Glen Galmadale Horseshoe - minus BnC and wrong way round

Route: Creach Bheinn and Fuar Bheinn: Galmadale round

Corbetts: Creach Bheinn (Morvern), Fuar Bheinn

Date walked: 28/05/2019

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 1330m

Today I had intended to climb Bheinn Mheadhoin from Kingairloch. But in driving down to launch Jim's kayak at Camas na Croise I didn't see any parking spaces and it was a couple of miles road walk back to the start so I thought I might as well do some of the Glen Glamadale round instead. I didn't think I'd have time for the whole thing - I arranged to return at 5pm and it was now nearly 11. Also I didn't really fancy the climb up Beinn na Cille by the forestry - either looking at it or having read other people's reports. So I decided to set off the wrong way up to Meall nan Each and Maol Odhar and decide then how much to include, depending on my rate of progress. And I didn't fancy coming down of Beinn na Cille either!
(Click on photos for better version)

Imagegalmadale1 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Kayak safely launched

So I set off up the long wide ridge towards Maol Odhar. The route I eventually followed is below.

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

Imagegalmadale2 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Looking up Glen Galmadale, Creach Bheinn right of centre, Fuar Bheinn left of centre. I eventually came down more or less where the sun/shadow boundary is below Fuar Bheinn.

Imagegalmadale3 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Looking South West down Loch Linnhe from the start of the ascent up the ridge. Bracken no more than knee deep at this time of year.

The views across Loch Linnhe to the Glencoe and Appin hills were excellent all along this ridge with eventually the Mamores and Ben Nevis coming in to view.

Imagegalmadale4 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Panorama from early part of the ridge on the left Beinn a'Bheithir prominent then Fraochaidh and Ben Cruachan on the right.

Imagegalmadale5 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
A closer view with Ben Nevis on the far left, the Mamores, Beinn a'Bheithir, Bidean then Fraochaidh.

Imagegalmadale6 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Looking across Glen Galmadale to Bheinn na Cille and Fuar Bheinn

Imagegalmadale7 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
And back down to Camas na Croise and Loch a' Choire, Bheinn Mheadhoin behind

Imagegalmadale8 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
A wider view

Once past the bracken, the going was very good with even the odd glimpse of a path - though it wasn't really needed. There were a lot of false summits though and it was a long ridge.

Imagegalmadale9 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Bit of a path with Creach Bheinn centre and Fuar Bheinn to the left.

Imagegalmadale10 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Creach Bheinn and Maol Odhar

Imagegalmadale11 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Ben Nevis, Corran Narrows and entrance to Loch Leven from one of the false summits.

Because the ridge was broad but with a steep drop off to Loch Linnhe it wasn't possible most of the time to see down to the loch shore. The was a gully just before Meall nan Each with a view down.

Imagegalmadale12 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
View down to shore of Loch Linnhe

After what seemed like a long time (maybe one and a half hours?) I made it to Meall nan Each then there was a bit of a drop before a long gentle climb up to Maol Odhar.

Imagegalmadale13 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Great view from Meall nan Each

Imagegalmadale14 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Gentle slopes of Maol Odhar on the right contrasting with the rockier Creach Bheinn on the left

I passed a piece of aircraft wreckage on the slopes of Mol Odhar then headed to the top of the crags overlooking Glen Tarbet for the best views into Ardgour.

Imagegalmadale15 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Garbh Bheinn and Ardgour across Glen Tarbet

As expected the summit of Maol Odhar was pretty flat with a small cairn adorned with more bits of aircraft wreckage. In clag this part of the walk would be a very different navigational prospect to today's careless wander.

Imagegalmadale16 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Summit of Maol Odhar looking West. Ben Resipole centre with Rum peeking up behind.

I dropped down a bit to find some shelter from a now cold wind and had lunch. It was decision time whether to carry on round or go down to Glen Galmadale from here or reverse my outward route. I was already over half the distance round and at least half the ascent and exactly half the allotted time so it was an easy decision to carry on.

