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Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Clouds of the Monadhliath sky


Postby Silverhill » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:29 pm

Route description: Carn Dearg, Carn Sgulain and A'Chailleach

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach (Monadhliath), Carn Dearg (Monadhliath), Carn Sgulain

Date walked: 07/06/2014

Time taken: 7.45 hours

Distance: 24.2 km

Ascent: 1103m

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A' Chailleach, Carn Sgulain, Carn Dearg.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Fully recharged thanks to yesterday’s lazy afternoon and an early night I set off from the car park in Glen Banchor for a circuit of three hills in the Monadhliath. Thunderstorms were forecast for late afternoon. If the weather stuck to the forecast, I would be treated with far reaching views and be back before the bad weather. For this trip I was using the 1:50,000 Landranger map and it took some time to adjust, having used the Explorer maps so far for most of the munros. When I was doing a lot of long distance walking I swore by the Landranger maps, proclaiming that they matched the situation on the ground much better. Now I was struggling a bit…. :roll:

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The view south west from Allt a' Chaorainn

I could see the corrugated hut from the track and that was the cue to cross the river, which was easily done. I was delighted to pick up a path soon. And even better, I managed to follow it all the way to A’ Chailleach, without even losing it in the peaty areas!

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Corrugated hut

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Dry bogs and A' Chailleach

It was quite muggy and I was looking forward to a cooling breeze once on the summit. Which I more than got! In the end my hat had to go into the rucksack as the wind was keen to have it.

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Summit A' Chailleach

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View towards Carn Sgulain and holding on to hat

The views to the southwest were great and the clouds very interesting.

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Views south west and big sky

There was still a lot of snow around just above the Allt Cuil na Caillich, which could not be avoided. So I picked the least steep slopes for the descent, but it added more distance and more bog to the traverse. On the upside, the cloud above A’ Chailleach was fascinating. 8)

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Wing of a giant bird over A' Chailleach

Once again, it was very windy on the summit of Carn Sgulain, and the cairn offered nothing in the way of shelter. In my opinion, when it comes to cairns, size matters.

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Summit Carn Sgulain

Thanks to excellent visibility the rest of the walk to Carn Dearg was straightforward. And thanks to dry weather the numerous boggy bealachs weren’t too bad.

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One of the boggy bits

More great and far reaching views along the plateau. Some impressive clouds were now forming in the south west. There was this thunderstorm cloud that was bugging me a bit, but on the way to Carn Dearg it didn’t seem to come closer.

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View towards Carn Dearg

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Fishy cloud

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Typical anvil shaped thunder cloud

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Impressive cloud over Carn Dearg

I had fun contouring Carn Ban to the east of the summit. I doubt I saved any time or effort: it was very rocky. Onwards to Carn Dearg along the steepest section of the walk. The easy walking on the plateau had made me lazy. On Carn Dearg there were excellent views of the steep sided corries and glens. There was a certain beauty about the river meandering and the peat hags down below. I made a note to try and remember this whilst trying to conquer the bog. :lol:

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Summit Carn Dearg

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Boggy Gleann Ballach

In the mean time the clouds kept entertaining.

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Clouds coming down like meteors and the view towards Loch Laggan

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The 923 top and a cloud with a Beatle hair do. John is not dead.

All the way two walkers had been in front of me. They decided to carry on to the 923m south top of Carn Dearg. I was wondering which descent route they were going to take from there. It was very tempting to also continue to the south top as it looked great and I would be able to see Loch Dubh. But the steep descent from there into the glen was putting me off.

So I went back to the bealach and then dropped down into Gleann Ballach. To be fair, it wasn’t too bad thanks to the recent dry weather. I came across some old tree roots, all gone silvery. :D

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Tree root

And more interesting clouds above Carn Dearg.

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Cloud attempting to form a double helix

There were various intermittent paths/ animal tracks and vehicle tracks. I wasn’t sure where they were going, so I just made my own way. It was only at the 560m bealach, NW of Creag Liath, that a proper path emerged, although it was very wet. This was a stunning place. It felt very remote amidst the hills, but it is only a good 5km from the car park in Glen Banchor.

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View towards Meall na Ceardaich

The dilapidated footbridge was in good nick, I thought.

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Allegedly derelict bridge

The track provided an easy, not too steep descent back to Glenballoch along the river.

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Allt Fionndrigh

Once in Glen Banchor the clouds once again caught my attention.

