Monday 4 July 2016

A Couple of Affric Munros

After my efforts of the previous day on the edge of Knoydart, I'd in effect gained a day on my plans. Plan B was to walk/climb the Creag Meagaidh group....however the forecasts (yes I consulted several!) were speaking of thunder and of course lightening. So another plan was required....
Plan C? saw me driving round to Glen Affric from Invergarry, and parking adjacent to the Chisholm Bridge. It was raining as I left the car but very humid. I knew I'd spend the day cloud watching, keeping an eye and ears open for signs of any thunderstorms. On with the photos/walk

The old track round into the Fiadh glen has been "improved", there's a couple of hydro schemes going in. Although its at an early stage at the moment.

Beyond the new hydro track, the glen takes on a real wildness...and wetness. Its very wet underfoot! On a plus point the rain had stopped.

Once across the Allt Toll Easa, the path heads up through the heather gaining height quickly.

Its a really pleasant ridge along and up Creag na h-Inghinn. The view back along the glen opening up.... 

Whilst to the West the Carn Eighe group dominated the scene.

To the East was the my second Munro, Toll Creagach looked extremely exposed should lightening occur.

The summit of Tom a Choinnich, looking West, again to the Carn Eighe hills

From Tom a Choinnich,East to Toll Creagach. I didn't linger, crammed some more cereal bars in my hipbelt pockets and descended to Bealach Toll Easa.

There is a section of stalkers path as you start the descent, but it was covered by one of the laarge snowfields in the photo above. There was no difficulty in following the crest of the ridge though.

The path from the bealach to the summit of Toll Creagach is intermittent, easy ground does that! The hills North of Loch Mullardoch were impressive, good to see them in clear weather. It was cloudy and a bit wet when I backpacked over them in 2004. I can't believe its that long ago!

Again I didn't stop at the summit for long. A descent was basically a bee-line back to the Gleann nam Fiadh. I was surprised that I didn't come across a path, although the ground was fairly easy going...if rather wet.
A last look back up the glen before returning to the car the same way I walked earlier in the day.
So that was effectively the end of my week, I'd enjoyed it immensely, and hope anyone who's happened by has found something of interest here. Cheers!

Sunday 3 July 2016

A Two Walk, Two Munro Day.....Silly Old Fool!

I've not done 2 separate munros on 2 separate walks before as far as I can remember....athough I am getting on a bit and might well have forgotten! But today the weather was almost perfect and there was a target in mind which pushed me on. Lots of photos....sorry!

Having parked just west of the bridge over the Northern arm of Loch Cuaich, I picked up the stalkers path up the long easy graded ridge of Bac nan Cannaichean. Another one of the superb old tacks in this part of Scotland. 

Over to the East I got a good view of Gleouraich, Clear of cloud today not like the day before. 

There was a stiff breeze blowing the Bog Cotton, The summit of Sgurr a Mhaoraich seemed a fair way off.

Once on the ridge beyond Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallaich, the top looked a lot closer, I was looking forward to this next section.

Its a hands in pockets stroll of course....except I had poles in mine!
Great views down to Alltbeithe and Easter Glen Cuaich.

Almost at the summit and a chance to glance back to Loch Cuaich and Gairich beyond.

But once on the top of Sgurr a Mhaoraich its the view West which commands attention. Loch Hourn and Ladhar Beinn in the distance.

There was good shelter from the wind behind the cairn, but I had to leave. I changed my plan for the route back, heading down the steep Northern ridge to the col below Am Bathaich rather than an easy Southerly ridge back to the road.

There's a great chance to see this pinnacle towering above a huge jumble of fallen rock. 

The ridge of Am Bataich which would form the basis of my route back.

A short pull up on to the ridge, gave me a great opportunity to look back at the Munro I'd just walked over. 

And a last look back at Loch Hourn.

It was easy going along the ridge, I then picked up a long disused stalkers path down to the valley floor near to Alltbeithe. There is alot of work going on hereabouts with small hydro schemes being installed. Gilkes vans where much in evidence, turbine manufacturers from back home in Kendal.
I personally much prefer hydro to windpower, the tracks will blend in in time and are generally in the glens not high on open ground visable from miles away.
From here it was back to the car along the recently improved track, it made for easy fast walking. I arrived back at the car just after 2pm. 

Back along the road a few miles to park at the Cuaich Dam. Gairich looked a long way off at this point!

The path from the dam to the stalkers path was wet beyond belief, but things improved from then on and soon I was high on the moor able to look back at Glen Garry and a distant Ben Tee.

In front was Gairich, still a lot of climbing still to do.

But as always the top arrives eventually. A shower passed just to the East producing a rainbow over Loch Cuaich

The summit, and a great view to the peaks of Knoydart. This image doesn't do it justice I'm afraid.
Gairich completes a large section of Munros for me. It might be a while before I'm in this area again I savoured the moment.

I took the chance to look at the Corbetts South of Glen Kingie, Gulvain was there with its twin tops as well.

Back the way I'd come, it was really warm, the wind had dropped....we all know what that means...Yes the midges and clegs had come out to play!
Little time was spent not moving, thank goodness for Avon Skin-so Soft. I arrived back at the car at 6.30 feeling rather pleased with myself, there's life in the old dog yet!