Mam Sodhail

2015 was to be the year, when we wanted clear the far north of red flags (unbagged Munros on the maps of www.bgmb.de). With a few left to tick in Torridon, Fisherfield and the Ullapool hills we had a long drive north ahead of us in order to get where we wanted to: Our hunting lodge by Loch Coulin and the B&B in Ullapool to start with. But before the far north could be tackled we had unfinished business a little further south in Glen Affric which needed our attention. For me that meant Beinn Fhionnlaidh and for Frank it meant the whole group of Carn Eighe, Mam Sodhail and Beinn Fhionnlaidh. So our trip up from EDI took us to the Tomich Hotel, ideally suited as a starting point for this grand tour in Affric. We arrived early enough to sit outside, to bask in some of the warm sunshine and to have nice pint of lager. After a good meal, an early night and a full breakfast, we were at the start of the hike before ten o’clock the next morning: The parking where the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh flows into Loch Bheinn a’Mheadhoin.

Since we had already climbed Toll Creagach and Tom a’Choinich from there years earlier the Landrover track was well known to us. We quickly made progress on this good track and reached the spot where the path by the Allt Toll Easa branches off. We continued straight ahead on the path beside the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh further up into the wide open corrie/moor. After two more kilometres we headed up steepish terrain on grass and snow fields leading towards the Garbh Beallach. From there we continued up narrow sections of the ridge (the stalkers’ stairway) towards Sron Garbh and Stob aí Choire Dhomhain. The ridge between these two […]

2017-09-19T14:14:59+00:00April 24th, 2015|1999, 2015, 2017 - 2010, Glen Affric and Kintail|

Carn Eighe

2015 was to be the year, when we wanted clear the far north of red flags (unbagged Munros on the maps of www.bgmb.de). With a few left to tick in Torridon, Fisherfield and the Ullapool hills we had a long drive north ahead of us in order to get where we wanted to: Our hunting lodge by Loch Coulin and the B&B in Ullapool to start with. But before the far north could be tackled we had unfinished business a little further south in Glen Affric which needed our attention. For me that meant Beinn Fhionnlaidh and for Frank it meant the whole group of Carn Eighe, Mam Sodhail and Beinn Fhionnlaidh. So our trip up from EDI took us to the Tomich Hotel, ideally suited as a starting point for this grand tour in Affric. We arrived early enough to sit outside, to bask in some of the warm sunshine and to have nice pint of lager. After a good meal, an early night and a full breakfast, we were at the start of the hike before ten o’clock the next morning: The parking where the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh flows into Loch Bheinn a’Mheadhoin.

Since we had already climbed Toll Creagach and Tom a’Choinich from there years earlier the Landrover track was well known to us. We quickly made progress on this good track and reached the spot where the path by the Allt Toll Easa branches off. We continued straight ahead on the path beside the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh further up into the wide open corrie/moor. After two more kilometres we headed up steepish terrain on grass and snow fields leading towards the Garbh Beallach. From there we continued up narrow sections of the ridge (the stalkers’ stairway) towards Sron Garbh and Stob aí Choire Dhomhain. The ridge between these two […]

2017-09-19T14:15:00+00:00April 24th, 2015|1999, 2015, 2017 - 2010, Glen Affric and Kintail|

The Devil’s Point

There is something special about the first ten or fifteen kilometres of the valley of the River Dee. First of all it’s the magnificent setting of the Cairngorm Mountains with its great summits of Carn á Mhaim, Ben Macdui, Braeriach, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, Cairn Toul and The Devilís Point enclosing the nascent river with their bulky shapes. But then it’s also the river itself as it makes its way towards Braemar and beyond over waterslides and down waterfalls that add to the remote and beautiful feeling of the place.

Today, fortunately, we could see all this. The day before when we had walked the path on the left bank of the river in our vain attempt to get to the mountains we had done so in driving snow and with hardly any visibility at all. We had hiked up the glen for about two hours, had reconsidered and then retreated to the Linn of Dee and our car. Now, with the sun shining on us, we again left our bicycles at White Bridge and hiked the path on the left bank of the River Dee towards Corrour Bothy. Progress was easy at first, Frank taking a wee bit of time for photographs. About opposite of Glen Geusachan the going got bad. The snow was very wet and with the terrain becoming flatter and the path a little less defined we had to wade through slush and spongy terrain. Progress got slower but with curses hissed from between our teeth from time to time we finally made it to the footbridge over the Dee and to the hut. This had taken us almost three hours. We rested on the dry grass in front of the hut and soaked in the views as well as the brilliant sunshine!

