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Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!

Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!


Postby Jaxter » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:00 pm

Route description: Stob Ghabhar and Stob a'Choire Odhair

Munros included on this walk: Stob a'Choire Odhair, Stob Ghabhar

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Meall Mor (Rannoch Moor)

Date walked: 08/10/2017

Time taken: 8.25 hours

Distance: 24.36 km

Ascent: 1534m

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The forecast, which had been looking appalling for the weekend, appeared to be steadily improving and a weather-check on Friday evening suggested that an early start might provide a decent day. After the standard not-enough-sleep I jumped in the car and headed up the road :roll:

As I drove up the bonny banks, there were some beautiful colours on Loch Lomond and I figured it was worth scrambling down a bank in the near darkness for a photo….
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It soon started raining which hampered any proper sunrise shots, but as I took the road towards Victoria Bridge, there were some lovely views from near the tip of Loch Tulla
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And it was looking like the forecast could be right 8)
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Stob a’Choire Odhair & Stob Ghabhar
20.96km
1278m ascent
7 hours 6 mins


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



Arriving at the Victoria Bridge car park I met Keith and Bear who were up early and almost ready for the off. I quickly got myself together and we set off in the sunshine.

Loch Tulla and the Orchy munros
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Looking down the Abhain Shira from Victoria Bridge
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We turned left just before Forest Lodge and followed the track down towards the Clashgour Hut. The Autumn colours were stunning and it was wonderful to be out.

Looking down the glen towards our targets and further on towards Meall nan Eun
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Looking backwards – the sun behind the Orchy hills
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It was gloriously sunny but we could see clouds ahead… :crazy:
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Reaching the Clashgour Hut we turned right up a familiar path. However last time I had been up it had been on a scorching hot day where I got horribly sunburnt….this time we’d had a monsoon and the path was somewhat squishy…. :shock:

After bog-hopping and jumping on and off banks to avoid the worst of the mud the path finally became easier underfoot as we climbed towards Coire Toaig.

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We left the Coire Toaig path and took the steep shortcut uphill. On my previous visit I’d taken the long zig-zag in an attempt to stay in the shade :lol: The sun had disappeared so we took the direct route this time; slippery at first before becoming more of a path as we climbed higher.

Looking back down the glen
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It was an easy climb upwards as the path zig-zagged it’s way towards the summit. As the worst of the climb was dispensed with we found ourselves in the clag. But it wasn’t raining so I wasn’t complaining :thumbup:

It was an easy walk to the summit where we were treated to 180 degrees of view as there was a partial clearance of the clag 8)

Rannoch Moor
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Towards Stob Ghabhar
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Keith and Bear on Stob a’Choire Odhair
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Jaxter special
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Despite the welcome but unexpected clearance it was pretty blowy on top so we decided to head off fairly quickly. We picked up the path towards Coirein Lochain and headed down. The rock was slippery and Keith opted for a wee accidental sit down :lol:
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As we stopped for a wee sandwich break we decided that this rock looked like a head…. :roll:
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Onwards, we reached the bealach and followed the path around the prow and then started the initially steady climb up towards the ridge. I remembered this bit being pretty horrific last time and wasn’t massively looking forward to it. However since then I’ve been climbing Corbetts and it seemed pretty easy in comparison :lol:

Looking back down towards Coirein Lochain
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Keith nearly up the final section
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I reached the ridge as the cloud threatened to close in on all sides
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The next section was the Aonach Eagach mark II, far less fearsome than it’s Glencoe namesake. Although the rock was slippery there was nothing difficult or really requiring any hands on at all and we arrived at the top of Stob Ghabhar without incident, but also without views…. :roll:
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Keith on the summit of Stob Ghabhar
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Me looking silly
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We stopped for another quick bite to eat sheltered from the wind behind the cairn. Although it wasn’t actually raining the wind was blowing damp cloud around and it wasn’t really sitting around weather :lol:

We headed off the summit, following the fenceposts along the top of the Coire. We met a couple here who were heading for the Clachlet Traverse, or should have been but had missed the turning in the mist :lol: Not the nicest weather for it :shock:

There are no photos from this section as we were boghopping our way around the top and then down the side of Coire Ghabhar. A debate about our height (which I lost :lol: ) ensued before we eventually picked up a muddy ATV track. I was starting to feel my lack of sleep and went flying much to Keith and Bear’s amusement :lol:

It was a long trek back along the Allt Ghabhar but eventually we were at a footbridge which led us to the Clashgour Farm and then a better track through the trees and back to the Clashgour mountain hut where we had been several hours earlier.

