Ulog #11: Serious Bagging, Day Three/Four – Two beautiful mountains near Loch Treig

in mountains •  3 months ago

On Day Four of my Serious Bagging trip, I decided to do one more walk and then return home. It would be a relatively gentle walk.

To recap, I'm on a mission to climb all of Scotland's "Munros", or hills with an altitude of at least 3,000 feet (914.4m) or more. There are 282 of them.

For now, my goal is to reach 100 Munros, and I'd like my 100th Munro to be Ben Nevis.

Ulog #8: Serious Bagging, my mountain mission!

Ulog #9: Serious Bagging, Day One – Creag Meagaidh in threatening weather

Ulog #10: Serious Bagging, Day Two – climbing Bidean nam Bian, a big beast of a mountain!

I'd printed off lots of maps before I left for the trip, and I wanted to do something fairly easy, but that would allow me to bag two more Munros. I chose the awkwardly named Stob Coire Sgriodain and Chno Dearg near Loch Treig.

Chno Dearg is Gaelic for "Red Nut", and may be a misprint for "Cnoc dearg" or "Red Hill". Stob Coire Sgriodain means "Peak of the Scree Corrie".

80 Stob Coire Sgriodain from car park thumb.jpg

Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain from the car park.

I wasn't planning to walk fast. After all the exertions of the previous few days, I just wanted a gentle leg-stretcher.

Choosing a pair of mountains because they are easy to do doesn't usually lead to the most exciting day, but this walk turned out to be much lovelier and more interesting than I'd expected. Little did I know that I would end up munching my way around these peaks!

Maps Stob Coire Sgriodain text.jpg

My original plan had been to do the "Ring of Steall" on Day Five, a strenuous round of the Mamore group that takes in four Munros. But I was fed up with the rainy conditions, the weather forecast was looking pretty bad for the next day, and I had felt quite cold in the night. I didn't want to make myself ill!

There were no thunderstorms the night after I climbed Bidean nam Bian, but the rain had pounded on my tent for most of the night, and the wind kept gusting up suddenly, rustling my tent about, so that it sounded as if someone was trying to get in. This kept waking me up!

I was glad that I'd decided to have a rest day after that, doing chores and then just crawling into my tent to read and rest while the rain lashed down on my tent.

The following day, I was ready for a more gentle, solo hillwalk. I enjoy walking with groups, but I also like the solitude of hillwalking alone, although I know that this involves certain risks, especially if you fall and there's no one around to help. So I tend to be extra careful if I'm walking alone. And this was a much easier route than Bidean nam Bian!

Picturesque location

The walk starts near the tiny village of Fersit, just beyond a small loch called An Dubh Lochan (The Small Black Loch).

81 Mirror-like view of An Dubh Lochan.jpg

After the pretty village and small loch, the walk is wild, boggy and mostly pathless. Rain was forecast on and off for most of the day, and the sky was full of bulbous clouds.

4 View back down, zoomed.jpg

The path up to Stob Coire Sgriodain became increasingly rocky as I gained elevation.

5 View up the rocky mound of Stob Coire Sgriodain.jpg

7 Silvery rocks.jpg

These rocks made a great lunch site. As I sat enjoying a cup of tea from my flask, and looking at the view below…

10 View back down to An Dubh Lochan.jpg

… an ominous deep grey cloud emerged from behind the mountain. Luckily, it completely passed me by and drifted over Fersit, where it began to shed its load.

Rainstorm that passed me by.jpg

The northern end of Loch Treig was just becoming visible, showing the low level of the water following weeks of dry weather, despite the heavy rainfall of the past couple of days.

9 Northern end of Loch Treig.jpg

At the other side of Loch Treig lie the Easain hills, with the Grey Corries in the distance.

13 The Easains with the Grey Corries behind.jpg

The Easain hills, with the Grey Corries behind them.

I started to walk up the rocky summit bump of Stob Coire Sgriodain.

14 Summit bump of Stob Coire Sgriodain with tiny pool.jpg

As I climbed higher, an astonishing view opened up, over Loch Treig, with the hills of Glencoe in the distance.

17 Loch Treig with Glencoe, Glen Etive and Mamores behind. Gorgeous!.jpg

The higher I climbed, the more beautiful the view became. I was so lucky that the bad weather had held off!

24 Best view of Loch Treig with Glencoe, Glen Etive and Mamores behind.jpg

At last, the summit cairn came into view, perched on a little mound.

29 Summit cone of Stob Coire Sgriodain.jpg


I took a selfie at the summit. This was Munro number 81 for me!

30 Summit selfie, Stob Coire Sgriodain copy.jpg

Munro No. 81!

I was feeling quite exhilarated, but my eyes look quite red, despite the rest day the day before. The cold, rainy weather had made sleep difficult in my little tent.

Loch Treig looked beautiful, despite its relatively low level.

32 Even better sweeping view of Loch Treig, with Glencoe behind.jpg

Loch Treig

Stob Coire Easain and Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin, known as the Easain hills, looked splendid at the other side of Loch Treig. I haven't climbed these yet, and I hope to come back and climb them soon!

35 Another lovely one of the Easains.jpg

The Easain hills

It took some effort to divert my eyes away from the gorgeous views and continue my walk towards the second Munro of the day, Chno Dearg.

As I walked down from Stob Coire Sgriodain, the terrain changed sharply. Thousands of boulders lay in my path!

37 Masses of silvery rocks on way to Chno Dearg.jpg

There was a strange quartz cairn in the distance.

