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Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay


Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:51 pm

Route description: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Munros included on this walk: Meall Glas, Sgiath Chuil

Date walked: 13/09/2015

Time taken: 7.47 hours

Distance: 26.82 km

Ascent: 1610m

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Sgiath Chuil & Meal Glas.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Following my walk up Ben Challum I started looking at the neighbouring Munros Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay. There didn't seem to be many walk reports :?: It wasn't getting a great rating :(

Mmm :think:
Maybe I'd better go and check this out for myself :!:

It had a track and I hadn't used my bike for a while, so off I set up to Killin and along the Glen Lochay road to the car park.

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Got my kit on, assembled the bike and headed off along the tarmac to the ford.

The hydro do things by halves here :!:
A big pipe coming down either side.
Beinn Cheathaich back right

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and coming down from the Innesraineach Burn

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I got to the ford and it looked a bit deep, I contemplated taking of the boots and sock and wading across. Eventually I tip toed in and made it over dry

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Met the only other walker I saw all day shortly afterwards, he went up over the hydro bridge and had just done Sgiath Chuil. He said there was no obvious path down off the ridge to the small damn over the Lubchurran Burn. He also said that earlier on there had been cloud on the summit and it had been a bit cold with a few spots of rain.

Got to the gate by the cottage, there were several gates further up as well; new with high deer fences.

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I pushed and cycled up to the end of the track, it was at times steep, I wondered how I would get on coming back down.
Passed the damn. It looked to me like there was a path off the ridge :?:

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On up the track eyeing the ridge down from Meall a Churain

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I wasn't sure if I was going to do the WH route or come back from Meall Glas to the end of the track, back down to the hydro damn and then the ridge to Sgiath Chuil from there. At the moment it was sunny and the views were fabulous, plenty of time to decide. A good zoomed view of Meall Ghaordaidh which I did earlier in the year, on a not so sunny day :roll:

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Got to the end of the track, wired the bike and got the poles out and started to make my way up the grassy slope to Beinn Cheathaich, I didn't realise it was Beinn Cheathaich at this point, I thought I was going up to Meal Glas :roll:
Anyway as you can see there were ominous grey clouds rolling in

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A few minutes later and I was in the clag. I put on my jacket and hat and carried on and was glad of the jacket as it started to rain :(
Oh well as the walker I met earlier said it was just a few spots he got and the forecast was for isolated showers, maybe I'd be lucky.
Got to the trig point

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and checked the sat nav and discovered exactly where I was, mmm :!:
I wasn't convinced about heading off into the clag as the start to Meal Glas is a bit rocky, but I did find a path and set off hopefully.

The sun started to poke through from above and it was definitely getting brighter :D Then a glimpse of Meal Glas ahead

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By the time I got to the summit it was definitely clearing up and I got a nice view of Ben Challum

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and checked out the quartz vein, there was a similar one on Meall Ghaordaidh

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It was definitely brightening and I could see from the weather being blown in from the South that it would indeed be isolated showers.
I started to make my way down to the col and the next section of the walk, but waited on the path to get a photo of the ridge from Beinn Cheathaich. It took a while for the clag to be blown away, by eventually I got it

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Further down and a nice view of Ben More

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There's a cotton grass bog with a wee lochan in the middle, I think I was a bit too far to the West, it could be avoided if you are on higher ground to the North East, but I love the colours 8) and skirting around the lochan it wasn't too bad, though I wished I'd put my gaiters on at the start and not left them in the car :roll:

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Crossed the Allt Coire nam Moine and headed round the side of this outcrop of Beinn Cheathaich

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I picked up the odd bit of sheep, deer track, but generally from now until the top of Sgiath Chuil it was make it up as you go along with much of it being a bit squidgy although surface squidgy, waterproof leather boots and gaiters and I would have been completely dry.

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It did look steep on the other side :think:

A stream coming down from Coire na Saobhaidhe

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I was getting bored with the squidgy descent and was actually glad to get to the peat hags at the bottom :!: but knew that I had the toughest part of the walk ahead of me, it would give me an indication of what my planned route up Stob Binnein might be like on the last steep section before the summit.