Imagegalmadale17 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
View ahead with a slight dip to the bealach and an easy ridge up to Creach Bheinn

Imagegalmadale18 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Lunchtime view down to the start of the walk, Loch Linnhe, Lismore, Jura in the distance and Beinn na Cille on right.

Imagegalmadale19 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
View back from lochan on the ridge up to Creach Bheinn to Maol Odhar. Shower now passing over Ben Nevis.

The walk up Creach Bheinn was more interesting with plenty of rocky bits (no scrambling required) and only 140 metres of ascent. And it was a Corbett!

Imagegalmadale20 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Summit of Creach Bheinn. Fuar Bheinn and Beinn na Cille in foreground. Lismore, Jura, Mull behind.

Imagegalmadale21 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Zoomed to Ben Cruachan from Creach Bheinn

There was now a fair drop down to the bealach before Fuar Bheinn. Here I saw a hill runner dressed in lycra shorts and a top looking very cold and almost as old as me. We exchanged a few words on how cold it was and he carried on up (walking not running). He was the only person I saw out on the hills while walking in Morvern over 5 days. From the bealach it was 250 metres back up to Fuar Bheinn.

Imagegalmadale22 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Fuar Bheinn - I took the easy route on the right up grass.

Imagegalmadale23 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Looking back to Creach Bheinn with Garbh Bheinn to the left

Once up the steep slope, this side of Fuar Bheinn was a rather dull plateau in contrast to the face overlooking Glen Galmadale. But the views from the top were really good again.

Imagegalmadale24 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Summit of Fuar Bheinn across to Bheinn Mheadhoin with Ben More on Mull to its right and the paps of Jura off to the left

Imagegalmadale25 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
West from summit of Fuar Bheinn with (right to left) Ben Resipole, Rum, Loch Sunart and Ben Hiant.

So it was all downhill from now on and with over an hour to go before my rendezvous it looked like I had plenty of time. I intended to go down to the bealach between here and Beinn na Cille , cut across to the shelf above Meall a' Bhuiridh and descend to the dam on the Glengalmadale river.

Imagegalmadale26 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Route down. My route is across the ridge in shadow behind the sunlit one.

Imagegalmadale27 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Across to the 'shelf' I'm aiming for

Well, it was ok getting across to the 'shelf' but the steep descent from there through tussock grass, bracken and boulders was hell. I kept looking down at the dam and thinking 'I'm getting there, 5 more minutes' but this bit maybe 600 metres as the crow flies and 300 metres down probably took a good half hour.

Imagegalmadale28 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
From the shelf down to the dam

Imagegalmadale29 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Some consolation from this nice orchid

With huge relief I managed to reach the track near the dam and it was then a delightful walk out back to the starting point.

Imagegalmadale30 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
The track at last and a look back to the majority of the route.

Imagegalmadale31 by Peter Lynn, on Flickr
Jim waiting for me.

In the end I was 10 minutes late and had been really lucky to have had such a good day to enjoy the great views on this route. I never did get to climb Bheinn Mheadhoin on this trip so I'll just have to come back!

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Location: Gairloch
Occupation: Retired Cidermaker
Interests: Meteorology, Gardening, Food
Activity: Walker
Mountain: Baosbheinn
Place: Assynt
Gear: Altberg boots
Member: Norfolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Gay Outdoor Club
Camera: Sony RX-100
Ideal day out: Pathless varied hill walk on a fine clear day

Munros: 8
Corbetts: 9
Grahams: 5
Wainwrights: 11
Hewitts: 32
Sub 2000: 10

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Trips: 3
Distance: 38 km
Ascent: 2922m
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1


Trips: 1
Distance: 73 km
Ascent: 3150m
Munros: 3
Corbetts: 2


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Distance: 55 km
Ascent: 2970m
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 2


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Ascent: 450m
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Trips: 8
Distance: 127.7 km
Ascent: 5914m
Munros: 1
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 2
Sub2000s: 3

Joined: Jun 23, 2012
Last visited: Apr 14, 2021
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