With a couple of days good weather forecast I thought it was a perfect opportunity to return to one of my new favourite places – the Ardnamurchan peninsula Although I was tempted to just go and climb the Moidart Corbetts again, I decided to try something different. I didn’t get away as early as I wanted but there was plenty of daylight so no need to worry
Monday 24th July
Callop Corbetts – Druim Tarsuinn, Sgurr Ghiubhsachain & Sgorr Craobh a’ Chaorainn
I arrived at the parking spot off the minor road to Callop at 10 and it was already very warm. Leaving my car in the shade I changed into shorts, put boots on and I headed off down the track towards the cottages.
Despite the heat it was easy walking although sweat was pouring off me A very trusting friend had lent me his awesome DSLR and I was excited about taking this camera for a spin. But my goodness it was a lot of extra weight to carry
Looking back to the cottage at Callop and the Glenfinnan Hills behind
Past the cottages the track sloped uphill gradually but the views were already fantastic.
I was making good progress and before long arrived at the dam which was surrounded by Scots pine woodland that looked very fine. Through the gate the track morphed into a path and although distinct it was muddy and slippery in places and I was getting dirty
This path climbed around the end of the Meall na Cuartaige ridge (my descent route for later) before flattening out for a few more kilometres. As I walked along this pass I could the imposing Meall Mor ahead. My route would take me up there….a daunting prospect as I dragged my already tired self along
As I started the descent into Cona Glen I met two people coming up! I think they were as surprised to see me as I was them. They were on their way from Ardgour to Glenfinnan so had obviously had a much earlier start than me
The path disappeared as I made my way downwards so I vaguely followed a stream and my nose down to the river. I checked my route ahead – it looked like I could just follow the river and the gorge up to the ridge.
Looking back to Meall nan Damh
I easily crossed the Cona burn, squelched my way past the weird shaped plantation and headed uphill. It was very sheltered and there were all manner of biting insects around which encouraged me to keep moving. As I climbed higher it became more exposed and the breeze kept the beasties at bay.
I followed the gorge initially and there were waterfalls and chances to top up water supplies which were already running alarmingly low.
Looking back from further up
Soon the going became easier higher up and I followed a progressively narrowing shoulder up to the ridge of Meall Mor. I was shattered but it was a relief to finally be on a ridge – hopefully the walking would be easier from now on…
Looking across the glen towards Sgurr Ghuibhsachain and Sgorr Craobh a’ Chaorainn
After a quick breather and reapplication of sun cream I continued along the ridge, following the lines of fence posts over a few lumps and bumps and finally rising to the summit of Druim Tarsuinn. I reckon the views were probably worth the effort…
Back along the ridge towards Meall Mor and Ben Nevis behind
I had a wee break here, taking on plenty of fluids and some munchies. It was also a good opportunity to try out some different lenses. I was totally loving my new toy
Druim Tarsuinn summit
I could see the Cuillin ridge poking out behind Meall nan Creag Leac and Beinn Odhar Mhor
The magnificent Moidart hills
This could be Beinn Resipol
South towards Sunart
Ben Nevis and the Mamores
Cona pass and Gulvain behind
Targets 2 and 3 from further on around the ridge
Looking down Cona Glen
It was time to get a move on, I followed the ridge around and down to Bealach an Sgriodain, then up and over to Bealach Scamodale. It was a steep descent and I found possibly the most pointless gate at the bottom
The ascent to Meall nan Creag Leac looked steep….
Making my way slowly upwards I stopped for a wee photo….Loch Shiel sparkling
And eventually made the ridge. Here I left the fenceposts and followed the ridge towards Sgurr Ghiubhsachain. It was tough work and there were so many false summits I was beginning to wonder if the top really existed
But eventually I was greeted by the large summit cairn. Relieved I sat down to enjoy my sandwiches and play around with the camera.
Sgurr Ghiubhsachain summit
The Harry Potter bridge and the Glenfinnan Hills
Ahead to Sgorr Craobh a’ Chaorainn
I was able to see the Cuillin ridge in between two pointy hills. A perfectly placed hill
Nevis with more zoom
Loch Shiel with more zoom
After a good break I set off again – there was a long way to go Picking my way inbetween and across slabs I made my way carefully down to the bealach towards target number three – Sgorr Craobh a’ Chaorainn.
It was beginning to look like more of a climb
Looking back to Sgurr Ghiubhsachain
It was fairly easy until the final climb – as suggested a rising traverse to the right gained easy ground and it was a simple climb to the final summit of the day. Knackered but happy I enjoyed the summit views.