Looking back up to Beinn Cheathaich

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Half way up the other side and the view was stunning

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Eventually I got up top after a definite mid section of paying attention to what I was doing. To be honest I kinda like that, being forced to focus on what you are doing now, it seems like it clears the mind somehow.

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Not long to the summit and it is worth the effort

Meal Glas

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and literally a few seconds later even more beautiful

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I waited hopefully for Ben More to reveal itself completely, but even with a topping of clag it was gorgeous

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It was definitely getting towards the end of the day and I more or less ran to Meall a' Churain, there being a defined path most of the way

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and the summit cairn

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From Meall a' Churain onward the path was very intermittent or non existent, maybe it was just me. The terrain was interesting though

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The photos now getting a bit grainy in the low light

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I eventually found a way down to the Lubchurran Burn and ended up at the old Shielings. On the way along the ridge I could see the flatter section of the track on the other side and considered going straight down and across, but didn't want to take the chance in fading light, in hindsight it would have saved me an hour and looks straight forward judging from this photo

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and by the time I got to the Shielings the last of the twilight

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Crossed the burn, that was easy and up the track; steep again for the first few hundred metres, and about two kilometres in total. Still it's dry and easy to follow though by now the head torch was on. Reached the bike and got organised, putting on my midge deflectors, £4.99 DIY safety glasses from a well known DIY store :lol:

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Now all I had to do was roll back down to the ford. As I said I had concerns about some of the steep bits, especially as there were a few wash outs and in the dark, but managed it fine. Over the ford and back along the tarmac.

All in all very worthwhile, especially the fabulous views from Sgiath Chuil 8)
Not sure how I would do this one again. The ridge all the way down from Sgiath Chuil did look interesting although I didn't really get to appreciate it with pushing on as darkness descended. Coming down early just after Meall a' Churain would be steep with crags according to Google Earth and the OS, although the photo suggests otherwise. At any rate I'd definitely want to do that in daylight :!:

Enjoy 8)
Last edited by ancancha on Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby Riverman » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:32 pm

Great report and photos. I did this pair from the south in nice winter conditions earlier in the year. It's a tough route with the significant descent between the two munros. I remember the slog up to the trig point at Beinn Cheataich being particularly hard work. Breadalbane is a really nice part of the Highlands I think.
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby BoyVertiginous » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:39 pm

Interesting, was looking earlier today at the WH routes for these two so, good to read of your account from Lochay...it's making me sway towards the Dochart route?! :wink:

I was over on some of those Crianlarich hills in your photos but, must've been out a lot earlier as had no rain (caught a shower at Lochearnhead on the way home) and daylight all the way :lol: . I can confirm that Ben More did, occasionally, lose the cloud cap.

Cheers
8)
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby dooterbang » Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:53 pm

My first and second munros these two, I think :roll: . Did them from Glen Dochart. When cycling around Glen Lochay last year I had a wee look at them, so nice to see you putting up a report.

Going to get myself some midge protection :wink:
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:27 pm

Riverman wrote:Great report and photos. I did this pair from the south in nice winter conditions earlier in the year. It's a tough route with the significant descent between the two munros. I remember the slog up to the trig point at Beinn Cheataich being particularly hard work. Breadalbane is a really nice part of the Highlands I think.


Thanks Riverman, as you say a tough day, but the views rewarding 8)
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:37 pm

BoyVertiginous wrote:Interesting, was looking earlier today at the WH routes for these two so, good to read of your account from Lochay...it's making me sway towards the Dochart route?! :wink:

I was over on some of those Crianlarich hills in your photos but, must've been out a lot earlier as had no rain (caught a shower at Lochearnhead on the way home) and daylight all the way :lol: . I can confirm that Ben More did, occasionally, lose the cloud cap.

