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Corbett Catch-Up - Glen Lyon & Tyndrum

Corbett Catch-Up - Glen Lyon & Tyndrum

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:32 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Chuirn, Beinn Dearg (Glen Lyon), Cam Chreag (Glen Lyon)

Fionas included on this walk: Meall a'Mhuic

Date walked: 15/11/2015

Time taken: 11.75 hours

Distance: 35 km

Ascent: 2532m

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Storm A-big-gail tried to do her worse and keep us off the hills this weekend - well that was never likely to happen. With only a handful of hills left our choices were limited, so we chose Perthshire for the Saturday to climb Beinn Dearg and Cam Creag, hill I'd climbed back in the early part of 2014, but this time linking the pair with the Graham in between, Meall a'Mhuic. The guidebooks suggest to do the Corbetts as out-and-backs along the track as there's "rough ground and much ascent/descent between them" but the pleasure of nabbing a Graham in the process was always going to swing the day. I'd noted the reports of snowfall, but assumed this would only be on the higher tops - I was not prepared for the amount of snow on the hills driving up Lochlomondside - it looked like snow was down to 200-300m. As Saturday was quite a longish walk for the time of year that made me a little apprehensive - not to mention I had no winter kit in the car :o

cam+dearg.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Friday night was drier and milder than I'd expected, and it was with some surprise that the mnornign that greeted us was both dry and relatively clear. And no wind to speak of. Very odd, when I'd been expecting a prelude to Armageddon. We set off from Innerwick having decided to do Dearg first and passed the war memorial and up the track. The Allt a'Mhuic was cascadign beside us and a glance over at Cam Creag showed the hill completely white against the clear sky. When I'd climbed it before I encountered very steep deep snow to avoid a problematic cornice - I was hoping for something easier this time. As we gained height along the track we looked over to the left to see Meall a'Mhuic largely clear of snow, at least on its northern flanks. To the top of the tree-line then a sharp right turn along the fence initially, then heading NE over heathery tussocks with ever deepening snow patches. Over to the south the Lawers range sat white and gleaming, An Stuc catching the eye. Once we'd reached the cairn on Creag Ard, the going was easier, walking towards the fencepost line that rises to the cairn on Beinn Dearg. In places the snow was over knee-deep. We watched a snow shower gather over Ben Lawers, briefly turning the sky dark, but we avoided any precipitation - an unexpected bonus today.

cam creag
ImageP1110390 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110392 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110393 by Al, on Flickr

Meall a'Mhuic
ImageP1110394 by Al, on Flickr

Heathery trek
ImageP1110396 by Al, on Flickr

An Stuc
ImageP1110399 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Dearg from Creag Ard
ImageP1110400 by Al, on Flickr

Dark skies coming in
ImageP1110401 by Al, on Flickr

Dearg Summit
ImageP1110403 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110404 by Al, on Flickr

Meall a'Mhuic, Loch Rannoch beyond
ImageP1110407 by Al, on Flickr

From the summit the long tail of Carn Gorm stretched out before us. We retraced our steps for a big down the fence-line then headed across Meall Glas before heading down into the Lairig Ghallabhaich. We could see an ATV track heading up the hillside at right angles to the track and decided to follow this after having a bite to eat. The snow was thick after 550m and the ascent was rather plodding as a result. On the crown of the hill winds had dispersed most of the snow. Keen to keep moving, I took a line down the western shoulder, dismayed by how much height was being lost in the process - back down below 450m :roll: Oh well...at least there was no snow on the majority of the descent. We crossed the splashing Allt a'Mhuic, which waould grow into the torrent we'd seen by the car park, but here was just a healthy wooshing gurgle then started up the soggy lower slopes of Meall nam Maigheach. Again we encountered snow as we climbed and it became tiring, muscles not used to the extra effort of snow-walking. To add to my discomfort, I'd neglected to put on my gaiters and snow had worked its was down inside my boots, soaking my socks. I stopped at the summit of Maigheach and wrang out my socks, but this made little difference overall.

