Three Corbetts around Glenfinnan

Wednesday 19 June 2013:

Streap (17.6 km, 1107 m)

Thursday 20 June 2013:

Beinn Odhar Bheag + Beinn Mhic Cèdidh (12.6 km, 1334 m)

Day 1, Wednesday 19 June 2013

Streap

17.6 km/1107 m/07:00 hrs

Corbett: Streap (No. 54)

After a great day on the Glengalmadale Horseshoe three weeks ago I was very keen to return to this area to climb some more Corbetts. Although the weather forecast didn’t look too promising, I headed down towards Glenfinnan and hoped for the best.

I parked at the S end of Gleann Dubh Lighe and followed the forestry track up the glen. At this point it was still sunny and warm, much better than expected. Shortly after emerging from the forest, I was pleasantly surprised to see Gleann Dubh-lighe Bothy in front of me! I knew it had burned down in August 2011 due to an accident with a leaking gas canister, but I wasn’t aware that it had already been fully re-built.

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New sleeping platform.

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Fireplace.

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Looking towards the head of the glen, with Streap and Streap Comhlaidh ahead.

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Dubh Lighe.

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I crossed the bridge (not marked on the map), left the track after a couple of hundred metres and climbed straight up the steep hillside towards Bealach Coire nan Cearc.

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Gleann Dubh Lighe.

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Streap Comhlaidh.

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The forecast was right, after all – low grey clouds approaching from the West.

Coal-Ghleann, with Loch Beoraid in the distance.

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Stob Coire nan Cearc.

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View across the glen to Loch Eil.

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Glen Finnan, with Corryhully Bothy on the left.

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Sgùrr Thuilm.

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This is the last view I got of the ridge ahead, before it disappeared in the cloud 😦

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I had been looking forward to the “knife-edge ridge” leading to Streap (according to some route descriptions), but it seemed quite harmless, at least what I could see of it!

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I just had to be careful not to be blown off the ridge, because the wind had also picked up considerably and walking had become difficult on the more exposed sections.

Besides, it had started to rain…

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I was almost disappointed when I reached the summit – that was it already?

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The way along the connecting ridge from Streap to Streap Comhlaidh was quite unpleasant in the wind, rain and cold. Unfortunately I couldn’t see much of the cliffs along the N ridge of Streap Comhlaidh, which are supposed to be spectacular.

But at one point I caught a short glimpse of Gleann a’ Chaorainn.

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Connecting ridge.

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After I had passed the summit of Streap Comhlaidh, the rain stopped, and on my way down its broad grassy S ridge, the clouds started lifting as well.

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Down in the glen, it was nice and sunny again.

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Looking back to the hills I had just climbed – now free of cloud, sunny and dry again!

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It seems I got the timing completely wrong this time, the worst weather happened just when I was on the summits.

I drove to the Linnhe Lochside Holidays Campsite near Corpach, where I was planning to spend the next two nights. The reception was already closed, so I followed the signs to the designated tent area at the back of the campsite. Unfortunately, this area is very sheltered under some trees, and the midges were so bad that I had to wear the headnet while I pitched my tent.

I was surprised that I had the whole area to myself, and only later I discovered that there was another tent area further down directly by the lochside (which would have probably been a bit more exposed and windy).

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Day 2, Thursday 20 June 2013

Beinn Odhar Beag + Beinn Mhic Cèdidh

12.6 km/1334 m/08:15 hrs

Corbetts: Beinn Odhar Bheag + Beinn Mhic Cèdidh (Nos. 55 + 56)

For today, I had two possible walks in mind: The Rois-bheinn group with a dinner at the Lochailort Inn afterwards, but I only wanted to do this walk if good views would be guaranteed. Plan B was Beinn Odhar Bheag and Beinn Mhic Cèdidh, which for some reason I regarded as a less attractive combination.

The weather looked dull and miserable in the morning, so the decision was made. After waiting for the reception to open and paying for my two nights stay, I drove down the A830 past Glenfinnan and parked in a lay-by in a bend where the road passes directly by the railway line.

I crossed the railway by a gate and started climbing the N ridge of Beinn Odhar Mhòr.

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From above, I could see the Jacobite Steam Train approaching in the distance.

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Loch Eilt.

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Wild Orchid.

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When I reached the flatter terrain below the summit, clouds started to build up.

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I reached the summit of Beinn Odhar Mhòr in thick cloud and no views whatsoever…

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The terrain was a bit confusing in the mist, and I took a compass bearing to make sure I descended in the right direction. After an initial steep section that can be bypassed on the right, the way ahead became clearer.

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A glimpse of Loch Shiel.

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Crags on the approach to Beinn Odhar Bheag.

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More crags…

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View SW along Loch Shiel.

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Beinn Odhar Bheag summit cairn.

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Looking back to Beinn Odhar Mhòr – now cloud-free, of course!

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I followed the broad NW ridge to the Bealach a’ Choire Bhuidhe.

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Coire Buidhe, my planned return route.

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On the bealach I had a late lunch break, sitting behind a large boulder and trying to shelter from the drizzly rain that had started in the meantime.

Then I continued up the steep grassy slopes of Beinn Mhic Cèdidh.

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Again, the summit that had been clear all the time, was covered in clouds when I reached it!

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I didn’t return all the way to the bealach, but took a shortcut from the NE slopes into Coire Buidhe.

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Allt a’ Bhuide Choire.

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I forded the Allt a’ Bhuide Choire and contoured around the NW ridge of Beinn Odhar Mhòr.

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To avoid climbing over the hillock in the centre, I thought I could just bypass it to the left, at least on the map this looked doable.

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Unfortunately, the terrain turned out to be far too steep, and crags were blocking my way.

But I got some nice views down to the Allt Lòn a’ Mhuidhe…

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… the E end of Loch Eilt…

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… and along the length of Loch Eilt.

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After a long and unnecessary detour I was back on the ridge that I had used for the ascent.

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Somehow I found this walk very strenuous, I’m not sure if that was because it is completely pathless (but then again, I have done similar walks which I found a lot easier), or because of the dull weather and the frustrating fact that I didn’t get any views from any of the summits.

It just seemed like hard work, and maybe a little bit of sun would have made all the difference 😐

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4 thoughts on “Three Corbetts around Glenfinnan

  1. I enjoyed that report, it’s a shame you had so much bad luck with the weather on the summits ! Love the photo of the wild orchid, it’s great. I didn’t know the bothy had been re-built, we Beauly posties stayed there a few years ago then did Streap the day after.

  2. I had heard that these are a couple of tough Corbett’s, mainly getting on and off I believe!
    The reward is some fine views by the looks of things despite the weather not quite playing ball.

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