Hill: Leana Mhor (East)
Date: Sunday 27th December 2015
Company: Just myself
Distance: 9.2km, Ascent: 660m
Time: 3Hrs 45Mins


Eight years ago today, I ascended Leana Mhor (West) in Glen Roy. Today, I decided to return to Glen Roy to ascend Leana Mhor (East). Glen Roy has two Grahams called Leana Mhor and three Corbetts called Carn Dearg .

Glen Roy is geologically reknowned for its three parallel "roads". These roads are not in fact roads but are lake terraces that formed along the shorelines of an ancient ice-dammed loch. From a distance they resemble roads hence the name. Charles Darwin incorrectly believed these Glen Roy shorelines were of marine origin. Agassiz correctly suggested the shorelines were cut by lake ice.

Parallel "roads" (photo taken in 2007):


Parallel "roads" (photo taken in 2007):


I have been contemplating an ascent of Leana Mhor (East) for several years and have spent considerable time pondering over the maps to come up with a route for this one. The standard route up this hill was from Cranachan, until the bridge at Cranachan was washed away. To avoid having to wade across the River Roy, I decided to start the walk from the bridge at NN330908.

During the drive up Glen Roy, I stopped at the Glen Roy viewpoint to take a couple of photos.

Grey Corries from Glen Roy viewpoint:


Glen Roy from the viewpoint:


Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

After getting suited and booted, crossing the bridge and taking a couple of photos on the bridge, I crossed over the Allt na Reinich and began my ascent towards the parallel roads.

Bridge over the River Roy:


River Roy from the bridge:


River Roy from the bridge:


Coire na Reinich and Carn Dearg:


Looking back along the Allt na Reinich:


It had been my intention to skirt round Carn Bhrunachain via the lowest of the three parallel roads. However, it was difficult to actually locate this road on the ground. I therefore made my way up to the middle road instead.

Beinn Iaruinn and Leana Mhor (West):


While the parallel roads can be seen from a distance, they are very indistinct once you are on them.

Leana Mhor (East) coming into view:


Glen Roy:


I knew I would have to drop down from the middle road to at least the lower road on reaching the Allt Feith Bhrunachain gully.

Leana Mhor (East):


Allt Feith Bhrunachain:


Once across the Allt Feith Bhrunachain, it was a straight-forward ascent to the summit.

Looking across to the upper two parallel roads on Carn Bhrunachain:


During the ascent, I picked up a good track which I followed for a while. However, as this track seemed to be heading for the col between Carn Dearg and Leana Mhor, and not to the summit, I opted to leave the track and head directly up the hill instead. As the ascent was fairly steep, I got my ice axe out. There was no need for crampons.

Good track ascending Leana Mhor:


Coire Dubh:


I enjoyed walking in the snow even though it was not consolidated. The wind was considerably less than had been forecast and there was blue sky above. At last a good December day .

Above the snowline on Leana Mhor:


Ascending Leana Mhor:


Looking back along North-East ridge of Leana Mhor:


Carn Dearg from Leana Mhor:


On reaching the summit, which is marked by a small cairn, I took some photos before following my footprints back down the hill.

Nevis range from just beyond the summit of Leana Mhor:


View from the summit of Leana Mhor:


I knew that Brunachain Bothy was closed but decided to visit it anyway during the return to the car.

Brunachain Bothy:


Brunachain Bothy closed - dangerous building:


Despite the warning signs, I had a quick look inside. The bothy is closed but is not locked. One of the rooms looked more habitable than the other.

Inside the bothy:


Inside the bothy:


From the bothy, I followed a boggy path running alongside the River Roy back to the starting point.

Walking back alongside the River Roy:


Looking back along the River Roy:


Glen Roy is well worth a visit if you are interested in geology. A nice fairly short walk.