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Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship


Postby Mountainlove » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:29 am

Route description: Sgor Gaibhre and Carn Dearg from Corrour

Munros included on this walk: Aonach Beag (Alder), Beinn Bheoil, Beinn Eibhinn, Ben Alder, Carn Dearg (Corrour), Geal-charn (Alder), Sgor Gaibhre

Date walked: 13/09/2014

Time taken: 20.5 hours

Distance: 52 km

Ascent: 3121m

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The route of 7 started innocently with the decision to take the train to Corrour and climb Sgor Gaibhre and
Carn Dearg. Having checked the map I thought it would make sense to make a 2 day trip out of it and add Beinn Bheoil and Ben Alder for a relaxing weekend of not too much walking...So far so good until the epic trip 3 weeks ago which left with 3 Munros on the other side. Sitting down I did my calculation and my planned relaxing trip turned out into a monster walk of 52 km - gulp.

I stayed at Inverarnan Campsite the night before and having to listen to a couples drunken argument right until midnight, reminded me why didn't like that particular campsite anymore...too many people were out to get drunk and did not cared if they kept others awake. With murderous thoughts in my head... :twisted: :twisted: should I drive my car next to their tent at 6 am and beep my horn, or should I take all the pegs out, :twisted: :twisted: I fell asleep until my alarm woke me up just before 6am.

The campsite was covered in low early morning mist and I was the only person awake. Even though the thought of revenge was still in my head, I let them sleep, had a shower, packed my gear and re-packed my backpack for the upcoming trip. A short 10 min car journey later I arrived at Crianlarich train station and waited for the train to Corrour at 7:46am.

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At the train station

The train journey wasn't as lovely as I had hoped for, as low mist covered most of the countryside, but the seats in the sleeper train were mega comfy. :thumbup:
I arrived with a bunch of other hill walkers and we were soon spreading out in different directions. My path lead me along side Loch Ossian. The mist was still low and covered the hills around me and I particularly loved the trees on the wee islands on the loch.

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Loch Ossian in the early morning mist

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Lovely

Close to the end of the loch lovely Rhododendron bushes lines the path and mushrooms the size of my outstretched hand covered the forest floor. By the time I reached the first houses, I made my way up a track and promptly took the wrong turn out of the forest.
Luckily my instincts kicked in as soon as I left the forest and checking my map and GPS I realized my mistake and made my way around the forest to catch the right path again.

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The easy path
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The huge mushroom
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Another close up

Back on track I continued the track which had turned into a huge construction path. Not the prettiest sight and when a temporary sign told me that hill walkers should leave the construction path now, I was glad to step on wild moorland.

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I have seen nicer paths!

The ground was boggy, covered in heather and peat hags, but right next to Allt Feith a Mheallain was a faith deer track which made the long walk up the hill a wee bit easier. The weather had improved slightly since the morning, but the visibility was pretty poor.

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Allt Feith a Mheallain

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On the way to the top- pretty featureless

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Having a rest

I reached the first top of Beinn Eibhinn and after a short break made my way to the summit. At the top I met another hill walker who had made his way from the A 86 and chatting away, we made our way towards Aonach Beag. Somehow I had not expected the drop in height (should have paid more attention to the map) but closer to hand it wasn’t that bad and we were soon standing on top of Aonach Beag.

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The first top of Beinn Eibhinn, looking back towards Loch Ossian

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Towards the west

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The top

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The first cairn

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Panoramic views

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The second cairn on Beinn Eibhinn, looking towards Aonach Beag and Geal-charn

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Me on Beinn Eibhinn

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Summit of Aonach Beag

Saying our good byes, I walked on and was over the moon when I finally reached Geal-charn. It meant that I had completed the missing Munros from 3 weeks ago. Looking around Beinn Bheoil was not in sight yet and so I walked along the flat top towards the Munro I climbed before. It looked so far away!

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Towards Geal-charn

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On the way

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Geal-charn summit

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Yeah!

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Time to move with Carn Dearg in the distance

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Loch Coire Cheap

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Snow heart

When I reached the edge of the mountain Loch an Sgoir came into view and with it Beinn Bheoil in the far distance. Climbing down the rocks, I made my way all the way down to the shore of the loch and briefly considered to camp at the shore. Luckily the last midges of the season soon managed to change my mind and pushed me on. Walking along the loch I started to feel the first aches of the day. I was glad when I found an old stalkers path I was able to follow. Originally I had planned to cut across the hill site much earlier, but the easy path made me change my plans in order to made the walk easier.


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Loch an Sgoir

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Panoramic views

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The loch

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Beinn Bheoil in the far distance

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The path which would lead to Culra bothy , looking towards Ben Alder

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Pretty impressive mountain shapes

Walking along I finally saw some people again, who I guessed were on the way to Culra bothy. A tempting thought, but I knew that I had to reach the next Munro if I was to make my train the next day. Pushing myself onwards, I could feel the strain of the day, the pain I had felt in my shoulders from carrying the heavy backpack, had changed into a stabbing pain between my neck and shoulder blade. Tired I pushed on and when I finally reached the lower slopes of Beinn Bheoil, I was done in. I sat down and checked the map. Should I just camp and climb up to the summit during the next day? It was a battle with myself and I am still not sure how I managed to convince myself to move on after 9.5hours walking.

