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Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)


Postby malky_c » Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:51 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn nan Oighreag, Creag Uchdag

Grahams included on this walk: Blath Bhalg

Date walked: 23/04/2016

Time taken: 8.1 hours

Distance: 29 km

Ascent: 2200m

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Munros: Meall Ghaordaidh.
Corbetts: Beinn nan Oighreag, Creag Uchdag.
Grahams: Blath Bhalg.
Date: 23/04/2016.
Distance: 10.5km + 12km + 6.5km.
Ascent: 1080m + 800m +320m.
Time taken: 3 hours, 40 minutes + 3 hours + 1 hour 30 minutes.
Weather: Sunny spells with very cold northerly wind. Occasional hail and snow.

It was pretty much a year ago to the day that I was last down in Perthshire driving around to do a number of short walks. This time it was a couple of Corbetts that had slipped my grasp on previous occasions that I was most interested in. Around 2 hours 15 minutes of driving had me near the head of Glen Lyon for 8:45am for my first walk of the day.

Meall Ghaordaidh and Beinn nan Oighreag from Stronuich


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


Having missed Beinn nan Oighreag out on a couple of previous occasions, I decided it would be most interesting paired with Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lyon. I had been up Ghaordaidh from this side before and it remembered it as a scenic short day out. I certainly couldn't see any appeal (other than today's overall driving distance) to going up from Glen Lochay. Combining it with Oighreag still gave a short route, with plenty of time to do another walk afterwards.

Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lyon:
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I crossed the bridge downstream of the dam and followed a fence up towards a prominent rightward-slanting gully with a blob of snow at the top. This was the route I had take before so I knew it would present no problems. There might be the possibility of some scrambling elsewhere on this crag, but it looks rather vegetated and uninviting.

An Grianan and Stronuich Reservoir:
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Loch Lyon with Beinn Mhanach, Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a’ Chreachain behind:
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Glen Lyon:
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A very steep hour or so had me on the top of Creag Laoghain, with an easy walk onwards to the summit. The icy wind was making its presence felt now, the reason I had sweated up the nose in trousers and jacket. On the summit were 3 other people. I had a quick break in the shelter before heading east.

Start of the walk from the top of Creag Laoghain:
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Easy walk to the summit of Leall Ghaordaidh:
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West up Glen Lochay and Glen Lyon from the summit of Meall Ghaordaidh:
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…and east to the Lawers range:
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I had spotted a large patch of snow across the top of the east ridge from the car, so had brought my axe with me. I didn't need it, but it wasn't a bad precaution as the snow was pretty hard, just yielding to the edge of a boot. Shows how much time I've spent on the lower hills of late, as this was the best snow I had walked on all winter :lol: .

Descending the E ridge:
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Stob Binnein and Ben More:
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The walk along to the 815m spot height was east going with traces of a path (more so than the way I'd come up). Then there was a steep drop down to the Lairig Luaidhe. I found a way through the broken crags on the hillside by following the line of an old fence. Once I'd crossed the dry peat hags at the col, it was straight back up again on an equally steep hillside.

Meall Buidhe:
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Creag an Tulabhain and Meall Buidhe from halfway up Beinn nan Oighreag:
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Beinn nan Oighreag had looked pretty featureless to me from most angles, and it seemed that way close up as well. Lovely easy walking across short grass took me to a number of summits, the highest of which really doesn't appear that way when you are there.

Looking back to Meall Ghaordaidh:
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Creag an Tulabhain and Stucd an Lochain:
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Tarmachan Ridge:
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Lawers hills:
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With the cold wind persisting and another shower moving in, I dropped straight into Coire Ban from the northern-most summit. I crossed the Coire Luaidhe and contoured low down across the slopes of Creag an Tulabhain until I could drop easily to the floor of the glen without climbing any fences. An amble back to the car left me thinking that this was one of the driest walks underfoot I had done in a long time - I could have been in trainers and my feet would still have been dry.

Another shower moving in over Carn Gorm:
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Buachaille catching the sun for a moment:
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Meall Ghaordaidh and Loch Lyon from Beinn nan Oighreag:
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This one’s going to get me!
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Up Glen Lyon:
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Creag Laoghain of Meall Ghaordaidh again:
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You'll not catch me moaning about what a boring hill Meall Ghaordie is. From the north it is a great little walk with or without Beinn nan Oighreag - although the addition of the second hill gives good views back over the two craggy spurs which provide the main interest on the Glen Lyon flank.

Creag Uchdag from Ardeonaig


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


It's only 30 miles or so round from Glen Lyon to Ardeonaig, but it took me the best part of an hour. It was approaching 2pm when I parked up next to the bridge by the Ardeonaig hotel. The route onto Creag Uchdag starts at a signpost for the right of way over to Comrie. Once into the fields, an old graveyard and the remains of a church are passed, and the the actual line of the path becomes rather vague.

Beinn Ghlas and Ben Lawers over Loch Tay:
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Burial ground and remains of Cill mo Chormaig church:
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Tarmachan ridge and Loch Tay:
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I headed upwards towards a phone mast, by which time it was clear that I was on the shoulder of Creag Liath rather than heading up the Fin Glen. I didn't mind as I hadn't really decided what line to take before starting. There was a faint quad bike track to follow the whole way up to Meall nan Oighreag - very dry and easy going.

