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Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich


Postby seamus0 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:45 pm

Route description: Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Heasgarnich, Creag Mhor (Glen Lochay)

Date walked: 16/07/2011

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 20 km

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This walk was knackering and challenging in certain places. I would probably rename it as walking through the midden, to give you an idea of what to expect! Not to be put off by the weather reports we headed for Glen Lochay on the Sat morning and drove to the end of the road at Kenknock (466365). There's plenty of space to park the car, just dont obstruct any of the obvious tracks as these were in use at the time by the farmer's wife and her 4x4. You'll know you've reached the start with the water pipes on the hillsides.
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Start of walk at KenKnock

We decided to follow the lower track heading west following the River Lochay, however an alternative would be to climb north and head west higher up (this was our decent route in the end). It was a rather dreich start with the heavens opening up just after 15 mins. So, our expectations were for a rather wet day ! After passing a couple of farm buildings and small forest, the track will split and start climbing up at Batamaime inn a northerly direction. You should reach the T-juntion higher up after 1:30 mins or a little less. From hear, the SE face of Sron nan Eun can be seen as a craggy ridden face. There was no obvious route up this ridge. We thought there might be a well trodden path by following the track SW for a bit, but as the track started to head downwards, there was no real option but to just go for it and start climbing up the steep ridge towards the crags and hope for a route through.
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Sron nan Eun from the track

This route was steep and a bit of a calf burner if you're out of practice (which I was). I was knackered by the time we reached the top of this section at around 800m. It took us about an hour.
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Grassy climb up the ridge

We were pleased that there was a route through the crags without having to do any dodgy scrambling on wet pouring rock. The route is obvious once you are up there, just stay on the grassy stuff, and you'll reach the top.
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Crags nearer the top

Once at the top of this steep section, the ridge opens up in its own right, and the route forward to the goal (Creag Mhor)can be seen.(Well in this case, we saw wet rain and cloud! But you get the gist!)
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Ridge to Creag Mhor

This section is quite pleasant and more gentle than the previous section. We saw quite a few frogs (who needed no pool to swim in given the amout of water that was everywhere, im sure they were loving it!)
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Frog It!

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The ridge looking back

Thankfully the cloud cleared away for a bit, and we saw the real summit was within reach.
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Ridge to summit of Creag Mhor

We eventually made it to the top 4.5 hrs of starting. It was time for a well deserved bit of lunch and chocolate, to try and recouperate some of our energy.
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Summit of Creag Mhor with Loch Lyon in the background

We could see Beinn Sheasgarnaich NE from the summit, and you would think the obvious route would be to head straight for it. However, dont be tempted as its steep crags this side.
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NE Face of Creag Mhor - Dont come off this side!!

Instead, do what the guide books recommend and head in a NW direction. A small path heads that direction which u can follow.
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Beinn Heasgarnich From Creag Mhor

The NW route eventually curves round down to the N col between Creag Mhor and Meall Tionail gently. From here head east to the base of Beinn Sheasgarnaich. Its a bit boggy here, but you can get round most of it. The next section is again steep, but relatively easy,as if you follow the obvious line up it you will (hopefully) find a track that takes you up to the top.
At this point the weather started to warm up, and we actually got a couple of hours of tshirt weather. We could at last take our waterproofs off and enjoy the views. The route and long ridge was in view.
After climbing up the last steep climb of around 400m, we could enjoy the relatively long broad ridge. This was quite flat up the top, and im sure would make a good high campsite. Just before the summint of Beinn Sheasgarnaich, the weather came in again, and poured it down for the rest of the day.
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Ridge up Beinn Sheasgarnaich

