walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions


Postby jupe1407 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:15 am

Route description: Sgor Gaibhre and Carn Dearg from Corrour

Munros included on this walk: Carn Dearg (Corrour), Sgor Gaibhre

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Pharlagain

Date walked: 20/11/2016

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 25.34 km

Ascent: 1163m

16 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Having spent what had been forecasted to be an excellent Saturday for walking conditions, I spent it at home nursing a hangover. Sunday's forecast was even better and promised perfect winter walking conditions, so i was absolutely determined to get out. After some mulling over of options with Scoob and Fi, and after a few useful hints on the TH Facebook page, we decided upon the two Corrour munros, but to do them in a loop of the two ridges from the Rannoch side, adding in the corbett of Beinn Pharlagain, if time allowed.

Of course planning these trips is easy, actually getting out of bed at 4:30am then trying to force down breakfast when you can barely open your eyes is quite another. Then you have the added bonus of a completely iced over car :lol: Nonetheless, I arrived in what i thought was good time at Kinloch Rannoch, forgetting of course that the actual start point is 16 miles further along a tedious narrow and twisty road :lol: A Colin Macrae-esque 15 minutes later and I was a mere 5 minutes late. We started off up the Road to the Isles, which sounds like an ancient romantic through road, but is in fact (especially 15 miles later) a spirit crushing trod in B2 boots over loose hardcore/stones. Still we made good progress and the clearing skies offered us glimpses of what was to come.

Image
Looking ahead to our route

Image
Dramatic early morning clouds and colours


I forgot to take a photo of it, but the hydro scheme seems to have incorporated a massive secret bunker just after the bridge crossing. Either that or early preparations are being made for the inevitable falling out between Trump and Putin :lol: We continued up and took the track that heads between the two ridges, soon leaving it to head directly up the nose of the ridge. This was quite easy-angled and the snow here not too troubling, indeed it was better than what i imagine would be a pathless heather-bash underneath. We gained height quickly and the angle of the ascent started to ease off just as the views really opened up. What a day this was turning out to be...

Image
The view back south 8)

There were now long stretches of deep-ish snow on the ridge, which made for some fairly slow-going, however we eventually picked up the tracks of a walker further along which would their way round what I would imagine was some fairly boggy terrain underneath the snow. Still, any effort expended was more than compensated for by the now fantastic views everywhere.

Image
Across to Schiehallion


There were fabulous views particularly to west, with the hills of Glencoe, the Mamore and Nevis to Easains all perfectly visible, looking like great islands in a sea of cloud. This was my first proper inversion and I could hardly take my eyes off it.

Image
Pano of pretty much the Western Highlands


Image
The Mamores and Ben Nevis

The ridge itself has a good few minor humps and hollows with the ice and snow covering a few small lochans and peat hags, but it's certainly an enjoyable stretch of walking, even more so in conditions like this. We saw a couple of other walks in the distance who were away back down to Corrour before we reached the massive summit cairn.

Image
Approach Carn Dearg's summit


We soon reached the sizeable cairn, and stopped for a well-earned bit of scran and took a few more photos of the sensational views all round. It had taken near 5 hours to reach this point. The summit is almost exactly 10K from the start of the walk. The snow (and numerous stops and gawping at the views) had slowed us down more than we had expected. but there were still no concerns over finishing the round in daylight.

Image
Carn Dearg Summit


Image
A look back south along the Carn Dearg ridge


Image
Heading to Mam Ban


Image
The next target, Sgor Gaibhre

We headed down to Mam Ban in deepish snow for the straightforward ascent of Sgor Gaibhre. The advantages of winter walking shining through, as I suspect this little section is usually a bit of a bogfest. The ascent itself seemed longer than expected as we trudged up through the snow, finally reaching the summit 90 minutes after leaving Carn Dearg. The views again were tremendous.