Path up Meall nan Oighreag:
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Creag Uchdag from Creag Liath:
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I contoured around the summit of Meall nan Oighreag, spotting some mine workings on the way past. There were some peat hags to cross, but again these were dry. I hadn't realized it had been so dry recently - thought it had been pretty showery over the preceding weeks, but it obviously hadn't amounted to much.

Spoil tip from lead mine workings:
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Mine building remains on Meall nan Oighreag:
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The cold wind returned on the summit ridge, and Loch Lednock came into view. I don't think I've ever seen this loch before, despite being the glen on a couple of occasions. There were quite a number of faults and landslips on the SW slopes - similar to other hills in this area (Beinn na Gainimh springs to mind)

Loch Lednock and some of the faulted ground on the SW facing slope of Creag Uchdag:
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Ben Chonzie:
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Towards the Tarmachan ridge and Killin/Glen Lochay:
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Creagan na Beinne:
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Ben Nevis pops out of the clag:
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I had a quick break on the summit, until the wind drove me away again, then headed back along the summit ridge. To get some shelter, I dropped down to the Fin Glen and picked up the path from Comrie. More grassy walking led me back to the graveyard. My experience of these hills has been pretty heathery, so it was a pleasant surprise to find this hill and glen to be quite grassy and easy going.

More faults:
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Fin Glen:
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Creag Uchdag from Fin Glen:
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Ardeonaig hotel and at least the 3rd red phonebox I have started a walk next to this year:
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It was now approaching 5pm. I could have headed home, but remembered that I hadn't really been up Blath Bhalg properly. This seemed like a good chance to correct that, so I drove over to Pitlochry.

Blath Bhalg from the A924


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


I shuffled my way up Blath Bhalg in 2014 on the way back from Glasgow. I had just spent a week backpacking round the Southern Uplands and was broken by this point. The clag was right down to the road, and I didn't have a proper map with me (just a screenshot of a tiny portion of Landranger on my phone). It was possibly the least memorable walk I had ever done, and I didn't take any photos at all. I knew I had to go to the east-most summit, but didn't realize that there were more than 2 bumps on the ridge. So despite not being too bothered about it at the time, it niggled me slightly.

I set off at 6pm from the phone mast and followed a track up towards the skyline. Last time I had dismissed this track as it was misty and it appeared to go off in the wrong direction - instead I crashed through heather and bog. This time it was much easier.

Balgholan Crag:
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Twin summits of Blath Bhalg:
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Although the light wasn't as good now, there were good views to Beinn a' Ghlo and across to Glas Maol. It didn't take long to get to the first summit.

Looking back to Beinn a’ Ghlo:
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Glas Maol plateau rises behind Ben Earb:
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Down Strathardle to Bridge of Cally:
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The first dip was shorter than remembered. I could now see the summit I'd missed before, so I decided to find out how close to it I'd been. It took me less than 2 minutes including a photo stop :oops: . Probably not worth coming back to just to go to the 'proper' summit, but on the other hand, it was a good viewpoint and worth coming back to see cloud free.

The real top from the top I got to last time:
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Mount Blair:
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I followed a faint contouring path back around a couple of bumps, then back over the first bump. An easy wander back to the car left me in time to get to the rarely-open chippy in Pitlochry, before turning north onto the A9 again.

Schiehallion and Loch Rannoch:
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malky_c
 
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Re: Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Postby xslawekx » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:34 pm

A day after your walk, I was looking at Meall Ghaordaidh from the other side of the glen. Had never seen it from the north before, and have to fully agree with you - it does look much more interesting from that side.

The two buttresses of Creag an Tulabhain and Creag Loaghainn look particularly impressive - like two towers guarding the entrance into the Coire Loaghain :)

I'm surprised you got cold though. I saw on Friday cycling along the ring road in shorts and t-shirt :shock: :wink:

Nice set of photos, too. Make Blath Bhalg look almost appealing :lol:
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xslawekx
 
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Re: Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Postby Jaxter » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:00 pm

Good effort :clap: :clap:

Looks like a much more interesting route up Ghaordaidh - might do it this way myself :D

And then you just kept on going :lol: An advantage of longer light I guess :thumbup: :D :lol:
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Jaxter
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Re: Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Postby dogplodder » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:02 pm

That looks a more interesting way to tackle MG and a good route taking in the Corbetts. Great photos! 8)
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Re: Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Postby malky_c » Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:42 pm

Cheers all :D

xslawekx wrote:I'm surprised you got cold though. I saw on Friday cycling along the ring road in shorts and t-shirt :shock: :wink:

Nice set of photos, too. Make Blath Bhalg look almost appealing :lol:


Spotted :lol: . I had to think about that for a bit as I don't usually go that way.

Blath Bhalg is alright - handy little viewpoint. But not worth diverting too far out of your way for. I wouldn't drive all the way down from Inverness just to go up it.
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malky_c
 
Posts: 5753
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Re: Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Postby Collaciotach » Sun May 01, 2016 7:29 pm

Your some fella :clap:
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Re: Perthshire Stragglers (2016 version)

Postby weedavie » Mon May 02, 2016 9:42 am

I like that route on Oichreag - did it a few years ago in almost identical weather (but not at your impressive speed.) I've also combined Oichreag and the Tarmachan ridge. That's just stupid.

I can't get enthused about any of the Corbetts round Chonzie but I've always intended to visit the Shee of Ardtalnaig, it looks small but interesting from most directions. I've just always been too shattered when I've been in the vicinity.
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