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A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby PeteR » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:47 pm

Route description: Beinn Chuirn, Dalrigh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Chuirn

Fionas included on this walk: Meall Odhar

Date walked: 26/04/2015

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Sunday’s forecast suggested I was likely to be getting wet at some point (or engulfed in a spring snow shower or two perhaps). The Met Office did give some prospect of relief though if I left it ‘till later, with the promise of late afternoon/early evening sunshine :D

So I was on the lookout for a walk not too far north that would still give me a good work out while not resulting in me being too late home in the evening. A quick search of red Corbett balloons and a read of a few reports later and I was decided on the Graham of Meall Odhar and the Corbett of Beinn Chuirn – starting from the Tyndrum Lower train station.

ImageP1170310 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

My arrival at the station coincided with the onset of a brief, but significant, sleet/snow shower, so I chose to remain in the car until it passed :lol:

ImageP1170316 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
An early view back to Beinn Odhar

Eventually set off just after 11.15 and over the railway before taking an immediate right along the track. A short while later and I was heading up, up, up what looked like an old riverbed.

ImageP1170318 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Joined a proper(ish) track just below the old lead mine workings – at this stage I took the obligatory picture of a hole in the ground.

ImageP1170320 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170321 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170324 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

At this point the landscape looked like I’d imagine some old Soviet mining town in deepest, darkest, coldest Siberia to look like. It all looked very bare and bleak.

ImageP1170326 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170328 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

In hindsight I could probably have taken a direct route up close by the fence, but instead followed the zigzagging path through the rocky wasteland in order to gain height. By the time I arrived at what I assume to be a ruined building the next snow shower was passing through. This wasn’t to be the last I would see of the snow, but luckily none of the showers lasted too long and all were followed by good amounts of blue sky and sunshine afterwards :D

ImageP1170335 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170337 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Once this particular snow shower had passed I was leaving the bare rocky landscape behind and on my way to the easy climb up onto Sron nan Colan. Arriving at the cairn and I should have been enjoying views toward the Graham summit and the Corbett behind..........but the next snow shower had arrived already. So it was a quick touch of the carn (just in case it gets given some classification or other in the future........you never know :crazy:) and I was on my way. By the time I had passed the forestry and turned toward Meall Odhar the sky was blue and the sun out, giving nice effect to the rocky spine I was to follow to close to the summit.

ImageP1170350 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170353 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Meall Odhar

ImageP1170362 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
The rocky rib route to the top

ImageP1170364 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Pano of where I had come from

Arriving at the summit cairn to slightly disappointing views, as the cloud was shrouding the tops of the hills. Even so, I was still unsure of my planned route up on to Beinn Chuirn. As I’d read in other reports the suggestion was to gain the summit plateau via the right hand ridge around Coire Saobhaidhe. It looked steep and intimidating from Meall Odhar’s summit and in between the cloud swirling around the summit I could see patches of snow higher up, which added to the concerns going round in my head. I wasn’t sure how pleasant this climb would be, but decided to press on down through the trees to saddle between the two hills and then take it from there.

ImageP1170375 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Meall Odhar summit cairn

ImageP1170381 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Beinn Chuirn through the trees

Arriving at the substantial deer fence at the forest edge it was time for another brief stop amongst the trees to let the next snow shower to pass. Foreshortened the climb up the ridge didn’t look as bad as I had feared, and with ever improving conditions I spied a break in the snow which, if necessary I could aim for rather than risking my life on soft snow and a steep slope.

So once the worst of the snow had passed it was time to head out of the trees, climb the deer fence (they really should have added a stile or a gate here) and then head toward a low point on the ridge. The climb is in two sections, with a levelling around half way up. The ridge itself was actually broader and grassier than I imagined and there were traces of a good path forming, weaving a route pretty much on the crest of the bottom section of the ridge.

ImageP1170384 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
The start of the climb up

ImageP1170399 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
The route up

Great views of the cliffs on the other side of the Coire.

ImageP1170407 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

The second section of the climb was the worst. Well, the final part as I arrived at the snow, was the worst part. Up to that point things had steepened, but not too bad. Arriving at the snow patch immediately ahead of me I chose to take a slight turn to my right and pick my way through a gap between that and another patch of snow. And just at the steepest point in the climb I was scrambling up over wet grass. One slip and.......curtains most likely :shock:

Passed the snow and the gradient eased just as another snow shower threatened, but didn’t really come to anything. Took a slight diversion to the lochan, but at that point the views from there weren’t anything special. I then started to wander toward the summit, via the cornice clinging to the corrie rim. Looked impressive even in late April. Must have been impressive in the depths of winter.

