Carn Liath, Stob Poite Core Ardair

Munros: Carn Liath (Creag Meagaidh), Stob Poite Coire Ardair

Date walked: 03/03/2019

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 18km

With the forecast for Sunday looking better than the starturday, I decided to climb Carn Liath and Stob Poite Coire Ardair on Sunday and try and get back down to watch the rugby! So a bit of timing was required. I started off at the Creag Meagaidh car park at Aberarder (483873) on a beautiful sunny morning.
Car park at start

I was the first at the car park and there was still a bit of mist/dew rising off the ground. It was my first venture into these hills around Creag Meagaidh and the Coire Ardair, I was keen to get a good view. After walking through the small wood and heading up towards the white farm house, I continued climbing slowly up the good path towards Coire Ardair.
Walk up to white farmhouse

After a viewpoint with a sign about the features further up, the track turns into a T-junction. A waymarker shows the way to the Coire towards the right.
Directions to Coire

Walk up the track until you get to the start of the wood. You should see a small cairn on your left before the wood, marking the path up to Na Cnapanan and Carn Liath.
Track to Na Cnapanan

Take this track. At first you fight your way through the wood, but then the track opens up with great views of Coire Ardair on your left and Loch Laggan at your back.
Route opens up

Views of Loch Laggan

Coire Ardair with the "Window" in the distance

The track leads all the way to the top Na Cnapanan. At this point the track levels out for a bit and splits into 2. Again a small cairn marks the point to turn left and carry on folloiwng the climb up to Carn Liath.
Views from Na Cnapanan

Route flattens out

Watch out for cairn as track splits into 2

Views NE as you climb

As you get nearer the top, the ground gets more stoney. It took me about 2 hrs of slow going to get up.
CArn Liath Top

Views from Top

After a quick bite, I could see the high route round to the next munro of the day Stob Poite Coire Ardair. It was easy going apart from the Wind, which was picking up again, and making it quite chilly....well it was Feb after all! Still, just a small dip to mention en-route all ok.
Route to 2nd Munro

Small Dip half way along Sron Coire a chriochairein?


Route Carn Liath looking back

Eventually I reached the 2nd Munro about 1hr after the first. It was too windy to hang around this unimpressive cairn so I continued onto the Bealach.
Top of Stob Poite Coire Ardair

At this point I could see Creag Meagaidh in the short distance and it was only 1pm so it was easily accessible. But looking at the extra 4km or so to get there and back again that would add another 1hr or so to my time...and Ireland were playing at 3pm....so priorities were priorities :-)
Creag Meagaidh in left

I finally came across a bit of snow at the bealach, known as the Window.....from what I understand mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped where Prince Charley climbed and made his escape! There was the remains of a snow cave here...probably from the results of some winter ML training making the most of what snow they could find!
Some snow at top of Window

Window with snow on left

Runners in distance of Window

There is a sort of a track that leads down though this steep descent through the bealach. I found if you just took your time there wasnt any issue. No exposure just need to be careful with your footing or you might take a tumble.
At the bottom the track levels off and joins the excellet track at Lochan a' Choire.

Snow cave

View from Window

Coire Ardair

I was surprised to see so little snow in this Coire...these are strange time....3 attempts to come to scotland in winter this year....all of them not successful...who said there was no global warming! Back to the report....the Coire was still impressive. It was one of those places you could while away the time looking at all the routes the climbers take. However, time was not on my side. With a good track and 6km walk back to the car park I got back by 3pm and managed to get back to watch the last 20mins of the first half! So, mission accomplished...2 munros, a great day out and Ireland beat Italy....and the snow...well I guess I'll have to wait for next winter!

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Comments: 1

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Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Any with good Guinness:-)
Mountain: Bla Bheinn
Place: Glen Etive
Gear: Lowe Alpine Fleece Hat
Member: Scottish National Trust, Historic Scotland, BMC.
Ideal day out: A crisp sunny winter day with snow and not too scary crampon work!

Munros: 124
Corbetts: 2

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Joined: Oct 03, 2009
Last visited: Mar 05, 2019
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