Back on the track!
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It was an easy walk back to the car and the weather seemed to be improving
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From here it was an easy drive towards Ballachulish where I picked up some fuel for the fire before heading down the Oban Road, parking at Duror and heading for a night of merriment in Duar Bothy with some pals. A roaring fire and plenty of banter was just what I needed :D

The weather was pretty wild overnight but not wild enough to drown out some bizarre noises coming from the other end of the bothy :shock:

Duar Bothy the following morning
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I had thought to climb Fraochaidh from the bothy but the weather looked minging and I thought it was a hill deserving of a better day. It was a very soggy walk out to the cars where we parted ways. I headed for home but the weather seemed to be improving….typical :roll:



Meall Mor (Rannoch Moor)
3.4km
256m ascent
1 hour 18 mins


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



Crossing Rannoch Moor I came up with a plan. I parked on the layby near Lochan na h-Achlaise and put my wet boots on as the traffic thundered past. I sloshed my way down the very boggy path towards the Loch which turned out to be a wonderful photo spot.

Lochan na h-Achlaise and the Black Mount hills
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My target – Meall Mor
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Looking across Lochan na h-Achlaise
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Getting wet for a photo
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It was very sloshy and the grass was long and wet so I was getting soaked :lol: But as I climbed higher the views really opened out and it was a magnificent sight
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It was a steep wee climb but soon I was at the top of Meall Mor. A tiny hill with big views :D
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Black Mount
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An impressive panorama
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Lochan na h-Achlaise and Loch Ba, Rannoch Moor
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I had a wee wander around on the summit, enjoying taking in the views. Although the higher tops were in cloud, it was pretty clear for a day that was forecast to be awful :lol:

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Loch Tulla
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I had a wee wander over to the large trig/cairn further west which turned out to be a very touching memorial.

Black Mount hills again
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Orchy hills, Loch Tulla and the Black Mount
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I made my way back to the summit before heading down the ridge. It was quite steep and very squishy but I was past the point of caring as my feet had been saturated long ago :lol:

Lochan na h-Achlaise
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Back at the car I dried my feet off and prepared for the drive home, glad that I’d stopped to stretch my legs and enjoy the better than forecast weather. More proof, if any was needed, that the best views often come from the smaller hills :wink:
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Jaxter
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:47 am

Great photos of Rannoch Moor are looking very brooding!
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!

Postby naepace » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:22 am

Hey Jaxter, I was up there on the Friday before you. We fared slightly better than you for views, well from Odhair anyway ! https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=76193
Great report :clap:
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naepace
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Re: Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:23 pm

Another good 'un! As you say the views of the moor are excellent.

And sneaking in a bothy night too makes for the perfect weekend.
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Mal Grey
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Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!

Postby Jaxter » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:14 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Great photos of Rannoch Moor are looking very brooding!

Thanks - yeah it was a bit moody which is fairly fitting for that area :lol:



naepace wrote:Hey Jaxter, I was up there on the Friday before you. We fared slightly better than you for views, well from Odhair anyway ! [url]<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=76193</span>[/url]
Great report :clap:

Thanks - just seen yours, I had views the first time I was up there so not too bothered but you're right, it's a cracking spot 8)



Mal Grey wrote:Another good 'un! As you say the views of the moor are excellent.

And sneaking in a bothy night too makes for the perfect weekend.

Ah yeah a good bothy fire to dry off all the gear...before it gets soaked again the next day :roll: :lol:
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Jaxter
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Posts: 1339
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Joined: Aug 8, 2011
Location: Glasgow

Re: Into the West - some better than forecast adventures!

Postby Somerled87 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:26 pm

I like these pics of the moor, unusual perspective.
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Somerled87
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