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Creag Mhor & Beinn Heasgarnich from Loch Lyon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:21 am
by jupe1407
Since the day I decided I wanted to do all the munros, I've had the hills behind Killin firmly filed away in the "I'll get to them another time" box. However I've gradually chipped away at them, generally in winter conditions, with Meall Ghaordaidh quickly done in deep snow, then a thoroughly tough day on Sgiath Chuil and Meall Glas last winter. With some snow potentially on the tops, it looked as though the toughest pair of hills in that group would be done in similar conditions.

In my eagerness to avoid a lengthy brutal day with a tricky bogtrot on the way out (via the standard route), I decided we'd bike in from the Lyon Dam to Elrig, then ascent Heasgarnich, steeply, suffer the great height loss down Sron Tairbh, nip up Creag Mhor with a nice easy descent back to the bikes. 7 miles of walking with a little over 1200m of ascent, plus the bike distance/climb. Frankly, I thought it would be a piece of p*** compared to the standard route. Oh how wrong I was :lol:

Anyway, we parked quite close to the Lyon Dam after the interminable drive up Scotland's longest glen, and cycled to the Elrig. This was cold and unexpectedly knackering. The next issue came when we looked at the slopes of BH. Obviously I knew it would be steep from the map contours, but this looked an utterly horrific grind. We therefore opted for the easier looking route up Creag Mhor, though still steep we managed to follow an ATV track for a fair distance. Views quickly began to open up to Loch Lyon and beyond.

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I hand't done a lot of exercise in the previous two weeks (actually that means "none") so was breathing out of my proverbial on the steep, wet, grassy climb towards An Stuc. We soon reached snow, soft stuff today and seemed to somehow be climbing a steep bog (surely water should drain downhill :lol: ). Still, the views were nice.

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We made An Stuc fairly quickly and began the short climb to Meall Tionail. Although the terrains was hard going, there was virtually no wind and the day had that perfect winter feel to it. BH still looked horrific across the way though,

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After a quick bite to eat on Meall Tionail's summit, we made our way towards the final ascent up to Creag Mhor, the day's first munro. I was overjoyed to actually find a path and some solid ground. We met a few folk coming off the summit and heading towards BH. The plod up here wasn't difficult and almost pleasant in the snow.

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The summit was quickly reached. Conditions at the top were perfect. No wind, glorious visibility and surrounded by nicely snow-capped mountains. We met more folk coming up from Glen Lochay. Although these hills take a bit of stick (especially from me now) Creag Mhor really is a terrific viewpoint. That is until you realise the horrible steep ridge up to the next munro is Sron Tairbh, and you'll be going up it.

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We didn't stay long at the top, choosing to head down to the low bealach and get a bite to eat to steel ourselves for what looked like a thoroughly spirit-crushing climb up Sron Tairbh. We picked our way down and easily enough negotiated the peat hags, before find a seat at the base of the climb, and er, admired what was to come.

This looks fun.
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It wasn't.
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After what seemed an eternity of "photo stops", profane language and general internalised pleading for this hell to be over, we eventually got to the top of Sron Tairbh. My lack of fitness had truly shown and my bad knee was starting to prove troublesome. Thankfully the plod to the summit isn't too horrific from here.

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We reached the summit with two other groups of folk (one group of four we'd passed on the biked soon after Lyon Dam and they reached the second summit before us :lol: ). The others made off east to descend. We on the other hand now had to make our way down the ridge that had looked horrifically steep to climb earlier. Oh, joy. At least I had tremendous views to take my mind off both the impendingly awful descent and my considerable knee pain.

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It's hard to describe the long descent back to the bikes without bad language, but it just wasn't fun. The views were largely terrific mind you, but my knee was really hurting by now and continual height checks on the GPS did nothing for my morale. To make matters worse, the planned descent looked absolutely ridiculous from above, so we had to follow the "easy" ground down NE, leaving us a mile from the bikes.

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After an eternity of god-awful tussocky, boggy ground we eventually dropped down to the landrover track on the south shore of Loch Lyon. The walk back to the bikes was pretty demoralising, my legs were done and my knee by now clearly hated me. I let Rob get on ahead as I needed a minute to rest, have a cigarette and contemplate why i continually do this to myself.

Still, nice light on the hills though.

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The cycle back was tough. I could barely turn the pedals and my right knee felt like someone had stuck a knife in it at every pedal stroke. I arrived back at the van a fairly broken man about half an hour later.

Never again. :lol:

Re: Creag Mhor & Beinn Heasgarnich from Loch Lyon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:26 pm
by PeteR
I did these from the Kenknock side and share your final sentiment in your WR....... :lol:

You got some fine images though, to compensate for the pain. I recall clag the day I was there

Re: Creag Mhor & Beinn Heasgarnich from Loch Lyon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:58 pm
by razzah
Cracking report - I had to laugh at times. The word 'horrific' featured heavily :lol: I know exactly what you meant too. This two are a pair of toughies, and not especially in a good way. At least you got the views - all I got was miles and miles of bog and peat hags.

Re: Creag Mhor & Beinn Heasgarnich from Loch Lyon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:44 pm
by jupe1407
PeteR wrote:I did these from the Kenknock side and share your final sentiment in your WR....... :lol:

You got some fine images though, to compensate for the pain. I recall clag the day I was there


Cheers Pete. These two and Beinn Chab*air are why I won't even contemplate a full second round :lol:

razzah wrote:Cracking report - I had to laugh at times. The word 'horrific' featured heavily :lol: I know exactly what you meant too. This two are a pair of toughies, and not especially in a good way. At least you got the views - all I got was miles and miles of bog and peat hags.


I can't even begin to imagine these two on a poor weather day :lol: