Friday, 5 May 2017

Stob an Aonaich Mhoir

After a cooked breakfast at the B+B the next morning, I made the short drive to Bridge of Ericht at the west end of Loch Rannoch from where I intended to cycle in on the estate track which leads ultimately to Corrievarkie Lodge on the eastern shore of Loch Ericht. The Corbett of Stob an Aonaich Mhoir was my goal for the day and I wasn't looking forward to the 12km cycle in, ascending to the high point of the road at over 600m before I set foot on the hill. In fact the road was a delight to cycle - the tarred surface was good and most of the inclines were not too steep, and anyway, the thought of freewheeling my way back down to the lochside kept me going.
Following at first the River Ericht the road turns north east after the dam at the southern end of Loch Ericht and begins to climb steadily into the hills with not a soul to be seen. At the high point I left the bike and climbed the last 230m on grassy slopes to the summit. What a viewpoint! The full length of Loch Ericht stretched before me and directly opposite was the massive hulk of Ben Alder, still with some snow.
The sunshine and the panorama before me were indeed to be savoured and I spent a contented half hour taking it all in before returning down the slopes to the bike and an easy cycle back to the Bridge of Ericht after two excellent days in the hills.

Northeast from the summit to Loch Ericht

Summit cairn with Meall na Meoig in distance

From summit cairn looking southwest

Meall na Meoig

I've just returned from a hugely enjoyable two days exploring a couple of hills to the north of Loch Rannoch, staying overnight at the delightful Bridge of Gaur Guesthouse - a bit of luxury for a change.
Leaving Ayrshire early on Wednesday morning, I had started off up the Road to the Isles just east of Rannoch Station by 10.30am with the aim of climbing Meall na Meoig, also called Beinn Pharlagain. The weather was bright and visibility excellent, and the sun was warm when sheltered from a strong, cold breeze - perfect weather for a walk in the hills.
At the bridge over the Allt Eigheach a climb up steep heathery slopes took me on to a broad pleasant ridge and eventually to the rocky outcrop of the summit of this Corbett and views north to the Munros of Loch Ossian and northeast to Ben Alder and Loch Ericht. Fantastic views in every direction, from the conical Schiehallion to Buachaille Etive Mor and the entrance to Glen Etive, from the expanse of Rannoch Moor and the Blackwater Reservoir and further to Ben Nevis.
For the first time this year the conditions allowed me to sit in a sheltered spot in the sun enjoying a late lunch before returning by the same route, with a home cooked farmhouse dinner to look forward to!

Train leaving Rannoch Station

Looking south from Meall na Meoig

Looking west over the slopes of Carn Dearg

Glas Bheinn

DoE expedition season is once more well under way, so the tent has been hauled out of winter storage and the sleeping bag aired.
Last week, however, Andrew and I took advantage of some bright spring weather to drive up to Kinlochleven to climb Glas Bheinn, an isolated Corbett overlooking Loch Eilde Mor.  There is quite a lot of work going on around the outlet dam here so crossing was not as straightforward as it could have been, but we made it without getting wet and headed for the summit by way of Meall na Cruaidhe.
The sun shone on us, and we got some great views from the snow covered summit before descending directly northwest to cross the loch by a causeway and back to Kinlochleven on the track to Mamore Lodge.
Andy at summit cairn

View west down Loch Leven