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Jacobite prequel

Jacobite prequel

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:47 pm

Route description: Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glenfinnan), Sgurr Thuilm

Date walked: 14/07/2015

Time taken: 6.95 hours

Distance: 23 km

Ascent: 1444m

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I had been hoping to head to Glenfinnan prior to this weekend, as this weekend myself & my good lady are booked onto the 'Jacobite' steam train - an anniversary present from me. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Jacobite, it runs from Fort William to Mallaig and back, as a special treat we are having afternoon tea on the return journey 8)
The weather forecast in the west recently hasn't been too clever and at long last I spotted a weather window, a forecast with good visibility and a less than 10% chance of rain, too good to miss :lol:
So the planning began, I read a few WR's and was planning to leave home at 6.30, as it turned out I didn't sleep well and at 4am I decided to get up and was on the road by 4.30. I find it amazing how much traffic there is on the roads in the middle of the night, not that anyone held me up 8)
Arrived in Glenfinnan at about 7.15 and decided to park in the National Trust car park (for free as I am a member). As soon as I opened the car door I was set upon by the local midge population, my first real encounter with the little blighters :(
First priority was to put the Avon stuff on any exposed skin, next was to get the bike ready supersonically and get on my way. Stopped on the road to get a couple of photo's of the monument and then turned off onto the nice tarmac road - what a treat after the last cobbled track in the Cairngorms :lol: :lol:

ImageDSCF3645 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Nice empty car park

ImageDSCF3644 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, monument

ImageDSCF3651 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, viaduct

ImageDSCF3654 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, tarmac road - heaven

ImageDSCF3658 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, the end of the tarmac, nice sign post

ImageDSCF3660 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Corryhully bothy

The tarmac road takes you directly under the viaduct, but you don't really get to see the full extent of the structure due to the trees and other green stuff. I didn't want to stop for fear of being accosted again and made really good progress along the road 8)
After turning right at the sign post, the tarmac turns into the familiar bumpy stuff, it also starts to rise. I persevered for about 1/2 mile before deciding to give up and park/dump my bike :lol:

ImageDSCF3662 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Bike chained to a tree

ImageDSCF3663 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The track ascending

Now the walk could begin, I set off and it wasn't long before I came across another little sign which was my cue to leave the track :wink: I was planning to do the walk in the opposite direction to WH, I had this bright idea of maybe tagging on Streap after the 2 Munro's and if I went clockwise I could bail out if I didn't fancy the extra hill.

ImageDSCF3670 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Water feature

ImageDSCF3672 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Nice little sign, much better than a cairn :wink:

ImageDSCF3676 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, uphill path

ImageDSCF3678 by Martin Beswick, Bealach a' Chaorainn?

ImageDSCF3679 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The dreaded ferns

Initially the path was really good and easy to follow, even for me :lol: As height was gained the underfoot conditions became rather squidgy. As I was early and probably the first one to wade through the ferns, I was glad I had my gaiters on, however it wasn't too long before my boots were wet :( I am getting used to having wet feet but it still isn't much fun :lol:

ImageDSCF3680 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Ready for work on the path?

As I was gaining height I was keeping an eye on the swirling clouds, I was perspiring quite profusely by now, however as I entered one of the moving clouds, the temperature dropped and it started drizzling :( The forecast of less than 10% chance of rain turned out to be totally wrong, I encountered 4 separate showers :(

ImageDSCF3686 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Swirling cloud, Glen Finnan in the distance

ImageDSCF3693 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, pockets of cloud

ImageDSCF3698 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Glenfinnan viaduct zoomed

ImageDSCF3701 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking down onto Glen Finnan

ImageDSCF3704 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Selfie

ImageDSCF3723 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Long way down

The ascent of Sgurr nan Coireachan is a nice little walk, like plenty of other Munro's there are a few false summits. After reaching Sgurr a Choire Riabhaich there is a descent before the final ascent to the summit begins. The summit of Sgurr nan Coireachan is quite a small area with a trig surrounded by a small stone shelter.

ImageDSCF3726 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Summit shot, note the cloud hiding the ridge

ImageDSCF3733 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Cloud interfering with the photo

ImageDSCF3737 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The ridge ahead & the summit of Sgurr Thuilm

The descent off the summit was probably the hardest part of the walk, I was taking great care especially on the rocky sections and there were plenty of them. I had read that the route between the two summits takes about 2 hours and I found that to be fairly accurate. There is plenty of descending and ascending before the final ascent of Sgurr Thuilm :lol:

ImageDSCF3744 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Interesting greenery in a small lochan

ImageDSCF3749 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way ahead

ImageDSCF3752 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Loch Arkaig

ImageDSCF3755 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Looking back towards Sgurr nan Coireachan

ImageDSCF3756 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Summit of Sgurr Thuilm

Once on the summit of Sgurr Thuilm I was able to assess the possibility of heading across to Streap and wimped out. :lol: The swirling cloud was still a problem & Streap was appearing and disappearing, I was also not sure how I would be reunited with my bike :roll:

ImageDSCF3761 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Loch Arkaig again

ImageDSCF3765 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, Glenn a Chaorainn, the shoulder of Streap on the other side

ImageDSCF3773 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, The way down to Glen Finnan

The descent off Sgurr Thuilm was very straight forward, quite a well defined path a bit boggy on the lower slopes. I met quite a few fellow walkers mainly during the descent and it would appear most folk do the route anti clockwise. Once on the track in Glen Finnan there is an 'interesting' bridge that takes you over the River Finnan :lol:

ImageDSCF3775 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/, makeshift bridge?

ImageDSCF3776 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/126167535@N05/,

My bike was still hugging the tree, so it was just a matter of separating it from the tree and then heading downhill back to the car park. It started drizzling again but I couldn't be bothered stopping to get my jacket out of my bag, I opted to pedal harder :lol: Had to use my bell a few times to avoid mowing down families of tourists who were flocking to the viaduct and when I arrived back at the car park there were no spaces :o
Fabulous day on cracking hills, just a shame the forecast wasn't totally accurate :roll:
Next outing is hopefully going to be CMD :wink:
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Fife Flyer
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby AJNicholls » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:29 am

Good stuff FF. Simon and me saw the same wheelbarrow back in May. 8)
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:37 am

Ahhhh, so that's where I left my wheelbarrow! :roll:
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:07 am

Looking forward to these two Martin, I too have toyed with the idea of adding Streap but I gather it's such a fine mountain that it's worth the trip for it alone :D
It's a wonderful part of the country which you've captured in your report, despite the drizzle :clap:
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:38 am

Great bike and hike :D I think you brought the purists to a boiling point :lol:

Still to do these and now I'm not looking forward to them... High ferns and wet ground don't sound inviting. During my previous walk I discovered my boots were leaking. I must leave this duo for a dry day. If we get a dry spell of weather this year :lol:
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby PeteR » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:16 pm

A good call to leave out Streap Martin. It's a superb hill that well deserves a day to itself :D

I really must go back and do these two Munros again. My recollection was that they were tougher than I had expected them to be. I do recall having all four seasons in the day though - sun, then cloud, then rain, then snow, then more rain and gusty winds. Superb day as I recall :lol:
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby Graeme D » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:25 pm

Streap from Sgurr Thuilm is brutal. I speak from bitter personal experience.
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Re: Jacobite prequel

Postby simon-b » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:13 pm

Nice one, Martin. Andy and I did these anti-clockwise, when the tricky bit you mention had snow on it, so a good job we were going uphill. I kept hearing the Jacobite train chugging past when I stayed in Corpach.
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