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North of the Blackwater

North of the Blackwater


Postby past my sell by date » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:21 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Glas Bheinn (Kinlochleven), Leum Uilleim

Date walked: 25/05/2016

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 21 km

Ascent: 1280m

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It's well known that you climb Leum UIlleam from Corrour, but I've never been able to find convenient return trains that don't leave you waiting for hours at the station. On the other hand, there are buses from Kinlochleven to Fort William right up until 11 00p.m, so a through route over two corbetts suggested itself. A train leaves Fort Wlliam at 7.44AM arriving Corrour about 8.30 giving time even for real slowcoaches like us to make it :lol: .
Bill is much better at early rising than I am and with a 6.30 alarm we managed to park at FW station around 7.30 on a beautiful clear morning: I took some photos from the train going down Loch Treig
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Creag Ghuanach a 621m Graham above the end of the loch
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The Eastern Mamores
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Some of the Grey Corries
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Leum Uilleum from Corrour
We arrived at a quite chilly and breezy Corrour around 8.30 where a rough FWD track - not on the map - heads directly towards the Leum Uilleum,eventually veering slightly left to go over a shoulder.
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Getting nearer
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Looking back to Loch Ossian and the Bealach Dubh - Ben Alder remained in cloud
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Further R - Carn Dearg
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We left the track where it flattened, and headed up the ridge - vestiges of a path.
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First view of the Blackwater Reservoir
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Zoomed - Stob na Cruaiche in front - the Achaladair Group behind - it's a long way across Rannoch Moor!
Eventually the ridge levelled off and the path became more distinct
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N to the Grey Corries
3195.jpg
Loch Treig and Loch Ossian with Stob Coire Sgriodain, Chno Dearg and Beinn na Lap between
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Creise et al
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It's quite along way across the plateau to the summit - the views are extensive but mainly quite distant
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Black Mount and Etive hills
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Zoomed -Glen Coe hills
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The Ben, the Aonachs and Sgurr Choinnich Beag
We headed down to the 800m col, kept Left below Beinn a Bhric and continued W on the high ground.
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Looking over the Blackwater and straight down the Lairig Gartain - Beinn a Chrulaiste in front on the L
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The Easains and Loch Treig
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The way ahead
These are rather characterless round hills, and it took us some time to orientate the map and work-out that the snowy peaks on the R were the Mamores (rather than the Ben), that the hill ahead with the tiny snow patch was Glas Bheinn and that the insignificant looking ridge in the foreground was the Graham Beinn na Cloiche.
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The little Loch Chiarain comes in sight with the Bothy at its LH end
We planned on going over the Graham, as we would save some distance and the height gain (compared to going down and round the path past the bothy) was much the same.
We headed down directly towards the Graham, but the slope steepened sharply into a very unpleasant mix of scree and heather which seemed to take a long time to negotiate :( We crossed the Allt Feith Chiarain at the bottom without any difficulty and decided on an early lunch.
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Crossing the burn
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definitely "far from the madding crowd" here :D
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Looking back to the offending heather slope - the steep nasty 30m section can be seen about a quarter of the way down
The terrain leading up towards the ridge proved hard work - soft and boggy - and when we finally "topped out" on level ground it was clear that the summit was still at least a Km further N and 100m higher. We decided to kick the Graham into touch - this walk was already going to be quite long enough for a couple of old farts like us :lol: - and continued almost due W towards the col just N of Loch Tom Ailein.
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The whole length of the reservoir
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Zoomed view through the Lairig Gartain again
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Looking over the N ridge of Glas Bheinn to the Ben and the Aonachs
Rather than climb straight up we decided to head for the N ridge just where it flattens. The going - up some grassy gullies - was much better than on the last ascent, and the ridge proved even easier.
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Nearing the ridge - looking back over Beinn na Cloiche to Leum Uillieum
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Loch Tom Ailein
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Looking down the N ridge to the Easains
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View N from the ridge
At the top we came upon two other walkers - what was the chance of that? They'd ascended in around "book" time - 3hr 20 from Kinlochleven, but had done another Corbett near Loch Eil in the morning :shock: That's serious Corbetteeering.

