Saturday, October 31, 2015

Glen Etive: Meall a' Bhuiridh (45) and Creise (50)

Walk date: 09/07/15
My Munro #'s: 270 and 271

Pronunciations - translations - heights:

Mowl a vooree - hill of the rutting stags - 1108m
Kraysh - unknown - 1100m

Duration - 09:35 - 14:30
Distance -  unknown km (GPS problem!)
Total ascent -  1104m
Weather - dry all day.  A bit of cold wind on high tops for a while.
Team - Paul P
Other hikers: one other hiker

Hike week 2015 - Day 6 - Thursday

With the shortest drive of the whole week and the biggest car park, we were not exactly going for the wilderness when we turned up at the Glencoe ski centre.  Things stayed in this vein as, despite reading about a superior route which would take in Creise from the north, we opted for the far simpler good-path-straight-up approach, but unfortunately this was right under the ski lifts!!

After the initial slog, Meall a' Bhuiridh flattens out for a spell before the second and rather random push up to the almost pathless rocky top.  The remoteness still still didn't come as we witnessed the centre's helicopter make a dozen drops to workers on the ski lifts below.  However, it did finally come once we reached the summit and saw the superior Creise for the first time.

The route to Creise is via a glorious high level rocky ridge which provides good pace and tremendous views all around. A little bit of a scramble at the end and the plateau of Creise was soon providing a pleasant stroll.  I can easily imagine this being a horrible location with the weather against you, but today it was simply an amazing spot for lunch!!

A high hill, but Meall a' Bhuiridh doesn't exactly start 'remote':

Good views across to Buachaille Etive Mor:

Creise makes a show:

After the so-so approach and top of Meall a' Bhuiridh, Creise was refreshingly interesting:

Here we go!

Beautiful high rocky ridge walking:

With impressive drops either side:

Massive deep gully for the river to the north:

Looking back:

Finally making it to the Creise plateau:

The summit!

A jump at the bottom of the bike track that goes under the ski/bike lift:

Tubic accommodation at the bottom for the West Highland Way:

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Monday, October 12, 2015

The Bridge of Orchy Hills: Beinn Mhanach (211)

Walk date: 07/07/15
My Munro #'s: 267

Pronunciations - translations - heights:

Bynn vanach - monk hill - 853m

Duration - 13:15 - 17:20
Distance -  17.6 km
Total ascent -  752m
Weather - a little wet at the start, but turning better with even some sun at the end!  Windy on top.
Team - Paul P 
Other hikers: none!

Hike week 2015 - Day 4 - Tuesday

This day was forecast to be a day of lightning, so we had a late start with shops and coffee (man, it was boring!), while we sat it out.  Eventually things started to improve so we opted to have a look at this one as its low level approach followed by a simple up/down would allow us to turn around and get to safety the minute we felt unhappy.

I opted for my soft Merrells both because of the long walk-in and due to the sore feet after yesterday's strenuous descent.  The Merrells felt great for the walk-in apart from how wet I got as this approach takes you across endless fords which on this day had quite a lot of flow through them.  Within 10 minutes of leaving the car my feet were drenched!

As you can see from the plot we ventured a little to the east before ascending the munro itself.  This I would recommend as even the 600m of calmer grassy slopes here still required some work.  Just take an immediate left turn after crossing the wooden bridge on the track and get to it!  Before too long the summit is reached which provides good views despite its flat character.  For us it was a little cold here due to the wind so we didn't hang around much.

The fun part of all that ascent is the returning as, if your knees can take it, it's the perfect incline for a speedy jog!  For us 1 hour up from the track and just 25 minutes back!

Right at the start.  Get used to this track!

Ford number 2 I think...

Mhanach making an appearance, and that track again...

No, we didn't ford this one!  The route up starts just after the bridge:

Looking back down the glen:

Awalking we will go...

Getting stuck in:

Clearing up:

And this is your reward!

Cairn action:


An unexpected addition to the Clachaig:

Trip to the pub sir?

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Glen Etive: Stob Coir' an Albannaich (90) and Meall nan Eun (254)

Walk date: 06/07/15
My Munro #'s: 265 and 266
Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Stop kor an alapaneech - peak of the corrie of the Scotsman - 1044m
Myowl nan ayn - hill of the birds - 928m

Duration - 09:10 - 17:50
Distance -  unknown due to GPS problem, 15-ish km
Total ascent -  1807m
Weather - warm, sunny start, windy on munros, wet on steep descent!
Team - with Paul P
Other hikers: one!

Hike week 2015 - Day 3 - Monday

This hike was plotted to start with a steep ascent up the north western slopes of Beinn Chaorach, but having seen it the day before and having considered its complete lack of obvious route, we weren't too keen on such a dramatic start to the day!  Unfortunately, the only alternative was to return to the bog of yesterday and trudge through it.  

After that it was just the small matter of the long slog up Learg Mheuran before turning to the north and making our slow way up steep slopes, which thankfully soon levelled out to reveal the attractive top of Stob Coir' an Albannaich.  The north side of this hill is very dramatic and it did seem initially that there was no possible route on to the rather diminutive  Meall nan Eun.  However, just following the ridge eastward reveals a good path, that soon makes a sharp turn north down a boulder-shoot.  The descent requires attention, but is generally fine at least when it's not wintry!

After that adventure, Meall nan Eun is just a slog along grassy slopes and rocky outcrops, with a pesky smaller hill just before it.  It really does feel isolated when you get there, and the first thought is to start the work back!

Having been up and down Learg Mheuran and along the bog at the bottom enough, it was time to try that daunting north-west side of Beinn Chaorach.  However, any thoughts of a steep descent making things easy soon dissipated, as the relatively easy walking higher up became harder and harder on the serious slopes that were unhelpfully covered in drenched grass (and occasional aggressive mother-ptmargans protecting their squeaking chicks!).  Eventually, the slopes lessened to the point of actually being able to see the next section we were heading onto, and for a brief while we actually hit a path before losing it again in dense boggy bracken.  After a little meandering we even made it out of the forest on the lower slopes and onto the track to back up to the road.  We survived, but we would never recommend such a route either way round!

Morning sun going up Learg Mheuran:

Coming up on Stob Coir' an Albannaich:

With me!

The fairly sharp 'other side':

And looking north from its south side:

On the final bit of plod up to the remote Meall nan Eun:

And all I got for my trouble was this cairn!

Meall nan Eun definitely ticks the 'flat top' box:

Cairn 'fun'!

Paul celebrates finding a feature!

Looking toward Creise:

Trying to find a toilet spot but Paul keeps taking pics!

Meall nan Eun from Stob Coir' an Albannaich:

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