Martin on Cnicht

Martin on Cnicht

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Stob Coire a'Chearcaill

Iain went off to experiment with an interesting looking ridge* near Lochailort, so today my companion on Stob Coire a'Chearcaill was Jon.

The last of the drizzle cleared as we drove east past Glenfinnan and a short way along the Lochaline road to a cattle grid. This hill is gained by way of a 5 km walk directly south from a gate just beyond the cattle grid, over initially tussocky ground. Tedious but rising only gently. I'd planned to walk alone and take lots of flower pictures, but low on this north facing slope I could only detect heather, bog asphodel and tormentil. So keeping up with Jon wasn't a problem.

Tea and cake fuelled us for the steepening slopes over easier ground. I fell behind here. It's hard to get good pictures of flowers like milkwort and eyebright when they are embedded in deep grass. We saw a few red deer today, but they must be slow munchers. 

Looking back (top and bottom pictures), there were good views towards cloud cloaked Munros to the north. The Fort William to Mallaig steam train puffed its way slowly across the foreground, hauling about eight carriages of sooty tourists.

Ravens argued above us as we reached a fence junction at about 700 metres, with good views into the depths of Coire Chearcaill to the east. Veering right, we soon reached the trig point and massive summit cairn at 770 metres. Lunch occurred in the shelter of this cairn, our heads just poking into the cloud.

A few metres lower down we had good views of both the cloud engulfed summit and the extensive vista below the 760 metre cloud base.

Jon spotted a forest track to the west of our ascent route that wasn't on our map, so we headed for that in order to avoid the awkward tussocks through which we'd ascended. The plan worked, apart from a deep hole that claimed Jon and destroyed his trousers.

The new track led down to a pleasant stroll past dandelion meadows and back to the main (albeit single track) road.

Today's self appointed task of taking pictures of some of the flowers mentioned in earlier postings enjoyed partial success. The images will be included in a slideshow that I'll produce next week.

*Iain's 'ridge' turned out to be a series of hills with very rough going and a tough descent to the coast, and a MBA bothy near a cottage that can only be accessed by sea. A footpath led back to the main road from the bothy, so Iain was pleased not to have to retrace his rather cumbersome steps.

Next Day

Today's route:

 

1 comment:

AlanR said...

Looks and sounds like you are having a good week Martin.