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Glas Maol and Creag Leachach circuit

Glas Maol and Creag Leachach circuit


Postby U059361 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:05 am

Munros included on this walk: Creag Leacach, Glas Maol

Date walked: 05/08/2016

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 10.5 km

Ascent: 786m

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This is a simple circuit walk of two munros off the Devil's Elbow at Glen Shee. I parked the car at the bottom of the elbow. One car park is closed because of 'improvement' works? Looks like they may be making it more structurally safe. There is a track marked up the Allt Coire a'Bhathaich and a footbridge. Well the footbridge is no more but it is an easy ford over the burn and then a track that makes a left turn and up the Leacann Dubh. This is a quad bike track of sorts that fades a bit higher up but simply keeping to the ridge it becomes much clearer further up until it is a well used track. A shed is passed and by then the track must be part of the ski centre infrastructure.
ImageTrack up Leacann Dubh to Meall Odhar by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Meall Odhar and the ski tows are visible ahead and across the glen to the other munros and their tows. The track is stony now from frequent use but still OK to walk. I got off it near the top and reached the summit cairn.
ImageSki tow on Meall Odhar by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
ImageView down Glen Shee from Meall Odhar by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
Great views from here of the entire ski centre and surrounding hills. The track up Glas Maol is clearly visible ahead and a simple climb up, zig zagging to avoid the steep slope. I was soon up top but was amazed how far back the actual top is. Easy walking though. There is a DIY trig point and shelter there. Long views all around. I had my lunch there out of the wind that had picked up a bit.
ImageGlas Maol top by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
After a look around the top headed straight over to Creag Leachach. Not really much of a path as its easy walking grass.
ImageCreag Leachach from Glas Maol by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I just headed for a big cairn I had seen on the way up. It didn't take long to get there.
ImageCairn at Bathach Beag by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I had liked the look of Creag Leachach from the road all the times I'd driven past it. On getting to the cairn I liked it even more. All the large scree and dry stane dyke reminded me of walking the Glyders in Wales as well so I really looked forward to walking up to the top.
ImageCreag Leachach approach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I was not disappointed, it was much more of a mountain than Glas Maol will ever be despite being much lower.
ImageLooking back to Glas Maol by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The scree has fairly easily recognisable paths through it and I find it easy to walk over, maybe its the geologist in me. There was plenty of rock to look at as I walked.
ImageFinal climb to Creag Leachach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I got to the top in quick order. I took out the Tunnocks to celebrate and look round and enjoy the moment.
ImageView of Glen Shee from Creag Leachach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
I had anticipated that the scree walk would continue to a lower top and wasn't disappointed. The path does go where there are patches of grass avoiding the worst (or best if you like scrambling over this stuff) and there is a great view back to be had.
ImageGlas Maol and Creag Leachach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
The views all around aren't bad either.
ImageTorr above Glen Shee by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
It is a big drop down from the final torr towards Meall Gorm. It is grass slope all the way and the path is clear. There are foot steps on the steeper parts. At the bealach the path heads down and across a small burn. This bit is a bit wet because of all the small springs across the slope so the path gets pretty vague but heading for the visible path on the other side of Allt Coire a'Bhathaich kept me right. Steep at the burn, the crossing is easy and I didn't go for the higher path but stuck to the bank. It is seriously eroded in parts but never hard to follow even where the path has been washed away.
ImageAllt Coire a'Bhathaich and Creag Leachach by Joe Kincaid, on Flickr
At the bottom the path rejoins the track taken on the way up and so back over the ford and across the road to the car.
It was a simple walk, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Creag Leachach part of it. I hope the remaining four munros are as good as this one.
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User avatar
U059361
Bird-watcher
 
Posts: 521
Munros:101   Corbetts:34
Grahams:20   Donalds:27
Sub 2000:40   Hewitts:5
Joined: Jul 24, 2010
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Glas Maol and Creag Leachach circuit

Postby martinrossor » Fri Aug 26, 2016 6:52 pm

Many thanks for a great report
We did the circuit today and were grateful for your photos. As we are both in our late sixties coming down especially rocky terrain is more of a challenge than the ascent and so we did the reverse direction. A great morning

Martin and Eve
martinrossor
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1
Munros:29   Corbetts:5
Joined: May 1, 2016

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