Geo-Trips :: Heading into Letterewe over two Corbetts - Day 1 of 2

The Letterewe Forest

A walk from Poolewe, Thu, 30 Mar 2017 by Richard Law

This trip is part of a series.next leg

Partially a bike ride, but mainly a long walk, across two remote Corbetts in the Letterewe Forest above Loch Maree. These had been on our wish-list for a long while, and we've aborted plans twice in the past for a variety of reasons. This time we had more luck. The first part of the trip sees a simple enough ride on the vehicle tracks to Kernsary farm and beyond, then the bikes were stashed out of sight and the walking starts. Up and over Beinn Airich Charr in good weather, then down to the low pass (just over 1000' high) of Strathan Buidhe, followed by a bit of a cross-country tramp to the Bealach Mheinnidh. We dumped the gear there, and shot up & down Beinn Lair in about an hour, collected the rucksacks and then in fading light dropped down to a rather good campsite above the remote Fionn Loch.

15 miles in total, with about 4450' of ascent.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NG8580 : Carpark in Poolewe by Richard Law
Carpark in Poolewe
A small parking area just off the main A832, with space for about 20 cars if care's taken.

NG8580 : Weirs and breakwaters in the Ewe by Richard Law
Weirs and breakwaters in the Ewe
From much of the track that runs generally southwards towards Kernsary, the view... more

NG8680 : Upstream view on the Ewe by Richard Law
Upstream view on the Ewe
Looking up the short River Ewe towards the rather prominent Creag Mhòr... more

NG8680 : On the road to Kernsary by Richard Law
On the road to Kernsary
Undertaking a quick time-and-map check on the ride in towards Kernsary. This first... more

NG8680 : Shore near Poolewe by Richard Law
Shore near Poolewe
A fairly substantial croft house beside the track to Kernsary, near the banks of... more

NG8679 : Track to Kernsary by Richard Law
Track to Kernsary
A private road which generally follows the River Ewe and runs to Kernsary Farm in... more

NG8679 : Ride the track, then climb the hill by Richard Law
Ride the track, then climb the hill
That was pretty much the plan for the rest of the day - ride in past Kernsary... more

NG8778 : Birch woodland near Inveran by Richard Law
Birch woodland near Inveran
A fine spring morning on the track in to Kernsary. Too soon in the season for the... more

NG8778 : On the track past Inveran by Richard Law
On the track past Inveran
The metalled surface stopped a short distance back, and the rest of the track to... more

NG8778 : Riding eastwards from Inveran by Richard Law
Riding eastwards from Inveran
On the track towards Kernsary Farm. The birch woodland is thinning here, and opens... more

NG8878 : Bridge over the Inveran River by Richard Law
Bridge over the Inveran River
A second gateway on the track to Kernsary Farm, with the bridge that crosses the... more

NG8878 : The Inveran River by Richard Law
The Inveran River
Upstream view from the bridge, and recognisably the same place and trees that were... more

NG8878 : The track heads away from the Inveran river by Richard Law
The track heads away from the Inveran river

NG8878 : On the track near Loch an Doire Ghairbh by Richard Law
On the track near Loch an Doire Ghairbh
Cycling in towards Kernsary at the start of a 2-day walk across the Corbetts of Letterewe.

NG8878 : Towards Loch na h-Airde Bige by Richard Law
Towards Loch na h-Airde Bige
Although the loch isn't actually visible here, it's a little way ahead in the dead... more

NG8879 : Rounding the southern end of Loch Kernsary by Richard Law
Rounding the southern end of Loch Kernsary
The track to Kernsary scouts around the southern end of the loch just here, with... more

NG8879 : Southern end of Loch Kernsary by Richard Law
Southern end of Loch Kernsary

NG8979 : Kernsary Farm by Richard Law
Kernsary Farm
Outbuildings visible from the track that skirts the southern side of the farm, and... more

NG8979 : Riverside fields south of Kernsary by Richard Law
Riverside fields south of Kernsary
In the valley of the Allt na Creige, these fields appear to be for sheep rearing... more

NG8978 : A bit of a grind by Richard Law
A bit of a grind
The estate road from Kernsary to Ardlair slogs uphill here above the valley of the... more

NG8978 : Low water on the Abhainn Tholldhoire by Richard Law
Low water on the Abhainn Tholldhoire
Several dry days, indeed a couple of dry weeks, had preceded this visit, and the... more

NG8978 : The valley of the Abhainn Tholldhoire by Richard Law
The valley of the Abhainn Tholldhoire
Flattish grassy haughs low in the valley contrast with the upper hillsides of heather.

