Log 26 Aug 2012

ARDGOUR 26 AUGUST 2012
 
A party of 7 left Milngavie in three cars: Alex, Noelle, Fraser; Donald, Bill P and Allan; Billy in his own car as he was going to stay on in Lochaber. (Joined Alex from the ferry). My first time co-ordinating.  

Drizzling as we left Glasgow going up Loch Lomondside but skies cleared as we travelled west.    Caught the Corran Ferry and we were leaving the Ariundle Carpark by 10am.   
Strong  party of Fraser, Billy, Noelle and Alex.   Strongest of all was Abbie the golden retriever.  Day was improving with high overcast cloud and little wind.    
Easily got to the bings of the old mines.  Someone camping here set Fraser reminiscing about an old Blacks tent he owned.     Steep pull onto the Druim Leac 'a Sgiathain and more easily onto Sgurr na h-Ighinn.   

From here we had great views:  south to the Oakwoods and Loch Sunart;  west to Ardnamurchan, Small Isles, going northerly onto black and Red Cuillin of Skye and Knoydart:  east down Glens Scaddle and Gour to Ben Nevis, Mamores and Glencoe.  Probably even saw Schiehallion.   Easy drop down to beallach and then easily onto top of  SGURR DHOMHNUILL.    No sign of the Trig Point.   Ate lunch with these fantastic views, and also the many ridges of Ardgour.   

Decided to go back over Druim Garbh.    Dreadful descent of steep grassy slope to north but eventually contoured onto the bealach.    Found a full rucksack, during our traverse, which Billy lugged back to drop off at the Police Station in Fort William.   

Once on top of Druim Garbh, it was a long but easy slog back to the car.   We regained the riverside path by dropping down through one of the burns reaching the Allt-Feith Dhomhnuill.    Probably just missed Allan Carr & Bill Parks, who had been up Garbh Bhienn and Donald Irvine, who have been up two Marilyns, when we stopped for a pint in the Ardgour Inn.    Lovely gloaming light on Glencoe as we drove back home.   

Another excellent day.
7 hours 30 minutes; 18k; 1400m ascent
Report by Alex Maclennan

BEINN NA H-UAMHA & BEINN CHLAON LEUD
 
Donald dropped Allan and Bill off at the foot of Garbh Bheinn and drove down to Loch Arienas to park at and visit Aoinidh Mhoir, a township where the residents were evicted in the 1820s in favour of sheep rearing.   Later forestry plantations covered the buildings which are now visible again since felling in the 1990s; an atmospheric prelude to the climbing of BEINN NA H-UAMHA 465m with its cave and basalt cliffs (even more dramatic on the north side).  

Views to Rum and Skye showed these islands bathed in sunshine whilst a dark cloud hung over me and my hill.   Then drove up to the high point of the road to climb BEINN CHLAON LEUD 479m from where most hills of Morvern, Sunart and Ardgour could be picked out.   

Reunited  with Allan and Bill within minutes of arriving at the rendezvous point.
Report by Donald Irvine
 
GARBH BHIENN

At 09:55 Allan and Bill set off from the bridge over the Abhainn Coire an Iubhair on the A861 in Glen Tarbert.   We climbed at a leisurely pace up the stony Sron a’Gharbh Choire Bhig, picking our way up traces of path through rocky outcrops.   For the most part the weather was cloudy but dry and cool – perfect for walking.  

On reaching the top at the north-western end of the Sron, we were treated to a striking view of the massif of Garbh Bheinn from the south-east, separated from us by a drop of 75 metres.   At that point, Allan suddenly remembered his religious conviction forbidding him to lose height unnecessarily.   Reinforcing this with his excuse that he had climbed the summit twice before, he encouraged Bill to complete the effort alone.   This was accomplished first by means of a very cautious descent down a precipitous stony gully to the east side of the col at the edge of the drop into Coire an Iubhair.   There was however no serious difficulty in ascending the final peak at 885m, reached around 14:00h.   Noting that the time taken was about 4 hours for a vertical ascent of 880m, this must be something of a record for the slowest climb of the hill.  

Visibility from the top was bit dull and hazy but there were nevertheless rewarding views all round including that of Rum and Eigg to the west.  Choosing a rather easier course  over the rocky landscape via the col cairn, Bill returned to Allan’s perch.   Having scoffed the remainder of our lunch, we set off on the same route as the uphill climb but at a more impressive pace, returning to the starting point at 16:35.  

In spite of the threat of rain-heavy cloud in the afternoon, we had experienced only one short light shower, and surprisingly we had only seen one other party consisting of a family of three and their black Labrador dog. 

Donald arrived within minutes and we were able to enjoy the usual imbibing at the hotel by the Corran Ferry before driving home.
Report by Bill Parkes