Saturday 14 June 2014

Stob Coire Sgriodian and Chno Dearg

Stob Coire Sgriodian from Fersit

We set off from the car park by the little village of Fersit, with cloud swirling around the hills around us, and an iffy weather forecast.

Stob Coire Sgriodian and Allt Chaoradh Beag

Across the River Trieg, over the railway line and then we wound our way through the village - pretty cottages, strung out through the woods and across the moor...

Waterfalls on Allt Chaoradh Beag

...before heading south across the open slopes, following the Allt Chaoradh Beag, with the village dogs still barking - seeing Rafie out of their territory.

Allt Chaoradh Beag and Stob Coire Sgriodian

There wasn't much of a path to start with and it was rough going over tussock and heather, but it wasn't particularly steep and it wasn't long before a faint path appeared beside the burn.

But it was hot - so much so, that Jim actually stripped down to just a tee shirt - almost unheard of!

The cloud on the hills seemed to be rising, the weather looking good - we had high hopes for summit views.

Views north over  from ascent of Stob Coire Sgriodian 

We headed up towards Coire an Lochain along the increasingly well used path, looking for a suitable place to head up the steep slopes of Sron na Garbh-bheinne and the way to Stob Coire Sgriodian, our first Munro of the day.

Allt Chaoradh Beag

We probably left it a bit late, but, at about NN363754, we struck off, south west up a wide gully, through the rocks and boulders.

Chno Dearg from the ascent of Stob Coire Sgriodian

It was pathless and steep, warm going - but a large patch of old, hard snow had its own little micro climate - bliss - if a little slippery!

Views east to Loch Laggan from the ascent of Stob Coire Sgriodian

Once up through the little gully, we found we were just below the summit plateau and so ascended to the shallow bealach between Sron na Garbh-bheinne and Stob Coire Sgriodian, with sudden views over Loch Trieg to the Grey Corries.

Jim - Ascent of Stob Coire Sgriodian

It was an easy pull up to the summit of Stob Coire Sgriodian (Munro 174, 979m), with great views all around.

There was weather everywhere - patches of sunshine chasing over the hills, cloud swirling over the higher hills and black clouds and rain showers stalking the mountains, rushing past - but not on our hill!

Stob Coire Sgriodian summit (Munro 174, 979m)

Once the obligatory photo shoot was completed, we continued south along the summit plateau...

Loch Trieg from Stob Coire Sgriodian

...until we found a suitable spot for a first lunch, out of the wind amongst the rocks.

Jim's jacket was, inevitably, back on!

Chno Dearg from Stob Coire Sgriodian

Rafe and Jim - Loch Treig from Stob Coire Sgriodian

Stob Coire Sgriodian from the South Top

The going was good, undulating over Stop Coire Sgriodian's South Top (Munro Top 144, 958m),

Rafe - Stob Coire Sgriodian South Top (Munro Top 144, 958m)

Chno Dearg from the descent from Stob Coire Sgriodian South Top

Over a minor, but quite rocky, top, Glac Bhan,

Stob Coire Sgriodian from bealach

...and down into the bealach above Coire an Lochain.

Stob Coire Sgriodian from ascent of Chno Dearg

We followed a quad bike track up Chno Dearg (our second Munro of the day), a bit of a grassy slog. But it was fairly short-lived - and once we neared the summit there were a few more rocks to negotiate.

Nearing Chno Dearg summit - views east to Loch Laggan and Lochan na h-Earba

We had been concerned that we were in for a soaking, as a black cloud loomed ominously, but as we approached the large summit cairn of Chno Dearg (Munro 86, 1046m) the cloud had taken itself off and the sun came out.

Chno Dearg summit (Munro 86, 1046m) - views west over The Easains and the Grey Corries

Whilst it wasn't tee shirt weather anymore, it was definitely time for a second lunch - with views east over Loch Laggan and Lochan na h-Earba.

Jim and Rafe - Descent from Chno Dearg - views north west

Descending north west from Chno Dearg on easy slopes, we had to cross a rather large expanse of knarly old snow - hard and slippery - it steamed quietly to itself as it slowly melted. Rafie had great fun, throwing bits of ice into the air and trying to catch it again.

Views east - Descent from Chno Dearg - east to Loch Laggan and Lochan na h-Earba

Stob Coire Sgriodian and Lochan Coire an Lochain

Once over the snow, we splashed through a bog of snow melt, across pathless moor back to the Allt Chaoradh Beag, where we had another drink and a bit of flapjack by some waterfalls.

Jim - Allt Chaoradh Beag and Stob Coire Sgriodian

Then north along our outward track back down to Fersit,

Views north over Allt Chaoradh Beag

...watching the clouds and the showers rushing from east to west, along Glean Spean ahead.

Allt Chaoradh Beag and the top of Chno Dearg

Not a drop fell on us.

Jim and Rafe - Views north over Allt Chaoradh Beag

But Rafe was, of course, very wet by the time we arrived back at the car - having had a paddle, plodge or swim in every watercourse encountered.

Stob Coire Sgriodian from beside Allt Chaoradh Beag

Route:  Car park/turning area at Fersit (south of A86) (NN350782), east though the village of Fersit and once beyond second gate, head S across open moor on vague path along Allt Chaoradh Beag, at approx NN363754 head SW up the side of Sron na Garbh-bheinne to the bealach between it and Stob Coire Sgriodain, Stob Coire Sgriodain (Munro 174, 979m), Stob Coire Sgriodain South Top (Munro Top 144, 958m), Glac Bhan, summit (924m), Bealach Coire an Lochain, Chno Dearg (Munro 86, 1046m), head NW from summit, to pick up Allt Chaoradh Beag at approx NN363748, return to start

Statistics:  Distance: 13.5km  Ascent:  930m  Time: 6hours

Stob Coire Sgriodain

Chno Dearg

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