Whiteburn's Wanderings

One man's wanderings backpacking around Scotland plus the odd digression

Glenfinnan

I’d a plan on the back burner for a high level traverse from Glenfinnan across to the Great Glen taking in 3 Munroes & 4 Corbetts just waiting for reasonable weather & was feeling much frustrated that for various reasons I’d watched the glorious week’s weather ticking past without heading to the hills.  I finally escaped on Thursday afternoon with surprisingly still a reasonable forecast through the weekend.  The drive across Scotland to Glenfinnan proved frustrating; roadworks, construction traffic & getting stuck behind tourists doing 35 mph along the single track roads, etc.

After a ridiculous 4 ½ hrs stuck in the tin can I was finally glad to be headed off up the glen in the evening sunshine to the Corryhully bothy; can’t say it’s one of my favourite bothies but it does benefit from electric lighting even a kettle (I always try & remember a £1 coin as a donation towards to cost).

Corryhully

I had the bothy to myself (save for a lone walker late off the hill calling in) & after dinner I soon had a small fire going, it didn’t do much to raise the temperature but it was nice to settle down in the armchair in front of for an hour before bed.

Day 1 – 16km; 1900m

GlenF day1

The weather had changed with the day, the forecast had predicted low cloud edging into the NW & that’s what I’d got.

GlenF1

Heading up the Sgurr a’ Choire  Riabhaich ridge I hit the cloud base at around 600m, vis was down to 50m, not troublesome enough to hinder navigation just annoying after nearly a week of glorious sunshine.

The summit of Sgurr nan Coireachan was the familiar Trig Point in the mist.

Sgurr nan Coireachan

Sgurr Thuilm a cairn in the mist.

Sgurr Thuilm

Descending the Druim Coire a Bheithe I dropped out of the mist around 750m, at around 350m I dropped off the path a cut down to join the Gleann Cuirnean path at around 300m constantly checking out the northwest flank of Streap for a reasonable ascent route.

Once up the easy 120m climb up to the bealach I took to Streap’s steep NW slope to around 600m to reach a grassy ramp that could be seen to run up to the ridge about 500m south of the summit.  It proved quite steep going but nothing desperate & dropped me on the ridge at ~800m with the legs well pumped.

Streap turned out to be another cairn in the mist.

Streap

Once across Streap Comhlaidh & descending north I dropped below the cloud again at ~800m, not awe inspiring views but I could see Loch Arkaig 5 – 6km & more importantly suss out the ‘best’ line down to the bealach.

Streap2

I ended up more or less following an old fence line down the hill & pitched up a couple of hundred metres south of Lochan a’ Chomhlain, not the best pitch in the world but the best I could find in the area, plus the legs didn’t want to go further & my knee was playing up.

Camp Lochan a’ Chomhlain

Day 2 – 16km; 1500m

GlenF day2

The bellowing of stags in the neighbourhood gave me an early alarm call so I way on the road by 7:30 weaving a path across the boggy bealach, it was too early in the day to get the socks wet.  Then it was straight up the hill following the old fence line up to the ridge, steep but once there it was only a 50m climb to the summit cairn, at least it was clear of mist though Streap & Sgurr Thuilm were still cloaked.

Braigh nan Uamhachan

The descent northward towards Gulvain was easy enough though steep enough to annoy the knee again, crossing the bealach & the wee summit of Gualann nan Osna was typical ‘rough bounds’, lots of rolling outcrops & boggy bits.

Gualann nan Osna

The 500m ascent up the blunt ridge to the Gulvain Trig Point was a slog & by the time I got there the cloud had annoyingly dropped again so it was straight on down the ridge, up to the summit proper & luckily a few minutes break in the cloud.

Gulvain

Returning back along the ridge the cloud swirled in once again but cleared on reaching the Trig Point, enough to even catch a glimpse of Loch Shiel.

Gulvain3

The descent proved painfully slow with the knee once again painfully playing up.  I stopped for a late lunch by the river & mulled options.  Continue on my planned route, another 25km & 1600m, I still had 2 nights food so split the equation various ways trying to convince myself; OR call it a day & head the glen.

I finally decided Meall a’ Phubuill & Beinn Bhan would be there for another day & potential knee damage lessened; I hobbled off down the glen & a bus back to Glenfinnan a bit disappointed.

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2 comments on “Glenfinnan

  1. Kirsten
    October 4, 2015

    Sorry to hear your knee is playing up, Paul, but at least you got out there and had some of that lovely weather!

    • Paul Atkinson
      October 4, 2015

      Didn’t get much of a sun tan but at least it didn’t rain & the midge weren’t bad; 2 unusual events for the west coast!

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This entry was posted on October 4, 2015 by in Trip Reports and tagged , .
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