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Loch an Daimh curcuit
by garyoppolis » Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:31 am
Munros included on this walk: Meall Buidhe (Glen Lyon), Stuchd an Lochain
Corbetts included on this walk: Sron a'Choire Chnapanich
Date walked: 29/08/2015
Time taken: 9 hours
Distance: 21 kmRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
This year has been wet; windy and wet. I don't know if that's just been my experience but it seems like every day on the hills this year has been spent with my head bowed to the wind, peering through, or over, rain spattered glasses at the contours on a 1:25,000 to see if any of them match with what little hillside I can see around me.
Well Saturday wasn't much different.
The MWIS forecast was comparatively optimistic; cloudbase around 1000m by the afternoon with only intermittent showers in the morning. The BBC isobars didn't give any immediate cause for doubt so off we set, stepping off around 1000.
We headed for Stuchd an Lochain first. The path is obvious and well founded for the most part, although it turns into a minor torrent in the rain. The odd sunburst through the cloud suggested that MWIS might actually be spot on:
The clag thickened however and we didn't drop out of it until the Bealach an Neid. At this point we turned roughly parallel with the spur running down to the Bealach a' Mhaim, overcooking it slightly and having to make a dogleg (see route map) - that's what you get for chatting away and not paying attention to the map.
There's some awkward peat hags at the Bealach but then the ground underfoot is firm and even all the way to the summit of Sron a' Choire Chnapanich.
The descent to the head of the loch is very steep. The footing isn't that great either and doing it in the wet felt pretty unwise. We made it, slowly, down and headed for the small stand of trees to stop for lunch.
As I sat upon a log, arched over my sandwich to prevent its instant saturation, I resolved to track down the compilers of the MWIS forecast and to brand the dictionary definition of the word intermittent on their persons with a hot iron. Fortunately for them, my mood improved pretty quickly after a chocolate bar and about 4oz of Haribo.
Time, however, was marching on and following the "Cameron McNeish route" looked set to take a great deal longer than anticipated. We opted instead to follow the north shore - the water level being low enough to allow pretty rapid movement along the shingle - and pick up the track half way. Although at points the shingle becomes rocky enough to require some careful footwork, this proved to be pretty quick.
As we broke track around the 49 easting the unending rain eased substantially and we started up the shoulder east of Coire Pharlain. The sun managed to poke through the clouds.
Note the raindrop in the middle of the picture
By this route, the ground is firm, if initially steep, and makes for an uncomplicated pull up to the spot height at 917m. The ridge to the summit is dry and stony, which made for a pleasant amble to the last top of the day. Of course, the clag came screaming back in just before we gained the ridge.
Got there in the end
We turned to head for the dam, cursing the weather as we went and, just before we dropped off the ridge, the wind tore the clouds from us to reveal this:
worth the wait
The view, just, opened up to Rannoch Moor and Glencoe although too briefly for photos.
looking back at the summit
The path back to the dam slogs through some unavoidable bog, but I hardly cared after my glimpses of the views I'd been looking forward to. It's amazing the difference that 10 minutes of sublime views can make to a day that would otherwise be nine hours of soggy misery.
The rain resumed in earnest for our return to the car and, in spite of the day redeeming itself towards the end, I was pleased to be heading for home at the end of it.
North side of Meall Ghaordaidh from the road to the dam
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