14 June 2011
23.5 km/1195 m/07:00 hrs
Munros: Geal-charn, A’ Mharconaich, Beinn Udlamain, Sgairneach Mhòr (Nos. 166 – 169)
These are a group of hills I kept postponing for years, because I had been dreading the “boring” Drumochter Munros. But today I didn’t fancy a long drive to get to the hills, and I thought this would be an easy way to increase my Munro count (having only done two new Munros this year, so far).
I parked in the large car park by the Balsporran Cottages B & B and started the walk at 12:15.
Shortly after crossing the railway line, a good track goes up the hillside south of the Allt Beul an Sporain.
Unfortunately, this track soon becomes rather boggy…
The view up the A 9, with Meall Chuaich in the distance.
Approaching the summit, the going gets easier again on much drier ground.
From the summit of Geal-charn, I got the first view of Loch Ericht, Beinn Bheòil and Ben Alder.
Carn Dearg, Beinn a’ Chlachair and Geal Charn on the other side of Loch Pattack.
The descent to the bealach between Geal-charn and A’ Mharconaich.
From the bealach, I traversed up the easy-angled slope on a clear path, which petered out further up.
Looking back to Geal-charn.
A’ Mharconaich summit on a wide plateau.
View back to the wide ridge of A’ Mharconaich.
The next objective, Beinn Udlamain.
Ben Alder Lodge on the far side of Loch Ericht, zoomed.
“Metal sculpture” on the way to Beinn Udlamain.
Large summit cairn (with even more metal built-in…).
Loch Ericht with Beinn Bheòil and Ben Alder.
Looking down the south ridge into the valley below, I expected the worst – it looked extremely wet underfoot.
But I was pleased to find a good path winding through the boggy areas and up the opposite hillside.
Small lochan at the top of Coire Dhomhain.
The way up to the summit of the last Munro is not too exciting ;), but at least it is very easy on dry, short grass.
Sgairneach Mhòr summit cairn and trig point.
The crags of Coire Creagach.
Looking down into Coire Dhomhain.
I walked along the NE ridge until it flattens out before the 758 m top, and then descended the slope towards the Allt Coire Dhomhain, aiming for the bridge across the stream.
Approaching the bridge.
Looking back to Coire Creagach.
The Sow of Atholl – there are some groundwork operations going on up the hillside, probably path construction/improvement?
When I reached the railway line, I walked through an underpass and soon got onto the cycle path that runs parallel to the A 9.
According to this sign, trespassing costs £ 200, quite a “bargain” compared to the £ 1000 at Corrour! 8)
Looking back to the Sow of Atholl.
Only seven hours after the start, I got back to the Balsporran Cottages car park.
This is probably the easiest set of four Munros that I have climbed so far, apart from the first few hundred metres that are a bit boggy, the terrain is a pleasure to walk on. There is a path for most of the way, the only pathless section is the descent of Sgairneach Mhòr’s NE ridge.
I was pleasantly surprised about those hills, in spite of the A 9 being visible from the hills in some places, I did not hear any traffic noise, and the walk has a feeling of remoteness to it. I really enjoyed this walk (the nice weather did help, of course) and I would recommend it to anyone who wants an easy walk and bag four Munros on the way 😉