme out of doors, which included a cracking interview with the late Dick Balharry, (if you get the chance it’s worth a listen - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0074hjr) then over to Killin and up Glen Lochay to the designated car park. The weather looked great but forecast said there would be some wintery showers, oh well as long as I get some views I would be happy.


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A couple of cyclists stopped at the interpretation boards at the car park and we had a quick chat, they were to be heading on the hydro road over to Loch Lyon and back out totalling 55km on road bikes, I was doing a mere 25km, all be it walking. I set off, dogs on leads due to the farm animals around and I followed the road to where it turns up to go over to Loch Lyon, I turned left here and followed the lower track along the glen.

photo 11.JPG
The road ahead through the gate and reached the cattle


I was heading all the way along to the farm buildings at Betavaime then turning North up the track as far as it would take me. It did not take me far but I gained a fair bit of height to around 300m. Then it was onto the rough ground ahead, I looked for an easier way up onto Sron nan Eun and the best way seemed to head North following a deer fence till the gradient eased and I could get onto the ridge proper.

photo 14.JPG
Headed up towards this fence and followed it till cutting up towards the ridge


It was a fair slog up the wet ground and I had to avoid quite a few snow patches. The dogs found a few sheep horns which I took off them and tossed to the other side of the fence. Once through a few more snow fields I made the 800m mark onto the ridge and saw the route ahead to the magnificent looking Creag Mhor. To my left Ben Challum looked stunning; I’d never seen it from this angle, what a fine mountain.

photo 3.JPG
On the ridge to Creag Mhor looking towards the magnificent Ben Challum

photo 4.JPG
Last section up to Creag Mhor

photo 6.JPG
Some sized cornice leading up to Creag Mhor


Once higher, views opened up to the Crianlarich Munros I visited less than a week ago and all the way over to the Tyndrum Munros too. Ben Alder and friends looked like they were getting the worst of the weather. I hoped if it was coming my way it just slide by me. We hid in a hump below the summit for food as it was bitterly cold with signs of fresh snow on the summit.

photo 7.JPG
Beinn Heasgarnich from Creag Mhor summit

photo 8.JPG
Summit dogs, wind getting up by the looks of their luggs


I knew that we had to head off the summit North West as to avoid crags by looping back round to the East and over peat hags and bog to get to the shoulder of Sron Tairbh. I was able to utilise a few snow fields to yomp down the Eastern section of my loop into the bealach, this saved the knees a bit of grind.

photo 17.JPG
The crags I was to avoid, reason for heading off North and looping round

photo 18.JPG
Heading for the shoulder up to the ridge of Beinn Heasgarnich


Once in the soggy bealach I took care as I did not want to sink into any peat hags. I zig zagged through this section and made the shoulder soon enough. It was here we encountered our first hail storm, we had to hunker down behind rocks on a few occasions as the size and speed of the hail was stinging my face.

photo 19.JPG
The bog fest I trudged through

photo 20.JPG
Gods finger poking through the clouds

photo 22.JPG
Back to Creag Mhor


The storms lasted no more than 5 minutes and gave me an excuse to rest before continuing up to Stob an Fhir Bhogha where we could see the ridge laid out in front to Beinn Heasgarnich.

photo 23.JPG
Looking along summit to Beinn Heasgarnich summit (far left)

photo 24.JPG
Ben Challum (left), Crag Mhor (Right)


It did not take long to walk along and soon we were on summit no two.

photo 25.JPG
Summit Beinn Heasgarnich

photo 26.JPG
Creag Mhor and Challum again with Ben Lui in behind


The weather was a lot calmer on this summit and we had a bite to eat and contemplated our descent. I decided I’d use the higher track out to help the knees with descent as I’d use the road for a calmer walk down at the end. We yomped over a couple more snowfields and made the west side of Creag na h-Achlaraich where we walked over softish ground to follow the Allt Bad Odhar down to the higher track above Badour.

photo 27.JPG
Our route off Heasgarnich

photo 28.JPG
Following the descent of these streams to a wee hydro dam and the higher track out

photo 29.JPG
Reaching the hydro dam and the higher of the two tracks


While on the steep descent there were quite a lot of sheep, it was too dangerous to put the dogs on the leads and I was amazed at how well behaved they were. Every time one went off ahead to seek sheep they were called back immediately and they did in fact return, they got a wee biscuit every time and seemed to think it was a game so would yomp on ahead further only to be called back just when I was about to have a heart attack at the thought of a sheep chase. No chases developed but it did cost me about 6 biscuits each. We made the wee hydro dam on the higher track and then they were tethered again and we walked along the track back East.

