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Glen Lyon Munros

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:43 am
by mountain coward
On my way to our May Bank University Club meet at Ullapool, I decided to set off early and stopped in Glen Lyon on the way to do the Munros either side of Loch Daimh. Unfortunately I had a puncture on the M6 near Penrith on the way so I didn't arrive at the Loch Daimh dam until 1700. The last Munroist of the day was just descending the easier Munro to the north (Meall Buidhe) so I asked him how long it had taken him - he said two and three-quarter hours so I thought I had plenty of time to give it a go. I thought this was the nicer of the two Munros and loved the view back round the corrie from the summit - of course this was the week I forgot my damned camera completely! And was I made to regret it all week with the beautiful and clear-for-a-change weather :(

The route starts briefly along the reservoir track towards the north of the reservoir and then heads straight up the slight ridge heading North (the driest footing). There are quite a few tracks heading up the spur and the going and the angle are both easy. This ridge leads to Meall a’ Phuill in a short time and the route then turns left to the col below Meall Buidhe when you turn north again. More easy climbing soon reaches the end of the ridge to the summit, the ridge however is very long – or at least it seemed so as there was a howling gale up there that day.
Turning back from the summit cairn is when, in my opinion, you get the best views of the walk. You are not only looking across the reservoir to the quite spectacular looking Stuchd an Lochain but also Meall Buidhe’s very pretty Glas Choire. The evening light was just perfect for photos too!

Anyway, I got back from Meall Buidhe by 1900 so decided I just had time to zoom up the other one just the other side of the reservoir before bedtime (Stuchd an Lochain). This was a really stiff climb and towards the top of the burn the track got very muddy. Eventually I reached the top of Creag an Fheadain and at that time of night I was relieved it hadn’t taken too long. You then descend south slightly to a col and re-ascend a short, easy slope to the top of Sron Chona Choirein. From there it’s an easy promenade across to start the final short ascent of Stuchd an Lochain itself.
When I got to the summit I couldn't be bothered with the 2 slight bits of re-ascent on the way back so descended straight down the narrow north ridge from the summit to Loch Daimh. The ridge was unknown to me in that it wasn't mentioned in the book and looked worse (more craggy) in reality than it did on the map but there was a slight path and I could see people had gone down it. I made it to the bottom safely with no dramas and only a little excitement but the walk back round the loch was dreary and rough-going and, finishing so late (2200 when I got back) I was feeling tired after a long day.

Anyway my tea was already made and I decided to sleep in the car rather than get the tent out so went back down into the Glen proper. I found a lovely grassy spot by the river past all the (sparse) habitation of the glen and had a great night but not much sleep. The reason was that it only got dark at midnight (I'd only just got fed, watered and sorted out anyway by then) and was light again at 0330! By 0430 I was awake and watching all the interesting comings and goings of the wildlife in the glen, especially the deer. A group of deer decided to invade a farmer's field over his wall complete with barbed wire top. Most of them had no problem but one was stuck on the wall top for 20 minutes. I was starting to think I was going to have to get up and mount a rescue.

Then it was up to Ullapool to meet the others. After my heavy evening's walking I felt dreadful all day and was completely lifeless!