Image
Late afternoon light on Loch Ericht


We didn't stay at the summit long given the time issues and headed down the ridge, eventually to the final ascent towards Meall na Meoig, the true summit of Beinn Pharlagain, via numerous intermediate bumps and hollows. It was a hugely enjoyable walk on a wide ridge though with the snow covered hills around bathed in golden light.

Image
The omnipresent Schiehallion


Image
The sun drops ever lower...


We soon reached the final ascent to Meall na Meoig just as the sun was setting. It was an absolute slog on tired legs breaking trail through deep snow. However a couple of looks back as the pinkish glow on the hills eased the pain a little

Image

However the summit once we got there, was worth the effort. The views from here, even in fading light were superb.

Image
Light fading a little


Image
The last light of the day


Again we left the summit sharpish. With the sun gone the temperate absolutely nosedived, and we needed to get moving. We headed down to the bealach with the other top of the corbett then headed down to the glen on west side of the burn towards the Allt Eigheach. Crossing this didn't prove too hazardous even in icy conditions and were soon on the initially snowy track.

However once the snowline was passed, the walk out on B2 Scarpas became absolute purgatory. However i still had the brilliantly clear starry night sky to take my attention from time to time. My feet though were in tatters by the time I got to the car. I also hadn't realised how cold it was, finding that my rucksack had gained a layer of frost, and my water bottle almost stuck to my lips when taking a drink :lol:

However this was just a tiny minus on what was without question one of my favourite days in the hills. Amazing views, cloud inversions and great company. What more do you need?

For anyone else wishing to do these two, I'd highly recommend this route over the time limited walk from Corrour Station. It's a great circuit in winter, if you don't mind walking the track by headtorch at the end.


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

User avatar
jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1199
Munros:218   Corbetts:13
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 15, 2012
Location: Forfar

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby Sick Kid » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:29 am

Fab photies as usual JP! That's a good route, myself and Weaselmaster did it in the opposite direction when doing the Corbetts and Munro tops :D
User avatar
Sick Kid
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 408
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:219   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:118   Hewitts:26
Wainwrights:13   
Joined: Dec 2, 2013
Location: Sunny Gourock by the sea!

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:08 am

Sick Kid wrote:Fab photies as usual JP! That's a good route, myself and Weaselmaster did it in the opposite direction when doing the Corbetts and Munro tops :D


Thanks Allison :D

It's a great route for these hills, really enjoyed it, although should really have taken some trail shoes for the walk out :lol:
User avatar
jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1199
Munros:218   Corbetts:13
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 15, 2012
Location: Forfar

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:19 am

Verily: absolutely stunning conditions - and some great photies to record it. Brilliant stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:

Not done these two, but they certainly look worth doing in these kind of conditions.
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2259
Munros:162   Corbetts:28
Hewitts:186
Wainwrights:71   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:40 am

Alteknacker wrote:Verily: absolutely stunning conditions - and some great photies to record it. Brilliant stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:

Not done these two, but they certainly look worth doing in these kind of conditions.


Thanks Alteknacker. It's an excellent way to do these hills, though I can't guarantee cloud inversions :lol:
User avatar
jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1199
Munros:218   Corbetts:13
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 15, 2012
Location: Forfar


Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:56 am

Yep - a good route. Big day in soft snow - glad we did it when there was a nice firm crust.
Great photos - love that yellow band in the sky on the last shot
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1598
Munros:140   Corbetts:56
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:151   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby Cairngorm creeper » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:46 am

Superb photo's and looks like a great route. Sunday was a lovely day to be And worth the trail breaking in soft snow.
User avatar
Cairngorm creeper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 585
Munros:134   Corbetts:11
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:15
Wainwrights:9   
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
Location: Nr. Grantown-on-Spey

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby timmunro86 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:22 pm

