Log 11 April 2015

SOW OF ATHOLL AND NEIGHBOURS  - Saturday 11 April 2015
Donald Irvine, Kevin and Iain W left Milngavie at 07:00.
The original intention of the day was to head to Dalnaspidal on the A9 to climb Beinn Mhollach, a somewhat retiring Corbett at the head of Loch Garry in the hinterlands of Perth.   The plan was to cycle along the north shore of the loch for a few kilometres and head to the base of the hill but strong westerly winds backed with typical Scottish April weather forced a reappraisal of the day.  Back- up plan was therefore to climb 2 Corbetts adjacent to the road at Dalnaspidal
Donald also mentioned in the passing that he would hope to complete his round of the Corbetts today on THE SOW OF ATHOLL.
On arrival at Dalnaspidal we headed off over the railway at the level crossing and wended our way up the south ridge of The Sow of Atholl, arriving on the summit late morning.    No celebratory arch of trekking poles for Donald, but a couple of hip flasks with decent malts were much appreciated.
Donald headed off to conquer The BOAR OF BADENOCH, an adjacent "Marilyn" and Iain and Kevin headed back to glen and southwards up a well worn ATV track to the summit of MEALL NA LEITRICH.
Strong cold wind backed by sleety showers and occasional sunshine were the order of the day.
We called in at the author`s favourite watering hole "The Moulin" at Pitlochry to further toast Donald`s success.
I speak for Kevin and myself when I say that it was a great honour to be a small part of Donald`s great day.
Report by Iain Wilson


True to form, Rob and Ron went Munro bagging rather than accompany Iain and the others on the Corbett trail. 
We set off in a blizzard from layby 79 on the A9 at 09:30 after leaving the bikes at Balsporran Cottages some 4km to the north.   We were to encounter long periods of blizzards and occasional sunshine all day.  After walking about 200m south to cross under the railway we retraced our steps up the other side and then followed the track up Coire Dhomhain for about 1.5km before we crossed a recently constructed bridge and headed for the col on the east ridge of SGAIRNEACH MHOR.   It was not long before we were in snow and sunshine (see attached photo – my only one of the day) reaching the summit around noon.

Without stopping, we headed for the col at the head of Coire Dhomhain and followed old fence posts up the south ridge of BEINN UDLAMAIN reaching the summit around 13:15.    We sheltered from the constant wind behind some stone shelters to have lunch before setting off north east, again following fence posts, towards A’MHARCONAICH.    However, it was not long before we came across an icy snowfield, the width of which suggested we would have to walk down the slope.    Donning crampons in yet another blizzard we reached the lowest point on the ridge where we could take off the crampons and continued in the fiercest blizzard of the day to the summit of A’Mharconaich, reaching it around 15:00.   Whilst the GPS suggested we were at the summit cairn there was another cairn about 100m further to the north which we did not see in the blizzard but another walker pointed it out.    As it looked slightly higher we went over to it just to be sure we had reached the summit.   

Retracing our steps for about 1km we put on our crampons yet again and then headed down the icy slope towards the col at the head of Coire Fhar, coming across a lovely mountain hare crossing our path over the snowfield.    We then headed up the south ridge of GEAL-CHARN in sunshine all the way to the summit reaching it at around 16:30.   We followed the north east ridge down to the bikes at Balsporran Cottages and then biked along the cycle path adjacent to the A9 reaching the car around 18:00.   After climbing four Munros the 4km bike ride in a severe head wind seemed more like 40km (at least to Ron with Rob heading off into the distance!).

A’Mharconaich saw Rob complete 50% of the Munros whilst Geal-charn was Ron’s 100th.
Report by Ron Dorn
P.S.   Donald - congratulations on completing the Corbetts.