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Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhonach

Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhonach


Postby PeteR » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:27 pm

Route description: Beinn Mheadhonach, via Glen Tilt

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Mheadhonach

Date walked: 02/02/2019

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This was finally a Plan A that came to fruition. Given it’s winter and I’m none too keen on driving down some dodgy single track road for miles or get caught out with snow gates closing roads I was looking at possible Corbett adventures that could be accessed reasonably close to the main Road, with not too long a drive. With access via Old Bridge of Tilt Beinn Mheadhonach hit the spot.

It just so happened that, with MrsR’s shifts at work being what they are, I was on for a Saturday walk and the forecast suggested another excellent winters day..........especially if you like wind-chill.

I had plotted a possible extension to make a circuit of it by adding on Carn a’Chlamain, but that was just a flight of fancy in my head. Probably ok for a tough summer’s day out, but a hill too far for me in Winter.

So this was to be just a standard in and out via the same route for me, via the standard WH suggestion.

I’d thought about a 4.00 a.m. alarm, but in the end went for 5.00 a.m. instead. That would still give me plenty of time to drive to my destination and get round in daylight. In the end I was awake at 4.45 and contemplating rolling over and shutting my eyes again. But then I thought “**** it” and pushed myself out of bed to get myself on my way by about 5.30 a.m.

It was about 7.45 a.m. when I parked up in a slightly icy car park. A few cars and vans about when I pulled up. Rather than head straight off I opted for a quick kip. It might have been longer, but a resident from the camper van close by decided to ready themselves, so it was about 8.15 that I was getting booted up and ready to go.

ImageP1060446 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Bridge of Tilt car park

I ignored (as in didn’t realise that’s what I should be doing) the route that would take me up and over the minor road. Instead I headed straight up the estate track over the road from the car park. Makes no difference, as both routes join up after a short while.

ImageP1060447 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Heading on my way

The initial section is a steady grind along the estate track to the first bridge (Cumhann-leum Bridge). As a route this is one of many bridges.

ImageP1060448 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060451 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060456 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Views on the way to Cumhann-leum Bridge

Nice frozen patches on the river, as well as some of the water coming down off the hills, to add a bit of interest early on.

ImageP1060457 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

The route starts to develop nicely once over the bridge, with views to the Munro of Carn a’Chlamain – views that get better once over Gilbert’s Bridge.

ImageP1060467 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060471 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060474 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Gilbert's Bridge

I avoided the diamond gate in fence, opting for the substantial deer gate instead and then heading up the track. More great views of Carn a’Chlamain, which dominates, and in to Glen Tilt as I continue to make my way. It had been about 60 minutes to Gilberts Bridge, despite a fairly leisurely pace and faffing about taking photos.

ImageP1060475 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

The next section passed Auchgobhal and the next bridge (Ach-mhairc) was also really enjoyable too. It might just have been down to the blue skies, sun and snow of the hills, but it was a really stunning section.

ImageP1060479 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060487 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

The bridge crosses the Allt Mhairc just before it meets the Tilt, with a super iced up waterfall swollen with snow melt. Spent a few moments here taking in the falls, bore the short walk up to the viewpoint at Ach Mhairc Mhoir.

ImageP1060492 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060495 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

I believe this next section can be a hideous mix of bracken and heather, but luckily for me the bracken is all died back (we don’t get on) and it was a pleasant, easy walk into Gleann Mhairc and the rather ancient looking New Bridge.

The bulk of Beinn Mheadhonach really comes in to full focus as you approach New Bridge. Like all of the hills accessed from the Tilt, it’s a monster. I spied a small number of deer on its lower regions, which I was able to zoom in on. They were long gone by the time I arrived at the same point.

ImageP1060503 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060511 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060513 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060515 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060520 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060527 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

What a lovely, remote spot Gleann Mhairc is too. If I didn’t have the huge bulk of the Corbett still to tackle I would perhaps have hung around a bit longer, but I was out of the sun and it was a bit chilly, so it was time to gird loins and huff-n-puff a lot.

