We spent two fabulous days of the Easter Holiday weekend walking in the hills in the Glen Spean area. This involved climbing Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain on Sunday, an overnight camp near Loch Treig (our first camp this year) and climbing Creag Meagaidh on Monday.
Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain
For this hill walk we started just north of An Dubh Lochan half a mile or so before Fersit. There is a path of sorts heading SW which crosses the line of the old tramway. The tramway ran from Loch Treig to Fort William and was part of the tunnelling works for the water supply for the aluminium works in Fort William.
The path leads onto the broad ridge gradually gaining height and was easy walking, but the ground was wet. Very wet. We squelched through the sticky, black, peaty morass, passing a couple of hydro survey pillars connected to the water pipeline.
The ascent of the craggy face of Meall Cian Dearg involved a little, very muddy, slippery scrambling. From the top of the scramble, the ridge levels off and becomes very broad once again, with good views on the next section. Looking over to the left we saw Chno Dearg across Loch Treig, whilst to the right was the inspiring skyline of the Grey Corries. This hill increases in a series of steps and the ridge is a long walk that keeps on going from false summit to false summit.
It was a relief to reach the large summit cairn of Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin at 1105 metres.
From here it was a fairly easy drop down to the bealach, the latter part of the descent being quite steep. The start of the ascent to Stob Coire Easin is also pretty steep, but there is a good path.
Thankfully there are no false summits on this hill; it’s straight up to the pointy bit!
We had the only bit of poor weather in the day in a brief hail shower when about two thirds of the way up, but it stopped before we reached the summit. On the summit we met a two guys setting up equipment for a photo shoot. They were shooting a 360° panorama from the summit for a website to be launched by the BBC in a few months. The website (to be called MunroScape) is to feature panoramas from all the Munros. They let us take our summit photos before they set up their equipment on the actual cairn. I left a bookcrossing registered book on the cairn (and had to explain this concept to the guys) and am delighted to see it was ‘reported in’ before I was even home to note I had left it there.
To return we retraced our steps back to the col and over Stob A’ Choire Mheadhoin, then back along the ridge. We altered our route slightly towards the end by cutting down east to the access road to the dam at the north end of Loch Treig. We noticed a couple of others walkers had used this way on the way up, but we felt it would be a long slog up the flank of the hill before reaching the ridge.
It was almost 8pm by the time we returned to the car and swapped our day sacks for our large packs with camping gear. We had already sussed out a likely camping spot about half a mile from the car in the morning. We found a patch of dry ground barely bigger than the footprint of the tent, but it was perfect; it was hidden from sight from the road or any houses at Fersit. By the time we got pitched and settled it was too cold to sit outside to cook dinner, so we decided to have breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast! That was fine; cereal, fruit and yoghurt, followed by oatcakes and cheese and tea from a flask made an adequate dinner and we enjoyed spicy couscous and more oatcakes for breakfast.
It was a brilliant starry night, but we were cosy once inside the tent. Later in the evening we popped outside briefly to stare at the wonderful night sky-scape. It was wonderful as the moon hung low over the nearby hills and thousands of stars spotted the sky. We woke to heavy condensation in the tent, but the sun which was slowly creeping down the hill soon reached us and the tent dried off a little before we packed up.