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Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich


Postby Gordie12 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:40 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Meall Buidhe, Sron a'Choire Chnapanich

Date walked: 22/04/2016

Time taken: 4.8 hours

Distance: 16.8 km

Ascent: 1025m

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I have spent all week in the office looking out the window at the great weather and getting more and more fed up. By Wednesday I had had enough and tried to book Thursday off but there were too many people already off so that was a non starter and so I was left crossing everything and hoping the weather would hold till Friday - thankfully, it did.

It's amazing how easy it is to get up at 4.30am when you know you are heading for the hills so with an early start I was parked up at Pubil and ready to start walking just before 8am (it's not a quick road!).

1.jpg
Plenty room to get the car well off the road


I parked the car just beyond the entrance track to the two large agricultural sheds just beyond Pubil and started the walk by heading towards the sheds and taking the first left through the gate.

2.jpg
Dark clouds to start the day


3.jpg
Yikes


Quite a steep start on the track then once level with the dam there was a quick loss of height which was a bit upsetting as I could see the climb ahead and it looked steep.

4.jpg
Loch Lyon dam


I was using the WH route so knew once I passed a gate I needed to start looking for a decent point to leave Loch Lyon behind and start the tough climb on the steep grassy slope.

5.jpg
Looking along Loch Lyon


6.jpg
The climb ahead


Looking up from the track it's quite a daunting looking climb but surprisingly the grass was bone dry which made life a lot easier. At one point I was creating my own zig zag path to try and take some of the steepness out of the climb - I'm never sure if I make it easier for myself or if I'm just prolonging the agony but either way I keep doing it.

And finally, at around 580m the gradient eases which is great but it does mean things get a bit wetter (but still easy going after a good dry spell). For the first time Meall Buidhe is in my sights, I head higher up Meall Phubuill than I needed to do and then had to drop a bit of height to pick up the line of fence posts that would see me up to the high point between Meall Bhuide and Sron a' Mhill Bhuidhe.

8.jpg
Looking south over Loch Lyon - shows the low level of water in the loch


10.jpg
Looking down to the route from the 580m point above the loch


11.jpg
First view of the dog leg far end of Loch Lyon


13.jpg
Follow the fence


Following the fence line was straight forward, short dry grass and the slope was OK and I chose to follow the fence round rather than short cutting out the far end. Once the fence posts turned west it was 3 drives and a 5 iron to the last climb to reach the top of Meall Buidhe.

All that was left now was to cross a small ridge of snow which was frozen and held my weight, from here it was a short climb to the top and walking over to all three cairns.

14.jpg
A small section of snow to cross


16.jpg
View from the top 1


19.jpg
View from the top 2


20.jpg
View from the top 3


The day had started off cloudy with the odd drop of rain in the wind but by now the sun was breaking through and the views from the top were terrific, in particular looking over to Glen Coe and up to Ben Nevis.

After a few minutes I retraced my steps down to the 709m point between Meall Phubuill and Meall Bhuide (where the fence posts started on the way up) and followed the Feith Thalain down a narrow glen.

I probably made the next section of the walk harder than it needed to be. Initially I stuck close to the burn but I found myself on the Meall Phubuill side and gaining far more height than I needed to. This wasn't a problem until I came to a couple of hidden gorges filled with snow on a very steep gradient running about 80 yards down to the glen floor and the burn. The sensible thing would have been to drop back down and take a safer crossing, instead I spent a bit of time kicking the snow as hard as I could to give me decent footholds to cross over fairly safely. Must admit, I was relieved when I was over the second patch of snow and could see I wouldn't face any more problems.

On reaching the peat hags I chose to stick as close to the burn as I could (which again meant the climb away from the burn had been pointless) and with the recent dry weather they were a lot easier than they probably can be. I was now on to the climb up onto Sron a' Choire Chnapanich and could see another fence line over to my right.

21.jpg
Sron a' Choire Chnapanich


22.jpg
Looking back towards the 709m point


I chose to take a straight line up the hill and with the fence coming in from my right I linked up with it about half way up the hill. At this point I went over towards the cliffs as there was short cropped heather which made for easier walking and before long I was at the top.

Time for a sandwich and take in some of the views.

23.jpg
Looking over to Stuchd an Lochain and Lochan Daimh


24.jpg
Stuchd an Lochain


25.jpg
Over to Glen Coe


26.jpg
Ben Nevis and pals


I preferred the views from this hill but both are great viewpoints. This one just got my vote because of the views over to the hills surrounding Lochan Daimh.

For the route back it was just a case of following the fence posts down the hill then heading roughly south down through the slightly damp grassy slopes.

27.jpg
Following the fence line south off the top


28.jpg
Last look at Lochan Daimh


I left the fence posts at a point where there was a bit more bare damp peat around and just wandered down the grassy hill side. In the distance I could just make out the dam I was heading for and I was quickly on the track that would take me down to Pubil.

29.jpg
Loch Lyon dam now in view


The track skirts "the big hoose" before coming out on the minor road at the fancy gate. A quick wander back along the road and I was back at the car where there were now another couple of cars parked up.

30.jpg
Same view from where I parked - but the sun is out


I was expecting these two hills to be fairly drab and as always what's going on overhead can make all the difference and on a good day these hills are well worth the effort for the terrific views along the way.

With still some energy left in the legs I head off to do Meall nam Maigheach on the way home.
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Gordie12
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby Silverhill » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:55 pm

Wonderful views and very interesting to see the munros in that area from a different perspective :D . Beinn Heasgarnaich is much more shapely than I thought. Mind you I never saw a thing when I did that hill.
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby Graeme D » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:25 pm

Nice. This makes me sick when I think about the rather miserable day Kev and I had on this pair a couple of years back! :(
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby The Rodmiester » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:31 pm

Thanks for posting Gordie, I will make use of this when I do these two later on this year.
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:57 pm

Silverhill wrote:Wonderful views and very interesting to see the munros in that area from a different perspective :D . Beinn Heasgarnaich is much more shapely than I thought. Mind you I never saw a thing when I did that hill.


Cheers Silverhill - I'm really enjoying some Corbetts just now and the bonus is I'm seeing "the back" of a lot of the nearby hills I've climbed previously.
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Gordie12
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:59 pm

Graeme D wrote:Nice. This makes me sick when I think about the rather miserable day Kev and I had on this pair a couple of years back! :(


Yip, I read the report the night before, it made me smile...............

Don't think I'd have fancied heading off the 709m point and heading down that narrow steep glen in your conditions.
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Gordie12
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:03 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Thanks for posting Gordie, I will make use of this when I do these two later on this year.


Hi Rod - I did Meall nam Maigheach afterwards as it's a short climb from the road and gave me a 3rd hill without that much additional effort.

If you decide to do the three, don't do the same as me and pick up a puncture on the Glen Lyon - Loch Tay road, puts a bit of a dampener on the day!!! :( :( :(
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby dogplodder » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:19 pm

Good detailed report. I do the zig zag thing too - partly so I don't get too far ahead as it beats standing waiting when I'm itching to get on! 8)
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Re: Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:50 pm

dogplodder wrote:Good detailed report. I do the zig zag thing too - partly so I don't get too far ahead as it beats standing waiting when I'm itching to get on! 8)


Hi dogplodder

Good to know I'm not the only one that creates my own imaginary zig zag paths :lol: :lol: :lol:

These two would be worth a journey south - brilliant views.
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