Date: Sat-Sun 26th-27th May 2012
Distance: 15.8km + 13.8km
Ascent: 1350m + 500m
Another High Pressure – another wild camp plan. This week’s fly in the ointment was the forecast temperatures – after the previous week’s bitter northerlies we were now into ridiculous heat. Welcome to Scotland.
After a very pleasant evening in the Clachaig on Friday we departed Glencoe late at about 1030 heading for Tulloch Station. Saw our first osprey of the year near Spean Bridge.
Pitched up a wee bit early so sat and ate some scran picked up in An Gearasdan until the 1214 train arrived.
A 17 minute train journey saw us alight at the Corrour Halt for only the 4th time. Had a brief chat to a couple of others who were cycling towards Geal Charn and then set off for a circuitous route back to Tulloch.
The path running north has a reputation for severe bogginess but other than a few very deep soupy pools it was dry and easy walking until joining the estate road at NN 342 681.
Corrour is at 400m so there are various views of different hill groups – the view down to Glen Nevis between the Mamores and the Ben/Aonachs was of interest.
The track then drops down to the foot of Loch Treig – another unvisited corner for us. The Graham Creag Ghuanach is a bit of a pimple given the height of the surrounds.
A couple of tents were here along the south shore of Loch Treig – not a bad spot.
The heat was significant – the advantage of the later train was the hope of temperatures dropping in the evening but in the height of the afternoon even relaxed track walking was uncomfortable.
The first hill Creag Ghuanach looks rather sporting above Creaguaineach Lodge.
A profusion of new flora and fauna this weekend – the end of spring has compressed in the cool of April/May and there has been a massive emergence in the last week.
Took shelter in the woods here and had some food – the shade was welcome.
Headed west along Abhainn Rath towards Staoineag – a pleasant walk. Up to this point in the year we’d seen no dragonflies at all. Suddenly the air was rich with 4-spotted chasers and the occasional hawker. A very welcome sight. The downside of the heat was that all the insects and lizards were positively turbo-charged and impossible to photograph.
The plants, turbo or not, could not escape.
Having already consumed our water we purified some more for the ascent of Creag Ghuanach. Heading out to Staoineag allowed us a reasonably easy ascent with developing views.
After a rather slow ascent in the heat we spent a while on the summit and enjoyed the rather good views.
Despite the early hour a motion was put to the floor that we camp here. A split vote necessitated the casting vote system (stone/paper/scissors) be employed. Onwards and downwards.
We took an easy sloped line first NW then NE to descend to the Allt na Lairig under Creagan a Chaise. Time for a rinse and more water gathering in the heat.
Although by now it was past 5pm the heat had not relented. As the planned campsite was on Stob Coire Easain that meant an 850m ascent. Started uphill with the lack of oomph that heat seems to deliver.
Still – always the odd distraction.
Slow progress – if the temp had been 15C less we’d have managed Naismith – in the event – not nearly.
Once up to the bealach with Creagan a Chaise things improved.
Over the last few months I’d been looking forward to warm sunshine – so here we were – and the prospect of ascending the hill in the shade is invigorating. No pleasing some folk.
About an hour saw us up to the bealach between the two munros. Followed the watercourse until about 950m and then purified the water for the overnight. Set off on the munro path up Stob Coire Easain.
Arrived at the summit to find only a minor breeze. I’d perused previous reports of the hill and one in particular showed a nice flat strip of grass.
Right enough – it was there. Alternatives were sparse/zero so we stuck the Nallo up at the very top and hoped the forecast for low winds had held.
Then enjoyed the substantial views.
Made and ate tea amongst taking pics and looking around.
Unfortunately the wind picked up fairly substantially. About 20-30mph. Not a hazard, but tunnel tents are flappy and I sleep poorly in higher winds. On a plus side our minimalist carriage of insulation and use of a duvet instead of bags was still too hot.
The wind dropped a bit towards dawn – head out at 0440.
The haze meant that the low sun had little power so I went back to bed for an hour. Got up to full light and a warm morning.
Sat and had our cocoa and nibbles watching all of this for an hour before gathering up the gear and heading down the NW arm of Stob Coire Easain. This is steep and a bit eroded for the first 150m but there is a path and cairns.
We’d wondered about going back to Sgurr Innse – a motion put to the floor was unanimously voted down due to heat.
Reached the Allt at the floor and partook of another rinse and water-gather.
Took a line straight for the Graham Cnap Cruinn. Dragonflies were guarding almost every pool, drying out or not.
Croosed the last Allt before the climb – took the very hot option of dipping t-shirts and hats prior to the ascent, which took the edge off the heat.
Cnap Cruinn has a rather undulating top and the best views W come at the W top.
From the summit there are reasonable views E along the A86.
Sat on the summit for 30mins and had lunch, hot in the sun. Headed E off the summit and kept to easy slopes to drop to the Allt at NN314 771 – grabbing more water.
We entered the forest at about NN 316 773 – there’s easy groud to a road which leads NE to the main forestry track.
From there it’s just about 6km on track/road back to the car at Tulloch Station.
These railway access and walk-back routes are fun and Corrour is a favourite. The heat made it a lot harder than it should have been but still well worth the effort.