Saturday 1 June 2013

Spidean Mialach and Gleouraich.

Loch Quoich and Knoydart

The day had dawned warm and sunny and we drove down Glen Garry with high hopes of a dry day, despite the forecast of showers in the middle of the day.

Red deer in Coire Mheil

The cloud was already starting to bubble up as we parked on the shore of Loch Quoich, chatting to other walkers as we tied our boots. We set off to do today's walk anticlockwise, whilst the other group went straight up the stalkers path which would be our descent route.

Loch Quoich at the start of our ascent into Coire Mheil

We walked a few hundred yards east along the road, before striking out, through a grove of rhododendrons, onto the open hillside and into Coire Mheil.

Rafe - ascent into Coire Mheil with Spidean Mialach ahead

Loch Quoich from the ascent of Spidean Mialach

The views behind opened up, over Loch Quoich and to Knoydart's wild hills across the water. The loch was so still that the mountains were mirrored, along with the sky, in perfect clarity (should we have brought the canoe?).

Jim - Coire Mheil on the ascent of Spidean Mialach

We ascended into the coire, with our first Munro, Spidean Mialach, ahead to the north east, a good path and easy walking.

Allt a'Mheil and views south east

A fell runner passed us, coming down, with a cheery good morning, he must have had an early start, as we crossed Allt a'Mheil.

Loch Quoich from the ascent of Spidean Mialach

Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich, Fiar Bhealach and Spidean Mialach

Loch Fearna and views south east from the ascent of Spidean Mialach

The way started to steepen as we pulled up into Coire Glas and we could see the weather crossing the loch after us.

Rain coming - Loch Quoich

We were racing the rain now, determined to reach the ridge before the cloud took away the views. We just about made it.

Rain getting nearer - Loch Fearna and Loch Quoich

Loch Loyne and Glen Garry from the summit of Spidean Mialach

West to Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich from the summit of Spidean Mialach

The summit shelter on Spidean Mialach was a good spot to don our waterproofs, take photographs before the mist took over and to have a quick sarnie.

The summit of Spidean Mialach (996m)
looking north to the South Glen Sheil ridge

West to Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich from near the summit of Spidean Mialach

We started along the ridge, with vague views to the South Glen Sheil Ridge to the north, across Glen Loyne. The cliffs to our right were sheer, rocky and still had a goodly amount of snow clinging on.

As we continued the murk increased and we wandered west from craggy rock to craggy cairn.

Rafe in Fiar Bhealach

The descent into Fiar Bhealach was short and steep, but took us below the cloud line, giving us some moody views and the rain stopped briefly. 

Northern coire's on ascent of
Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich 

Northern coire's on ascent of Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich

The 200m pull up out of the bealach was kept interesting by the changes in terrain, a few rocks, a couple of zig zags, a bit of grass along with the fleeting views of the mountains all around.

We met the other group of walkers here, dripping like us, but enjoying the day.

Northern coire's on ascent of
Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich

We passed the Munro Top of Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich in thick mist again, the views down into the northern coire's ominous.

Northern coire's on ascent of Gleouraich

During the final pull up to our second Munro, Gleouraich, the rain turned to hail, and horizontal hail at that. Not nice, but thankfully, brief.

Jim ascends Gleouraich 

Gleouraich summit (1035m)

We could see some brightness behind the cloud, would we get some views at the summit? 

Sadly no, and the weather didn't encourage us to linger on the summit, we hurried down, hoping for the weather to improve as we descended.

Gleouraich - a brief view of the summit from NH037055

Pretty much 50m below the summit a break in the clouds gave us a quick glimpse, but that was all.

Jim and Rafe - descent to Druim Seileach with views of Glen Quoich

We took the southerly ridge, down onto Druim Seileach and quickly descended out of the cloud, the views opened out over Loch Quoich...

A good spot for a second lunch? - Jim and Rafe - Druim Seileach

...And beyond.

The rain stopped and the sun came out.

We were steaming.

Loch Quoich from Druim Seileach

The decent was on a good stalkers path, clear and straightforward the entire way. Quite a few zig zags down, followed by a pleasant walk beside Allt Coire Peitireach and its waterfalls and after a short wet jungle of rhododendrons we found ourselves back on the road, beside the car.

Another great hill day.

Jim - Druim Seileach with views to Loch Quoich and Knoydart

Route:  Car parking area by Kinloch Hourn road (NH029030), E 300m along road, NE at metal post (NH032028) on stalkers trackCoire Mheil, Choire Glas, Spidean Mialach (Munro 146, 996m), Fiar Bhealach, Creag Coire na Fiar Bhealaich (Munro Top 77, 1006m), Gleouraich (Munro 97, 1035m), Druim Sealeach, stalkers path S to start.

Statistics:  Distance: 12km  Ascent: 1130m  Time: 5hrs 30mins

Loch Quoich from beside Allt Coire Peitireach (NH030031)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Beinn Bhrotain and Monadh Mor

Setting off from Glen Feshie - it was chilly - before the sun had a chance to peep over the hills...  Off we go! Jim - Setting off near Auch...