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Goats, Foxes and Stag Rut

Goats, Foxes and Stag Rut

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:57 pm

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Bhalgairean, Beinn Damhain, Meall nan Gabhar

Date walked: 10/07/2016

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 29.7 km

Ascent: 1867m

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With a wet weekend forecast and Allison struggling with a bad cold it didn't make much sense to go far afield. Add to that me being on call during the day on Friday. So we opted to drive only as far as Tyndrum, check into Pine Trees and eye up Beinn Bhalgairean (Hill of the Foxes) and Meall nan Gobhar (Rounded hill of the Goats), accessed through the forestry before Dalmally. We hadn't stayed at Pine Trees before - the camping section is a little on the small side, surrounded by hobbit huts. And very noisy gravel when cars drive past. There were numerous Germans around, so that from inside the tent one could easily have been in a Continental campsite. Rain and midges suggested otherwise when you poked your head outside.

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

We turned off the road at Corryghoil (just after the Inverlochy turn on the right,) and drove towards Succoth Lodge, parking just before the bridge over the Eas a'Ghaill and set off under the railway vaiduct, passed the houses and headed through a gate into a woodland track. Soggy underfoot in places, we continued on for a couple of kilometres coming out of the woods at the pylon line. Strange alarm system, presumably to stop cable theft. It was claggy up ahead, revealing little of Meall nan Gobhar - we knew we had to turn up to the right between the first and second streams after coming out the trees. From here it proved quite steep and challenging - perhaps because we couldn't see very far in the mist, but there were some hairy moments on steep wet grass and crags. Finally we made it to the cairn at 743m. This is the old summit as we were to find out a little later when we had an unexpected rise ahead of us walking to Meall nan Tighearn that suddenly loomed out of the mist.

Start of the walk
ImageP1130348 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130350 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130351 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130352 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130353 by Al, on Flickr

Start of Meall nan Gobhar ahead
ImageP1130354 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130355 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130356 by Al, on Flickr

We had a bite to eat at the first summit, watched by the odd sheep. From here we crossed over to Tighearn, a Simm and descended to the west picking up the Eas a'Mhadaidh and following this down over boggy patches towards the tree line. We passed by a couple of intakes nearthe dam and headed round to a small gate in the deer fence. From here we followed a path alongside the fence until we joined the forestry track. A large area of cleared trees allowed us to access the hillside with only a couple of hundred metres of stumps to cross. From here - grassy terrain a gate in the deer fence and on to the summit of Bhalgairean. It is still raining and the clag robs us of any views. We return by the same route, going a bit off beam as I try to remember where the gravel track through the trees is supposed to be - this necessitates tracking back along the treeline until a path is spotted. From the path we descend onto another forset track and walk back towards Succoth Lodge, passing under the power line and the viaduct on the other side of the river.

Summit Tighearn
ImageP1130357 by Al, on Flickr

Looking over to Bhalgairean
ImageP1130360 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130361 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130363 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Gobhar
ImageP1130365 by Al, on Flickr

Way across the clearing
ImageP1130366 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130370 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130371 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130376 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the campsite it is briefly dry - time for a refreshing shower and food - the use of a microwave in the kitchen block speeds up heating up the Mexican delicacies. Rain restarts in the evening.

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

Sunday is supposed to be wet most of the day and we have not aimed too high with our expectations of what can be done. Allison's not feeling great but gamely manages the challenge of Meall Damhain, just across from the Falls of Falloch. When we climbed Meall an Fhudair - the Corbett adjacent to Damhain - we were prevented from tagging on the Graham by the Allt na Lairige being in spate. There's new construction work at the beginning of the track at Glen Falloch, making parking more awkward - I park on the bridge 100m north of the opening. Girding ourselves with waterproofs we set off up the track towards Troisgeach Beag and alongside the Allt Arnan. We cross a bridge, come to a dam and set off to the left of the stream exiting from Lochan Beinn Damhain.

ImageP1130377 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130378 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130379 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130380 by Al, on Flickr

Follow the stream
ImageP1130381 by Al, on Flickr

We entered clag again, travelling over knobbles and lumps on our way to the summit, still distant in the mst. A trio of hinds were roused from thier shelter and ran off into the clouds. Onwards to the cairn at the top, a quick photo then dropping down behind some rocks to gain a little shelter for lunch. We descended much the same way - the clag clearing of times allowing navigation to be by sight rather than by compass. The rain comes and goes, drips down my neck. Back at the car it's only about 2.30. Had it been a better day there might have been time to squeeze something else in (like the "new" Corbett, Cnoc Coinnich) but that'll need to wait for another day.

ImageP1130382 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130384 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130386 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130387 by Al, on Flickr

Stepping stones at the outlet of Lochan Beinn Damhain
ImageP1130389 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1130391 by Al, on Flickr
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Re: Goats, Foxes and Stag Rut

Postby Collaciotach » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:43 pm

Good effort given the weather :clap: :clap: :clap:
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