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Loch Ericht Corbetts - hitting 150

Loch Ericht Corbetts - hitting 150


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:56 am

Munros included on this walk: Carn Dearg (Corrour), Sgor Gaibhre

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Pharlagain, Stob an Aonaich Mhoir

Date walked: 22/03/2015

Time taken: 15.5 hours

Distance: 55 km

Ascent: 2300m

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Almost headed to Jura this weekend, but chickened out of the ferry palaver and decided to go up to Loch Ericht instead. Beinn Pharlagain and Stob an Aonaich Mhoir have been sitting on the "to do" list for some time. I'd originally planned to get the train to Rannoch Station and combine Pharlagain with Leum Uilleim, returning from Courror Station, but that seemed far too complicated having to factor in train times. Instead I put a little loop together that netted me Pharlagain along with the Top of Sgor Choinnich and put a couple of Munros in the pot too. Wasn't overly hopeful for the weather but at least it promised to be dry. Drove up to Kinloch Rannoch on Friday night, camping in the wee place near the Clan Trail we'd used before. Fiery sunset over the loch and a clear night with the stars out to play.

Sunset over Loch Rannoch
ImageP1060379 by 23weasels, on Flickr


pharlagan+.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Up and away quite early on Saturday, arriving at the parking spot before Rannoch station just after 8. Clear blue skies, distant mountains gleaming white. "There's the Ben" I said to Allison, who was far from certain. "It's definately the Ben - there's Aonach Mor beside it" quoth I. The only problems with this were that a) It was in the wrong place to be the Ben; and b) it didn't look right. I continued to insist I was right for some time, right up til we could actually see The Ben poking it's very recognisable head up in the North West, in fact just where you might expect to find it. Think that I was looking at the Black Mount hills :oops: We walked along the track, cautiously on the look out for fearsome water voles, leaving the track not far after the bridge to start the ascent of Beinn Pharlagain via Leacann nan Giomach. Easy going slope, not too boggy. We'd decided to walk in trainers, but had proper boots and crampons along with us - so far it was comfortable going with only patchy snow. Made the top of Beinn Pharlagain (which isn't the Corbett) then went over to Garbh Mheall Mor before rounding on Meall na Moig, the Corbett summit. This was a hill that had thwarted us on our first big adventure 2 years ago, when we went round ben Alder hills in a 4 day circuit. We arrived at the lochan underneath Meall na Moig, intending to ascend then head down Coire Buidhe towards Ben Alder Cottage but could only make it half way up the steep face due to icy snow and big packs. I wanted closure, so I had made sure I had kit in place to head down what I was sure would be a tricky slope. After a brief reconnaisance I knew my hunch was correct - steep face with hard icy snow - we changed into boots and crampons at the summit cairn and cautiously headed down.

"Ben Nevis" :oops:
ImageP1060382 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060385 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060386 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Leacann nan Giomach on the R
ImageP1060388 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Oh yeah - that's the Ben...
ImageP1060390 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Schiehallion
ImageP1060392 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards Glencoe
ImageP1060393 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060394 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Um - I think that's the Ben...
ImageP1060395 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060397 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060403 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060406 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit - Meall na Meoig
ImageP1060411 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060413 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Ericht/Stob an Aonaich Mhor
ImageP1060414 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Steep slope from Meall na Meoig
ImageP1060417 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060418 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Thank god for crampons
ImageP1060419 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060420 by 23weasels, on Flickr

After this the walk along to Sgor Gaibhre was easy and we sat eating lunch at the cairn, enjoying the stunning views in all directions. Schiehallion rose up like an extraterrestrial construct to the east, the Ben brooded, snow capped to the west, the waters of Loch Ericht looked deceptively blue and peaceful. We were joined by Jonathon from Chesire who'd been out int the hills for 3 days. We chatted for a while then set off down icy slopes to Sgor Choinnich, a Top joined to the main peak by Bealach nan Sgor. Top number 175 for me. Our mission now was to head over Mam Bain towards Carn Dearg, over snow clad slopes, add that Munro then follow the broad ridge south from Carn Dearg back to our ascent path. The snow was softer going up here, no need for crampons. We met Jonathon again at the cairn and walked down the ridge a fair way together enjoying the views to Glencoe and Ardgour. He chose to sit in the afternoon sunshine watching the scenery whilst we made it down over the nose of Sron Leachd a'Chaorainn, over a short patch of boggy ground before picking up a path on the west side of the Allt Eigheach and walking down to the bridge, through areas of burning heather which left us ever so slightly smelling like kippers. The final section returned us to our track of ascent and we made it back to the car by 5.30. Deciding to stay in the vicinity overnight we scouted around for a suitable campspot and finally found one that wasn't marshy or hillocky by the old road. This played havoc with my tent pegs as I think there was a fair bit of tarmac under the grass. It did however provide a nice level and soft base for the tent. Jonathon came over to chat whilst we ate our meal and downed a beer then we sat up watching the stars come out although the temperature dropped rapidly once the sun disappeared. Lying back inside the tent looking through the open door whilst drinking my tea I saw a shooting star burn out under Orion's belt.

