982 m. |
Translation: Perhaps summit of the hawk
Pronuncation: moollach na yerakan
An old scar that had kept itching for more than six years: That is what Mullach na Dheiragain meant for Frank and me. When we climbed An Socach and Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan in 2006 we had skipped this remote outlier since at least one of us had been too exhausted to add another 8-10 km from the summit of M22 just to bag this minor Munro. This had left us the task of reaching this remote Munro from somewhere else.
So in October 2012 we had rented a cottage in Camas-liunie at the end of the single track road which runs all the way from Ardelve along the shore of Loch Long. Camas-liunie is a really remote spot only a few kilometres from the A87. Great setting but only little sunshine in the northern fangs of Carn Loch nan Eun. From the cottage we cycled and pushed our old and worn-out bicycles along a rough track to the cottage in Glen Elchaig. There we joined the tarmac single-track going moderately uphill into Glen Elchaig. Soon Loch Elchaig was reached. Frank and me continued on the road along the bank of the loch, passed Carnach House and then finally arrived at Iron Lodge.
We left our bikes near Iron Lodge and climbed steeply on the rough track that heads in an easterly direction towards Loch Mullardoch. When this path/track had levelled off beside Loch an Droma we left it at a cairn and set out to cross the open, hillocky terrain that stretches towards the north ridge of Mullach na Dheiragain. There were traces of several tracks and/or paths to be followed. We headed towards the very steep crags of Creag a’ Choir Aird. We weaved our path through the broken bands of rocks and finally reached the ridge above. The ridge climbs moderately steeply over one or two rises to the pre-summit of Mullach na Dheiragain called Mullach Sithidh. From there it is another dip to cross and then the final rise to the summit of Mullach na Dheiragain deposited us at the summit cairn. I was really exhausted since I had started the day already quite sick and now my legs were really wobbly. From the summit we returned all the way back along the ridge to Craig a’Choir Aird. But on this home leg of the hike we rather turned towards Loch Mullardoch for a while and then switched back into a westerly direction after we had lost enough altitude to traverse below the crags. Here quite heavy rain came over us and lasted for an hour or so. Soon we regained the path crossing the moor and finally reached the track leading to Iron Lodge. There we rested, ate our last chocolate bars and sandwiches. The only thing left was the ride back to Camas-liunie. We went about these final 17 or 18 kilometres with different attitudes. Frank with energy to spare swiftly cycled back. I completely knackered went about these 11 miles of tarmac road in a very leisurely fashion. We met again at the cottage and enjoyed a nice warm evening in a well-heated living room.
The old scar is healed now. The walk was entertaining and the terrain quite diverse. Only the weather was not so nice to us. Nonetheless this was a day out in remote rugged country with not one other soul in sight but the two of us. It’s very nice to discover completely new glens and hills after 20 years of hill-walking in Alba!
Max elevation: 986 m
Min elevation: -46 m
Total climbing: 2004 m
Total descent: -2002 m
Total time: 08:56:05
Description Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan is one of the great Scottish mountains. It is situated in the heart of the wild country between the head of Glen Affric and Glen Elchaig, a very long way from the nearest public road or settlement and surrounded by other mountains. It is not just a single peak, but a great range of many peaks, corries and ridges whose size and scale are matched by only two or three other Scottish mountains. Mullach na Dheiragain is 4 kilometres north-east of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, and although it is classified as a separate Munro it is in character just one of the many outlying tops of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan.No matter which route is chosen to climb these two mountains, it will be a very long day's hillwalking unless you are staying at Alltbeithe youth hostel in Glen Affric. Other possible routes start from Killilan at the foot of Glen Elchaig and Morvich near the head of Loch Duich, and the approach by boat or canoe along Loch Mullardoch gives access to the 8-kilometre long north-east ridge.The Glen Elchaig approach starts by cycling from Killilan to the outflow of Loch na Leitreach, then climbing the path to the magnificent Falls of Glomach. Continue up the Abhainn Gaorsaic for a further 1½ kilometres and then climb south-east onto the north-west ridge of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. Traverse round the rim of Coire Lochan and over the West Top to the summit. Descend the long north-east ridge to reach Mullach na Dheiragain and from there go down the north-west spur to the path in Gleann Sithidh. Follow this path west over the watershed and down to Iron Lodge at the head of Glen Elchaig, and finally at the end of a long day stroll 4 kilometres down the glen to your bicycle.