Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor

from Craig in Glen Carron
Saturday 20th May

This was going to be a big day out - all for our Julie.

Her penultimate Munro's, are prized tops for any hill goer; both sit inconveniently far from any public road.
red numbers refer to photographs below
The forest road from Craig gives good (and importantly) dry access to the start of the two hills.

Taking bikes makes sense, although it's a thigh busting climb - 

a slog for nearly 3km. Once through the top gate at the forest edge you're on more level ground

On the really steep bits the girls walked and gabbed - no different from normal then....while Bill regaled us with the story of Bruce driving his XR3i sports car up the hill to the edge of the forest...... 
quite a feat in 1987.
track from Craig - 2 on map
We left our bikes, and good track, at the point where a path cuts right, across really wet ground, leading to the Allt a'Chonais / Pollan Buidhe wire bridge - which is good fun to cross - but does require care.
Allt a'Chonais wire bridge - 3 on map
Yes, it was possible to splash across today, but how often do you get to test your balance co-ordination in a real life situation?
Julie is always prone to wetting herself, you just have to wait..... but she didn't fall in today.
The walk up to Bealach Bhearnais col is on a good stalkers track -
but it eventually peters out. 

However there is a vestige of a path heading from this 'triple col' directly up Beinn Tharsuinn's steep grassy north-east shoulder. It's actually very pleasant walking on short grass.

The rugged side of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich faces you as you crest the hill.

on Beinn Tharsuinn  - 5 on map
Beinn Tharsuinn's top usually has fine views towards Torridon and Skye - but as we had cloud sitting on nearby summits -  we decided to press on, time was precious today.

Julie doesn't have a rugged we are told.....
Roni posing like a true mountain pro - Loch Monar snaking away in the background.
Coming off of the summit of Tharsuinn, Julie nearly missed completing her Munro's, luckily Bill was there to catch her..... In reality it's only a little scramble but a fall could have had serious consequences.
Is she shocked or just saying a wee prayer?
Jim had joined us for the day, driving all the way from Skye - 
such is Julie's popularity.
The ascent of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich from Tharsuinn is convoluted, but straightforward - as long as you have clear weather, 
it is steep and the summit ridge is a narrow-ish crest...........but the descent toward Lurg Mhor is totally different, broad slopes and easy grass covered ground.
We reached Lurg Mhor - a remote spot, and it feels it. We all reflected how far we were from Craig.
leaving Lurg Mhor - 11 on map
Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich from Lurg Mhor, nothing like the mini Matterhorn it appears from some angles
Making our return back to the col between Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor we considered our options - either using the outbound route, the amount of re-ascent really isn't that great, but the descent back off Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich makes this a poor option.     
We chose instead to head north-east from our col avoiding dropping too far down to Loch Monar.
We skirted round the bottom of the south-east ridge of Beinn Tharsuinn as high as we could to leave  the minimum re-ascent to reach Bealach Bhearnais - triple col.
high traverse around Beinn Tharsuinn - 13 on map
One of the streams feeding the Allt Bealach Crudhain cut an unusual pattern into the bedrock.
mountain art - 14 on map
A last look toward Lurg Mhor from Bealach Bhearnais.
Then another balancing act - this time on tired legs........
still no one fell in!
Allt a'Chonais wire bridge again! - 3 on map
Back at the bikes - our downhill free-wheel back to Craig was brilliant, actually a bit fast for some.

Our round trip was 18.7 miles with 6550' of ascent - almost 11 hours.

Jim headed home to Skye, the rest back to Evanton.

the team - Dee, David, Bill, Roni, Jim....not forgetting Julie !

Moray Club home page

No comments:

Post a Comment