Hills: Creag Ghuanach, Beinn na Clioche, Leum Uilleim
Date: Saturday 5th July 2008
Company: Leslie (as far as Staoineag Bothy)
Time: 9hrs 15mins
On Friday evening, while sitting in Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, I got out Landranger Map 41 to try and come up with an interesting route which would not only include the Corbett Leum Uilleim but also provide a good long day in the hills.
I finally decided on a walk that would take in the Graham Creag Ghuanach, a visit to Staoineag bothy, the Graham Beinn na Clioche, a visit to Loch Chiarain bothy and finally an ascent of the Corbett Leum Uilleim.
After a good night's sleep (for a hostel) I set off just before 08.00 with Leslie who had a similar route in mind which would take in Creag Ghuanach, Glas Bheinn and then Beinn na Clioche.
We followed the track from Loch Ossian Youth Hostel towards Corrour Station for a couple of hundred metres before taking a right-fork onto another excellent track heading WNW towards Loch Treig.
After circa 3km, we crossed over the Allt Luib Ruairidh, via what looked like a brand new bridge, and below the railway line.
Approaching the railway line:
We continued along this track, descending just over 100m, to reach the end of Loch Treig.
Approaching Loch Treig:
On reaching the end of Loch Treig we got a clear view of our first Graham Creag Ghuanach.
We passed several campers at the end of the loch as we skirted round it towards Creaguaineach Lodge.
Creaguaineach Lodge in front of the craggy Creag Ghuanach:
After crossing a long dodgy-looking wooden bridge, we followed a path on the North-bank of the Abhainn Rath for a few hundred metres. We then decided to just head steeply and directly up the side of Creag Ghuanach picking a route through the rocky outcrops. Thanks to the steepness of the hill we made very fast progress in gaining height.
Looking down to the Abhainn Rath and across to Meall a'Bhainne:
It didn't take long before we reached the South-West ridge of the hill from where we continued on easily to the summit.
Approaching summit of Creag Ghuanach:
Leslie at the summit of Creag Ghuanach:
After a quick sandwich, we descended the South-West ridge making directly for the 'Stepping Stones' across the Abhainn Rath (which were marked on the map).
Looking down towards the Stepping Stones and Staoineag:
The stepping stones were quite straight-forward in that we both got across dry. You may get wet feet if crossing while in spate.
Leslie crossing the stepping stones leading to Staoineag bothy:
We stopped for a look inside Staoineag bothy which was quite nice inside and out. As with several other bothies previously visited, there was a poem on the wall inside.
At this point myself and Leslie parted company as Leslie headed towards the Corbett Glas Bheinn and I started the ascent of Sron na Saobhaidhe towards Loch na Staoineag.
Looking back down on Staoineag bothy and across to Creag Ghuanach:
Approaching Loch na Staoineag and Beinn na Clioche:
On reaching Loch na Staoineag I began the final 130m ascent to the summit of the second Graham, Beinn na Clioche.
Summit of Beinn na Clioche looking towards Glen Coe:
After another summit sandwich, I descended South-East making for Loch Chiarain.
Loch Chiarain looking towards Loch Chiarain bothy:
I walked along the length of the loch to reach the second bothy of the day Loch Chiarain bothy. Was very impressed - really nice, very clean bothy. No bothy poem though.
Loch Chiarain bothy:
Until reaching this point I had no idea how easy it would be to cross Ciaran water.
I was glad to find an excellent set of stepping stones in place which got me across again with dry feet.
Stepping stones across Ciaran water:
Was seriously enjoying the day so far and boy did it start to get better.
As I started the ascent of Beinn a'Bhric the views just got better and better. Could make out Grey Corries, the Aonachs, Nevis Range, Mamores, Glen Coe hills (Aonach Eagach, Buichailles and Bidean), Glen Etive hills, Black Mount hills ..........
The ascent up Beinn a'Bhric was up easy grassy slopes and it didn't take that long to reach the 876m top.
Looking towards Leum Uilleim from Beinn a'Bhric:
From Beinn a'Bhric I dropped the 50m to the bealach and ascended the final 100m to the 909m summit.
View down to Corrour and Loch Ossian from the bealach:
Large summit cairn of Leum Uilleim:
The views from the summit of Leum Uilleim on a clear day are possibly the best in Scotland. Full 360 degree panorama of 100 or more hills.
I descended Leum Uilleum via the Sron an Lagain Ghairbh ridge and then across a kilometre or so of bog to reach Corrour Station.
Looking back to Sron an Lagain Ghairbh ridge:
The final walk along the track to Loch Ossian Youth Hostel was hard on my already sore feet but I didn't care I had had such a great day.
On speaking to Nick at the hostel, was surprised to learn that he hadn't heard
of anyone else doing this route in the five years he has worked there.