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A'Chait, Mheadhonach, Dearg

A'Chait, Mheadhonach, Dearg


Postby weedavie » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:37 am

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Blair Atholl)

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhonach

Date walked: 01/11/2016

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 18 km

Ascent: 990m

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This is my last train-based walk of the year. The change of clock means most useful return trains are well in darkness. Let’s hear it for permanent BST! Looking forward to the glory of a walk in the winter hills is balanced by distaste for two hour drives in darkness which bracket it.

Anyway I snatched a walk from Blair Atholl. I went for Beinn Dearg. I know they say there are no dull hills, but if Carn a’Chlamain or Beinn Dearg were people, you would actively avoid their conversation at a party. Whenever I visit them, I increase the interest by grabbing neighbouring Corbetts, Mheadhonach with Chlamain or Beinn Bhreac with Beinn Dearg. Beinn Mheadhonach is quite handsome and though Bhreac is undistinguished it takes you across the Tarf and that has a sort of frisson attached.

My horoscope said I could be wild and unpredictable so I decided to combine Dearg and Mheadhonach. This would give me the chance to visit Beinn a’Chait which looks a sort of twin of Mheadhonach that I’ve always quite fancied. I cycled up the Allt Stanaidh track which doesn’t appear on my 1974 revision OS map (and the A9 on it goes through Blair.) But looking at online OS assured me that this is the other end of the track that splits from the top of the standard route so off I went. It was a bit severe, about an hour and a quarter but landed me at a spot in excess of 600 metres.

Beinn a’Chait’s fine. An easy 300 metres pull from the road and plenty of animal tracks through the heather.
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From the summit, Mheadhonach looked sturdy and the terrain beyond Tarf looked unexciting.
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I think that’s Carn an Fhidhleir in the top right but I don’t really care. In spite of this and the 250 metres drop and re-ascent I was about to go on, I was enjoying myself immensely. There’s just something about empty spaces.

I think there’s too many red deer and I'm ambivalent about cameras.
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But a bunch of them run across your path and you can’t help taking a snap. Make sense of that, if you will. The climb up Mheadhonach put the bitter North wind behind me for a bit. Reaching the summit, I threw my rucksack at the cairn, nearly braining a resting ptarmigan. It nearly gave me a heart-attack with its complaints. Fair enough, I thought. I encountered lots of ptarmigan and the odd hare over the day, all whitening beautifully.
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Beinn a'Chait looked quite rugged.

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I looked over at Dearg, it was dull.
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Chlamain looked more attractive – this is probably the best approach to it. I’d been going to cut across the corrie to Dearg but the peat hags weren’t calling me. So I followed the corrie round, it's always good to get a look in on the Tarf. There’s not that much descent. Mheadhonach must keep its Corbett status by only a few metres.
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Still Mheadhonach and a’Chait frame the glen nicely.

Beinn Dearg was just as usual and from there I covered the 6k back to the bike in an hour and a quarter. It’s easy terrain. The route down the glen, as mentioned elsewhere on this site, must be the easiest glide ever. I hardly turned the pedals the whole way back to the station. On the other hand, the standard route is much prettier and more interesting while it’s also rougher and harder work.
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A couple of years ago I replaced my suspended forks with rigid ones. This was chiefly to avoid the corrosion and the leaks, but they’re also much lighter and more responsive and 99% of the time you don’t get any value out of suspension. However the standard route (is it the Minigaig?) is one of the 1% of exceptions. The last time I did it resulted in putty fingers and extremely blurred vision. Or maybe the last part was the result of the Atholl Arms’ Moulin ale at a very reasonable £3.30.

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weedavie
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 131
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Re: A'Chait, Mheadhonach, Dearg

Postby rockhopper » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:14 pm

Nice result and a good mix of hills - definitely one for the bike - cheers :)
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rockhopper
 
Posts: 6148
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Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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