ImageP1060530 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

It had been just a little over 2 hours to New Bridge and my GPS planner was suggesting 3 hour 55 minutes to the summit. I was feeling good. Surely I’d be at the summit quicker than that.........oh, how foolish of me to think such thoughts. I think the mountain must have sensed them too, as my walk to the summit initially took on the form of a right old slog. And a slow slog at that.

One of my problems is that even after all these years I don’t get my physical preparation right for these long walks. I spend loads of time investigating routes, trawling Google Earth and plotting routes for the GPS. But do I put as much effort in to getting a good night’s sleep beforehand or fuelling up before or during the walk? That would be a big fat “no” and I was going to feel the error of my ways today, as I struggled up the climb of this hill to its long summit plateau. It wasn’t as if there was lots of snow to make it difficult, but nonetheless I found it really hard work, much harder than it should have been.

The first obstacle was the initial, steep, climb up from the bridge. The path is nice and gravely and with a thin film of soft snow on the iced up surface I was clinging on to the heather for a couple of moves. I’d give myself 5.9 for artistic interpretation

Soon after the initial steep section I lost the path........It took me a while, walking over the snow, to relocate it. Although I was practically walking on the spot, or so it seemed, the path would eventually get me all the way to the summit. On a summer’s day I’m sure the path would be a relative doddle. In winter there was just enough snow to make it hard going for me – slipping or sinking on a regular basis. At times it was easier just walking to one side of the path in the heather. At least the sinking in the snow there was more consistent that way.

ImageP1060540 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
Gives a sense of what the route ahead was to look like for the next little while

ImageP1060545 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

The WH route description mentions false summits.......ooh, such fun........not. Thinking you were over the worst, only to be presented with more climbing off in the distance. Thankfully none of the climbs were particularly steep though.

Overall it’s probably not a steep climb, but it is a bit relentless. 2.28 miles from New Bridge according to WH route planner, with 1,800 feet of climbing. With the slippy snow, and some deeper patches filling in various hollows it was slow progress. Very slow progress in my case. I was especially struggling using my left leg to push me up out of the snow where my right leg had sunk. Just don’t have the strength in my left knee anymore that I’d like to be able to push me up.

But the views behind were well worth the “photo opportunities” I was taking at regular intervals. Ben Vrackie looked simply sublime. Beinn a’Ghlo was popping up over the flank of Carn a’Chlamain, whose own summit eventually came in to view as height was slowly gained. Then there were the distant Alder hills. Schiehallion too. And finally Beinn Dearg put in its appearance as I approached that final climb up on to the summit.

ImageP1060546 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
An early view behind me

ImageP1060557 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr
While I had more of this ahead of me

ImageP1060559 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060568 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060578 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060580 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060589 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060594 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060599 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060602 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060614 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060619 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060620 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

By the time I hit the summit plateau the full force of the wind and accompanying wind-chill hit me. It was quite simply freeeeeeeeezing. “Praise be” for thermal long johns.

ImageP1060628 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060640 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060649 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Despite the larger cairn appearing to be clearly higher than any surrounding ground on the plateau I walked the extra 5 minutes to the 901 point, as required. It was actually a nice feeling walking on the flat for a while.

Spied some dots on the summit of Carn a’Chlamain and zoomed in to see three bods admiring their own views from that hill.

ImageP1060665 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Despite its flatness the summit, in winter, is magnificent. A bit bleak further north, but everywhere else was superb.

Wasn’t hanging around for too long though, given the wind-chill. I made my way back down to the cairned shelter, where I stopped for a coffee. Then it was a nice wander back down the remainder of the hill to New Bridge. Thought I’d twisted my right knee on the final drop down to the bridge, but after an initial twinge everything seemed to revert to normal. Thankful it wasn’t anything to worry about as there was still a way to go if I had done anything like that.

ImageP1060678 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060680 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060686 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060691 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060696 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060707 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Not much to say about the rest of the walk back to the car. It was like the walk in, but in reverse. Although it was noticeable just how much snow had melted lower down while I’d been higher up.