From there it was an exhausting but very beautiful […]

2017-09-19T14:15:03+00:00May 24th, 2013|1999, 2013, 2017 - 2010, The Cairngorms|

Cairn Toul

2011 This was supposed to be the “Kaisertour” of our extended Scotland 2011 weekend. It was kaiser but unfortunately the weather and clouds were not too kind to us.Since i had planned to go to Cairn Toul at least if not The Devil’s Point we started very early from the lower parking place. The mood was fine, the morning mist looked beautiful and the going was easy till we reached the Chalamain Gap. This is an impressive piece of rock gap which we mastered with some effort. Soon after the gap we lost height to cross Alt Druidh to start the ascent to the ridge.

Unfortunately we were too soon engulfed in mist and this should not change for the rest of the day. Bugger. When we reached the ridge we had very little view and we used the southern edge for orientation and walking. So we reached the summit of Braeriach after 4,5h which we celebrated with an well earned rest. The conditions were not too inviting so the break was not the longest one and we started over again.Thomas and Markus called it a day and returned. I gave them my Landranger copy (to be regreted later). The rest of the party made quiet a navigational effort to continue near the ridge and not to get lost in the western Cairngorms. We succeeded in reaching the summit of Sgòr an Lochain Uaine. After a short consideration i decided to give Cairn Toul a try while Cord, Joachim and Stefan returned. They used our other map while i trusted in my iPhone and the Anquet software installed (to be regretted later).

So i did a speed as/descent of Cairn Toul. Since i did not want to reascent The Angel’s Peak i tried to walk around but due to zero views and the fact that […]

2017-09-19T14:16:15+00:00October 2nd, 2011|1999, 2017 - 2010, The Cairngorms|

Braeriach

2011 This was supposed to be the “Kaisertour” of our extended Scotland 2011 weekend. It was Kaiser but unfortunately the weather and clouds were not too kind to us.

Since i had planned to go to Cairn Toul at least if not The Devil’s Point we started very early from the lower parking place. The mood was fine, the morning mist looked beautiful and the going was easy till we reached the Chalamain Gap. This is an impressive piece of rock gap which we mastered with some effort. Soon after the gap we lost height to cross Alt Druidh to start the ascent to the ridge.

Unfortunately we were too soon engulfed in mist and this should not change for the rest of the day. Bugger. When we reached the ridge we had very little view and we used the southern edge for orientation and walking. So we reached the summit of Braeriach after 4,5h which we celebrated with an well earned rest. The conditions were not too inviting so the break was not the longest one and we started over again. Thomas and Markus called it a day and returned. I gave them my Landranger copy (to be regretted later).

The rest of the party made quite a navigational effort to continue near the ridge and try to avoid to get lost in the western Cairngorms. We succeeded in reaching the summit of Sgòr an Lochain Uaine. After a short consideration i decided to give Cairn Toul a try while Cord, Joachim and Stefan returned. They used our other map while i trusted in my iPhone and the Anquet software installed (to be regretted later).

So i did a speed as/descent of Cairn Toul. Since i did not want to reascent The Angel’s Peak i tried to walk around but due to zero views and the […]

2017-09-19T14:16:15+00:00October 2nd, 2011|1999, 2017 - 2010, The Cairngorms|

Meall Garbh

2011 Staying in Glen Lyon on the Roro Estate allowed us to gain easy access to two great foursomes. One to the north – The Glen Lyon Four – and one to the south – Meall Greigh to Ben Lawers.

