Terra incognita & the Moy Wall
25th February 2016
Beinn a Chaorainn today. Ought to venture more often into this less frequently travelled end of our patch. It is more remote and so a bit of a graunch getting to it but skis helped to ease access.
(Above) Good cover. Great on easterly aspects from circa 400m? The approach to the South ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. This particular route entails a burn crossing at the bottom of the glen. The ice-glazed boulders in the burn were fun to hop between when handicapped by clunky ski-touring boots, a rucsac and skis on your back…..Had even more fun there on the return journey!
(Above) Any aspect with a bit of East on it is choked with old snow above 600m. Cold temperatures maintaining near-surface and mid-pack instability above about 800m. Really varied snow surface conditions in close proximity to ridges from a hard crust on one side through to hard slab and soft surface snow on the other – all within 20m either side of the main N to S ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn. Harschiessen (ski crampons) would have been handy at times today.(Above) The light wasn’t great for photography today but there were one or two cloud breaks. A view of the back bowls and corries of Aonach Mor. About 20km away (line of sight).
(Above) Loch Trieg in the far distance. (Can’t remember the last time I shot a photo with Loch Trieg in it.) That’s the Loch Laggan dam next to the A86 just below centre of the pic.
(Above) The Moy Wall on the long ridge of Creag na Cailliche. The ancient boundary between Lochaber and Badenoch. Built shortly after 1770. Starts at the roadside of the A86 (turns into a fence for a time when it crosses a low lying bog) then works its way up to the summit of Creag Meagaidh. It is less obvious at higher altitudes where the original builders probably ran out of money, materialsÂ
and enthusiasm. It’s in remarkably good nick and taller than you might think. R.J McLeod, the civil engineering company responsible for upgrading the A86, did a lot of ‘pro bono’ restoration on it in 1994. It’s a fine piece of work.
(Above) The Moy Wall: lower reaches.
(Above) Large cornices from hang over all the big East facing bowls of Beinn a Chaorainn.
(Above) Snow cover in the upper reaches of the Moy Corrie (beyond the near sky line).
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25th February 2016 9:02 pm
Nice different day out.
26th February 2016 5:44 pm
Nice picts. Enjoyed the social history lesson. As an aside, the march boundary wall on Beinn Dearg, defining the limits of neighbouring estates was built by tenants who needed work (earnings) after the ;’famine’ and failure of crops during the late 19th century and latterly after WW1. Great stone masonry.
26th February 2016 5:56 pm
Thanks for your comment.
“.Nice picts” I’m not going to edit your comment as I think you’re making an interesting social/tribal point! I pity the poor souls who had to construct these things back in the day. Would make building dry stone walls down in N.Yorks and the Lakes look like a walk in the park!