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Off the radar in the Dalnaspidal Triangle - Part 2

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:08 pm
by Graeme D
We were up bright and breezy after a fairly uneventful night's kip - other than when a log rolled off the fire and across the floor, coming to rest near my head. Apparently I didn't even budge and poor Kev had to get up and take care of it!

Quickly breakfasted, swept up and packed up, with packs feeling considerably lighter now that all the fuel had been burnt, we were away by 6.30am heading south on the track which leads all the way from Dalnaspidal, past the bothy, to Craiganour Lodge and Annat on the northern shore of Loch Rannoch. It was still pitch dark, so we walked in line with the headtorches illuminating our way. One of those priceless feelings - in the pre-dawn pitch dark in the middle of nowhere on a cold Sunday morning in November.

At more or less the high point of the track as it passes between the twin 612 metre hills of Gualann Sheillach to our right (the nicer looking profile, it has to be said) and our target Graham of Creag a' Mhadaidh to the left, we leave the track and descend down onto a flat area of boggy, grassy ground. Although not frozen solid, the ground is hard enough to have mercifully taken the edge off the bog.

As we begin to flatten off as we approach the summit plateau, it gets light enough to dispense with the headtorches, and by the time we reach the surprisingly significant summit cairn, there are half decent views back to yesterday's Corbett, Beinn Mholach, and ahead of us over Loch Erochty. If Beinn Mholach's summit is relatively unfrequented, then how many visitors can this place see?

Dawn breaking on summit of Creag a' Mhadaidh

Creag a' Mhadaidh summit with Loch Erochty in the background to the east

Looking west to Beinn Mholach

After a few summit shots and a quick bite to eat, we drop down off the north eastern slopes of Creag a' Mhadaidh into the expanse of flat, rough ground alongside the Allt Poll Dubh-ghlas, which we follow upstream onto Meall na Leitreach.

Beinn Mholach from below the north eastern slopes of Creag a' Mhadaidh

A shrouded Beinn a' Chuallaich

Kev and Daz by the Allt Poll Dubh-ghlas

Despite the odd suggestion that the cloud was about to lift, and Kev's admirable optimism that this was about to happen at any moment, it never did, and by the time we reached the bleak, tundra-like Corbett summit, visibility was practically zero. In fact, we had to do a little bit of relocation to establish that we cairn we initially came across looming out of the clag was in fact the true summit.

Meall na Leitreach summit - nae views today!

Cloud rolling in again on descent off Meall na Leitreach

North up through the Drumochter Pass

On the descent back down to Dalnaspidal we encountered a few parties of walkers heading up, clearly day trippers looking for a fairly short and straightforward November hill day. We were back at the car by 11.30 am and I was back in Perth by just after 12.30 in time for a nice leisurely Sunday lunch!

Meall na Leitreach from near Dalnaspidal Lodge

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Re: Off the radar in the Dalnaspidal Triangle - Part 2

PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:21 pm
by malky_c
Like the pre-dawn start - I'm always too lazy to manage this properly. Agreed Meall na Leitreach is a handy short hill. I did it at the other end of the day back at the end of 2007. Reached the top just as the last of the sun was going down.

Looking West from Meall na Leitreach 21-12-2007

Re: Off the radar in the Dalnaspidal Triangle - Part 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:31 am
by rockhopper
I've just read part 1 and now part 2 - great read and some nice photos there Graeme. This must have taken some planning - the packs must've been heavy on day 1 but losing the fuel would be great on day 2. :D Did you book the bothy or have to contact anyone beforehand ?

Re: Off the radar in the Dalnaspidal Triangle - Part 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:20 pm
by LeithySuburbs
Great 2 part report Graeme :) . My kind of hills these. That view down Loch Garry from the A9 never fails to stir my imagination :think: . Looks a nice bothy too.

Re: Off the radar in the Dalnaspidal Triangle - Part 2

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:26 pm
by CurlyWurly
Great report Graham, the trip would of been an 'epic' if we had gone this weekend instead

Re: Off the radar in the Dalnaspidal Triangle - Part 2

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:29 pm
by dooterbang
Fantastic report Graeme, nice little adventure had :)

Its fab walking in darkness for a couple of hours to then be on a summit as the sun rises, shame you didn't get views.

Cool to be back home for lunch and being able to chill.

Well done.