The Marilyn Show

Sub 2000s: Ardsheal Hill, Beinn a'Mhonicag, Bidein Bad na h-Iolaire, Meall Luidh Mor

Date walked: 25/01/2020

Distance: 30.1km

Ascent: 1699m

A two-day weekend this time as it's me this week that has to be through at my dad's birthday on Sunday. Allison was round on Wednesday evening when I was trying to plan what hills we might do. As various sub options were put forward she raised her eyes skyward and asked when we were going back to doing "real hills". "Next year" I suggested. She indicated that she would be unlikely to survive a year of Marilyns.

So we're doing Marilyns this weekend :wink: I thought I'd be gentle on her, easing back in after a weekend at her own dad's birthday party. Two days, two tiny hills and two modest ones - can't go wrong with that. We set off on Thursday night as usual, camping in Glen Orchy on what turned out to be a very wet night - no sitting gazing at the stars this night. Nice and quiet though.

ardshealx(1).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

In the morning we continued along the A82, then took the Oban road for our first tiny hill - Ardsheal Hill, a real quickie just south of Kentallen. Park at the community centre - there's a grassy track behind this which leads easily to the summit - there's a trig pillar to the northwest of the mast. A mighty 230m ascent - we were up and down in 45minutes. Views would be quite good on a non-low-cloud day.

Round behind the community centre
ImageDSC02806 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02807 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02808 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02809 by Al, on Flickr

Back to the car and onwards to Fort William for Bidean Bad na h-Iolaire, which lies between the West Highland Way track and Fort William centre. I wasn't entirely clear about which route to use for this one - I'd been looking at a different route before leaving than the one that was on my GPS. No matter - I was quite keen to do Cow Hill, that wee hill with the mast you see driving north out of Fort William.

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

We parked at the Braveheart carpark and noticed there was a waymarked path for Cow Hill Circular, which we decided to follow - however "circular" meant that it went around the hill - not up it, so after a redundant double back on ourselves we followed a fenceline steeply up through the trees to reach the mast-decorated summit. Some odd sights up there. Paused for lunch in the drizzle,

Looking down from Cow Hill
ImageDSC02810 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02811 by Al, on Flickr

Strange fir trees here
ImageDSC02812 by Al, on Flickr

The way ahead
ImageDSC02813 by Al, on Flickr

We followed the track south from the mast until it crossed the east-west track at Feith na Sgathaiche - that would be a quicker and more direct route up if you didn't want to do Cow Hill. From here it was onto boggy hillside and over Beinn Riabhach towards the summit of Bidean Bad na h-Iolaire, the odd sheep peering out at us in the mist. We came off to the south-east, hoping there would be a clearing in the trees - indeed there was - what is marked as forestry on the map has a large area that looks as if it was once prepared for trees but they were never planted. Made for an easy enough descent.

ImageDSC02814 by Al, on Flickr

Signpost for the Beasts presumably, telling them the way into town
ImageDSC02815 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Iolaire
ImageDSC02817 by Al, on Flickr

Descent route
ImageDSC02818 by Al, on Flickr

Once back on the track we decided to visit the site of the Pictish Fort, Dun Deardail. There's a good path to this and stone steps in the final section up to the remains of the fort. Views would be great on a clear day. Back along the WHW to the car park and a short drive to Loch Linnhe Campsite, where we'd decided to spend the night. A fine hot shower and a tasty curry rounded the day off nicely.

This picture suggests Dun Deardail has descended into Hell, watched by a spectral horde...
ImageDSC02819 by Al, on Flickr

The remnants
ImageDSC02820 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02821 by Al, on Flickr

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

More rain overnight and a drizzly morning. Today's quickie was Beinn a'Mhonicaig up in Glen Roy - a hill I've suggested we do on several occasions driving back from other hills further up the Glen. Anyway, now was our chance. We parked at the car park for the parallel roads, right at the base of the hill. Well, actually at 235m elevation, which neither of us was complaining about. There's a grassy path of sorts that leads straight up the hillside - although Allison was sure this would peter out it went right up almost to the summit. Steep though. Nice views along the glen, with the parallel roads clearly evident. A few surviving streaks of snow on the Grey Corries. Back down the same way, one hour.

way up
ImageDSC02823 by Al, on Flickr

View north up Glen Roy, Parallel Lines evident
ImageDSC02825 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02826 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02828 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02830 by Al, on Flickr

From here we drove along towards Creag Meagaidh, parking in the bay used for the Creag Pitridh hills - lots of cars there today. We were intending to climb Meall Luidh Mor, a Sub entirely encircled by trees. The three reports on WH didn't give it a great review. As long as we didn't have to fight our way through forestry, I'd be happy enough.

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

We walked over the wee bridge at Luiblea, mindful of one time we'd taken the wrong route on our way to Creag Pitridh and had to retrace steps. We met a walker coming back the way and wondered if he'd been up our hill...or if he'd taken the wrong path too. Good forestry track for several kilometres although frustratingly little height gain. Up to the first fire break - didn't look too promising, with fallen trees blocking the way early on, but it turned out alright and brought us to a clear area near the steep NE aspect of our hill. A cairn is reached - but the summit is still half a km distant to the SW. Here there's a Vanessa Trig Column and a cairn on a rocky outcrop - the cairn was slightly higher, according to my GPS. Down steeply to the SE, the track visible at the end of a good firebreak. From here, back the way we'd come. Nearing the end of the track we passed a group of about 8 folk out for a walk, one of whom was Muriel Gray. Who smiled and said hello. I loved Muriel, back in the 80s when she was such an impish presence on The Tube and also her Munro Show - the nearest I got to climbing hills for many years. Good to see she's fit and well.