ImageP1110408 by Al, on Flickr

Struggling up the snow on Mhuic
ImageP1110409 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Mhuic
ImageP1110410 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110412 by Al, on Flickr

Meall nam Maigheach
ImageP1110413 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Maigheach to Cam Creag
ImageP1110416 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110417 by Al, on Flickr

When she caught up with me, Allison was rather perturbed to see the distance still to be covered to get to the summit
of Cam Creag. As it wasn't yet 3pm, I was fairly positive that we'd be off the hills by 4ish - I didn't mind going along the track by headlight if required. We followed a faint ATV track down to the corrugated metal hut, looking at the flank of Cam Creag and trying to pick out the easiest line in the conditions. The first section involved picking our way through snowy hummocks, then we started up the steep side of the mountain. We gained the plateau and trotted along to the cairn. The sky was a strange duck-egg blue over to Loch Rannoch as Allison surmounted the cairn, half snow-buried. Only 6 for her to go now. Descent was quicker and we made for the track. An easy walk out, we reached the car just as the last light was extinguished.

Flank Cam Creag
ImageP1110418 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110419 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110421 by Al, on Flickr

Towards cairn
ImageP1110422 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110423 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110425 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110427 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110428 by Al, on Flickr

We had decided to head for Beinn Chuirn over at Tyndrum tomorrow, so drove back over the rather scary Bridge of Balgie-Lawers road - possibly for the last time this season before it is drowned in white stuff. We dawdled along towards Tyndrum, irked that the rain, which had stayed off all day, had chosen the moment we arrived in Strathfillan Wigwams to put our tent up to begin. A wet night followed, also colder than of late.

A driech Sunday morning awaited us, leaden skies and a steady smirr of rain wetting everything. We packed up and drove along to Tyndrum Lower station. I was undecided whether we'd include the Graham Meall Odhar, which I'd done last time, but I remembered a challenging descent round the back of beinn Chuirn into Coire na Saobhaidhe in snow, and I didn't want a repeat without an ice-axe handy. So we might just do Chuirn today. Good track along to Cononish, the river flowing swiftly, burgeoned with snowmelt - glad we didn't have to cross it today. ben Lui was almost completely obscured in the mist, which was a pity. At the farm we took the right hand track up to the mine - I hadn't gone that way last time and on the map it did look rather steep up the side of Eas Aine, the mist making it hard to discern the crags. Ach well, sure it will be fine. We crossed through the gate and picked a line on the northern side of the waters, the going becoming increasingly steep to the point where hands were required to ascend the slippy grass. The waterfall at the top of the cleft looked spectacular although the clag blurred our view - well worth taking this route in ascent to see it. After about 550m the going becomes easier and we stopped for lunch while the rain continued to fall.

ImageP1110430 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110431 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110432 by Al, on Flickr

Towards the mine
ImageP1110433 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110434 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110436 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110437 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110438 by Al, on Flickr

From here to the top it was back to patches of ever-depening snow, but nowhere was it as deep as yesterday - it appeared the heavy rain overnight had fallen as rain on the tops rather than more snow. We passed by the head of the coire, plunging into the depths to our right and made the untidy cluster of rocks that marked the cairn. We'd decided to head south to pick up the track that runs between Chuirn and Lui - it would be a mistake to return by the steep slippy mine route we'd used to ascend. Back at the car just short of 5 hours for a wet and miserable drive down the road - masses of water seemed to have appeared in places that water doesn't usually lie.

ImageP1110439 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110440 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110442 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110443 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110445 by Al, on Flickr

Ben Lui
ImageP1110447 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1110448 by Al, on Flickr

chuirn.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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Re: Corbett Catch-Up - Glen Lyon & Tyndrum

Postby rockhopper » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:04 pm

Looks like quite a lot of snow has fallen recently. Can remember the walk over Meall a'Mhuic seeming long in July - must've been somewhat harder in these conditions - well done both - cheers :)
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Re: Corbett Catch-Up - Glen Lyon & Tyndrum

Postby Chris Mac » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:00 am

Good effort in those conditions but you seem to live on the hills these days so it probably never phased you! :lol:

You've got some superb photos there, the "Beinn Dearg from Creag Ard" one in particular, the cairn almost looks photoshopped on! I also love "Struggling up the snow on Mhuic", it would look superb as a large print with no frame on a white wall. :clap:
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