ImageP1170418 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170427 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Just before the summit and the views toward Loch Awe and the mighty Cruachan were starting to open up at last :D

ImageP1170436 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170459 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170460 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Maybe I would time the summit to perfection :D

And I did :D

Initially cloud was still covering the Munros around, but as I sat hunkered next to the summit cairn to shelter from the biting wind the cloud continued to dissolve all round, giving just the most amazing views. Cruachan looked superb, as did Ben Lui, Oss of Dubhchraig :D

ImageP1170463 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170464 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Then looking round Starav and its neighbours came to prominence, as did the Black Mount peaks. Eventually the Orchy hills would also play ball and show themselves :D The Lochay hills remained stubbornly hidden for much of the time, but even Ben Challum made an appearance eventually :D

ImageP1170465 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170474 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

Superb as the views were though..............it was freeeeeezing up there. So it was eventually time to shift. I followed a cliff edge path round the lip of the Coire, but needed to be careful as the wind at times was pretty extreme as if funnelled up the gullies. At one point I thought I might even take off, its strength was such.

ImageP1170477 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Black Mount

ImageP1170481 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170486 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170489 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Ben Challum

ImageP1170490 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Orchy hills

ImageP1170493 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Arrochar hills

ImageP1170498 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
The fun was about to begin at this point

At this point I was unsure whether to follow the WH route off the hill or to drop down the ridge on the northern side of the Eas Anie waterfall. In the end I chose the latter, but somehow conspired to start my drop down at completely the wrong point :shock: I kind of knew I was making a mistake, but once I had started my descent felt it was six of one and half a dozen of the other whether I continued (slowly and carefully) down or tried to get back to safer ground and locate the correct line down the ridge.

You see I wasn’t actually on the ridge...........I was picking my way down steep, soft, landslidy ground amidst wet, slippery crags to the left of the ridge. Common sense would have said to turn back, but the mind can be your biggest enemy at times like these – convincing you to just keep on heading down, as it wasn’t that far to go really. Dangerous really, but I was careful to pick my way slowly through the crags, stopping often enough to suss out the best route to take – heading to the left and then the right and so on as I navigated my way through the worst of it. The real difficulties were really at the outset and once passed the ground remained steep, but firmer and with less rock to pick my way through. I must admit it was a case of bum shuffle, grab on to anything slow progress at the start. A brown trouser experience in every sense :shock: :lol: I didn’t mind how dirty I got, just so long as I got down safely :shock:

I still managed to take a few photos looking back up as I headed down :lol: Not that they really do justice to just how steep the drop was. Hindsight being such a wonderful thing, I’m sure I was fortunate not to come a cropper and if I had that time again would hopefully not make that mistake again. Thankfully though the ground eased off appreciably toward the bottom and I dropped down easily into the mine area. Not sure the equipment looks that sophisticated :lol:

ImageP1170505 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

ImageP1170509 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
What I came down :shock:

ImageP1170516 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
High tech mining.....Tyndrum style :lol:

ImageP1170519 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
The ridge on the right is what I should have descended off

Now it was just the walk back out to the station.

ImageP1170523 by Riedel2012, on Flickr
Beinn Chuirn

Walking through the trees and the final snow shower of the day set in. By the time I was back at the car the sun was out though.

ImageP1170535 by Riedel2012, on Flickr

All in all yet another great route and certainly in the Corbett a superb viewpoint :D
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby Graeme D » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:13 pm

It's a great circuit Pete and it looks like you got a mostly fine day for it with some great photos! :clap:
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:10 pm

Aye indeed a good day and circuit .

Have my eye on these for Winter
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby basscadet » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:26 am

Funny how views are alwys the best in clearing mists ;)
Looked like a braw day :D
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby Silverhill » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:51 pm

You got the weather that was forecast then! It does make for great pictures though. :D
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:05 pm

A fine account Pete, I was staying in By the Way a couple weekends ago and took the dogs up for their morning constitutional by the Station and wondered if there were any hills the other side of the line, I forgot to check and your report has reminded me and answered the question :lol:
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby dogplodder » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:21 pm

Great views from the top. :D
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Re: A fine walk on the Tyndrum two

Postby rockhopper » Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:48 pm

Nice one, Pete :thumbup: It's an interesting walk and certainly provides some great viewpoints - cheers :)
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