Saturday, 29 April 2017

Beinn Iaruinn and Carn Dearg, Glen Roy

Thursday 27 April 2017

Beinn Iaruinn        802m      1hr 31mins

Ascent:      701 metres
Distance:   7 kilometres
Total Time:         2 hours 45 minutes

Glen Roy has 4 corbetts, three of which go by the name of Carn Dearg. We had climbed the two at the head of the glen last year and today was to be Beinn Iaruinn and the Carn Dearg at either side of the Glen. It is a slow drive up the glen admiring the Parallel Roads that provide physical contours as relics from the ice age. We parked at the foot of Beinn Iaruinn and followed a steep path that leaves by the bridge. The weather looked threatening and there was a stiff breeze to remind us that it is still April despite the plaintive cry of the cuckoos. Hills like this have few endearing features and it became a familiar plod up the dead bracken and brown heathers with rasping breath and wet feet to add to the dubious pleasure.

Arriving on the ridge gave us cloud obscured views across Loch Lochy to Meall na Teanga and Ben Tee. The hillside of wind turbines beyond Invergarry was illuminated by shafts of sunlight, an accolade for its green credentials. Cloud restricted the views in all other directions. At least I was able to put on my new waterproof that I had bought over a year ago and never had to use in 30 outings in 2016. The walk over the ridge to the summit was over easy stony ground and progress was easy despite the wind. We stopped briefly at the cairn before returning by much the same route. There was no wildlife and no incidents but as a means of regaining hill fitness it was a worthwhile outing. We drove a couple of miles further up the road, had a bite to eat before beginning the climb up Carn Dearg.

Start of Being Iaruinn ascent
Ben Tee and the wind farm to north west

Looking west to Meall na Teanga in cloud

Summit of Being Iaruinn

Carn Dearg             834m     1hr 40mins

Ascent:      671 metres
Distance:   7 kilometres
Time:         2 hours 58 minutes

It is always a challenge to start the second walk of the day and this was no exception. I had hoped that the brief interlude of sunshine might be a sign of a better afternoon.We crossed the wooden bridge, the bothy was closed and a dead lamb was a reminder of the harsh environment in this remote glen. There is a 400 metre ascent up grass and heathers to make the higher slopes which then curve round over a rain soaked plateau and then up two more inclines to make the summit. The rains began in earnest and tested my jacket better than any testing tank as the wind hurled raindrops of all dimensions and even gave us some seat on the summit. 

The views diminished and our survival instincts told us to get down rather than hang about so we made a return by the same route not stopping until the primroses broke my step at the 300 metre contour, they never seem to go higher than this. The rain stopped as we finished so we could change and begin the retreat from the glen and head to Corpach where we hoped to find a bunkhouse for the night.

The bridge across to Carn Dearg

Glen Roy

John at summit

Summit view on Carn Dearg

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