Saturday, 26 May 2012

Blackrock Cottage Part 2.

Having recovered from our previous day’s excursion on Beinn Mhic-Mhonaidh, we decided today we would be a good day to have a look at Meall Lighiche. It lies south of Glencoe and is surrounded by other hills, so we hoped given good weather, we’d be treated to excellent views of Sgor na h-Ulaidh, Bidean nam Bian and the Ballachulish Horseshoe.
We left the car by the side of the A82 (at NN119564) and took the farm track to Gleann-leac-na-muidhe. Just before you reach the buildings there are signs instructing walkers to follow a path of poorly constructed of stepping stones, which bypass the farmhouse. Presumably this is to keep the nasty mountaineers well away from the lovely locals. These diversions seem to be on the increase in Scotland; I’m not sure how legal they are, but they’re very irritating and do nothing to encourage harmony between landowners and visitors.
Back on the main track again, as we cleared the farm buildings, we began to get super views of the Aonoch Eagach ridge behind and Meall Lighiche in front.

We continued up the track until we reached the Allt na Muidhe. The water was very low, so we bolder hopped across to the west bank and followed it upstream for a few minutes, before heading towards the north ridge of Creag Bhan.  After the initial climb to a saddle, we went to the right of the next small hump before re-joining the ridge.

The ridge is made up of steep grassy terraces and as with most Corbetts no sign of a path.

At last we came to the top of Creag Bhan but of the small cairn which is supposed to mark the top, there was no sign.

From here you can see the summit of Meall Lighiche and the views were brilliant!

The final ridge follows a line of iron fence posts to the top.

After a leisurely lunch near the summit, it was time to tear ourselves away from the wonderful views and descend. We were tempted to find a way down the northern slopes of the hill, but eventually we took the easy option and returned via our route of ascent. The way back is quite straight forward, but would need care in poor conditions, as there are some impressive drops on the east side of Creag Bhan.
Back at the river crossing, we sat basking in the sun and considered how someone can enthusiastically rent their holiday cottage to walkers, but object other walkers using the track past their farm house?

We felt the logic didn’t stack up, if we’d chosen to cycle to the end of the vehicle track, we’d have been entitled under Scottish access law to ride past the farmhouse anyway! So we determined that on the way down we’d keep to the road and see what happened.
As luck would have it, we arrived at the path just as the landowner came out of his barn, he shouted a cheery hello, but as soon as we passed the diversion he pointed out that we’d missed the path! My brother without breaking his stride, said “ah I’m glad we’ve bumped into you, could provide us with details of your holiday let”? To this our trusty landowner replied “oh in that case PLEASE come THIS WAY we NEVER away a BUSINESS opportunity”!

So we collected a business card from his wife, expressed our regrets that we couldn’t accept a guided tour of the cottage, as we were far too muddy, and carried on our way!

Maybe only a small victory, but it had us smiling all the way back to the car. If we come this way again we will be on our bikes, it will be interesting to see what the guy has to say for himself then!

1 comment:

  1. A fine couple of days there, the less frequented hills have a great deal to offer. The views of the surrounding mountains are wonderful and there are few if any people.
    Some of those paths around the perimeters of properties are pretty dreadful, if they were well made and didn't involve significant extra effort things would be more harmonious.