Views from Glas Bheinn
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North
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Zoomed - Grey Corries
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Mamores
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Loch Eilde Mor
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and Loch Leven
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Zoomed - The Aonach Eagach - a familiar silhouette - but it's back to front :lol:
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Zoomed - Bidean
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Panorama to the South
We started down towards the track that leads to the W end of Loch Eilde Mor. Our two companions set off later and soon overtook us, but we managed to keep them in sight - they knew the way :lol: The track which we reached after about 2Km, is in poor condition - badly erroded with the usual "mud holes" every few metres and we were pretty tired when we reached its end - only to find our route blocked by "yellow monsters" - I seem to find them everywhere - they're building a new road up to the loch.
Somehow amongst the mess we missed the road leading to Mamore Lodge and headed down on the N bank of Allt na-h-Eilde. More monsters appeared further down and we followed the steep stony road until we were diverted on to woodland paths. We eventually arrived at the Tailrace - a friendly Inn with excellent food and beer - just after 7.00pm and relaxed there until the 9.30 bus to FW
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Last edited by past my sell by date on Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
past my sell by date
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Re: North of the Blackwater

Postby litljortindan » Fri Jun 10, 2016 6:04 pm

Must be good to plan something like that then realise it with time to spare waiting for the bus. Great views along the way.
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litljortindan
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Re: North of the Blackwater

Postby past my sell by date » Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:18 pm

litljortindan wrote:Must be good to plan something like that then realise it with time to spare waiting for the bus. Great views along the way.

Thanks Litljordan but we originally thought we might catch the 17.10 bus :lol: :lol: :lol: That probably went by the board after the difficult descent to the Allt Feith Chiarain - but we were on Glas Bhein at 3.00pm. The descent took ages - paths can be a mixed blessing! Assuming you can cross the barrage there is a case for heading down to the W end of the Blackwater and following the road on the S side of it's exit stream.
There is a last bus at 11.00 ish but ours had just 4 passengers and the driver was grumpy to say the least :lol:
past my sell by date
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Re: North of the Blackwater

Postby Graeme D » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:40 pm

Great report! :clap: :clap: :clap: Don't fancy the straight in and out to Leum Uilleum in a day at all so I plan to do a multi day route involving a car and train travel between Spean Bridge and Corrour.
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Graeme D
 
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Re: North of the Blackwater

Postby past my sell by date » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:26 pm

Graeme D wrote:Great report! :clap: :clap: :clap: Don't fancy the straight in and out to Leum Uilleum in a day at all so I plan to do a multi day route involving a car and train travel between Spean Bridge and Corrour.

Thanks Graeme
They aren't dramatic hills but there's a great sense of remoteness especially when the train chugs off and you realise there's no going back :lol: Some of the photos are a bit disappointing - everything was a long way away and had to be zoomed..
I guess you'll include the two Innse Corbetts in your trip.
past my sell by date
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Re: North of the Blackwater

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:26 pm

Super day for it and a cracking idea to do a traverse - had hoped to cover Glas Bheinn in a traverse from Rannoch to Spean Bridge after Leum Uilleim but the weather put me off and had to hold it off for a separate trip - cheers :)
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Re: North of the Blackwater

Postby past my sell by date » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:55 pm

rockhopper wrote:Super day for it and a cracking idea to do a traverse - had hoped to cover Glas Bheinn in a traverse from Rannoch to Spean Bridge after Leum Uilleim but the weather put me off and had to hold it off for a separate trip - cheers :)

Thanks RH: weather has really gone off in June. Hoped to do my penultimate Munro Ben Avon with a bivouac sometime this month, but it's looking increasingly unlikely. Must be down to Brexit :lol: :lol: :lol:
past my sell by date
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