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Loch Morar Grahams

Loch Morar Grahams


Postby Mountaineer » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:05 pm

Grahams included on this walk: An Stac, Meith Bheinn

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Druim a'Chuirn

Date walked: 22/07/2016

Time taken: 11 hours

Distance: 50 km

Ascent: 1m

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I always seem to be too busy to do walk reports, but this was special and demands inclusion on Walkhighlands.

I actually spend three days undertaking this trip, with the walk of 15.5km being on Friday 22nd July to and from Oban Bothy. I paddled in the 17.5km by sea kayak on the afternoon of Thursday 21st taking about 3 hours to do so, and out again on Saturday 23rd in a little over 2 hours assisted by a f3/4 tail wind and following 'sea,' or Loch to be precise. No sign of Morag thank goodness!

Oban Bothy is a cracking spot for anyone who has not been there, though the left hand side room and rear room are in need of some TLC from the MBS I think, and even in the right hand room the ceiling isn't looking great. Upstairs has loads of good floor space, but do beware of the bats. I was alone with said bats on the two nights of my stay, though I met a large party of canoeists were heading that way as I paddled out - assuming they made it given the struggle some of them were having paddling into what was for them a headwind.

So to the walk, which whilst not long was gruelling on the rough and soaking ground - more of the water later - though the day itself was pretty near perfect with just some light cloud to keep the sun a little shaded.

Setting of from the bothy, a good (though very wet) path led into Glen Taodhail which I followed for about 2km before cutting back ENE up a broad, steep and grassy ramp which led me eventually to the north top of An Stac. The main summit was about 500m further on across a dip and a few small easily negotiable crags. The views in all directions were amazing, especially those toward Meith Bheinn and down Loch Morar, with the eye being drawn to the distant small isles, and east along the canyon like Glen Pean towards Loch Arkaig beyond.

I descended by the obvious south west ridge aiming to cross the burn around the point where it met the secondary burn flowing from Lochan a Bhrodainn, though crossing here, or even the inflating burn had I been able to get across above it, was simply impossible as both were in spate following the very heavy rain earlier in the week. I spent an age walking up an down the main burn looking for a crossing point, eventually deciding on the only one which was viable, and even this required a lunge over a 6 feet waterfall to land on a rock jammed against large slab. Given that this was a jump down, the return was not going to be fun!

Meith Bheinn lay about another 3km along a long ridge, and whilst straightforward, the rough ground began to take its toll in what were quite warm conditions and it was with some relief that I reached the summit. Given my proximity to a sub 2000ft hill, Druim a'Churn, I made the detour to take this in before descending back to my crossing point. Looking at it from this side was not good, so I spent another 30 minutes of so checking other possibilities before returning to it. throwing my gear across first, and having no run-up, I had no choice but to launch myself across the gap, keeping my upper body weight forward to avoid any risk of stepping back. Ungainly, but effective was my assessment - and frankly not recommended on the basis that I was alone with no means of communication other than a PLB which may not have worked given the depth and steepness of the valley.

What I will say is that I thoroughly enjoyed my curry and bottle of wine when I got back to the Bothy!
Attachments
IMG_2524.jpeg
Me relaxing with a post curry glass of wine
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Oban Bothy interior
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Meith Bheinn and Druim a' Churn
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East towards Meith Bheinn and Druim a' Churn
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Down Loch Morar towards the Small Isles.
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Glen Pean and towards Loch Arkaig from An Stac
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Oban Bothy sign
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Oban Bothy beside Morar deep
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The view east down Loch Morar

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

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Mountaineer
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Re: Loch Morar Grahams

Postby rockhopper » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:39 pm

Mountaineer wrote:.....before descending back to my crossing point. Looking at it from this side was not good, so I spent another 30 minutes of so checking other possibilities before returning to it. throwing my gear across first, and having no run-up, I had no choice but to launch myself across the gap, keeping my upper body weight forward to avoid any risk of stepping back. Ungainly, but effective was my assessment - and frankly not recommended on the basis that I was alone with no means of communication other than a PLB which may not have worked given the depth and steepness of the valley.
...Jings :crazy: :shock: :wink:

Nice route - sounded enjoyable.....glad you made it back - cheers :)
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Re: Loch Morar Grahams

Postby Sgurr » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:26 pm

It never struck us as we crossed that burn how dangerous it might be in the winter. We paid the boatman (Viv de Fresnes) to take us into Oban bothy with a friend and did An Stac one day and the sub2000 the next, having done Meith Bheinn from the road on a previous occasion. Given your choice of transport and adding the extra hill, this makes it a far more taxing journey, with the season making it frankly dangerous

Glad you got back to write this TR.
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Re: Loch Morar Grahams

Postby Sgurr » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:16 pm

We had brought spare socks to get across the stream, but it was nothing like what you describe
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Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4556
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
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Wainwrights:160   Islands:58
Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

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