NG8977 : On the track towards Ardlair by Richard Law
On the track towards Ardlair
Heading from Kernsary to Ardlair, carrying sufficient kit for a night out in the... more

NG8977 : Downhill's always better than up by Richard Law
Downhill's always better than up
A faster way than walking to get to Ardlair - whilst the uphill bits can be a bit... more

NG8976 : On the track from Kernsary by Richard Law
On the track from Kernsary
See just here on the map? There's a stalker's track heads east. Did we stop and... more

NG8976 : Birch forest of the Ruidh Dorcha by Richard Law
Birch forest of the Ruidh Dorcha
Open birch forest above Loch Maree, with the track to Ardlair running through it.

NG8976 : Unknown stone structure by Richard Law
Unknown stone structure
Just above the track to Ardlair lies this odd stone construction. It kind of... more

NG8976 : Large sheepfold above Loch Maree by Richard Law
Large sheepfold above Loch Maree
A large, 3 or 4-celled, sheepfold on the hillside. Some of the walls are slightly... more

NG8976 : Stalker's path heading east by Richard Law
Stalker's path heading east
This track leaves the stoned road to Ardlair, and heads east into wild country.... more

NG9076 : Stalker's path heading east by Richard Law
Stalker's path heading east
This recently-levelled section of the path drops into the gorge just ahead, and... more

NG9076 : The Allt Airigh a' Char by Richard Law
The Allt Airigh a' Char
The last stretch of this burn before it joins the Allt na Luibe immediately behind... more

NG9076 : The Allt na Luibe by Richard Law
The Allt na Luibe
The burn drains much of the NW side of Beinn Airigh Charr, and flows into Loch... more

NG9076 : Coire on Airigh a' Charr by Richard Law
Coire on Airigh a' Charr
Low on the western side of the Corbett, this flattish-floored corrie is surrounded... more

NG9076 : Stalker's path heading east by Richard Law
Stalker's path heading east
Heading east from the ford across the Allt Airigh a' Char.

NG9076 : Not quite as per the map by Richard Law
Not quite as per the map
The map shows the path some distance to the north of this point, in [[NG9077]],... more

NG9077 : The Allt Aconair by Richard Law
The Allt Aconair
This burn basically drains Coire nan Dearcag on the western side of Beinn Airigh... more

NG9077 : Heading east on the stalker's path by Richard Law
Heading east on the stalker's path
This path joins the main Kernsary - Carnmore path with the track to Ardlair; a... more

NG9077 : Open wet moorland towards Meallan nan Gobhar by Richard Law
Open wet moorland towards Meallan nan Gobhar
From the stalker's path, looking towards the steep crags on the end of Meallan nan... more

NG9077 : On the path to Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
On the path to Beinn Airigh Charr
Stalker's path skirting the crags near the foot of Coire nan Dearcag

NG9177 : On the path into Coire nan Dearcag by Richard Law
On the path into Coire nan Dearcag
A branch of the path that links the main Kernsary - Carnmore path with the track... more

NG9177 : Heading for Coire nan Deacag by Richard Law
Heading for Coire nan Deacag
The shapely hill on the skyline is Spidean nan Clach, at 705m it's an outlier of... more

NG9177 : Bridges on the stalker's path by Richard Law
Bridges on the stalker's path
One old (washed away and derelict) and one slightly newer (still usable), these... more

NG9176 : The Allt Aconair in Coire nan Dearcag by Richard Law
The Allt Aconair in Coire nan Dearcag
The burn drains the corrie below the rather striking peak of Spidean nan Clach, an... more

NG9176 : High in Coire nan Dearcag by Richard Law
High in Coire nan Dearcag
Stalker's path winding its way up the steepish rear wall of the corrie, with a... more

NG9276 : Upper Coire nan Dearcag by Richard Law
Upper Coire nan Dearcag
The upper part of the corrie, with the Allt Aconair draining down the middle, and... more

NG9276 : Heading for the bealach by Richard Law
Heading for the bealach
The pass between Spidean nan Clach (left) and Meall Chnaimhean (off to the right)... more

NG9276 : The western slopes of Spidean nan Clach by Richard Law
The western slopes of Spidean nan Clach
Rocky, slabby slopes on the western side of this outlier of Beinn Airigh Charr.