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Should I stay , or should I go?

Getting up I shouldered my backpack and made my way up to the top. Never I had walked slower, but eventually after another hour I reached the summit. Knackered I took a quick photo and looked down towards the loch...my planned campsite was near.

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The summit of Beinn Bheoil comes into view

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Looking down towards the loch

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The summit


Climbing down the slopes, I could hear the first stag roar of the year and by the time I reached a flat area next to the burn, I collapsed .. 11h can take their toll.
Setting up my tent I had a quick wash and made dinner in the approaching darkness. Listening to the orchestra of animal noises around me, of which most of them I did not recognise, the pains of the day slowly faded away. After a yummy dinner of paste, puréed tomato soup and meatballs it was time to go to sleep.

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Dinner time

My alarm woke me at 7am and looking around, low mist covered the hills around me. I got dressed and cursed myself for forgetting tea bags, as muesli bars washed down with water from the burn, wasn't a great breakfast. :? Packing my gear up afterwards, I looked up towards the bealach. Time to make a move.

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Leaving my campsite

The walk up was a gentle warm up and by the time I reached the top of the bealach I saw 2 people stepping out of their tents. Mist surrounded Sron Bealach Beithe and it was time for the first climb of the day. Soon I was deep in the clag and while climbing higher and higher, I lost all sense of direction. Stopping I switched on my GPS and got my bearings. As I wanted to save battery power, I switched it off again and climbed further towards the top. Walking along I kept a look out for the edge I was supposed to walk alongside. I guessed as long as I was walking uphill I was fine. I reached a flattish area and still walking ahead I felt ok, until I started walking downhill again. :problem: Confused I stopped. I was so sure that I was walking towards the right direction, but following my instincts soon turned out completely wrong. :shifty: :wtf: Switching my GPS back on I realized that I had walked towards the completely wrong direction. Really confused I turned around and fair enough a short distance later, I suddenly reached the cliff and soon after the summit of Ben Alder. :D

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The gentle walk up, looking back

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The climb up Ben Alder

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The 2 other tents

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Ben Alder cairn

With still no visibility I did not linger, but was happy that I had reached Munro No 5..only two to go. My planned route followed a pretty straight line and I switched to my compass. Taking a bearing I walked into the mist and yet again was glad that I had both GPS and compass...without I would probably still be walking aimlessly along the top. :lol: 8)

I was glad when about an hour later I was on a downhill path again and was able to leave the clag. Beinn a Chumhainn was right ahead of me , but I was not sure if I should follow my planned route straight up to the top.

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Beinn a Chumhainn , should I climb it or walk around it?

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The path won...a walk around

By the time I reached a proper path at the bottom, I changed my mind. Walking around the mountain would save a few vertical meters and after the boggy downhill walk I just completed, I was happy for any kind of dry ground. Cheerful I walked on, but too soon I had to leave the path again and was back on pathless uphill ground.

Netherless it had been a great choice, as I did not had to climb too much and the ground was pretty much bog free in comparison to the valley I could see below. The walk alongside Beinn a Chumhainn was easy, but in the distance Meall a Bhealaich just did not seem to get any closer.

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Leaving the path and back to the pathless walk

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Meall a Bhealaich

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Sgor Choinnich with Sgor Gaibhre behind

I walked for a good hour until I reached the top and saw Sgor Choinnich rising high above me. So many hills to climb and non was a Munro or even Corbett. :( Grumpily I looked at the map, but there was no easy way around it. I would have to climb it and climb down on the other site in order to climb the Munro Sgor Gaibhre.
Deciding that there is nothing more frustration than climbing hills up and down, you don't really want to climb, I made my way up. The top of Sgor Choinnich was covered in clag and slowly the aches and pains from the previous day returned. Not stopping I made my way down on the other site, to finally being able to climb the summit of Sgor Gaibhre.

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On the way to the top of Sgor Choinnich

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Sgor Choinnich summit

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Finally the summit of Sgor Gaibhre

The views were non existing and feeling pretty annoyed, I checked the time. 4h had passed since I left the summit of Ben Alder and as a rewards I got clag. Sitting down for something to eat and drink, the cold crept into my bones and knowing the final Munro was close I climbed down. In comparison of the huge distance I had walked, Carn Dearg looked so close. The walk across Mam Ban was easy and passed in a blur. When after 45 min the final summit of the day came into view I was so relieved…I had done it. :D Walking towards the summit I gave it I hug and collapsed next to it. Time for a loong break. :thumbup:

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The easy walk towards Carn Dearg

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Views back towards Loch Ossian

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The final summit of the day

My time management had bee spot on and I was now left with 3.5 hours before the train was leaving. I stayed for quite some time, but when I finally got going again my feet and legs were agony. To pass time on my way down, I did a 'whats not sore' check of my different body parts. I was left with top of my feet :eh: and my torso. Everything else was in different stages of constant pain. :cry: :-| :thumbdown:

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The long walk back

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Loch Ossian is coming into view

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The stuff I walked on

It took me ages to walk back and the closer I got to the train station, the slower I got. I was officially fed up with walking, fed up with bog and fed up with pretty much everything else. :lol: When I reached the wee waiting room at the train station, I threw by backpack off my shoulders, took my shoes off and laid flat on the uncomfortable benches. I considered going into the restaurant, but wasn’t sure how appreciate they would be if I would lay down on the carpet. 8) One hour later the train finally arrived and sitting in the train and looking at the countryside I wished I could have been more cheerful, but exhaustion and tiredness had taken over.