Cheers
8)


Thanks BoyVertiginous, I'm always a late starter :roll: I think the forecast was better earlier in the day.
Still getting back to the car parks in the dark means I can change into dry clothes in privacy :wink:

Not sure about going in from Dochart, though certainly there are many more reports from that side :!:
Would kinda think that from Dochart would be more of a bog trot, which was why I chose to get them from Lochay, If you like I can post the rest of the photos I took on Flickr if it helps :?:
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:43 pm

dooterbang wrote:My first and second munros these two, I think :roll: . Did them from Glen Dochart. When cycling around Glen Lochay last year I had a wee look at them, so nice to see you putting up a report.

Going to get myself some midge protection :wink:


Cheers dooterbang, some grand views to be had from the top of these summits 8)

I looked at the expensive cycling glasses in the cycle boutiques while constantly getting the midges in my eyes coming off the mountains :roll:
Then one day in the shed I saw the safety glasses and thought they'll do :D
Might not be the height of fashion, but if I only use them a couple of times a month then fifty bucks plus is outwith my budget. I may well splash out on a flash pair at some point though 8)
Fancy Midge Deflectors
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby Gordie12 » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:58 pm

Your ahead of me with these two.

Looked at the routes from Glen Lochay and Dochart and decided I preferred the Dochart option. Nearly did them a fortnight ago but headed further along the A85 to Crianlarich and did a couple from there.

Having read your report, I think I'll stick with the Glen Dochart option!
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:44 pm

Gordie12 wrote:Your ahead of me with these two.

Looked at the routes from Glen Lochay and Dochart and decided I preferred the Dochart option. Nearly did them a fortnight ago but headed further along the A85 to Crianlarich and did a couple from there.

Having read your report, I think I'll stick with the Glen Dochart option!


That definitely seems to be the preferred option Gordie, though I enjoyed my day.
My apologies if that didn't come out in the report.
Look forward to reading yours :wink:
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby dogplodder » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:47 pm

That looked like quite hard work. I've only Meal Glas to do and have been trying to figure out which is the better approach. 8)
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby ancancha » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:18 pm

dogplodder wrote:That looked like quite hard work. I've only Meal Glas to do and have been trying to figure out which is the better approach. 8)


Opps :!: I seem to have given the wrong impression, my apologies :roll:

All I can say is Meal Glas from Lochay would be dry, and the ridge from Beinn Cheathaich easy going on a nice path. The grassy ascent from the end of the track to Beinn Cheathaich I found ok so far as steepness, but there wasn't much of a path to follow ( this may just be me admiring the scenery and losing the path as I wandered off to take photos ).
The short ascent to Meal Glas at the end was a pleasant doddle :D

I considered whether pushing the bike up had slowed me down and concluded that being able to cycle along the flatter sections I probably gained slightly.

Coming back I walked straight through the ford without issue, with waxed leather boots, although in spate I would think what I call water mocasins would be safer.

Hope this helps :?:
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:44 pm

Nice one, superb colours in the sky at the summit of Meal Glas, impressed by the improvised midge deflector , you might want to rebrand and go on Dragons den with the idea...and good to see how the cycling part in the darkshould be done. :clap: Cheers Kenny
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby ancancha » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:14 pm

scottishkennyg wrote:Nice one, superb colours in the sky at the summit of Meal Glas, impressed by the improvised midge deflector , you might want to rebrand and go on Dragons den with the idea...and good to see how the cycling part in the darkshould be done. :clap: Cheers Kenny


Thanks Kenny, I had a fun day out and the colours in the sky to the West from Sgiath Chuil were beautiful 8)

Quite amazing that if you put a sticker on a product and brand it as cool cycling gear you can charge many times more than if the sticker says safety glasses :crazy:
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby litljortindan » Wed Sep 16, 2015 11:26 am

Good views once out of the cloud. Don't know about looking forward to peat hags though!
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Re: Sgiath Chuil and Meal Glas from Glen Lochay

Postby SecretSquirrel » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:20 pm

Nice one. That looks a good route around those hills. I did them clockwise from Glen Dochart and really enjoyed them. I don't know why these two have such a bad reputation, I thought they were great. Looks like you had a good day, when you weren't in the clag!

I usually have typical early morning starts on the hills, but after seeing some of the dawn/sunset photographs on your reports I think I'll need to be checking my head-torch batteries and try a late start!
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