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Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh


Postby rockhopper » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:16 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall Ghaordaidh

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn nan Oighreag

Date walked: 20/03/2011

Time taken: 6.9 hours

Distance: 15.3 km

Ascent: 1300m

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Well, if you opened this report expecting to see cracking photos of blue skies and pristine snow, I’m afraid you’ll be a bit disappointed…. :?

Family/home commitments over the last few weeks and the next few to come meant that it was today or nothing until the end of April. :(

Early omens not good as I drove down the M8 to find the Erskine cut-off closed, then having to come right back up to Paisley for a detour – contemplated going home to bed at this point....maybe should have.... :think:


Meall Ghaordaidh & Beinn nan Oighreag active log 20mar2011 [trackpoints reduced to 800].gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Parked in the wee lay-by just west of the Allt Dhuinn Croisg bridge on the Glen Lochay road NW of Killin, through the well signposted gate and headed up the easy grassy slopes following the early stages of the usual Meall Ghaordaidh track.

1 Start of Meall Ghaordaidh track.JPG


Weather not too bad so far, ie I could still see Meall Dhuinn Croisg to the east and glimpses of the hills to the north. 8)

2 Meall Dhuin Croisg.JPG


Followed the track fairly close to the west bank of the Allt, past some shieling remains and had to cross a few smaller burns on the way but these didn’t pose any particular problems.

At around 540387, headed off almost due north towards the western side of Carn Shionnach.

3 Going off to the right, heading NW to Beinn nan Oighreag.JPG


4 Water crossings weren't difficult.JPG


Steady walk up towards the summit of Beinn non Oighreag – only problem was that the weather had closed in and I couldn’t see much at all.

5 Uh oh....worsening weather.JPG


Part way up, stopped for crampons, ice axe and waterproof (surprise, surprise...getting wet, windy and chilly :shock: ).

6 Final approach to Beinn nan Oighreag.JPG


There isn’t really a cairn at the top of Oighreag, it’s more a few rocks on top of a bigger rock. Walked on a wee bit but couldn’t see anything. Usual stop for photos of the great view, refreshments etc then headed off. At 909m, it’s only 6m short of the smallest munro of 915m.

7 Beinn nan Oighreag summit.JPG


Initially retraced my steps to around 541408 before dropping down to cross the Allt na h-lolaire and then up to the 815m top between Creag an Tulabhain and Cam-Chreag. Very useful line of rusty fence posts from just to the side of the top of Oighreag which continued a fair bit of the way towards Cam Chreag. They did disappear from time to time but very handy given the weather conditions.

8 Follow those fence posts !.JPG


9 Keep following those fence posts !.JPG


This was probably the hardest part of the day. The drop down from Oighreag was steep in places necessitating leaving the fence line from time to time – deep, soft snow didn’t really help either. Then came the climb up towards the 815m top through some crags. Couldn’t see at all with frequent white out so decided to stick to a fairly straight west line. In better weather conditions, it may be possible to go slightly further north and then head SW up what looks like easier slopes on the map but that wasn’t for today (didn’t want to chance it). 8)

10 Towards the 815m top.JPG


After a few attempts and some backtracking, eventually got to the 815m top. If there had been some views, I’d have wandered up to Creag an Tulabhain. From here it was a relatively straightforward walk SW to Cam-Chreag where there’s a strange looking rock.

11 Cam-Chreag.JPG


Again, only problem really was the frequency of near/complete white outs. Some of the time there were rocks/boulders appearing but other times it was purely white all round, up and down. A wee bit worrying as there were crags to the south. Continually having to stop/start to check compass direction and the extra time taken to get up to the 815m top were also adding unplanned time to the trip.

After Cam-Chreag, walked NW for a bit before going SW to the summit of Meall Ghaordaidh.

12 Lower reaches of Meall Ghaordaidh.JPG


13 Final approach to Meall Ghaordaidh.JPG


Meall Ghaordaidh has a trig point surrounded by a circular dry stane dyke which gave some shelter from the biting wind.

14 Meall Ghaordaidh summit.JPG


Didn’t stay long as it was cold and headed off down the normal track from Glen Lochay. On the way down I met two walkers on their way up – the first people I’d met all day. Discussed the fantastic weather and views before going on our merry ways.

Continued down the usual track and joined back on the main track which is marked by a wee cairn.

