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The golden combo

The golden combo

Postby BlackPanther » Wed May 30, 2018 6:45 pm

Route description: Beinn Chuirn, Dalrigh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Chuirn

Fionas included on this walk: Meall Odhar

Date walked: 19/05/2018

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 19 km

Ascent: 1000m

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Another nice weekend and one more trip to the south-west for more hills. This time it was "something from Tyndrum". I was hoping for Brother Lui perhaps (I fancy the approach from the east much more than the short northern route) but in the end we picked an easier walk over Beinn Chuirn and Meall Odhar (Corbett and Graham combo). The main reason was very prosaic: we both felt a bit off. Most likely it was due to our seafood supper the evening before. A bad prawn can spoil the day :sick: Nothing serious but annoying enough to put us off big ascents. Enough explanation I think :lol:
In the end, we still managed a day's walk over two listed hills with some very interesting views and a close look into a steep corrie, not to mention the old led mines. It was also a golden opportunity to bag our 99th Graham and make us wonder which hill should we choose for the 100th one. We talked about multiple options basically all the way up and down :D

As for Beinn Chuirn, it was going to be our 140th Corbett. A nice round number, but not a milestone. We'll talk about milestones when we get to 150!

Usually if combining the to mountains, the route is walked anti-clock, over Meall Odhar first and then up the steep eastern face of Beinn Chuirn, but we preferred to tackle the Corbett first and therefore we started from the Dalrigh car park rather than from Tyndrum itself. Slightly longer option, but easy going on tracks and part of WHW. The hills themselves are pathless but mostly grassy. There is no stile over the deer fence on the col between them so we had to climb it. The final descent from Meall Odhar, past the old led mines, is very tumbly and eroded, but a path can be followed here.

Track_TYNDRUM G+C 19-05-18.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

From the car park in Dalrigh we followed West Highland way for a short distance, before passing under the railway:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 002.JPG

The track to Cononish has recently been upgraded, probably for the access to the gold mine, which, as I read somewhere, has been reopen and "it is believed the Scottish village of Tyndrum could be sitting on 200,000 ounces of gold."
We were more interested in the golden combo of Corbett and Graham. Beinn Chuirn can be seen on the horizon from the approach track:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 004.JPG

Ben Lui (still on to-do list for me, Kevin has done it ages ago) and River Cononish:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 007.JPG

There was little water in rivers and streams after a dry period of time. Even the Eas Anie waterfall was hard to spot - just an empty gorge:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 016.JPG

We left the main track just after a gate (locked but there is a stile here) and started the slow ascent up the southern slopes of Beinn Chuirn. This was wet initially but higher up the grass was drier and offered very pleasant walking. Our second target was well visible to the right:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 021.JPG

Ben Lui looked massive. I can't wait to visit this one!
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 029.JPG

The first 200m of ascent are the steepest, we followed a faint atv track until it disappeared shortly before we crossed Allt Eas Anie. We could see the summit now and despite not feeling 100% strong, we were still excited thinking about another hill added to our tally:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 028.JPG

Views were lovely in all directions, especially to the neighbouring Munros:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 031.JPG

Just below the summit we walked close to the edge of the cliffs of Coire na Saobhaidhe, to have a good look at the vertical side of the hill from above:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 037.JPG

Panther, crags and the remains of snow:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 039.JPG

Only a few minutes later, we emerged on the summit area. At 880m it's one of the higher Corbetts and our 140th. We're getting close to 2/3rds of Corbetts done (which would be 146.5 according to my calculations :lol: ). Lucy celebrated her 68th C:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 043.JPG

Beinn Chuirn has extensive views. Ben Oss and Beinn Dubhchraig, for example, present their less known side:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 044.JPG

Panoramic version with Ben Lui:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 031.JPG

Beinn Challum and Tundrum Corbetts:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 049.JPG

Again, pano version:

View north to the distanc Glencoe and Glen Etive hills:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 054.JPG

Panoramic version:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 068.JPG

Cruachan group:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 056.JPG

2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 060.JPG

The summit was windy but we found a sheltered spot to sit and have lunch. We were not as hungry as we'd usually be, considering our earlier stomach upsets, but we needed the calories. It would be a great place to sit for longer if it wasn't for the invasion of crane flies (or as some call them daddy long legs). The annoying creatures were interested in Kevin's rucksack in particular, trying to get inside (did they want to hitch a ride???) :lol:

