It may not have been pretty but it still beats Suxbridge!

Corbetts: Carn Dearg (South of Gleann Eachach)

Date walked: 02/11/2019

Time taken: 24 hours

Distance: 25km

Ascent: 840m

The traditional end of year bothy night with Kev had been brought forward to early November, with most weekends for the forseeable being booked up with other business and neither of us keen to see it slip back into the New Year as it had done last year (which was actually the start of this year, if you see what I mean). :shock:

Bernais bothy and the Munros of Lurg Mhor and Cheescake had been mentioned as possible targets for this gig but as the date approached, I don't think either of us fancied a drive or walk of that magnitude. Essan bothy was then raised as an alternative base from which to tackle some of the Moidart Corbetts but when it became clear that the forecast was for pretty dire weather, we down scaled once again and decided to head back to Luib Chonnal bothy where we had spent a night back in February being smoked like a pair of kippers while slowly succumbing to the dual mind numbing effects of smoke inhalation and Big Raspberry Dog Chew with a 10% volume alcohol content. :lol:

On that occasion we had walked in to the bothy having done the Graham of Leana Mhor (West) and the Corbett of Beinn Iaruinn and with the intention of doing the two Carn Deargs on either side of Glean Eachach the following day. As it turned out, the following day was a howler of a day - Kev decided to go home and lie down in an oxygen tent while I set off for the Corbetts but called it a day after the first one, the northern of the two.

Saturday 2nd November

Cut to today, and we met up at the parking area by the cattle grid just short of Brae Roy Lodge just before 10.30 and shouldered packs ready for the off. Our minds were obviously still fogged by the effects of the smoke and the beer from back in February as there was a complete breakdown in communication regarding our approach to the route ahead. We had gone a couple of hundred yards before Kev spotted that although I was claiming to be carrying 5kg of coal, 8 cans of beer, a few split logs and a small quantity of peat, not to mention sleeping bag, thermarest e.t.c., I only had a little day pack on my back. He had assumed that we were heading straight to the bothy over the Corbett with the big overnight packs, while I had understood that we were nipping up the Corbett via Glen Turret and Sron a'Ghoill before returning to the cars for the heavy packs. His idea would probably have led me to an early grave, my idea was wasteful in terms of undue doubling back on ourselves and covering extra distance, so we agreed to carry the big packs along the track in the glen to the bothy and then to nip up without packs onto the Corbett. I quickly returned to the car, swapped packs, stuffed a ham and pickle roll down my throat and reset the start button.

We covered the 8km or so along the track to the bothy in around 1 hour 45 - not bad going with big packs and on a track that climbs and meanders a lot more than a cursory glance at the map would have you believe. I was certainly ready for getting the pack off my shoulders by that time and Kev was ready for a quick bite to eat before we took to the Corbett at more or less 1 o'clock on the dot.

White Falls and the back of Meagaidh and co from the front door of Luib Chonnal

The weather on the walk in had looked like it might just be tempted to brighten up a bit, although the view across to the rear end of Creag Meagaidh did not make for pretty viewing. There was the merest hint of blue sky in one or two places but by the time we were puffing our way up the wet, pathless terrain of Glas Bheinn, it was pretty obvious that we were going to be in for a wet, claggy trudge with no prospect of anything even remotely close to a view. Neither of us really subscribe to the notion of "dull hills" but clearly this one is lacking in "features", even on a nice day, so we figured that given the inevitability of poor weather days a good deal of the time in the Scottish hills, we might at least be spending one of these days on a hill that is decidedly lacking in charisma and features.

Back down to the bothy and White Falls from the ascent of Glas Bheinn with Loch Spey in the background to the left

Since Kev and I had last been out walking and bothying together, he has started a new job several days a week working down south, just outside London. He commutes down at the start of the week and stays in a hotel before coming back home on the Wednesday. He certainly seems to enjoy the work but was certainly reflecting a great deal on the fundamental differences between life in Scotland and life in the London commuter belt. Utterly different priorities and way of life. I wonder what most of his new colleagues would make of today's activities? :shock: :crazy: :lol:

Kev wondering whether Scotland really is better than Suxbridge

If anything, the weather was even worse than back in February when I did the other Carn Dearg from the bothy but at least it was putting my new Sealskinz socks courtesy of a birthday present from Ailsa through their paces. My Aku 3 season boots are riddled with tears and holes now (a new pair is a top priority) and my old Sealskinz were pretty worn and distinctly lacking in waterproofing properties. At least I would be able to go home and report back to Ailsa that her present had kept my feet dry in conditions that would have been well beyond the combined efforts of the old Akus and the old pair of socks.