I think this is Creag Dhubh
ImageDSC02832 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Luidh Mor
ImageDSC02833 by Al, on Flickr

Binnien Shuas and Pitridh/Geal Charn
ImageDSC02834 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02835 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02836 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02838 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02839 by Al, on Flickr

Allison on the true summit
ImageDSC02840 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC02842 by Al, on Flickr

So that was us for another weekend - I suspect it will be Marilyns for the next few weekends as I am quite enjoying them :lol:

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Comments: 4

Three Fine Cowal Grahams

Attachment(s) Grahams: Beinn Bheag (Cowal), Beinn Mhor (Cowal), Creag Tharsuinn
Date walked: 19/01/2020
Distance: 43km
Ascent: 2400m
Comments: 2
Views: 204

Stob an Eas and Beinn Lagan

Attachment(s) Grahams: Stob an Eas
Sub 2000s: Beinn Lagan
Date walked: 17/01/2020
Distance: 17.1km
Ascent: 1350m
Views: 106

Some Perthshire Marilyns ... and the odd Donald

Attachment(s) Grahams: Uamh Bheag
Donalds: Beinn nan Eun, Uamh Bheag
Sub 2000s: Drummond Hill, Dun Coillich, Sron Smeur
Date walked: 12/01/2020
Comments: 1
Views: 185

222 x 2 = Sick Kid's Second Corbett Round

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn Bhreac
Sub 2000s: Leagag, Meall Chomraidh
Date walked: 05/01/2020
Distance: 54.8km
Ascent: 1702m
Comments: 6
Views: 456

New Year's Day on Stob Coire Creagach

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Binnein an Fhidhleir
Date walked: 01/01/2020
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 699m
Views: 275

A Gamble on Three Northern Corbetts

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn a' Chaisteil (Strath Vaich), Carn Ban, Carn Chuinneag
Sub 2000s: Cnoc Corr Guinie, Struie
Date walked: 29/12/2019
Distance: 60.4km
Ascent: 2460m
Comments: 3
Views: 392

The Mystery of the Disappearing Snao

Corbetts: Conachcraig, The Fara
Sub 2000s: Craigendarroch, The Coyles of Muick
Date walked: 22/12/2019
Distance: 32.6km
Ascent: 1777m
Comments: 3
Views: 399

Big Snow at Butterbridge

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Corbetts: Beinn an Lochain, Beinn Luibhean
Date walked: 15/12/2019
Distance: 11.5km
Ascent: 1400m
Views: 58

Wet, Wet, Wet

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Corbetts: Beinn Dearg (Glen Lyon), Beinn Each, Cam Chreag (Glen Lyon), Creag Mac Ranaich, Meall an t-Seallaidh
Date walked: 08/12/2019
Distance: 53.1km
Ascent: 3057m
Views: 74


User avatar
Location: Greenock
Occupation: Bandersnatch?
Interests: Solvitur Ambulando
Activity: Wanderer
Mountain: Foinaven
Place: Assynt and beyond
Gear: Satmap Active 12
Member: MCofS
Camera: Olympus TG5 / Sony RX100
Ideal day out: A long walk that thrills, chills and makes me feel alive
Munro rounds: 2
Corbett rounds: 2
Graham rounds: 1

Munros: 206
Corbetts: 44
Grahams: 73
Donalds: 89
Wainwrights: 15
Hewitts: 31
Sub 2000: 195
Islands: 28
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Trips: 6
Distance: 159 km
Ascent: 7850m
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 10


Trips: 57
Distance: 2929.1 km
Ascent: 180266m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 193
Grahams: 34
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 27


Trips: 61
Distance: 3090.77 km
Ascent: 206176m
Munros: 271
Corbetts: 16
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 9
Sub2000s: 32


Trips: 76
Distance: 2994.86 km
Ascent: 175243m
Munros: 67
Corbetts: 12
Grahams: 72
Donalds: 81
Sub2000s: 97
Hewitts: 13
Wainwrights 12


Trips: 78
Distance: 2035.42 km
Ascent: 124390m
Munros: 17
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 142
Donalds: 71
Sub2000s: 24
Hewitts: 15


Trips: 68
Distance: 2453.94 km
Ascent: 164961m
Munros: 77
Corbetts: 126
Grahams: 17
Donalds: 8
Sub2000s: 2


Trips: 64
Distance: 2406.7 km
Ascent: 166291m
Munros: 109
Corbetts: 112
Grahams: 16
Donalds: 10


Trips: 64
Distance: 1894.46 km
Ascent: 127277m
Munros: 219
Corbetts: 17
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 3
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 24
Distance: 254.33 km
Ascent: 16304m
Munros: 26
Corbetts: 5


Trips: 1
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Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Last visited: Jan 28, 2020
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