15 Small cairn marking Meall Ghaordaidh track split.JPG


Had a couple of stops on the way down for refreshments and to remove crampons and extra clothing as it was getting warmer out of the wind. Got back to the car just behind the two walkers I’d met earlier – turned out that they’d decided not to go to the top because of the weather and had come back a more direct route down the side of Ghaordaidh which is why I didn’t see them earlier. Not sure if this is quicker as I had some stops but it might help to get away from the boggy path.
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Stretch » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:24 pm

Tough looking day out rockhopper, the approach photo is enough to go by!
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby rockhopper » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:52 pm

Stretch wrote:Tough looking day out rockhopper, the approach photo is enough to go by!

Aye...you win some, you lose some but just needed to get out and fancied a wee change to the usual route for Ghaordaidh. Given the high quality of the photos ( :? :problem: :think: :oops: ) decided not to bother with HDR, tone mapping, post production etc :lol:
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby ChrisW » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:20 am

Great report and though the weather did its best to kill your photo's I love No.5, it has real atmosphere :D
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby csimbad » Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:40 pm

Good stuff Rockhopper as stretch said it certainly did look a tough day , well done :)
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby rockhopper » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:01 pm

Cheers - think I should've put more smiley smilies into the report as, perhaps perversely, I actually enjoyed the walk and the challenge of joining up the two hills. :lol: :lol: :lol: Need to work on the fitness though. As they say, things can only get better.....
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby monty » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:11 pm

Ditto with that being quite a tough walk in the conditions. Well done. Good effort to bag the corbet as well as the munro. :D
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby pigeon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:14 pm

Aye it's always a bummer getting those conditions but good to know you still enjoyed it .We went up bienn each weekend before last ,terrible conditions but still had a good laugh :lol:
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pics 024.jpg
beinn each in whiteout
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby rockhopper » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:26 pm

pigeon wrote:Aye it's always a bummer getting those conditions but good to know you still enjoyed it .We went up bienn each weekend before last ,terrible conditions but still had a good laugh :lol:
yup pigeon - as long as you enjoy yourself, who cares about getting great photos, clear skies, brilliant views..... :? :problem: :think: :lol: :lol:

monty wrote:Ditto with that being quite a tough walk in the conditions. Well done. Good effort to bag the corbet as well as the munro. :D
cheers monty...good to hear from you again. I've been reading about you and your antics in Aviemore.....I'm sure you were just making it easy for the rest of them and letting them win :lol: :lol:
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby Alastair S » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:17 pm

Good effort given the conditions. I take it the snow was fairly slushy most of the way. Did these two from the other (Glen Lyon) side on a fine (if wind) mid-summer's day (report over here) & found that shelter around the trig point a real life saver.
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby morag1 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:50 pm

Maybe you didnt manage blue skies or pristine snow but at least you had a great day out :thumbup:

The weather is getting better all the time so even if your family commitments are heavy you should still be able to get out and about for short walks. Hope so anyway :)
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby malky_c » Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:53 pm

Hmm, looks exactly the same as my walk on the other side of the glen a few weeks back :lol: Good effort.

I have to say I prefer Alastair's approach to these hills (from the north) although it makes no odds in these conditions. Ashamed to say I didn't comment on Alastair's report, even though I remember reading it at the time :oops:

Also, still berating myself for not including Beinn Oighreag with Meall Ghaordaidh even though I had perfect weather and loads of spare time. I was going to go up it, then I thought 'nah, why bother'!
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby yokehead » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:36 pm

An interesting round and read. Good to see that the Ghaordaidh is keeping up it's whiteout reputation! :lol: I do like this hill.
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Re: Beinn nan Oighreag & Meall Ghaordaidh

Postby rockhopper » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:20 am

cheers all

Alastair - the snow was soft and anything from a few inches to knee and thigh deep. I can remember seeing your report when I was thinking about these two a few months back and remember your picture of the "space ship shaped cloud" - great to see what I missed :lol:

morag - yup - I guess it wouldn't be Scotland if the weather was perfect all the time 8)

malky - odd you didn't as Oighreag is so close by; there's another corbett further to the west of Meall Ghaordaidh but it looked a bit too far to try to combine :?

yokehead - looking at other walk reports, it seems that Thursday is the day to go for good weather... problem is I have to work then.....it's good to experience different conditions I guess so that we learn as we go :D
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