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Etive, Black Mount & Orchy hills seen to great Advantage

Etive, Black Mount & Orchy hills seen to great Advantage

Postby Graeme D » Tue May 05, 2015 10:44 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Meall Tairbh

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Beinn a'Chuirn (Argyll)

Date walked: 01/05/2015

Time taken: 4.8 hours

Distance: 16.2 km

Ascent: 710m

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With a long Bank Holiday weekend to play with, I had booked myself in for an assault on the Clachlet Traverse on the Saturday, with a wee nearby prelude thrown in on the Friday evening.

So, I was out of school as soon as I could on the Friday and straight up to the Victoria Bridge car park near the Inveroran Hotel on the edge of Rannoch Moor.

I was aiming for the Graham of Meall Tairbh (meaning Advantage Hill) and hopefully the rather remote and lonely Sub2K of Beinn a' Chuirn as well.

Stob Gabhar across Loch Tulla on the drive in from Bridge of Orchy

Victoria Bridge car park with Ben Inverveigh through the trees, Meall Tairbh centre and Beinn Mhic Monadh peeking up far right

Achaladair and Dothaidh from the car park

I was walking by 5.15, passing a couple of WHW walkers on the short stretch to the Drochaid Tolaghan at the bend in the road just before the hotel.

Meall Tairbh and Beinn a'Chuirn with the Drochaid Tolaghan on the left

A few tents were scattered around the grassy areas by the bridge and I spoke briefly to one Irish chap who was on the Way and heading for Bridge of Orchy that night. He seemed a little puzzled when I bade him cheerio and skipped off the road into what looked like a massive bog on the lower slopes of Meall Tairbh.

Stob Gabhar from the Drochaid Tolaghan

In actual fact, apart from one or two little patches, the ground was actually quite dry and firm all the way up the long broad ridge.

Looking back down to Loch Tulla and Inveroran Hotel, Beinn Achaladair to the right and the twin Sub2Ks of Meall Mor and Glas Bheinn beyond the loch

As I gained height and the bigger hills started to appear, it took me a while to get my bearings all round. The Orchy hills were familiar enough to me, but I was looking at the Etive hills and the hills towards Dalmally from an unfamiliar angle.

The sweep of the Etive Munros from Beinn nan Aighenan to Meall nan Eun

The Orchy Munros - Achaladair, Dothaidh and Dorain

Dorain left, Beinn Bhreac Liath right

Beinn a'Chuirn almost hidden from sight below Beinn Mhic Monadh and Meall Garbh

Beinn Bhreac Liath and Beinn Udlaidh across Glen Orchy

More Achaladair, Dothaidh and Dorain

Eventually, by the time I had reached the summit, the pennies had all dropped and I had managed to work out what was what. It was one of those great early summer Friday evenings in the hills when the air is electric and the promise of a long summer of such evenings is almost tangible. The promise of an epic route tomorrow taking in 4 Munros helped too!

From the summit, I could see the route across to Beinn Chuirn and with the prospect of enough daylight to walk without a torch until nearly 9.30, I decided to carry on. There was also an almost full moon, so I could probably stay out beyond that without having to strap the torch on.

The Black Mount from the summit of Meall Tairbh

A first road test for the recent Webtogs/TR of the month prize

From this vantage point, Beinn a' Chuirn is entirely insignificant, dwarfed even by the Corbett of Beinn Mhic Monadh looming over it.

Descending west off Meall Tairbh

Lui and Cleibh across the Beinn Udlaidh/Beinn na Sroine saddle

The walk between Tairbh and Chuirn was straightforward enough, given the total remoteness of the terrain and I was soon picking my way up onto the ridge which would lead me up on to the little known summit with unexpected views to the head of Loch Awe.

Beinn Mhic Monadh and evidence of some recent burning

Beinn Mhic Monadh, Meall Garbh and Beinn a'Chuirn from one of the lochans on Meall an Laoigh

The Black Mount

Loch Tulla, Achaladair and Dothaidh from the ascent of Beinn a'Chuirn

Beinn Mhic Monadh (a.k.a. Hill of the Son of a Bitch) and Beinn a'Chuirn

Loch Awe from just below the summit of Beinn a'Chuirn

Meall Tairbh and the Orchy Munros from the summit of Beinn a'Chuirn

After a few photos and a quick call home, I started down the long north east ridge which drops down in big steps into Gleann Fuar and the flats along the edge of the Allt Tolaghan and back to the bridge.

Homeward bound

It was way past nightfall before I got back to the road but as I suspected, the moon did a great job of lighting the way over the rough ground.

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Graeme D
Posts: 3704
Munros:230   Corbetts:114
Grahams:67   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Etive, Black Mount & Orchy hills seen to great Advantage

Postby rockhopper » Thu May 07, 2015 11:29 pm

That did look a great way to get warmed up for the following day, Graeme - often seems to be the case that the "smaller" hills have the best vie points - cheers :)
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Posts: 6823
Munros:282   Corbetts:222
Grahams:72   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: Jun 1, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Etive, Black Mount & Orchy hills seen to great Advantage

Postby Alteknacker » Fri May 08, 2015 1:06 am

I second Rockhopper's comment: so many brilliant hills and ridges look best from somewhere else. The most recent example is AnnieMacD's report on her Beinn a'Chearcaill wander (and her report last year of a Torridon walk); but also the view of the Cuillin Ridge from Sgurr na Stri is unbeatable.

Your excellent pics of the Etive/Black Mount ridge have just confirmed my plan to do this ridge walk as soon as there's some high pressure over the Highlands... So thanks for this :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

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