NG9276 : The top part of Coire nan Dearcag by Richard Law
The top part of Coire nan Dearcag
More or less the opposite view to that seen in [[5352245]], taken from low on one... more

NG9275 : At the bealach west of Bainn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
At the bealach west of Bainn Airigh Charr
A peaty pool lies here just south of the bealach - a deer wallow, by the looks of... more

NG9275 : Back to the bealach by Richard Law
Back to the bealach
The pass lies between Meall Chnaimhean and Spidean nan Clach, at an altitude of... more

NG9275 : The rocky eastern side of Meall Chnaimhean by Richard Law
The rocky eastern side of Meall Chnaimhean
Probably less daunting in reality than it looks, but we were heading in the other... more

NG9276 : Off towards Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
Off towards Beinn Airigh Charr
Right, he said - stop mucking about with that camera, and head up the hill, that's... more

NG9276 : The ridge of Spidean nan Clach by Richard Law
The ridge of Spidean nan Clach
Coire nan Laoigh drops away distinctly steeply off to the right just this side of... more

NG9376 : Broken trigs on Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
Broken trigs on Beinn Airigh Charr
The once-cylindrical 'Vanessa' trig looks like it's been blown apart as the result... more

NG9376 : Summit cairn on Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
Summit cairn on Beinn Airigh Charr
Just north of the former trig point, and giving a slightly better view over the... more

NG9376 : The upper slopes of Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
The upper slopes of Beinn Airigh Charr
100' or so below the summit of the Corbett, looking back up the hill's southern side.

NG9375 : Downhill towards Meall a' Choire Ghlais by Richard Law
Downhill towards Meall a' Choire Ghlais
Initially easy slopes descend to the south from Beinn Airigh Charr, but beware the... more

NG9375 : Sunlight on Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
Sunlight on Beinn Airigh Charr
Looking back up the higher slopes of the Corbett.

NG9375 : On the southern slopes of Beinn Airigh Charr by Richard Law
On the southern slopes of Beinn Airigh Charr
Looking across from Meall a' Choire Ghlais towards Spidean nan Clach.

NG9274 : Carnan Maire from above by Richard Law
Carnan Maire from above
Roughly 1800' of steep, rough hillside to Loch Maree, with its wooded islets.... more

NG9274 : High in Coire Glas by Richard Law
High in Coire Glas
The steep slopes lead down, eventually, to Loch Maree and a series of rocky bluffs... more

NG9374 : Erratic on Mheall a' Choire Ghlais by Richard Law
Erratic on Mheall a' Choire Ghlais
A boulder of Torridonian sandstone lies on the hillside above Carnan Maire. It's... more

NG9374 : Glacial erratic on Mheall a' Choire Ghlais by Richard Law
Glacial erratic on Mheall a' Choire Ghlais
Another lost boulder high on the hillside; this one has a fine view along Loch... more

NG9374 : Spur of the ridge on Carnan Maire by Richard Law
Spur of the ridge on Carnan Maire
High on the eastern side of Mheall a' Choire Ghlais, the ridge of Carnan Maire... more

NG9374 : Field boundary on the hillside by Richard Law
Field boundary on the hillside
A closer view along the length of the field boundary, almost a wall, seen from a... more

NG9474 : Hillside above the Strathan Buidhe by Richard Law
Hillside above the Strathan Buidhe
A short stretch of the hillside descending from Mheall a' Choire Ghlais, steep but... more

NG9474 : A deertrack above the Strathan Buidhe by Richard Law
A deertrack above the Strathan Buidhe
The deer know the easy ways up and down these hills, so following their tracks... more