37a Quarzite cairn in distance.jpg

As I approached the quartzite cairn, the northeastern sky darkened threateningly.

42 Gathering clouds and view north north east to Binnein Shuas with Loch Laggan at the left and Lochan na h-Earba to the right.jpg

Chno Dearg looked closer all the time, and was bathed in sunshine. But it wasn't to last.

43 Quartzite cairn with Chno Dearg in bground.jpg

Chno Dearg, the second Munro of the day, and the strange quartzite cairn.

As I approached the foot of Chno Dearg, dark clouds started to drift in from the south. I was surrounded! The rain had kept away from me all day, but as I got within about 10 minutes of the summit of Chno Dearg, the heavens opened and I was caught in a heavy rainstorm. I had to stop and put on my waterproof trousers.

I was so glad to see the summit cairn! That was Munro number 82 for me, the ultimate Munro in this Serious Bagging trip!

58a Summit selfie, Chno Dearg copy.jpg

Summit of Chno Dearg, and Munro No. 82 for me. Yay!

The sky to the north east over Loch Laggan was clearing now.

59 Binnein Shuas with Loch Laggan and Lochan na h-Earba, and Beinn a'Chlachair, from summit of Chno Dearg.jpg

But to the south east there were angry grey clouds.

60 Thick dark clouds at summit, with Schiehallion in distance.jpg

Luckily my route back down lay in the opposite direction, to the north west. I was soon walking in dry, sunny weather once more.

I felt peckish, and I soon found that I was surrounded by fruit!

Blaeberries (also known as bilberries)...

69 Blaeberry.jpg

A blaeberry, or bilberry.

...and below, berries that look like blaeberries but are actually crowberries. Luckily they are not poisonous, as I accidentally stuffed some in my mouth – but they have a pretty bland taste.

8 Black crowberries that I ate by mistake, thinking they were blaeberries.jpg

Crowberries

There were beautiful red berries that I avoided eating, as they might have been poisonous. I've still no idea what they were, but they looked very pretty!

6 Red berries.jpg

Best of all, there were lots of cloudberries. Cloudberries are absolutely delicious (in my opinion – not everyone likes them!). They taste like lemony pineapple, not too sweet, but sharp and refreshing. Apparently they were once seen as the fruit of kings, and were known as the King Berry.

65 Yellow cloudberry.jpg

A yellow cloudberry.

Cloudberries are more common in northern latitudes, like Scandinavia. They are found on damp, acidic terrain, among heather. Usually you only see two or three of them, but there were lots on this mountain. I didn't feel too guilty eating lots of them, because they were all over the hillside, and I was only walking along one pathless part of it.

64 Gorgeous peach-coloured cloudberry.jpg

I usually find cloudberries at their most delicious when they turn a peachy colour and are soft enough to fall easily off the stem when you pick them.

I took my time enjoying my surroundings on the long, gentle walk back down the hill. There was a lot of bog, but also some lovely wildflowers…

62 Pretty pink bog flowers.jpg

… clear pools full of pretty rocks…

63 Lovely clear pool with lots of colourful rocks.jpg

and tumbling waterfalls, cascading thunderously after the heavy rainfall of the past couple of days.

76 Longer view of waterfall.jpg

I took one last look back up towards Stob Coire Sgriodain, a mountain that had turned out to be much more impressive than I'd expected.

78 View back up to Stob Coire Sgriodain.jpg

And then I walked back to my car to enjoy some tea and chocolate cake that I'd been saving, essential refreshment before embarking on the long journey back to Glasgow.

79 Lovely lambs near car park sml.jpg

Lambs near the car park.

So that was the end of my Serious Bagging trip: seven Munros in four days. I would have been happy to do more, if it hadn't been for that endless rain!

I've climbed three Munros since, bringing my current tally to 85, and I'm doing another one this weekend, so that will be 86, if all goes well! Just 12 more and I'll be ready for Ben Nevis via the CMD Arete.

If the weather improves soon, there might be another intensive Bagging round, to climb those 12 Munros. Let's hope so!


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AH! So gorgeous. Thanks for writing this post and taking us with you. Wish I could teleport and join you sometime. This is my idea of paradise. I'll get there, one day. Until then I'll keep reading your blog! ;-)

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Thanks Katrina! It was so lovely. Unfortunately we've had almost non-stop rain since then! I hope you get to climb some of Scotland's mountains sometime. Tip: go in May or early June. Or autumn. July and August always seem to be rainy!

Scotland is on my bucket list @natubat! Your photos are beautiful, you're well on your way to your goal, enjoy!

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Thanks @lizelle! I hope you get to Scotland soon - you will love it :)

I will look out for cloudberries, don't know whether they grow so far south though.

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Here's a tip - they grow very abundantly on the island of Arran. I'm not sure why, as its climate is milder than most of Scotland, due to the Gulf Stream. Next time you go to Scotland, visit Arran. It's a special place.

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You are becoming quite the bag lady and a pretty good landscape photographer as well. That Loch Treig really looks like a neat little pool of water, any idea on how deep that water is?

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Haha! Thanks. Hmm... a quick online search suggests 424 feet. Does that sound about right?

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I wouldn't know I have never been to there or have looked it up so I will say yes since you did look it up.
"Yes, that sure sounds about right, being that I have drank a bottle of a Scotch earlier in life , it seems I may have read that fact on label of the bottle scotch.", that was back when I was in search of the Loch Ness monster.

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