Another beautiful day at Corrour [# 64 & 65]

Carn Dearg (941m); Sgor Gaibhre (955m)

  • Pronunciation:             Karn Jerrack; Skor Gay-yerrer
  • Translation:                  Red Hill; Peak of the Goats
  • Total distance:              24.7km
  • Total time:                    5hrs 40mins
  • Total ascent:                 1095m
  • Weather:                       A fine, bright day. Generally very sunny with clouds on the horizon and at time scuttling across nearby tops. Very windy on the summits, with associated wind-chill.
  • Start / end location:   Corrour station on the West Highland Line: Fort William to Glasgow [OS Map Sheets 41 & 42 – Grid Ref: NN 355 664]
  • Map:                               A map of route can be found here – it may take a few moments to load into a separate window. The map displays on most browsers, but not unfortunately Internet Explorer.

    View over Loch Ossian towards the Nevis Range (R) and Mamores (L)

Cameron at the summit of Carn Dearg

We found ourselves once again taking the train to Corrour as we had done a couple of days ago. However, this time we had brought our mountain bikes with us as our aim was to cycle along the estate track on the south side of Loch Ossian before then climbing the two Munros of Carn Dearg and Sgor Gaibhre.

There were no issues with taking the bikes on the train: where the bikes get hung-up by their rear wheel at the end of one of the carriages. At Corrour Station we headed immediately along the track towards Loch Ossian (as we had walked two days previous) but this time we took the right hand fork passed the older youth hostel hut and continued along the south side of the loch. Approximately 2.6km beyond the youth hostel there was small path that doubled-back quite sharply in a southwesterly direction and it was here that we chained our bikes to a sturdy tree before taking to the path on foot.

Elaine at the summit of Carn Dearg

Marked on the map is a point called “Peter’s Rock” and a few hundred metres beyond this we crossed a small burn. At this point we turned east and criss-crossed the burn a couple of times as we begun to climb the hillside towards an obvious saddle on the sky-line to the right of Meall na Leitire Duibhe. At the saddle, which is essentially a low point on the ridge that runs right up to Carn Dearg, we turned right and followed the ridge to the summit at 941m or 3,087’. A substantial cairn marking the top met us there.

Elaine at the summit of Sgor Gaibhre

Our route then took us down the NE ridge, steeply at first, towards Màm Bàn and then continued up the adjoining ridge to the summit of Sgor Gaibhre at 955m or 3,133’. From the top we caught brief glimpses of Schiehallion’s pyramidal profile away to the SE beyond Loch Rannoch. We then proceeded down to the Bealach nan Sgor where we had the choice of turning west and following the little glen back to the shores of Loch Ossian, or to continue, as we did to climb the ridge beyond the bealach to take in the Munro top of Sgor Choinnich (929m). From this top we veered WNW dropping down the very broad ridge as far as Meall Nathrath Mòr, where the ridge then veered west and dropped to meet the Allt a’ Choire Chreagaich burn, just above where it entered the forested area.

View northeast from the summit of Sgor Gaibhre towards Aonach Beag

Once we reached the burn there was a handy crossing point, which was an iron walkway that ran along the top of a tiny dam. Crossing here took us to the west side of the burn where we followed a track down through the trees to the Corrour Estate house and then onto the track back around the south side of Loch Ossian. We then had a 2.5km walk along the lochside to be reunited with our bikes. We noticed that lined along this part of the track was a huge variety of rhododendron bushes, which were obviously being tended by the Corrour Estate as they were professionally pruned and just coming into bud. It would undoubtedly be worth revisiting this part of the estate in late June to see all of the various rhododendrons in flower. Once we had picked up our bikes we made the short cycle back to the hostel at Corrour Station to await our train to Fort William.

 

About Cameron Speirs

Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Cameron, has been interested in outdoor pursuits since he was a wee lad. Over the last few decades he has climbed extensively in the Italian Dolomites as well as summiting the Matterhorn and several other 4000m alpine peaks. Closer to home he has spent many wonderful weekends mountaineering and biking in Snowdonia, Cairngorms, Glen Coe, Skye and Lochaber.
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