Tired of flicking off the crane flies, we packed up and started to descend. The direct drop to Coire na Saobhaidhe is impossible due to vertical cliffs, so we traversed around the rim of the corrie to find a suitable route down.
Panther admiring the cliffs:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 072.JPG

The descent route and our second target:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 080.JPG

Panoramic snap of the upper cliffs of Coire na Saobhaidhe:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 079.JPG

Initially, the angle of the descent was quite steep and we had to be careful not to slip and tumble down:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 090.JPG

...but the dancing-balancing descent is rewarded with fantastic views into the corrie. This is the most interesting side of Beinn Chuirn, missed if you just go up and down the easiest, southern side of the mountain:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 102.JPG

The cliffs from below:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 107.JPG

The shoulder we came down:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 105.JPG

Once down to the bealach there is a short boggy section to cross, and then, a 2m deer fence to negotiate. There used to be a gate here once and the sad remnants of the old wooden constructuin are still scattered about, but we had to pull up our sleeves and climb the fence. I don't know how many walkers do this circuit, but this spot would do with a stile, to be honest.
Beinn Chuirn and what remains of the old gate:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 115.JPG

This firebreak leads up the Graham:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 113.JPG

The ascent to Meall Odhar is less than 200m and the forest is not dense in this area, so we quickly walked out of the trees, to admire the views again. One thing drew my attention, the renewed gold mine below Eas Anie:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 119.JPG

2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 120.JPG

In next to no time we were on the summit of our 99th Graham (Lucy's 66th):
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 126.JPG

It was time for a longer break and as our stomachs have settled by now, we were hungry for sandwiches, chocolate and whatever else we found hidden in our rucksack pockets. I almost ate my sunscreen :lol:
Kevin still wondering which Graham would be our next, to celebrate the ton...

Views from Meall Odhar are just as good as from the Corbett. Beinn Chuirn blocks the western view, but there are lots of hills on the horizon to the east and south:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 133.JPG

2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 135.JPG

2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 134.JPG

Panoramic snaps:


The easiest return route is back the way we came, to the col, over the fence and then down south to Cononish, but we didn't fancy the fence climbing again and opted for a longer yet more interesting descent, over Sron nan Colan to Tyndrum. There is a small intermediate top en route which can be skipped if one is really lazy:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 152.JPG
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 3839
Munros:266   Corbetts:179
Sub 2000:74   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: The golden combo

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:30 pm

Looking back to Meall Odhar from the intermediate top:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 164.JPG

The traverse is wet in places but generally easy going on grass, heather and moss. Soon we reached Sron nan Colan which has a cairn:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 172.JPG

We could now see Tyndrum and our final descent route past the old led mines:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 174.JPG

Lochan na Bi:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 178.JPG

The descent path is eroded, lots of unstable scree, so we took time and as we were not in a hurry at all, we investigated the remains of the mines. As much as we could with almost everything fenced off :lol:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 181.JPG

The old shafts:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 183.JPG

2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 184.JPG

The area is in the care of Forestry Commision, who strongly discourage potential mine explorers:
"It is not safe to explore the remains of mine shafts and we recommend that you do not visit this area."
Of course, we didn't do anything stupid and preferred to stay on the main path, just photographing the shafts from the distance.
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 188.JPG

...but even in the scattered mine dumps, we found interesting things to study, like this quartz intrusion:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 190.JPG

I ended up collecting bits of minerals to display in our garden, Kevin laughed at my pockets full of stones :lol:
Ooops, a bit unstable:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 198.JPG

Near the forest, we found another old shaft:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 203.JPG

Finally, we followed a well-worn path through the forest, made mostly of larch trees, to a railway underpass. The path then continues to Tyndrum:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 207.JPG

Just before the village, this path merges in with West Highland Way, which then can be followed all the way back to Dalrigh. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon, and we enjoyed the slow stroll back to the car.
Happy Kevin:
2018-05-19 tyndrum g+c 213.JPG

We really liked this circuit and I can recommend this way of connecting the two hills, unless you don't like fence climbing or are not fond of old mine sites. :lol: :lol:
My next report will cover the first walk of the bank holiday weekend. This will be a"biggie": biking, hiking, almost getting lost, fantastic cloud inversions and a long ridge of Munros. Watch this space :D

***This TR was affected by Google bug. This is the repaired version :D ***
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3839
Munros:266   Corbetts:179
Sub 2000:74   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

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