Corrour to Rannoch cold camp. November 2010.

Date: Sat-Sun 6th-7th Nov 2010
Distance: 34.2km
Ascent: 1700m

The normal variations in the weather forecast seemed to be settling towards a rather nice weekend – with low winds and low temps. We’d had our eyes on a wild camp on the NE of Rannoch for a wee while so the wheels were set in motion.

Up early for the long drive to Rannoch Station. A storm had been forecast for Sunday evening – my parents had kindly agreed to check the Met Office update and we called from the Kinloch Rannoch phonebox to get the all clear – which was duly delivered. 🙂

Arrived at Rannoch Station at 0820 – the mist we’d driven through from Pitlochry was a low layer along the lochs. We had some nice views above it.

Caught the Sleeper which was bang on time for the 15 min hop to Corrour. Disembarked with a few other walkers – most headed towards Loch Ossian, one headed for Leum Ulliem. We headed for Leum Ulliem too.

A bit of a muddy track ascends from the line towards the NE ridge of the Corbett. Frosty overnight had led to a few ice skims:

Climbing affords views of Loch Ossian with shrouded Ben Alder at the back:

A few Snow Buntings were moving around the ridge. Familiar call but much shyer than the Cairngorm residents.

Easy progress up the ridge – quite open views in many directions. Loch Treig and the Easains:

Got to the summit of Leum Ulliem in a little over 2 hours at an easy amble. Cold wind had us layering up for lunch.

Loch Rannoch had kept its mist layer:

Sat for a while up here enjoying the view and then dropped down Sron an Lagain Ghairbh. Back to summit:

Once again Loch Ossian catches the eye:

From this ridge we broke SE over rough ground towards the old track from Blackwater. Some nice skies:

Picked the track up and headed for the ruin of Lubnaclach:

A solidly built old building – now gone to ruin.

Took the track NE from Lubnaclach – looking back to the ruin and Leum Ulliem:

Took the track as far as the ruin of Corrour Old Lodge – this must have been a massive place!

From there we followed the stream up hill to the bealach N of Pt861m collecting some water on the way. Carried on to the summit of Carn Dearg which was still misted. Found a pitch about 50m NW of the summit sheltered from the light southerly. Got the tent up and tea cooking in short order.

Mist was coming and going but we could see cars on the A82 near the ski centre and the Lights of Rannoch Station.

Retired to the tent – snow showers pattered on the flysheet early on but a fairly peaceful night. Pretty Baltic throughout though – water reservoirs turning to slush puppies. Still snug in down bags.

Had set an alarm for dawn. Got out for the pre-dawn show.

The Ben:

Sunrise:

Cairn and Section 4:

Schiehallion:

Blackwater and Glen Coe/Black Mount:

Tent and Ben Nevis:

The mistake of using a Butane stove was rewarded with the normal low temp spluttering performance. Managed a mug of hot chocolate – the porridge was replaced with cold oat bars.

Packed up the tent and had a last look from a brilliant eyrie:

Panorama:

Link to larger pano

BEM across Backwater:

Nipped back to the summit of Carn Dearg – Schiehallion:

Summit Cairn in less red light:

One of those moments you need to tear yourself away from. Dropped down on the munro route for Sgor Gaibhre – a simple bimble, albeit needing to avoid ice patches.

Looking back to Carn Dearg:

Summited Sgor Gaibhre – seemed like a new hill given the poor conditions last time.

Loch a Bhealaich and Ben Alder:

Foot of Loch Ericht:

Summit Cairn:

From there it was an easy walk south to the Corbett Meall na Meoig. I’d had a yen to camp on this one – reinforced by this visit. Views of Loch Ericht, Loch Tummell, Loch Laidon and Blackwater.

Summit Lochan:

Blackwater:

From here dropped down to Beinn Pharlagain. Clouds thickened from the west quickly over about 90 mins – a real change in the day. A few ptarmigans flew around us here.

Blackwater and the Eagach:

Dropped down into Coire Eigeach to head for the track back to the road – clouds building:

We picked up an estate track at about NN 437 812 which led to the bridge at NN 436 603. From there the track, and then the public road led back to our car.

Loch Laidon from near Rannoch Station:

Great to get out to Rannoch Station – a new place for us. The hills around Corrour are spectacular viewpoints – a real treat.

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