928 m. |
Translation: Big water
This last but one mountain of the hill-walking holiday in September and October 2000 was to be a special one. Not only was it special for its unusually grassy character but also for the lessons in route planning and practical Gaelic it taught us. Appoaching Moruisg from the A890 road in Glen Carron we crossed the railway line and headed more or less straight up the long grassy north-west face of the hill.
The days before had seen quite some rain and the foot of the grassy hillside was a soaked sponge. We soon left the path which heads for the Corrie Toll nam Bian and went across the open hillside along the bank of one of the small burns comming down Moruisg. We had not climbed further up than 300 m when – watching a rainbow in Glen Carron – we saw that we had to put on our raingear. From the west heavy clouds and curtains of rain were approaching slowly. A few minutes later we saw the last spot of blue sky on our tour up Moruisg. We trodded up the side of the hill, zig-zagging the slope. The rain and wind got worse the higher up we came.
Moruisg is a hill that is deceptive in that you think that soon you will be on the broad ridge but it takes its time to climb the concave hillside. Finally, after some further layers of fleece having to be put on due to the very strong wind we reached Moruisg’s ridge a hundred metres west of the eastern cairn. So to the east we went and the strong westerly wind almost blew us away. We tried to rest in the lee of the cairn but there was no respite from the wind. Looking west we saw the other cairn on the big back of Moruisg and could not help but wonder whether it might be the real summit and not the cairn we were huddled behind. So, being dedicated followers of Sir Hugh and the idiotisms his lists spark off in many a hill-walker including us, we hurled ourselves against the wind and headed for the more westerly cairn. Which we reached in a few minutes. And off the hill we went to make it to our car and a dry place. (Our initial plan had of course been to carry on to Sgurr nan Ceannaichean.)
The rain got worse and the descent more or less on the same way we went up was slippery, slippery. We met another two walkers comming up the hill and exchanged a few words with them about the advantages of hill-walking in Scotland on a day like this and the prospect of a tiny tent the two of them were looking forward to. We got back to the A890 only three and a half hours after we had set out and had thoroughly learnt two lessons: First, if the wind is really strong don’t try and walk a ridge in the direction where it blows into your face. Second, wet as we were we now knew well why the hill’s name is Moruisg – Big Water.
Description Unlike most of their neighbouring Munros to the south-east of Glen Carron, these two hills are very accessible from the A890 road in that glen. Moruisg is a long flat-topped hill with smooth grassy slopes on the Glen Carron side. Sgurr nan Ceannaichean is a more distinctive hill with a high craggy face cleft by two great gullies on its west side overlooking the Allt a' Chonais. On the north of the col between the two hills is the deep hollow of Coire Toll nam Bian, whose steep headwall prevents any approach to the col from the north.The traverse of the two hills from Glen Carron starts from the A890 road about 1 kilometre downstream from Loch Sgamhain. Cross the River Carron and once past the railway climb fairly directly south-east up the grassy slopes of Moruisg to reach its north ridge a short distance from the summit. Go south-west along the broad ridge down to the col and climb more steeply to Sgurr nan Ceannaichean. Return by the ascent route for a short distance and then descend the north ridge, which becomes steeper halfway down. At the foot of the ridge cross the Alltan na Feola and follow the path on its right bank back to the bridge over the River Carron.