Meall Buidhe & Sron a' Choire Chnapanich
by 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: 1025mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
by Silverhill » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:55 pm
by Graeme D » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:25 pm
by The Rodmiester » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:31 pm
by 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 . 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.
by 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.
by 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!!!
by dogplodder » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:19 pm
by 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!
Good to know I'm not the only one that creates my own imaginary zig zag paths
These two would be worth a journey south - brilliant views.