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Creag Ghuanach & Beinn na Cloiche by train & ebike

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:50 pm
by m3doc
The first hurdle to overcome in attempting these two grahams from Corrour is getting to the station. From Dumbarton the 2 possibilities are the 6.15am Caledonian sleeper service arriving 8.58am and the standard Scotrail 8.52am train arriving at 11.08am. The standard Scotrail return service departs Corrour at 6.25pm leaving 9 hour 15 mins and 7 hour windows respectively. Dempster has the walk as 7 - 9.5 hours, therefore the longer window required booking the sleeper service. However, in spite of this being displayed on timetables, it is not possible to book a ticket for this service from Dumbarton to Corrour online with sleeperscot, scotrail nor trainline even though it requested gender! It is easy enough to book a standard Scotrail ticket and a cycle reservation. (If any anytime return is bought, it doesn't obviously go with cycle reservation).
I had to purchase the sleeper service ticket at Dumbarton Central and cycle reservation has to be done as space limits number to 6 cycles in a locked room adjacent to guard's room in seated coach. At the very short Corrour platform only a much narrower door on sleeper guard's van is used which may require removal of quick release front wheel to manoeuvre handlebars through.
Of the 4 standard Scotrail Sprinter coaches, 1 has cycle storage area with 2 sets of 3 hooks either side of coach but open to passengers and staff, therefore bikes have to be hung by rear wheels so handlebars don't injure faces (this entails removing battery and panniers to lighten load for lifting rear wheel up).

From Corrour station, Instead of walking the muddy path north alongside the railway, biking the excellent track towards Ossian and branching left to Loch Treig, passing under the railway bridge where the path meets the track, arriving at the Allt Lolairean bridge in 30 minutes 7.5k (4.7 miles) and down from 400m Corrour to 250m Loch Treig. There the bike was locked to the right of way footpath signpost to Kinlochleven via Blackwater reservoir. Progressed along the track another kilometre to the bridge across Abhainn Rath at Creaguaineach Lodge, Lochtreighead. Across the bridge the right of way footpath to Fort William alongside the river was followed for half a kilometre then a rising traverse SW to the col to right of the obvious small knoll to avoid the worst of the bracken and crags. From there, N up easy grassy slopes onto S ridge thence summit of Creag Ghuanach 621m 10.6k (7.5 on bike) 458m ascent.
Descent is S down easy grassy slopes to right of minor crags to stepping stones at Staoineag across Abhainn Rath. Shortly after passing the adjacent ruined cottage, a deer path goes up an obvious rib then grassy slopes between the crags on Sron na Saobhaidhe. Above the crags traverse easier ground S to NE ridge of Beinn na Cloiche crossing the stream from Loch na Staoineag. A few false tops before summit cairn 646m above a tiny lochan 15.5k 819m ascent and 6 hours. At 2.55pm with 3.5 hours to catch train descended short distance S to avoid crags then easy grassy slopes E to join right of way path in Gleann Lolairean and 3 miles along this rough (bouldery and peaty in parts, not very bikeable though tyre tracks present) to ebike which took 40 minutes off the 3.5 hours arriving in plenty time for the 6.25pm train. The station tearoom was open.
Total 8.5 hours 30k (half on bike) 1086m ascent (186 on bike)

Re: Creag Ghuanach & Beinn na Cloiche by train & ebike

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:55 pm
by rockhopper
It's an interesting area to explore - had intended to cover one or both of these hills when on a corbett trip from Rannoch Station to Spean Bridge but left them out as the weather wasn't playing ball.
An ebike does sound quite useful - cheers :)