photo 30.JPG
Looking back at the magnificent Ben Challum

photo 31.JPG
On the higher track heading back

photo 32.JPG
One final look back up Glen Lochay

photo 33.JPG
Heading for the lump of trees dead centre of picture where car park is


The day turned into a lovely afternoon but my left foot was killing me, I couldn’t wait to get back to the car. Once through a couple of gates we made the tarmac road which takes us down to Kenknock farm and we walked the final few kms back to the car park where we all had some food before setting off.

photo 34.JPG
Eventually back at car park, another car had since joined me


My GPS read I’d done 28 km but when I plotted the route on the GPX file it stated 25.6km so I’ll use that, It may be that my gps is accounting for all the zig zagging through the snow patches or something. These two would be a fair slog in adverse conditions but in decent enough weather I found them ok, again it can be used as another up the ante walk for the summer expeditions I plan to do. Cheers
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Beaner001
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby martin.h » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:39 pm

Nice looking mountains Matt, yet more idea's for my ever growing "to do" list.
Looks like the weather's been behaving over the last week or so. Nearly half way now Matt, if there's anything else in that area you've still to do give me a shout, we're around there next week.
The biscuits for the dogs, they were'nt oatcakes were they?
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martin.h
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby Silverhill » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:44 pm

Clever dogs you have! :wink: Nice to see how good-looking especially Creag Mhor is. I remember a strong breeze, low cloud and a surprisingly dry bog at the bealach from my trip.
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:00 pm

martin.h wrote:Nice looking mountains Matt, yet more idea's for my ever growing "to do" list.
Looks like the weather's been behaving over the last week or so. Nearly half way now Matt, if there's anything else in that area you've still to do give me a shout, we're around there next week.
The biscuits for the dogs, they were'nt oatcakes were they?


Just standard dog biscuits mate, they only get spoiled when their Uncle Marts is around :lol:
Aye been lucky with weather, a few snow/hail showers but other than that I got a good day. Still a few to do in the vicinity too......

Silverhill wrote:Clever dogs you have! :wink: Nice to see how good-looking especially Creag Mhor is. I remember a strong breeze, low cloud and a surprisingly dry bog at the bealach from my trip.


Aye they have their moments Silverhill, could tell a good few stories of bad behaviour too :lol: :lol:
Agreed, I was impressed with Creag Mhor too :D
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Beaner001
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby dogplodder » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:32 pm

Like the first summit/mutt shot. :D

Biscuits work a treat for recall - don't know what I'd do with dogs that weren't food obsessed. :lol:
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:52 pm

Great day you had there :D Sheep hmm....should be banned, never liked lamb much anyway :lol: parked at the same spot to tackle Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil easy track takes you up most of the way avoiding the bogs rom the other side. as long as the river is low :D
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby Collaciotach » Sun May 03, 2015 1:58 pm

A good day out these two :D

Eating your way through the South :clap:
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Re: Back down South - Chasing the weather

Postby Beaner001 » Mon May 04, 2015 12:03 pm

dogplodder wrote:Like the first summit/mutt shot. :D

Biscuits work a treat for recall - don't know what I'd do with dogs that weren't food obsessed. :lol:


That was my favourite pic of the day too, thanks :D
I know, Lochy the b&w one will come from a horrendous distance away in the hope of a biscuit :lol: :lol:

spiderwebb wrote:Great day you had there :D Sheep hmm....should be banned, never liked lamb much anyway :lol: parked at the same spot to tackle Meall Glas and Sgiath Chuil easy track takes you up most of the way avoiding the bogs rom the other side. as long as the river is low :D


Had I not already done Sgiath Chuil I'd prob repeat your route Dave, however im gonna do Meall Glas from the other side and include the Corbett it think 8)

Collaciotach wrote:A good day out these two :D

Eating your way through the South :clap:


Aye, had a bit too much of the South of late, I feel sick now :lol:
Back to the North this weekend past :wink:
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