Sgorr Craobh a’ Chaorainn summit
Braigh nan Uamhachan & Gulvain
Out to Skye
Looking back to Sgurr Ghiubhsachain
I was enjoying them so much and everything was going so swimmingly that it was time for a classic navigational error. In my own little world I wandered off down a ridge before realising that I was going in the wrong direction…
Fortunately I was able to crag-hop my way around to the correct ridge before any real damage was done, although I was super annoyed at myself Now on the right track I could see knobbly nipple-shaped Meall na Cuartaige ahead and headed down the ridge.
Looking back up the glen
Back up the ridge
It was steep but nothing too tricky. It was more sheltered here and with the onset of the evening the annoying biting insects were back.
Tree growing on rock
I met the path from my outward journey and it led me back to the track where I was out in the open enough to be free from the beasties.
It felt like a long way back but it was an easy march back along the track to my car, which was no longer in the shade..doh
Happy to be relieved of my load after an incredibly tough day in the heat it was time to head for a camp spot and enjoy what looked like it would be a decent sunset.
I found a perfect spot, got the tent up and dinner on before settling down with the super awesome camera to see what it would make of a Moidart sunset. Not too shabby I think you’ll agree
Rum and Eigg
My wee pitch
Tuesday 25th July
Braigh nan Uamhachan
6 hours 30 mins
After a really good sleep I awoke to the sound of the waves gently brushing the rocks….which could only mean one thing. The wind had dropped…never a good thing during a Scottish summer I brewed myself up some hot chocolate and ate some breakfast. So long as I kept moving the midges couldn’t get me
Despite the beasties this wasn’t a bad place to wake up….
I had initially planned something big for today, but given the heat I decided to come up with Plan B. Packing up the tent I drove back past Glenfinnan and parked up, got my things together and headed off.
Fortunately the vehicle gate was unlocked so I could avoid the “Flat Stanley” gate and off I went down the track.
Sun shining through the trees
As I was checking the map a couple caught me up – they turned out to be the holy grail of Walkhighlands celebrities; Paul and Helen! Turned out we were heading the same direction for a while and it was nice to share Inn Pinn stories In fact I was so busy chatting that I nearly missed my turn off….
Saying goodbye to Paul and Helen, I headed directly up boggy and tussocky ground which soon became slippy and then bracken-covered. The air was so still and close that there were all manner of midges and cleggs around feasting on me and I was sweating like a pig…
Paul and Helen heading for Streap
Looking back towards Glenfinnan – yesterday’s hills on the left
As I climbed higher the views opened out, and there was the odd breath of wind. But every time I stood still for long the midges caught up with me…
Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel
Finally on the ridge I made it to Na h-Uamhachan and was able to look back…
The way ahead to Braigh nan Uamhachan and Gulvain
Glenfinnan and Beinn an Tuim
Lochan a’ Chomhlain and Glen Dessary hills
Gleann Dubh Lighe and Glenfinnan
Beinn an Tuim and the Streap ridge
Over several lumps and bumps, I followed the wall and then a vague path to the summit of Braigh nan Uamhachan; a very tough Corbett
Looking back down the ridge
Looking down Glean Dubh Lighe
Towards Loch Arkaig
Braigh nan Uamhachan summit
I got my sandwiches out and stopped for a bite. It was lunchtime and I was starving However, despite being the summit, the wind dropped regularly and the midges returned; walking in circles generally kept them at bay but must have added an extra kilometre to my day
Eventually I reached my midge-threshold and it was time to go! I had decided to make the day a bit more interesting by descending into Gleann Fionnlighe and returning that way; I don’t like out-and-backs
I walked back over the first hump before working my way through crags and down steep grassy slopes. Gulvain dominated:
Meall a’ Phubuill
A gully/stream led me between crags and provided a water refill
It was tough going but fortunately didn’t last too long. Back up the steep sides of Gulvain; I had been semi-tempted to climb up but thought better of it
I crossed the Fionn Lighe and picked up the path along the glen. The sun had really unleashed itself now and it was very hot. My brain must have been fried already as I didn’t think to reapply suncream…doooh
Beinn an t-Sneachda
Looking down Gleann Fionnlighe – a long walk out
As I reached the track and the bridge I popped down to the river to splash some water on myself. I was caught up by a guy who’d been up Gulvain. He was good company and we headed down the track together.
Looking back to imposing Gulvain
Back at the road I was faced with a few kilometres along the road back to my car but my companion (whose name I don’t even remember ) very kindly offered me a lift which I gratefully accepted It would have been a long walk
Back at the car I chilled out before heading back down the road. I had a nice camera with me so stopped for the odd photo on the way….
Ardgour from Ballachulish
The Pap and Glencoe from the bridge
Sgorr Dhonuill and the Ballachulish Hotel where I did a gig a few weeks ago
And a final stop in Glencoe for the classic Bookle photo…
….before braving the roads for the journey home after another most excellent adventure
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