Blog - Gulvain and Corryhully, Mar'17A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !
Gulvain and Corryhully, Mar'1711-12 March 2017
A weekend of guided hillwalking to the Munros of Gulvain, Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachean. Emma was leading...
Day 1 - the Corryhully Horseshoe
This is a classic West Highland route, approaching from the dramatic Loch Shiel, under the Glenfinnan railway viaduct and along the tarred road to the Corryhully Bothy. Jackie and James were on bikes and were soon ahead of the walking party, we re-grouped at the bothy, one of the few (only!) bothies to have electricity.
We opted for a clockwise circuit initially heading onto the rocky ridge to SgurrnanCoireachean. A stalkers track leaves the main glen, however, this peters out about the 300m contour and it's a steep climb thereafter. A good forecast didn't really deliver as we were in the mist for much of the day on the summits. However, it was mild for the time of year and more importantly dry.
There were huge areas of rapidly thawing snow on the ridge to the summit, the sort of snow that is deep and slushy and incredibly unpleasant to walk in! We ploughed through this and eventually the summit cairn loomed ahead of us, and a well-earned lunch was enjoyed.
The ridge to Sgurr Thuilm is surprisingly tough and today in the deep wet snow it was hard work. We passed over 2 Corbett tops (not Corbetts, but like Munro Tops, there are Corbett tops) and were rewarded with some views into the glens below and towardsLoch Shiel. SgurrThuilm was in the mist, though this did break to provide views of Streap and Gulvain albeit briefly.
The ridge down was really pleasant and at last the cloud cleared to leave a fine afternoon with blue skies, and beautiful views. The cyclists definitely had the advantage on the return journey and we all arrived back at the cars as the light was fading.
Day 2 - Gulvain
It was a smaller group today, and although it was a bright start the mist soon developed obscuring the surrounding mountains. The walk in to the foot of Gulvain, although reasonably long, is very pleasant along a river-side track and path. Reaching the base of Gulvain and looking upwards, the only way to describe the climb is as brutal, from 150m to the south top at 967m with barely a break in the slope. We met another group on the way up and leap-frogged them a few times as we headed into the mist. As we climbed the wind really picked up and the temperatures were much lower than the day before, however, the wind did start to blow the mist away giving us fleeting views into the glen below. We didn't linger long on the south top before descending into the snow on its north side.
There was a large amount of snow right along the ridge until we started the final climb up to the main summit of Gulvain. A chilly lunch in the mist at the summit rewarded us with fine views as we departed and the mist lifted right the way along the ridge and revealed yesterday's final summit of Sgurr Thuilm too. On the return Paul found a great area for some snow sliding while the rest of us were happy to plod back up to the south top. This time the view was magnificent and showed what a fine mountain Gulvain is.
A brutal ascent can only mean one thing though, it is a long way down from here! There were some tired knees by the time we reached the river, and nearly everyone had at least one mudslide on the saturated ground on the way. Wearing our winter boots we were not relishing the return to the road, however, the walk out passed quickly with lots of interesting conversations to be had.
More photos by Emma are here on Flickr.
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