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Lenticular clouds

In the end the forecast thunder storm never materialised, but it had made for some entertaining and spectacular clouds. :D
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Silverhill
 
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:08 pm

See what you mean with the clouds, enjoyed the image looking down to the boggy glen as it brought back memories of sunbathing on the slopes. :)
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby kev_russ » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:21 pm

Lovely cloud pics :clap: Fancy these maybe on a wild camp before the winter comes in. Any decent spots?
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby Gordie12 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:28 pm

Great report and photos (you like your clouds).

Did these three clockwise, oh how I remember the walk up boggy Gleann Ballach - if I was to do it again I'd definitely do it your way round.
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:57 pm

Great cloud photos. Glad the thunderstorm didn't materialize.

How did you get on with the 50k map? I've subscribed to the OS Get-a-map and generally print off both but end up never using the 50k except for context and identifying other hills.
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby dooterbang » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:55 pm

Nice to see what these hills look like, my effort was in a winter whiteout and I didn't see much of anything!

Just been reading through some of your reports and really enjoyed them. Very detailed, and with a theme of having your rucksack in summit photos :)

Belated well done on your 100th Munro.

Your Ben Alder trip was epic...your up there with Mountain Love and Rockhopper!
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby Silverhill » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:28 pm

scottishkennyg wrote:See what you mean with the clouds, enjoyed the image looking down to the boggy glen as it brought back memories of sunbathing on the slopes. :)

Thanks scottishkennyg! In hindsight is would have been a good day for sunbathing for me too, but I wanted to be back before the thunderstorm, which never happened :D .

kev_russ wrote:Lovely cloud pics :clap: Fancy these maybe on a wild camp before the winter comes in. Any decent spots?

Thanks kev_russ! Hmm, spots for wild camping, hadn’t thought about that, as the walk can easily be done in one day. A nice pitch would be at the end of the track along the Allt Fionndrigh, near the bridge, but not sure about the suitability of the spot (flat, rocks?). And it’s also quite close to the finish/ start of the walk. It should be sheltered though. On a calm night anywhere on the plateau, or the bealach between Carn Dearg and Carn Ban. And the shores of Loch Dubh look tempting as well 8) , but I haven’t been there.

Gordie12 wrote:Great report and photos (you like your clouds).
Did these three clockwise, oh how I remember the walk up boggy Gleann Ballach - if I was to do it again I'd definitely do it your way round.

Thanks Gordie12! The sky over the Monadhliath is much bigger, so unusual clouds are easily noticed. Yes, you called it the Glen of Despondency :lol: .

AnnieMacD wrote:Great cloud photos. Glad the thunderstorm didn't materialize.
How did you get on with the 50k map? I've subscribed to the OS Get-a-map and generally print off both but end up never using the 50k except for context and identifying other hills.

Thanks Annie! It is just a matter of getting used to the Landranger maps again, which will come by using them! :D

dooterbang wrote:Nice to see what these hills look like, my effort was in a winter whiteout and I didn't see much of anything!
Just been reading through some of your reports and really enjoyed them. Very detailed, and with a theme of having your rucksack in summit photos :)
Belated well done on your 100th Munro.
Your Ben Alder trip was epic...your up there with Mountain Love and Rockhopper!

Thanks for your kind comments dooterbang! You used to do some epic trips yourself as well 8). Hope your injuries sort themselves soon.
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby jonny616 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:48 pm

Great report and pics. That bridge was very dodgy when I crossed it with two friends, one at a time. :lol:
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:56 am

Well done on some fab pics. :clap: And, right enough, the cloud formations were very eye-catching too! :shock:

That’s a lovely circuit of three hills; definitely amongst my favourites. I know a lot of walkers find hills like these a tad dull, but I much prefer them. I love the sense of space and openness you get crossing these long open hillsides.
:)
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:05 pm

Can't beat a cloudy sky. You'll be looking for thunderstorm forecasts now.
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Re: Clouds of the Monadhliath sky

Postby Silverhill » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:46 pm

jonny616 wrote:Great report and pics. That bridge was very dodgy when I crossed it with two friends, one at a time. :lol:

Thanks jonny616! Maybe the bridge was dodgy after all, and I just don’t remember. :shock:

Lightfoot2017 wrote:Well done on some fab pics. :clap: And, right enough, the cloud formations were very eye-catching too! :shock: That’s a lovely circuit of three hills; definitely amongst my favourites. I know a lot of walkers find hills like these a tad dull, but I much prefer them. I love the sense of space and openness you get crossing these long open hillsides. :)

Thanks Lightfoot2017! I too like these hills for their sense of space and vastness 8) .

litljortindan wrote:Can't beat a cloudy sky. You'll be looking for thunderstorm forecasts now.

Thunderstorm forecasts that are wrong :wink: Thanks litljortindan! I’ve never seen such a variety of interestingly shaped clouds, it must have been the specific weather conditions that day.
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