Summit ahead

We dashed up the final slopes to the summit in anticipation of 360 degree views stretching as far as the eye could see across a vista of far off peaks and....... :shock: :shock: :shock: OK, let's start that sentence again. We trudged forlornly up to the wet, miserable, clag bound summit cairn where we saw hee haw, took a couple of quick snaps to prove that at least some human beings had been daft enough to go to the trouble of hauling themselves up there on a miserable day like today before beating a hasty retreat back to the bothy.

Kev struggling to take it all in

Same p*ish weather, different Carn Dearg

We dropped roughly due east down towards the Allt Dubh in the narrow valley below the slopes of Leac nan Uan and picked a rough, boggy line back along to the bridge over the Allt Chonnal, passing a few nice looking pools along the way, before following the incredibly boggy grassy ATV track to arrive back down at the bothy just after 4.

Following the Allt Dubh

Maybe not a good day for a dip

Back at the bothy we wasted no time in firing up the TV and cracking open a beer. The TV worked perfectly thanks to us now realising that there was a draw mechanism at the back of the flue and being sober enough to operate it. No hanging out of the Velux windows would be required this time! :lol:

The picture isn't great, but it's definitely Strictly!

We spent the evening discussing the usual humdrum topics of life, such as work, family and politics, and how anybody could even begin to think that Kev moving permanently to Suxbridge could be a good idea! :shock: Despite Kev's eagerness to wax lyrical all evening about Suxbridge, the conversation somehow kept coming back to our newly conceived plan of a multi day bagging trip to Knoydart in April. :crazy:

The beer flowed, but nothing with quite the face numbing properties of the Raspberry Big Dog Chew. We ventured no further than the Fallen Brewery's relatively tame Chew Chew, their Salted Caramel Milk Stout at a mere 6% and, conscious of the need to get our required intake of fruit, even while off grid and in bothy life mode, Drygate Brewery's Forklift Truck Disco Mango IPA. All of this helped to wash down a few cheese, ham and jalapeno toasties and homemade samosas courtesy of Kev's friend and neighbour Razia, all cooked on the open coals using the diabolo toasty maker. Compliments to Razia! :clap:

Kev called it quits about 9.30 or so and I stayed up a little bit longer to keep the last remaining can of Punk IPA company before piling a final load of coal and a fire log into the TV (I think Graham Norton was on now, or maybe it was Jonathan Woss, I can't remember) and clambering into my sleeping bag where I slept soundly and dreamed of Knoydart. Or was it Suxbridge? :think: Nah, definitely Knoydart. :lol:

Sunday 3rd November

Kev was up and away early doors in the morning, keen to get back home for some family time before venturing back south for a few days to Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's patch. :shock: I had a more leisurely morning as fortunately I do not have to go anywhere near his patch! :roll: I took my time over breakfast before cleaning out the TV and sweeping round the place.

Luib Chonnal Sunday morning - close your eyes and you could be anywhere, even Suxbridge

I was away by 9.20 and made it back to the car in exactly 1.5 hours, stopping along the way only to take a couple of photos of autumn in the glen.

Some blue skies for the walk out

The rollercoaster track

Falls of Roy

Towards Brae Roy Lodge (in the trees) from just past the Falls of Roy

Turret Bridge

There was much more in the way of blue sky today and I seriously considered stopping off to do Meall Luadh Mor on the way home but by the time I was approaching the layby at the start of this route, some spots of rain were peppering the windscreen and the skies overhead looked heavy with an imminent downpour. I chose to carry on my way home, where I had a nice hot shower, fired up the TV [sic] and set about some serious Knoydart research. :D

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Comments: 5

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Graeme D

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Location: Perth
Occupation: Teacher
Pub: Moulin Inn
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Gear: Paramo gilet/Scarpa boots
Member: MCofS
Ideal day out: No such thing as a bad day out on or amongst the hills - only degrees of goodness.
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Ascent: 18085m
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Grahams: 4
Donalds: 5
Sub2000s: 5


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Ascent: 28081m
Munros: 25
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Grahams: 7
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 16


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Distance: 569.5 km
Ascent: 24365m
Munros: 30
Corbetts: 21
Grahams: 11
Sub2000s: 7
Hewitts: 6


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Distance: 271.4 km
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