Glengalmadale Horseshoe

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

15.5 km/1379 m/08:00 hrs

Corbetts: Fuar Bheinn + Creach Bheinn (Nos. 48 + 49)

Graham: Beinn na Cille (No. 16)

After the TGO Challenge, during which I only managed to climb one new Corbett (Mount Battock), I was keen to increase my Corbett tally. The weather looked good in the West, so I chose the Glengalmadale Horseshoe which had been high on my To-Do-List.

I took the ferry at Corran, which I had last used as a foot passenger a bit over two weeks ago, but this time I turned S and drove along the coastal road B8043. The weather was gorgeous, warm and sunny, and the views were so lovely that I found it hard to keep my eyes on the road (but I had to, because the single track road is narrow with a wall on one side, and with lots of potholes).

Eventually I arrived at the parking area just E of Glengalmadale Bridge, put lots of sunscreen on and started walking at about 10:15. After crossing the bridge, I walked to the edge of the forest and climbed up beside it. I had read that the initial ascent was very steep – higher up it’s almost vertical!

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Looking down to Glengalmadale from above the forest.

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Camas na Croise.

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Eventually, the terrain becomes a little less steep, but it was still hard work in the heat, and the various false summits didn’t help.

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But the views made up for the effort!

Across Loch Linnhe to Appin.

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Beinn Mheadhoin.

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The head of Glen Galmadale with Creach Bheinn and Maol Odhar.

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Beinn a’ Bheithir with Bidean nam Bian behind.

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Ben Cruachan in the distance, the tiny dot in the foreground is Castle Stalker.

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Beinn na Cille summit.

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My next target, Fuar Bheinn.

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On the way I passed this rectangular cairn.

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Looking back to Beinn na Cille.

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One of the buildings of Glensanda Quarry on the Bheinn Mheadhoin ridge (zoomed).

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At the summit of Fuar Bheinn I met Molly, a hillwalker from Ireland who works in Kingairloch for the season, with her Border Collie.

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She had come up from Coire Ghardail and was going to return along the Glas Bheinn ridge. We talked for about half an hour, then we went our separate ways.

Coire Ghardail.

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The wide bealach Cùl Mhàm and Creach Bheinn.

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A collection of summit shelters at the top of Creach Bheinn, a metal pipe in the centre of the biggest one is all that is left of the trig point.

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On the descent from the summit, I came across the remains of the “Camp” which was constructed by OS surveyors in the early 19th century.

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Pool on the ridge.

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View across Diollaid na Maoil Uidhre towards Appin.

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When I reached Bealach Coire an Dubh-alltan, I had the choice between descending into Glen Galmadale or continuing along the ridge to do the whole horseshoe. In this weather, the decision was easy 🙂

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Ascent to Maol Odhar.

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The ascent was easier than it looked, and in less than 15 minutes I was at the summit. The cairn contains various parts of an airplane wreckage.

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Garbh Bheinn.

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Ben Nevis.

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More parts of the wreckage (a US jet fighter which exploded above Maol Odhar in 1964) are arranged in small heaps on the plateau.

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Although the descent from Maol Odhar is on an easy-angled slope covered in short grass, and very pleasant to walk on, suddenly both of my knees started to hurt. From now on, every step was painful and I had to take short breaks every few minutes.

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View back to Bealach Coire an Dubh-alltan.

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Across Loch Linnhe to Glencoe.

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Glen Galmadale.

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Glengalmadale and Camas na Croise.

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Lismore.

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During the steep descent from the ridge to Glengalmadale my knees complained even more than before, but after a day’s rest they were ok again.

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This is a wonderful area that sadly is often being neglected by Munro-baggers (including myself, I must admit), and I am already looking forward to my next visit. There are many interesting Corbetts to climb, and also the glens are certainly worth exploring.

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2 thoughts on “Glengalmadale Horseshoe

    • I try to avoid steep descents, but every now and again my knees are giving me trouble. And it doesn’t seem to be related to the length of the walk or the weight of my rucksack, it’s just random 😐

      But compared to what you went through this year, sore knees seem to be a minor inconvenience 😉

      Well done for the quick recovery!

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