Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain
The route shown on this map is taken from my SPOT GPS tracker
Climbing these two hills without using a car requires either staying at the Station Lodge hostel at Tulloch or basing yourself in Fort William and using the early morning train from FW and returning on the late evening train. It's roughly a 90 minute walk to the usual starting point at Fersit. The hill walk itself took me exactly 8 hours including several breaks for lunch and drinks. It would have taken me 11 hours for the whole walk back to Tulloch station but, as luck would have it, I ended up walking part of my return with another walker who offered me a lift back to the station.
The Station Lodge at Tulloch is highly recommended - excellent food, great packed lunches, reasonable prices, very clean and friendly hosts.
First there's a short walk to the main A86...
....and a slightly longer walk along the A86 to..
...the lane that leads to Fersit.
There's a new steel bridge ....
.....over the River Spean.
The road passes the An Dubh Locan...
...and, shortly after, the first objective of the day comes into view - Meall Cian Dearg at the end of the ridge leading to Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin.
The road continues to a car park at Fersit and then ...
....a private road heads towards the Loch Treig dam
I followed this along the loch side...
... as it climbs away from the water.
On the hillside there is a concrete column which will be passed later.
At the second turning on the right a farm track leads uphill....
...to some sheep fanks.
At this point in my walk the overnight sleeping car train from London came down from Rannoch Moor so I couldn't resist a zoomed shot.
Beyond the sheep fanks, a reasonably clear path climbs the hillside..
...with increasingly good views down past Loch Laggan.
The enormous concrete pillar - something to do with the Loch Treig hydro electric power scheme is passed....
...before the path direct from the Fersit car park comes up the hill. Having used this path in the past I'd recommend the loch side approach as much easier.
Meall Cian Dearg's crags dominate the next section of the walk...
...although the views backwards are worth turning round for.
There has to be a way up through those crags....
Another view back looking to Beinn Teallach (left) and Beinn a' Chaorainn (right) which I planned to climb the next day.
The track up through the crags is quite heavily eroded and calls for a fair amount of handwork and thought, especially in descent.
Once on the ridge things improve considerably and this seemed a good spot for a lunch break.
Across to the west are the Grey Corries.
The summit of Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin can be seen in the distance. This hill has no less than three corries on the east side.
This one is Coire Shomhairle. As expected there's an easy path...
..and although low cloud now descended every so often it cleared allowing views down to Loch Treig.
With no views it was simply a case of heading along the ridge...
...sometimes close to some big drops and with some awkward snow patches to cross - lad I brought my Yaktracks. The drop is down into Coire Aluinn.
Nearer the summit the ridge widens....
....before the stony summit is reached.
There's now a gentle descent over shattered stone...
...with steep drops to the west.
Down at the beallach between Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easain it became clear that my planned return route dropping down into the valley to the west was not going opt be possible as there was an enormous slab of snow.
The mist cleared for a time to show the head of Loch Treig and Rannoch Moor beyond.
In the distance the Blackwater Reservoir is revealed.
Sadly I didn't get a view of Stob Coire Easain but this is its cairn perched at the top of the ridge at 1115 m, 10 metres higher than its neighbour.
Dropping down back to the bealach the missed thinned to give another view of the snow slab.
Down at the bealach ...
...and the path disappearing under the snow. Nobody appeared to have ventured down into Coire Easain Beag and the glen and I was later advised that the path by the Allt Laire stream is almost non existent.
Obviously I now had to re-ascend Stob a'Choire Hheadhoin which added another 200m of ascent.
Once over the summit the path dropped below cloud level and the terrain of the ridge can be seen.
In June 2012 a freight train ran into a rock fall on the opposite side of Loch Treig and derailed, the locomotive ended up some distance down the hill and a year later was still there whilst it was decided how to deal with the problem.