ImageP1060719 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1060729 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

Certainly some relief when the car park was back in view. All in all a great day in great conditions. I had this hill all to myself on the day, but would highly recommend it.
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PeteR
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby rockhopper » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:43 am

Good to see plan A success Pete !
Nice enough in summer but the snow does make it better even if tougher going - cheers :)
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby PeteR » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:58 pm

rockhopper wrote:Good to see plan A success Pete !
Nice enough in summer but the snow does make it better even if tougher going - cheers :)


Thanks rockhopper. Definitely agree that this is a good hill. I imagine it gets overlooked though, with a Munro either side. I still have the Corbett in the middle of nowhere (Beinn Breac) to pick off, but that is definitely one for the summer me thinks.
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby BlackPanther » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:31 pm

I have never been to Glen Tilt in winter. Looks great in white. Kevin says it's too far to drive on short days, but then up he goes and drags me to wintry Glen Coe :lol: :lol:

We did this route one year in late autumn. Lovely colours everywhere. I was really fond of Gleann Mhairc and the "new bridge". A bit underrated hill, I thought it was much better than Carn a'Chlamain and just as enjoyable as Beinn Dearg.


Ahh, isn't it lovely? The hidden gem of this route:
Image

BTW it looks we are in the same Corbett situation. We also have only Beinn Bhreac to tick off in this area. Probably a bike & hike for summer time. When we did Fhidhleir & Sgarsoch, we met two ladies who were overnighting in the area and said they planned to add BB to the two Munros, but there is no force in the universe to make me do Geldie Munros again! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby PeteR » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:25 pm

BlackPanther wrote:I have never been to Glen Tilt in winter. Looks great in white. Kevin says it's too far to drive on short days, but then up he goes and drags me to wintry Glen Coe :lol: :lol:

We did this route one year in late autumn. Lovely colours everywhere. I was really fond of Gleann Mhairc and the "new bridge". A bit underrated hill, I thought it was much better than Carn a'Chlamain and just as enjoyable as Beinn Dearg.

BTW it looks we are in the same Corbett situation. We also have only Beinn Bhreac to tick off in this area. Probably a bike & hike for summer time. When we did Fhidhleir & Sgarsoch, we met two ladies who were overnighting in the area and said they planned to add BB to the two Munros, but there is no force in the universe to make me do Geldie Munros again! :lol: :lol: :lol:


Thanks blackpanther. Glen Tilt is defintely worth a drive in winter :D My plans for Bhreac may well involve a return to Bridge of Tilt in the summer, incorporating a repeat of Beinn Dearg :D
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby Graeme D » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:30 pm

Been a while since I have been in Glen Tilt - used to be a regular DofE venue back in the day but has kind of fallen out of favour of late. Was on Beinn Bhreac last summer though coming in from the Feshie/Geldie side - what a sense of remoteness on that hill. 8)
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby PeteR » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:33 pm

Graeme D wrote:Been a while since I have been in Glen Tilt - used to be a regular DofE venue back in the day but has kind of fallen out of favour of late. Was on Beinn Bhreac last summer though coming in from the Feshie/Geldie side - what a sense of remoteness on that hill. 8)


Thanks Graeme.......I'm kind of looking forward to Bhreac, when I get there
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby jmarkb » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:53 pm

We did Bhreac in a round going out over Dearg and back over Mheadhonach - quite a long day but mainly very easy walking apart from the km or so either side of the Tarf. Decided the extra height gain was worth it to avoid the hideous bog and heather bashing at mid levels hereabouts. Enjoyed it more than I was expecting to - must be a good contender for the "most effort for least reward" hill!
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Re: Plan A at last on the Perthsire Corbett - Beinn Mheadhon

Postby rockhopper » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:41 pm

PeteR wrote:Thanks Graeme.......I'm kind of looking forward to Bhreac, when I get there

Your map shows you've already been up Meallach Mhor - you could always go in via Glen Feshie and cover Carn Dearg Mor and Leathad an Taobhain along with Beinn Bhreac - mind you, a bike does help :wink:
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