Log 3 Aug 2013

GLENFINNAN SATURDAY 3 AUGUST 2013

Iain Wilson, Alex MacLennan, Jeremy Idle, Robert Wight, Fraser Gold and Ron Dorn met in the car park for a 06:00  start to Glenfinnan.
Objectives were discussed, with Ron and Robert keen to go for the Corie Hully circuit of two Munros, Sgurr nan Coireachean and Sgurr Thuilm. They will publish their own report of their day.
 
The remaining four headed up to Callop, two kilometers from the Glenfinnan monument with the intention of completing a three Corbett circuit of Stob Bhealaich an Sgriodain, Sgurr Ghuibsaichain and Sgurr Craobh a Caorunn. However, deteriorating weather (wind and rain) on our arrival at Callop caused us to reconsider things and a more sensible circuit taking in the outlier "Marilyn?" of Meall nan Cearc was proposed.
 
Buffeted by occasional evil squalls and showers, we made our way to the summit of Meall nan Cearc where Fraser decided to complete his day and head back to the car. Alex, Jeremy and Iain headed round to SGORR CRAOBH A’CHAORAINN to complete the first Corbett of the day.   By this point visibility had increased and the showers were becoming less frequent but the wind still made its presence felt along the connecting ridge.   There is some wonderful scrambling in this area and it is almost possible to make a completely grass free ascent of SGURR GHIUSACHAIN.   However, such was the strength of the winds and occasional showers that our minds were focussed on simply getting to the top!
With conditions too gusty to linger at the summit, we headed down towards the Loch Sheil side of the hill to find a suitable spot for lunch.   Weather had stopped raining at this point (almost ) and we had a reasonable view down to Loch Sheil.
An uneventful if tiring descent (due to the covered boulders and tussocky grass) soon saw us at the well surfaced track leading North East to Guesachain and a few kilometres walk took us back to the car at Callop at 17:10.
 
Refreshments were enjoyed at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.
Report by Iain Wilson

 
We set off at 9.30am from the car park on the Glenfinnan estate road just off the A830 on the west side of the river making our way up the surfaced estate road to north of the bothy (which must be the best equipped bothy around with electricity and a kettle, open fire with wood stacked at the side).  We then headed North West up the stalker’s path onto Sgurr a’ Choire Riabhaich (the day could be shorter by cycling to the stalker’s path thus saving around 1.5 hours).
The stalker’s path gave way to a narrow path following the western side of Sgurr a’ Choire Riabhaich before heading up a steep and increasingly rocky ascent to reach the top.  As we climbed the wind got stronger, as did the rain, and by the time we reached the crest it was gale force.  Throughout the walk around the ridge we had to stop on numerous occasions just to take shelter – this probably made the walk longer by an hour or so.

We reached a cloud free (just – courtesy of the gale force winds pushing the cloud higher) SGURR NAN COIREACHAN at 13:15pm where we had a quick lunch sheltered behind an outcrop before heading east along an interesting undulating ridge to SGURR THUILM at 16:15.  The wind was at its fiercest along this part of the walk – so much so that at one point Ron had no alternative but to lay prone on the grass whilst the gust dissipated.   The walk back down into Glenfinnan was via a reasonable path down the south west ridge of Drum Coire a’ Bheithe which gave fine views of the Coire Thollaidh and the circular ridge walk.  Walking back along the estate road we arrived at the car at 19:30 – a 10 hour day, by which time we decided to forego the usual refreshment and head home.
Robert took some photos – an impressive achievement considering the rain and wind when it would have been so much easier just to leave the camera in the pocket.
Take away the rain and gale force wind and it was a grand day out!
Report by Ron Dorn