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Loch Ossian

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The train station

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At the tracks

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Towards the other direction

I had had more cheerful days up hills, but that one will go down as a test of character and true hardship in which I managed to beat my own demons. :angel: :thumbup:


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Mountainlove
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:25 pm

Yet another epic slog! Well done ML. :clap:

Fantastic pics as ever too. You’re quickly heading for WH’er of the Year 2014! :D
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby spiderwebb » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:56 pm

Now that is walk, superb, well done. If I'd read this before heading to Sgurr Mor on Saturday I would have ran up it :lol: :lol:
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby jepsonscotland » Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:45 pm

True, another epic. Well done. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Great photos as always. :D
'The Loch' shot is stunning! :shock:
What camera and software do you use, if you don't mind me asking?
Chris
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Frogwell » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:06 pm

Excellent stuff Maja!

That's not a mushroom, that's a tree.
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:19 pm

Lightfoot2017 wrote:Yet another epic slog! Well done ML. :clap:
Fantastic pics as ever too. You’re quickly heading for WH’er of the Year 2014! :D


Many thanks :D WH'er of the year 2014...lol is there something like that??

spiderwebb wrote:Now that is walk, superb, well done. If I'd read this before heading to Sgurr Mor on Saturday I would have ran up it :lol: :lol:

:lol: I think I will run up the next Munro I do...it certainly will be something easy next time :wink:

jepsonscotland wrote:True, another epic. Well done. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Great photos as always. :D
'The Loch' shot is stunning! :shock:
What camera and software do you use, if you don't mind me asking?
Chris

I have a Sony Cyber-shot HX10V. Own it since 2 years and love the small size and great pictures it takes. As for software I use an ancient version of photoshop.

Frogwell wrote:Excellent stuff Maja!

That's not a mushroom, that's a tree.

It was certainly growing in that direction :D
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby kev_russ » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:55 pm

Epic stuff :clap: still think your nuts :wink:
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby dooterbang » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:07 pm

Yep, your the female version of Rockhopper :lol:

Big walk that, well done.
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby PerthAlly » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:14 pm

I'm rarely impressed as I get older.

But today I am. Very much so :clap:

Not sure I could tackle that route any more. Did two Cairngorm munro's 10 days ago and it took me a week to recover.

How long to you take to process the trauma?! What do you eat to refuel. Not sure I get that bit right
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Mountainlove » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:31 pm

kev_russ wrote:Epic stuff :clap: still think your nuts :wink:

Lol thanks

dooterbang wrote:Yep, your the female version of Rockhopper :lol:
Big walk that, well done.

:lol: Thanks

PerthAlly wrote:I'm rarely impressed as I get older.
But today I am. Very much so :clap:
Not sure I could tackle that route any more. Did two Cairngorm munro's 10 days ago and it took me a week to recover.
How long to you take to process the trauma?! What do you eat to refuel. Not sure I get that bit right

Thank you :D As for recovery, it did take me 2 days before I was back in the gym :wink: but still could feel some fatigue until Wednesday.
I am guessing for food everyone is different, but what really works for me are self made meatballs and cheese ( and sometimes salami sticks). Apart from that I take mixed dried fruit and nuts, lots of chocolate, crackers (prefer them to bread) jaffa cakes and self made muesli bars for breakfast. For dinner I usually make pasta.

It is heavier than pre-packed meals, but as I tend to snack through out the day my bag gets lighter soon enough and at least I can eat things which I like. :D
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:41 pm

Great stuff ML, with some really good photo's :clap: :clap:
That's an awful lot of Km with a heavy rucksack, you put some of us to shame :lol: :lol:

Was wondering why you didn't nip up Beinn na Lap, but notice that the balloon is already blue :lol:
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby goth_angel » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:28 pm

Blimey another epic and mostly in clag :shock:

We did the last 2 a couple weeks ago. I know what you mean about bog - tussocks and bog everywhere. Was bloody grateful for the easy bit between the two!
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Silverhill » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:30 pm

Ah that’s what these hills look like! Great set of pictures! :D Well done on a tough walk!
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby londonwalker » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:13 am

You need help Maja. This is self harming
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Re: Corrour 7 over 2 days - a test of character and hardship

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:47 pm

Well done Maja, rather you than me, it has given me food for thought for, for, for never as it's aboot ten bridges too far for me :lol:
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