Great report and beautiful photos, looks like a fantastic wee route to do! I certainly found on Sunday that I had to push myself to keep going because it was so stunning all around that I could have easily spent the whole day taking photos and not walking :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
timmunro86
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 35
Munros:81   Corbetts:11
Grahams:8   
Sub 2000:10   
Joined: May 8, 2013
Location: Inverurie, Scotland

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby trederdog 100 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:08 pm

This looks like a great day - an inspiring walk for the short days!
User avatar
trederdog 100
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 59
Munros:98   Corbetts:6
Grahams:4   
Sub 2000:6   Hewitts:1
Joined: Aug 27, 2012
Location: Edinburgh / Perth

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby Jaxter » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:47 pm

Oh fabulous :clap: :clap: Wonderful photos as always :D

Looks like a great route too! :D
User avatar
Jaxter
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 971
Munros:198   Corbetts:93
Grahams:36   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:39
Wainwrights:53   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:05 pm

weaselmaster wrote:Yep - a good route. Big day in soft snow - glad we did it when there was a nice firm crust.
Great photos - love that yellow band in the sky on the last shot


Thanks Al. The snow was a bit strength sapping in places, especially the final push up to Meall na Meoig. Worth it though :D

Cairngorm creeper wrote:Superb photo's and looks like a great route. Sunday was a lovely day to be And worth the trail breaking in soft snow.


Looks like almost everyone had a great day on Sunday, I've been quite lucky with my winter walks but this was probably my favourite.

timmunro86 wrote:Great report and beautiful photos, looks like a fantastic wee route to do! I certainly found on Sunday that I had to push myself to keep going because it was so stunning all around that I could have easily spent the whole day taking photos and not walking :lol: :lol: :lol:


It's far too easy to take too many "photo breaks" on days like that :lol: :lol:

trederdog 100 wrote:This looks like a great day - an inspiring walk for the short days!


Aye it's a cracker of a route for the winter, probably quite boggy in summer, plus it's quite a fantastic feeling to be on a summit at sunset :D


Jaxter wrote:Oh fabulous :clap: :clap: Wonderful photos as always :D

Looks like a great route too! :D


Cheers Jaxter, highly recommend this circuit (just don't do it entirely in B2s, and take a bike the first 2.5 miles) :lol: :lol:
User avatar
jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1199
Munros:218   Corbetts:13
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 15, 2012
Location: Forfar

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby scoob999 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:10 pm

Great report and stunning pics :clap:
Defo one for the bikes though :crazy: Brilliant day out Cheers :clap:
User avatar
scoob999
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1625
Munros:282   Corbetts:177
Grahams:64   Donalds:11
Sub 2000:106   Hewitts:25
Wainwrights:7   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Birnam/Dunkeld. i think?

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby jupe1407 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:14 pm

scoob999 wrote:Great report and stunning pics :clap:
Defo one for the bikes though :crazy: Brilliant day out Cheers :clap:


Cheers Scoob

I think i'm going to have to wear those bloody Scarpas for another 15 miles on Thursday round the Monadhliaths :lol:

There's no feasible use for a bike :(
User avatar
jupe1407
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1199
Munros:218   Corbetts:13
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: May 15, 2012
Location: Forfar

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby Mrs Scoob » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:17 pm

Super report of a fantastic day JP! :thumbup: 8) :D Here's the bunker for future reference, just in case :wink:
whDSC01526.jpg
secret bunker
User avatar
Mrs Scoob
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 339
Munros:282   Corbetts:178
Grahams:65   Donalds:14
Sub 2000:107   Hewitts:26
Wainwrights:7   
Joined: Aug 1, 2014
Location: Birnam/Dunkeld

Re: A Rannoch Round in Stunning Winter Conditions

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:26 pm

Superb photos :clap: :clap:

Aye B2 Scarpas i feel the pain frequently ;)
User avatar
Collaciotach
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 1673
Munros:282   Corbetts:86
Grahams:26   
Sub 2000:19   
Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Gaidhealtachd an Iar

16 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Next



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 33 guests