Cnoc Coinnich and Clach Beinn
Mountains get reclassified, it seems almost on a yearly basis. New technologies mean more accurate readings and sometimes mountains and hills that see very little footfall soon gather paths and tracks as baggers make their way to summit these "new " hills.
This was the case yesterday. A few months ago a smaller hill tucked away behind The Brack on the Cowal Peninsula start to welcome many more people to its summit. Previously measured at 761 metres it missed out on reaching Corbett status by a metre. G and J surveys took interest in this and headed up during the summer with their technical GPS equipment and discovered that the actual height of the hill was 763.5m- so a new Corbett was born ;):)
So as an outdoor enthusiast (and self confessed bagger) I found myself looking at maps and possible lines of attack for this new target on my horizon. Having a drop off at Glasgow airport for 0800AM and collection at 1800PM I decided this would be a good day to head for pastures new. As an added bonus the forecasts were looking very good - not a common occurrence for the west of Scotland and at a weekend!!
A quick tweet to Mark from Simply Epic , and I had company for the day. Meeting up at Ardgartan I had suggested biking in, but a few injuries not helped by riding posture saw us heading up the track to a parking spot at the entrance to Coilessan Glen and the bikes left in the boot of the car. The sun was shining, the skies blue and the banter good! The four by four track up the Glen is at a nice gradient and we were soon nearing the head of the Glen on a good path.
Looking back over the tress from Coilessan Glen:
The Brack, often ascended from Glen Croe can also be accessed from here and this fact (as well as us following the Cowal Way!) meant that as soon as we had to head for the "new" hill, we also had to watch where we place our feet! No path and some well hidden pot holes saw us loosing our legs on a few occasions ! This aside the hike was grand with views opening up across Cowal as we reach the bealach. The route to Cnoc Coinich was barred by a craggy rising and we decided to ascend via a gully which cut through the steepening with a descent tot he northern gentler slopes. Having cut up the gully there was a final steep pull to a conical looking summit. As we reached the top it proved to be a flat topped summit with some crags off to the east.
.A picture from near top and also from drive through above the fog earlier in the day:
Earlier in the day the fog had been stubborn but seemed to have cleared inland. However on reaching the top we were greeted by a sea of low cloud out west- a fine view indeed. It was time for lunch, chicken salad followed by some dairy milk!
Some summit snaps from Cnoc Coinnich top:
Summit selfies taken and soaking in the veiws, there was no rush to leave the summit.... It hadn't taken very long to summit and we eventually started our way down, meeting a couple of hikers making their way up. Back at the car by 1300hrs and I now had a decision to make- what to do until 18.00pm????
I decided I wanted to climb a peek at the end of the peninsula that I'd spotted from the Corbett top. It was called Clach Beinn and I was intrigued as to what views it would reveal... I said my good bye to Mark and got the bike out of the back of the car. The track along Loch Long was perfect for cycling (Dukes Path) and a few up and downs saw my head towards Corran Lochan. The only down side to this track was the views were limited by the commercial plantations. On reaching the Lochan the hike to Clach Beinn was only around 180m of ascent, not much and relatively easy - or so I thought!!
If I thought the path less ascent of Cnoc Coinnich was fought, I was soon to discover that it was tame in comparison to the bush whacking I encountered en route to Clach Beinn! Long grasses and ferns (and the number out pot holes!) made for slow progress!! However I persevered and eventually reached the trig point. I was relieved to find that the views were indeed fine, mountains and loch galore!
Now to get back to the airport- it was now 15.00hrs.... The descent was quicker (but not much) and I was glad to get back on the saddle! A good down hill blast from the Lochan was enjoyed then more peddle power until I reached the car nearer 16.00. The airport was reached by 17.15 and all was fine.
So a couple of new ! Peaks climbed and an area I have never visited before explored. Next on the list here is a cycle - The Ardgarten loop - looks great:)
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...