Stob Coire Sgriodain and Chno Dearg
Area: Loch Treig to Loch Ericht
Munros : Chno Dearg, Stob Coire Sgriodain
Date walked: 04/07/2010
Time taken: 3 hours 35 mins
Distance: 14 km
Well what an interesting weekend. My planned trip to Engalund has been postponed so I was now in with the possibility of bagging some munros. I knew Danny had a big walk planned so called him up and asked to go along with him (not sure if I could have managed this walk in one day though hahaha). So after checking the MWIS weather forecast at 1700 on Friday night, 40mph winds gusting to 60mph on the summits, we set off to Fort William in his campervan. So head down at about 2230 with the alarm set for 0400. It rained, sometimes torrentially, most of the short night with winds gusting outside. We arose with the alarm and stepped outside. The rain had stopped but the wind was gusting. We were only at about 100m so with a sinking heart we realised that the walk, The Mamores, involving many ridges and exposed heights, was not on today. However Danny had an alternative plan.
Regardless of the weather, rounded summits would be doable so we headed down to Fersit to bag Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriordian. So we arrived at the car park at the end of the public road (a sign saying the road onwards is private) and set of on our walk at 0910.
Now we had not done any map work or preparation for this walk but Danny has been in the area many times and knows the area well. We set off along the private road to the dam for about 1km, and walked across the dam climbing the ladder at the other side. We crossed the railway fence and walked along the railway side for about 200m. (I do not recommend anyone to walk this way. Please follow the official route on Walkhighlands). Just before the railway tunnel at the end of the Copse, we crossed the railway and fence and headed up the end of the copse where we crossed the deer fence.
We now head East up the hillside climbing all the way to the ridgeline leading to Sron na Garbh Bheinne. After 1km we are on the ridgeline and a further 1km later we are on a path from Sron na Garbh Bheinne heading for the summit of Stob Coire Sgriordian. We arrive at the summit after 1hr 40 mins. The wind had been strong and buffeting on our ascent and the rain had been on and off but never too heavy. However at the top I was being blown around like a rag doll hahaha. Danny with his more robust physique and heavier weight was ok This confirmed our earlier decision to abort the big walk. There were no views to be had as we were in cloud. So no point in hanging around.
Chno Dearg is about 2km due east of this summit but the walk takes us past Glac Bhan and around the top of Coire an Lochain before the climb directly up the grassy slope to the summit which makes the journey about 3.5km. There is a path which we take but the visibility is dire and it would be so easy to get lost in the mist. The path comes and goes as we cross small boulder fields but we are soon at the small Lochain on the map which confirms we are on the correct route and soon after we arrive at the summit. There is a huge cairn here. Its now 2hrs 30 mins from the start and there is nothing to hang around for, so we jog the 5km down the hillside and walk the final km past the farms and kennel with the barking dogs to the car park. This hillside is pretty much a bog all the way down and I manage to step into a couple of sink holes on the journey. I bent my trusty poles which saved me from bending my legs
So a good end to a disappointing start to the day. I imagine in good weather these two hills would be a nice walk.