Sgor Gaibhre
ImageP1060423 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060425 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060427 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View to Sgor Choinnich
ImageP1060432 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060433 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Towards Ben Alder cottage
ImageP1060434 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060436 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgor gaibhre
ImageP1060437 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Another Munro Top
ImageP1060440 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgor Gaibhre
ImageP1060445 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Across to Carn Dearg
ImageP1060446 by 23weasels, on Flickr

I think this is Ben Lawers (but it may be "the Ben"!!)
ImageP1060449 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Ossian
ImageP1060453 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Carn dearg cairn
ImageP1060457 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060458 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Ossian
ImageP1060460 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Blackwater reservoir
ImageP1060461 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060462 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The bookil
ImageP1060468 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Allt Eigheach
ImageP1060474 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Fire!!
ImageP1060475 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stats
ImageP1060490 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060483 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060487 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Getting a bit chilly
ImageP1060489 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sunday had been saved for Stob an Aonaich Mhor. I'd previously thought of combining this one with Beinn Mholach but didn't due to the bog factor. Ascending from Bridge of Ericht meant a long long walk along a tarmacked road. I wasn't particularly looking forward to that. Trainers were chosen again but without the back up of boots today as I wanted to travel lighter. It would be typical if we were prevented from getting to the summit by a band of truculent icy snow and I hadn't brought the right kit to deal with it. Somoetimes you've just gotta take a chance, and the hill had looked snow free on top when I looked over yesterday. We parked beside the estate gate and walked up the track, past scarily growly dogs. The going was as easy as going on a well tarmacked road can be - indeed the surface would have put quite a few proper roads to shame. The first section gains 120m quite quickly but from there on in it's a matter of very steady increments and you barely notice the incline. There wasn't a great deal to see apart from the rather Gothic Valve House making no attempt to blend in with the landscape, and a few sections of uncovered mega pipe. It looked as though the cloud was down to around 500m. We passed a dam blocking the southern end of Loch Ericht and continued along the track. By the time we reached the wee bridge between Carn Dearg & Carn Dearg Beag there were increasingly frequent patches of snow on the road, maybe 6-9inches deep. I can't imagine what it would be like trying to do this walk in deep snow -torture :lol:

Start of the walk
ImageP1060491 by 23weasels, on Flickr

valve House
ImageP1060492 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Spot the pipe
ImageP1060494 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060498 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060499 by 23weasels, on Flickr

We're headed up there...
ImageP1060501 by 23weasels, on Flickr

As the snow became ubiquitous we cut up to the left, leaving the track and walking over the heathery/snowy hillside. It looked as if with a little luch it might clear up top. The snow was in general hard enough to walk on over the bogs and progress to the top of Stob an Aonaich Mhor was made. Arrivign at the cairn, my 150th Corbett, I was pleased to see we had some views steeply down to Loch Ericht and over to the mighty convulutions of Beinn Bhoil and Alder, with interesting cloud formations appearing and melting away. The walk back was improved by the steadily improving visibility and the sun even came out to pay respects - most unexpected. Frogs were going wild, spawning in the drainage ditches and Allison even noticed a hairy caterpillar - bit early for those i'd have thought. The sky/clouds continued to imrpess with Meall Buidhe surrounded by lenticular formations. We were making good time, walking speedily downhill, with Schiehallion and the Glen Lyon hills across the loch. We watched a pair of golden eagles soaring on the thermals, before a pair of ravens came from behind us to do battle. There followed an entertaining 5 minutes of dogfighting and the ravens would choose one of the eagles to harrass then head over to the other, the eagles just brushing off the intruders before going to perch in a high tree. Nice end to a fine weekend out in the hills.

Summit Stob an Aonaich Mhoir
ImageP1060506 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Ericht
ImageP1060508 by 23weasels, on Flickr

150
ImageP1060509 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Beinn Bhoil
ImageP1060512 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060515 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060523 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060527 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Early caterpillar (which species??)
ImageP1060530 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060531 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Dam
ImageP1060534 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060535 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060537 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060538 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1060540 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Stats (forgot to start it at the start...)
ImageP1060543 by 23weasels, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
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Posts: 1695
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Re: Loch Ericht Corbetts - hitting 150

Postby BlackPanther » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:43 am

I knew you two wouldn't waste a weekend like that! Especially Saturday was gorgeous.

Congrats on the 150! You are on a mission! I took 8 years to get to eighty something :lol:

Speaking about "the Ben", we had a close look at it on Saturday from the Aonachs... Couldn't have mistaken it for any other hill :wink: Now I'm warming up to CMD arete. Hopefully this year...
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BlackPanther
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Re: Loch Ericht Corbetts - hitting 150

Postby rockhopper » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:06 pm

Lovely sunset shot
Saturday was certainly a great day, good to see you getting the most out of it as usual ! - cheers :)
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Re: Loch Ericht Corbetts - hitting 150

Postby malky_c » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:26 pm

Some great photos, particularly the sunset ones :) . Beinn Pharlagain is one of those that I haven't got around to yet - seems a long way away. It will probably get included with some other hills in a longer traverse eventually.
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Re: Loch Ericht Corbetts - hitting 150

Postby past my sell by date » Sun May 24, 2015 10:33 am

Great report and pictures. Went up to Beinn Pharlagan yesterday. Whole of the Road to the Isles covered in ghastly hardcore - made waking really unpleasant. Diggers and things up near the bridge :( So much for the "wild land act". Hopefully the contractors will be forced to return the site to its original state when work is finished. This is one of Scotland's Iconic paths.
Never previously considered water voles to be a hazard - I'll have to watch out - you live and learn :lol:
past my sell by date
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