NG9473 : Stalker's path through the Strathan Buidhe by Richard Law
Stalker's path through the Strathan Buidhe
The path is one of two that join the settlement at Letterewe with the main... more

NG9473 : Shallow lochans above the Strathan Buidhe by Richard Law
Shallow lochans above the Strathan Buidhe
A series of small lochans dot this part of the hillside, this being one of the... more

NG9473 : The larger lochan by Richard Law
The larger lochan
Larger (and apparently deeper, less vegetated) than its neighbours, this lochan... more

NG9473 : Lochan with a view by Richard Law
Lochan with a view
Over Loch Maree to the hills of Torridon. It would make a spectacular campsite,... more

NG9573 : Unnamed tributary of the Allt Bealach nan Sac by Richard Law
Unnamed tributary of the Allt Bealach nan Sac
One of several small burns draining the southern slopes of Meall Mheinnidh. This... more

NG9573 : On the path to the Bealach Mhèinnidh by Richard Law
On the path to the Bealach Mhèinnidh
A little way to the west of Beinn Làir, this path runs up from the... more

NG9573 : Downhill towards Loch Maree by Richard Law
Downhill towards Loch Maree
A view from the stalker's path down the side of Beinn Làir, to Loch Maree... more

NG9673 : Eroded moraine in Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich by Richard Law
Eroded moraine in Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich
Undercut by the burn, the unstable moraine is being washed out. This is clearly... more

NG9673 : On the path to the Bealach Mhèinnidh by Richard Law
On the path to the Bealach Mhèinnidh
Heading up to the bealach, with Beinn Làir and the grassy Coir’ an Taoibh... more

NG9673 : At the Bealach Mhèinnidh by Richard Law
At the Bealach Mhèinnidh
A rather dramatic place; the slopes to the south that we've just ascended are open... more

NG9773 : The upper slopes of Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich by Richard Law
The upper slopes of Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich
Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich is a large, grassy affair, extending from the upper... more

NG9673 : Looking down Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich by Richard Law
Looking down Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich
From a height of about 2100', down to Loch Maree and the hills north of the... more

NG9773 : Scattered boulders and debris high in Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich by Richard Law
Scattered boulders and debris high in Coir’ an Taoibh Riabhaich
At an altitude of about 2560', much of the upper corrie consists of a scattering... more

NG9773 : Summit cairn in view by Richard Law
Summit cairn in view
A couple of hundred yards from the summit of Beinn Làir, the ground is... more

NG9873 : Summit cairn on Beinn Làir by Richard Law
Summit cairn on Beinn Làir
A fairly substantial job, this one, considering Beinn Làir is miles from... more

NG9873 : To Slioch from the summit of Beinn Làir by Richard Law
To Slioch from the summit of Beinn Làir
The large cairn lies close to the true summit, but its upper parts now overtop... more

NG9674 : Tiny lochan above the Bealach Mhèinnidh by Richard Law
Tiny lochan above the Bealach Mhèinnidh
More or less on the edge of the abyss, this lochan lies at about 1770'

NG9674 : Stalker's path north of the Bealach Mhèinnidh by Richard Law
Stalker's path north of the Bealach Mhèinnidh
Down the path that drops from the Bealach Mhèinnidh towards the Fionn Loch.... more

NG9674 : Path to the Bealach a’ Chùirn by Richard Law
Path to the Bealach a’ Chùirn
This branch of the network of stalker's paths leaves the main one that drops down... more

NG9674 : Stob Bealach a’ Chùirn by Richard Law
Stob Bealach a’ Chùirn
A small hill at 503m that overshadows the path down from the Bealach a’ Chùirn.

NG9675 : Evening at camp by the Allt Poll Fraochain by Richard Law
Evening at camp by the Allt Poll Fraochain
After a bike ride and a longish walk over two of the country's most remote... more

NG9675 : Camping below the Bealach Mhèinnidh by Richard Law
Camping below the Bealach Mhèinnidh
More or less last light of the day, but it's a campsite with a view up into the... more

NG9473 : Down the hill towards the Glac Iain Duibh by Richard Law
Down the hill towards the Glac Iain Duibh

All images © Richard Law and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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