Pages about Scotland Chno Dearg and Stob Coire Sgriodain
The Munros
Stob Coire Sgriodain (left) and Chno Dearg (right)
Stob Coire Sgriodain (left), Meall Garbh and Chno Dearg (right) from Beinn na Lap
Country: Scotland
Location: Loch Ossian.
Accommodation: Loch Ossian Youth Hostel, Corrour Bunkhouse and Station Lodge (Tulloch). Possibility of B&B at Fersit.
Transport: The West Highland Railway has stations (Corrour Halt and Tulloch) nearby.
Maps: Landranger Map 0041: Ben Nevis, Fort William & Glen Coe
Trip Date: 15 June 1993
Introduction

Chno Dearg (possibly "red hill" from cnoc dearg, 1047m) and Stob Coire Sgriodain ("peak of the corrie of the scree", 976m) can be bagged easily from Fersit (the scattering of cottages at the north end of Loch Treig). If you are based at Loch Ossian then you have more (harder and longer) options ranging from a straightforward there-and-back-again route to a strenuous circuit of Loch Treig (for the super fit only). The route described here is from one railway station (Corrour Halt near Loch Ossian) to another (Tulloch) making it suitable for a day out from Fort William or from Loch Ossian youth hostel. Both stations have bunkhouse accommodation making it easy to travel the route in reverse.

Route

Depart the morning train at Corrour Halt and head east towards Loch Ossian along a dirt road. After 1.25 kilometres a fork is reached - turn left (north) for 100 metres to pick up a path leading back to the railway line. Two kilometres of flat and fast walking brings the end of the path at a railway bridge over a small stream. Cross the stream and head NW up the slopes, aiming for the crest of the ridge just below the crags on Sron na Garbh-bheinne. Once the ridge is gained, make a 90 degree turn to the NE and wind through the crags to more level and easy going beyond. Four kilometres of good walking crosses over an effortless bump at 858m and reaches the foot of the slightly steeper slopes which are climbed to the double-peaked Meall Garbh (977m). There is a cairn on the first (southern) top - a good point for a rest and look around.

Leave Meall Garbh over a dip and the north top to drop alongside the craggy eastern slopes to an open col. Easy slopes with sparse vegetation and plenty of stones lead onto the boulder-strewn summit plateau of Chno Dearg (1047m). The next section of the traverse can be confusing in mist and so is explained in detail.

Return south-west down the same slopes but heading for the col to the north of Meall Garbh and its sprinkling of small lochans. From the flat ground in the col, climb gently WNW to a distinct double-headed knoll at 925m. Drop slightly in the same direction over bumpy ground and then climb again to the South Top of Stob Coire Sgriodain at a height 960m (about 500 metres from the first knoll). Leave the top in a NW direction to descend 40 metres over the next 200 metres and then climb directly north to the summit of Stob Coire Sgriodain (976m), which is marked by a cairn.

This narrow summit offers marvellous views of the elongated Loch Treig (a man-made lake with a dam at the northern end). Dominating the other side of the loch are the two wonderfully rugged Munros, Stob Coire Easain ("peak of the corrie of the little waterfall", 1116m) and Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin ("peak of the middle corrie", 1106m). The reason that the photo below does not show more of the summit cairn is that would of entailed taking a step back - right into the thin air over the steep west slopes.

An alternate route if you want to walk back to Loch Ossian is to bag Stob Coire Sgriodain first and then hike up Chno Dearg. To avoid returning via Meall Garbh, depart from Chno Dearg to the NE down a broad ridge (with a steepish section about a kilometre from the summit). After another kilometre along a flatter section, the ridge narrows and turns to the east. Drop eastwards until the dirt road heading for the cottages at the east end of Loch Ossian is reached. Follow the road to the tracks along the north or south shores to get back to your starting point.

Looking across to Chno Dearg from Stob Coire Sgriodain
Looking across to Chno Dearg from Stob Coire Sgriodain with my pack and mascot (PW) sitting in front

Continue north from Stob Coire Sgriodain, descending along the thin ridge. In a little less than a kilometre a level shoulder is passed on your left and a small top reached (another Sron na Garbh-bheinne). The band of small crags guarding the top is easily threaded through leading to more open slopes (and more crags). Head slightly west of north towards a minor craggy top at 450m but turn to the NE when more level slopes are gained. Soon the Allt Fhearghais brook is crossed and 200 metres further on a path is picked up that heads north along another stream. The path meets a forestry road after 1.5 kilometres of easy walking. The cottages of Fersit are just down the road to your left and beyond them the railway and River Treig are crossed on a bridge.

There is a suggestion of a short-cut to Tulloch. Before the bridge there is a dirt road going NE paralleling the railway line. It heads into the forest after about 800 metres but a track is marked that continues to shadow the railway. After 2 kilometres the River Spean is reached and this is where the track stops. However you may be able to (carefully!) walk along the railway to cross the river and reach the station in about 500 metres.

A more sure method of getting to Tulloch is to cross the River Treig at Fersit. There is a public telephone just across the bridge which may be useful. The road becomes a tarmaced country lane as it goes north to the banks of the An Dubh Lochan. From the outflow of the lochan, the very fit can make a high traverse over Stob Coire Easain and Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin back to the starting point. Mere mortals will continue along the lane to a bridge over the wide gravel bed of the Allt Laire - a good spot to look up into the broad corrie behind the Munros. The lane continues for another 2 kilometres before meeting the busy A86 road. Luckily there is only one kilometre to walk eastwards before the side road to Tulloch is reached for the final quieter 500 metres. An advantage to arriving at Tulloch Station is the surprise of a bunkhouse actually in the station buildings: Station Lodge (if you have questions about crossing the River Spean then these may be the people to call).


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