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Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumochter

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:11 pm
by dogplodder
I must have passed this hill hundreds of time over the years without ever noticing it. It's not that obvious from the A9, lying quietly on the east side of Loch Garry without any visible summit to catch the eye. I always looked at the hills as we went through, but not this one. I didn't even know it was there.

That changed when Moira and I were heading down to climb some hills around Crianlarich and saw the chance to fit in a short climb as we passed. A look at my Corbett map revealed a nice easy one near Dalnaspidal with a track all the way. Not the kind of hill you'd drive a long way to climb but ideal if you're passing.

We watched for the Dalnaspidal turn off as it would be easy to miss and end up on the dual carriageway south without any quick opportunity to turn back! Once off the busy A9 we followed the quiet approach road to Dalnaspidal Lodge, parking just before the level crossing.

Railway line heading north
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Once over the level crossing we took the next right turn on to a smaller track with a public footpath sign, which heads in the direction of Loch Garry.

Road for Dalnaspidal Lodge which we turned off to right
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This track leads to a sluice bridge over the Allt Dubhaig, where you're meant to take a left turn to follow the near high grassy bank of the concrete waterway. But what used to be an opening at this point is now blocked off with inwards slanting metal fencing. We could have climbed it but it didn't feel quite right so we walked a bit further on looking for a way through, which there wasn't. We could see a bridge over to our left which would give access to the start of the climb but out of curiosity (on my part anyway) kept going as far as the bridge heading straight for the loch. This was the wrong bridge. :think:

A bridge too far and Meall na Leitreach on left
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We didn't cross this bridge but turned left over a flat grassy area and headed for the other bridge, which involved a climb over a locked gate and going through another gate to reach it.

Meall na Leitreach and River Garry from bridge we crossed
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From the bridge we headed straight on to a T junction with a track where we turned left and immediately right on to a wet ATV track up the hill.

View back to start of wet ATV track
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This slightly awkward route was to take us round the perimeter of Dalnaspidal Lodge, rather than have sundry random hill folk wandering through it whenever they please. The field in front of it contained a rather excited horse racing around - possibly because another horse was being ridden towards the loch (along with walker, cyclist and dog) and perhaps he would have liked to have gone too. We watched the horse/walker/cyclist/dog combo as they progressed towards the loch. They looked a curious group to be out for an afternoon walk together. :eh:

Dalnaspidal Lodge
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More mud
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View north through the Drumochter Pass
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The muddy track kept to the east side of the Allt nam Pliadean burn and continued to be muddier than we expected compared to the dry underfoot conditions we'd had lately further north.

Higher up - more mud
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As the gradient eased we met another walker coming towards us and stopped for a chat. The track became less distinct in a muddy section before curving off to the west towards a small cairn on a slight rise before a gentle descent and reascent towards the highest part of Meall na Leitreach (Gaelic for 'the hill of slopes').

Small cairn
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From this point on the going was dry. :thumbup:

Path ahead leading to summit
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Zoomed SE to Schiehallion
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The summit cairn is about 150m off to the left of the track with a faint path across low heather leading to it.

Summit cairn looking north
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South from summit
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Not sure if that's the Glen Lyon or Ben Lawers group in centre?
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Summit cairn looking NW
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Did I mention it was a bit windy?
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We retraced our steps and were soon back on the road heading south. The next day turned out to be low cloud and rain so we were glad we'd grabbed the chance of fitting a hill into the journey down. 8)

Watched from afar
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Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:45 pm
by Mal Grey
Always nice to find somewhere new.


I had a vague memory of the hill, but eventually worked out I only knew of it because I'd looked its name up so I knew what was in this photo taken from the other side of the pass in winter, its the one left of Loch Ericht.

Image

Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:25 pm
by dogplodder
Mal Grey wrote:Always nice to find somewhere new.


I had a vague memory of the hill, but eventually worked out I only knew of it because I'd looked its name up so I knew what was in this photo taken from the other side of the pass in winter, its the one left of Loch Ericht.



Great photo but that would be Loch Garry not Loch Ericht. :wink:

Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:19 pm
by Huff_n_Puff
Yet another hill to add to the ever growing list of hills I should get around to visiting :lol: :lol:

Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:43 pm
by Gordie12
Hi Dogplodder

Did this one along with the Sow of Atholl nearly 3 years ago now. S of A was fine but this hill was particularly wet and slippery on the lower slopes and the inevitable happened on the way down - at least it was a soft landing!!

Sounds like nothing much has changed but still a good hill if time is limited.

G

Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:01 pm
by Graeme D
Glad you found it! :clap:

Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:37 pm
by dogplodder
Huff_n_Puff wrote:Yet another hill to add to the ever growing list of hills I should get around to visiting :lol: :lol:


Would only take you and R a couple of hours to do this one. :wink:

Re: Sailed past this many times without knowing it at Drumoc

PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 5:42 pm
by dogplodder
Graeme D wrote:Glad you found it! :clap:


Now every time we go past I give it a nod to make up for all those times I didn't know it was there! :lol: