Loch an Daimh
Our annual weekend get together in the Highlands. For several years now we have been meeting in Crianlarich for this event, but we decided that it was time to move on, time to ring the changes, go for a change of scene. So this year we booked Suie Lodge in Luib. (Just down the valley from Crianlarich – nothing too radical then.) On Saturday morning we drove down Glen Lochay, past road signs warning that this was a no-through route, then turned North on what my (old) map shows as a track, but which newer maps apparently show as a (yellow) minor road. In the event it was metalled, but in places more pot-holes than road and probably not to be recommended. On the far side of the pass, in Glen Lyon, we left a car at Pubil and continued round to park below the dam of Loch an Daimh. This gave us a head-start on our climb, beginning at around 400m, and with a linear route in mind. Looking at the map I had liked the idea of tackling the ridge of Creag an Fheadain, but that would have necessitated following the shore of the loch for perhaps a couple of kilometres, and when we found a well-used path taking a more direct line up towards the top of that ridge at 887m it seemed sensible to follow it.
From that top we followed the rim of Coire an Duich, the cloud drifting in and out giving some views and often seeming to be about to lift.
Whilst the others stuck with the path up the Munro top of Sron Chona Choirein, Geordie Munro and I continued to follow the edge of the corrie. A very fine corrie it looked too and it was quite tempting to carry-on round and down via the eastern ridge.
But the summit called and we joined the others and followed the main ridge, stopping to admire the frozen Lochan nan Cat when the cloud allowed us a view.
Partial views were to be the order of the day.
But it was great to be out. Stuchd an Lochain (960m) was my first new Munro for…well I’m not sure how long for, but for a very long time. I’ve just done a quick count on my Munro’s map and it seems to be number 145 for me – although that takes no account of my dodgy record keeping and any messing around the SMC have done with the list in the last 10 years (I stopped paying attention). What I do know is that for my friend Robin it was number 2 after Meall nan Tarmachan last year. At this rate he may finish sometime in the 24th Century!
From the Meall an Odhar ridge we had tantalising glimpses of the neighbouring Corbett Creag nan Nathrach and not content with our Munro fix, we crossed some peat-hagged saddle and then climbed steadily to its summit.
On the top we were tempted to loiter by the promise of blue sky overhead and by occasional views back down to Loch an Diamh. There was some debate about potential descent routes but eventually we took a direct route back to Glen Lyon…
…and Pubil. Whilst the faster walkers had taken the car to retrieve our other vehicles the tail-end Charlies followed down the valley where we discovered a memorial to Glen Lyon born explorer of the Yukon, Robert Campbell.