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West Drumochter 4

PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:34 pm
by maxie23
I had planned on doing this trip the day before but the weather forecast had gradually turned more unpleasant, nasty thunderstorms and lightning.
So in the early hours of Thursday morning I drove up a very quiet A9 and arrived at the parking area next to the Balsporran Cottages at 06.15.
Opened the car door and was greeted by a fairly brisk, but pleasantly warm wind coming up the pass from the south.
I had decided to do the walk in a clockwise direction, which meant a 4km walk down the cycle path adjacent to the A9.
Leave the cycle path at the railway tunnel and follow the track up beside the Allt Coire Dhomhain, cracking frontal view of the Sow of Atholl from here, you could add this to the 4 munros if you are feeling up to it.ImageSgairneach Mhor by robert irvine, on FlickrImageThe Sow of Atholl by robert irvine, on Flickr
After walking for just over 1km, you cross over the water on a bridge.ImageBridge over Allt Coire Dhomhain by robert irvine, on Flickr.
Once over the bridge, you take a path heading of to your right up the hillside.ImageSgairneach Mhor hidden in the cloud by robert irvine, on Flickr
Sgairneach Mhor was hidden in the low cloud at this point.
The trek up through the heather was a bit boggy at times and the hillside was sheltered from the wind, feeding time for the insects.
I arrived at a cloud covered summit, nae views.
Although it was quite windy it was very warm.
Like a giant hair dryer.ImageSgairneach Mhor summit, nae views by robert irvine, on Flickr
Sat for a while, it was actually quite pleasant in the wind.
Made my way down to the bealach, nice walk down the hillside and the sun came out, still windy.
Nice views up to the next munro, Beinn Udlamain.
ImageBeinn Udlamain in the sun by robert irvine, on Flickr
After a short climb up you are on the ridge and then just follow the fence posts to the large summit cairn / shelter.ImageBeinn Udlamain summit shelter by robert irvine, on Flickr
It has been constructed in a star shape so that whichever direction the wind is blowing you can get shelter from it.
Better views from here, although it is a very large and rounded summit.ImageSummit view by robert irvine, on FlickrImageSummit view 2 by robert irvine, on FlickrImageSummit view 4 by robert irvine, on Flickr
Sat for a while at the summit.
Ominous looking black clouds began to roll in from the south so I put on my waterproofs and carried on with the walk.
It rained for a short while and the wind began to pick up speed.
The good thing was that the wind was blowing into my back and pushed me along a bit
Followed the path down to the next bealach and then up the short climb onto the long and rounded summit ridge of A Mharconaich.
Arrived at the small cairn, clouds had lifted, still windy.
Nice views from here.ImageA Mharconaich summit to Ben Alder group by robert irvine, on Flickr ImageView to Geal - charn by robert irvine, on FlickrImageView east by robert irvine, on FlickrImageView west by robert irvine, on FlickrImageView north by robert irvine, on Flickr
I dropped down a bit from the summit and had a seat out of the wind.
It was lovely and warm in the sunshine, very peaceful.
Down to the last bealach of the day and followed the path up the slightly rocky side of Geal - charn.
Wind was even stronger now, bit of buffeting on the way up.
At the top there I visited the summit cairn first and then made my way over to the shelter to get out of the wind.
I sat for a while and took my last photos of the day.ImageGeal charn summit view to Loch Ericht by robert irvine, on FlickrImagesummit view to west by robert irvine, on FlickrImageView to A Mharconaich by robert irvine, on FlickrImageSummit cairn from shelter by robert irvine, on FlickrImageGeal charn view north by robert irvine, on Flickr
Followed the descent path down, very windy now.
At times it was a bit boggy, wouldn't fancy it in wet weather.
Lower down, it joins a hard hard surface track and you wind your way back to the car park at the Balsporran cottages.
It is not the most challenging of walks, you start quite high up and all of the hills are gentle and rounded and the large flat summits tend to make the views a bit less impressive, but I found it a very enjoyable and relaxing day.