Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Allt a' Choire Greagaich

The name Allt a' Choire Greagaich means the stream of the rocky corrie, and it's well named, for the burn drains the rock-strewn open bowl of hillside to the south of Fascadale, seen in the shadow in this picture. The hill slopes look barren and featureless, yet the little burn cuts one of the prettiest glens on West Ardnamurchan.

High up in the corrie, the burn wanders as it picks its way through the scattered loose rocks and gabbroic outcrops after which it is named. This picture was taken on a recent sunny day when we were descending along its banks and stopped for lunch, sitting at the top of a small waterfall with a view down the glen to Fascadale.

For the next kilometre or so, the burn drops over low escarpments in a series of waterfalls, each one....

....higher and more spectacular than the last. Along this section, while one can't follow close along its banks, one can descend into each gorge where, protected from the wind, there are wildflowers and insects which can't survive on the surrounding open moorland.

There comes a point where the burn slows its sudden descent, meandering across a wide bench of more fertile soil. The area shows the characteristic striping of runrig cultivation from the generations of human occupation at Fascadale.

The burn leaves this flatter area by another waterfall which drops across a distinctive, rounded rock outcrop, tumbling into a pool where its waters are joined by those of a neighbouring burn, the Allt a' Chuil Ghlais, the burn of the grey nook or corner.

The much-enlarged burn takes one more plunge before it reaches the sea, spilling over the edge of the ravine cut by the Allt Fascadale to join that burn in a short, last stretch to the sea. It's a spectacular waterfall, difficult to photograph because it is buried in thick woodland.

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