After a bit more chocolate, and a few sannies we were off again. We decided to head N from the summit and then east, to get to the 3 tarns in the NW ridge. The plan was to take a bearing from there to avoid going anywhere near the Creag nam Bodach crags due east, so we would hit northe road north of them. This turned out to be a flawed plan. The route off Beinn Sheasgarnaich was terrible ! A peat bogg of the worst sort, with inpassable streams and wet sodden ground for 3 km. Toilet springs to mind! Given the amount of rain that day, this whole route was a bog. The bog we could cope with, sort of, but it got mind-numbingly boring after 1 hr of negotiating our way around one bad trough from another. We only knew we were getting closer to the Glen Lyon road heading East.
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The bogs of Beinn Sheasgarnaich - they go on for 3 Km

After an hour of this, we were faced with another 'obstacle' . The Allt Tarsuinn 'stream' doesn't get a mention in any previous routes Ive read for this walk, however on our walk, it was an impassable torrent.
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The Allt Tarsuinn

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This was a bit of a blow, to be able to see the road across from the river, there was no obvious place to cross. So, we dicided to keep walking SW following the river back up the hill to try and find somewhere less dangerous to cross. After about 30 mins we managed to find a shallower section. Linking arms, we went for it. we were ok until 1/2 across the river when it got deeper and we were up to our knees in fast flowing river. So, we took one more step and threw ourselves over to the other bank. Quite exciting really when we got to the other side! But now, there was no messing, we were thoroughly soaked now, and had to get off the mountain as time was ticking by. We kept this line stayed as far S as we could, as we knew there was another 'stream' to cross. This one wasnt so bad. In the knowledge that the Creag nam Bodach crags were coming up, we heading back in a northely direction to avoid them and eventually reached a route back to the road. Thankful for being on Terra Ferma again, we followed the road south back to Kenknock, and was back at the car for around 8pm ! A long wet day, with some interludes of nice weather. However we were both surprised that these streams were not mentioned in any route descriptions we had read previously. Anyhow, one of those routes, just glad to do, in the knowledge that we wouldnt be rushing back to do it again in a hurry!
seamus0
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby kinley » Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:03 pm

seamus0 wrote:Not to be put off by the weather reports we headed for Glen Lochay on the Sat morning and drove to the end of the road at Kenknock (466365).


We were at Kenknock today. There's a new built car park at NN 476 369 - a few hundred metres before Kenknock Farm with a notice asking people not to park further on.

The previous parking area just past the farm had a lot of farm machinery on it so I imagine it gets a bit irritating for them if loads of folks park up there.

It was a lot sunnier up there today - with a lot less water in the streams :lol:

Can vouch for the spate conditions on saturday - we were on Meall nan Subh around noon and all the Allts were white :(
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby seamus0 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:16 pm

Must have missed the signs of the car park, although there was noone else there, so i dont think the farmer would have had too many problems. Good to know for future reference though!
seamus0
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby gammy leg walker » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:18 pm

Great effot in that weather seamus,that bogfest on the way back has put me of these two for a long while
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby seamus0 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:33 pm

yeah i was wondering if doing these in the winter may be better given the bogs, as they'd be frozen over. Either way its a longish day to do both, but good to get them out of the way!
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby kinley » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:49 pm

seamus0 wrote:Must have missed the signs of the car park, although there was noone else there, so i dont think the farmer would have had too many problems. Good to know for future reference though!


Not difficult to miss - a Green sign surrounded by nettles :lol:
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby monty » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:12 am

Excellent report Seamus0.
I went in on your route out when i done these in August last year. The route was a bog then but i don't rmember the Allt Tarsuinn being anything as difficult as the raging torrent you came across :lol: Not a pretty site after the miles you had covered. Good stuff. :D
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Re: Creag Mhor and Beinn Sheasgarnaich

Postby fasgadh » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:45 pm

"The previous parking area just past the farm had a lot of farm machinery on it so I imagine it gets a bit irritating for them if loads of folks park up there."

Perhaps if they did not leave boulders lying about, this would not be a problem. It's Perthshire again - the car park is miles down the glen for a reason - to deter hillwalking. Nothing a good pair of legs or better still a bike cannot handle.
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