The tour of the second row of four Munros was the aim of this day. Staying on the private road along the south bank of the River Lyon we drove our car to Roromore. Works close by forced us to leave the car half a kilometre west of the farm. We followed the track past Roromore through the meadows along the River Lyon for a few kilometres, reached the large tree plantation south of the track and stayed on the track until we reached Inverinain. Maybe two hundred metres past the cottage a steep and caterpillar-marked track climbs diagonally through the trees for about 200m. At a height of 350 to 400m it turns due west and leads around the crags of Creag Dubh. Then the track zig-zags up to a height of 550m and peters out on grassy and and squishy terrain. Heading southeast first and gradually in a more southerly direction Frank and I climbed the north ridge of Meall Greigh more or less sticking to the obvious line of fence posts. The combination of undulating terrain and strong westerly winds made progress a little slower and energy consuming than we had expected. But the views were good and especially the dark north-east face of Meall Garbh was interesting. Before final pull to Meall Greigh we paused and replenished our batteries.

After that the main east-west ridge was not far away anymore and we were greeted by very strong winds indeed. Walking upright to Munro No. 1 of the day was not easy at all. However, finally we both touched the summit cairn and […]

2017-09-19T14:16:16+00:00May 17th, 2011|1999, 2017 - 2010, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|

Ben Lawers

2011 Staying in Glen Lyon on the Roro Estate allowed us to gain easy access to two great foursomes. One to the north – The Glen Lyon Four – and one to the south – Meall Greigh to Ben Lawers. The tour of the second row of four Munros was the aim of this day. Staying on the private road along the south bank of the River Lyon we drove our car to Roromore. Works close by forced us to leave the car half a kilometre west of the farm. We followed the track past Roromore through the meadows along the River Lyon for a few kilometres, reached the large tree plantation south of the track and stayed on the track until we reached Inverinain.

Maybe two hundred metres past the cottage a steep and caterpillar-marked track climbs diagonally through the trees for about 200m. At a height of 350 to 400m it turns due west and leads around the crags of Creag Dubh. Then the track zig-zags up to a height of 550m and peters out on grassy and and squishy terrain. Heading southeast first and gradually in a more southerly direction Frank and I climbed the north ridge of Meall Greigh more or less sticking to the obvious line of fence posts. The combination of undulating terrain and strong westerly winds made progress a little slower and energy consuming than we had expected. But the views were good and especially the dark north-east face of Meall Garbh was interesting. Before final pull to Meall Greigh we paused and replenished our batteries.

After that the main east-west ridge was not far away anymore and we were greeted by very strong winds indeed. Walking upright to Munro No. 1 of the day was not easy at all. However, finally we both touched the summit […]

2017-09-19T14:16:17+00:00May 17th, 2011|1999, 2011, 2017 - 2010, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|

An Stuc

2011 Staying in Glen Lyon on the Roro Estate allowed us to gain easy access to two great foursomes. One to the north – The Glen Lyon Four – and one to the south – Meall Greigh to Ben Lawers.

The tour of the second row of four Munros was the aim of this day. Staying on the private road along the south bank of the River Lyon we drove our car to Roromore. Works close by forced us to leave the car half a kilometre west of the farm. We followed the track past Roromore through the meadows along the River Lyon for a few kilometres, reached the large tree plantation south of the track and stayed on the track until we reached Inverinain. Maybe two hundred metres past the cottage a steep and caterpillar-marked track climbs diagonally through the trees for about 200m. At a height of 350 to 400m it turns due west and leads around the crags of Creag Dubh. Then the track zig-zags up to a height of 550m and peters out on grassy and and squishy terrain. Heading southeast first and gradually in a more southerly direction Frank and I climbed the north ridge of Meall Greigh more or less sticking to the obvious line of fence posts. The combination of undulating terrain and strong westerly winds made progress a little slower and energy consuming than we had expected. But the views were good and especially the dark north-east face of Meall Garbh was interesting. Before final pull to Meall Greigh we paused and replenished our batteries.

After that the main east-west ridge was not far away anymore and we were greeted by very strong winds indeed. Walking upright to Munro No. 1 of the day was not easy at all. However, finally we both touched the summit cairn and […]

2017-09-19T14:19:28+00:00August 1st, 1999|1999, 1999 - 1991, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|

Sgurr nan Each

Start of tour at parking on A 832 close to private road to Loch a’ Bhraoin. Up the glen of the Allt Breabaig to the head of that glen. Ascent east to the Cadha na Guite. Wind and snow increasingly strong. Views of Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr Mor, the Western two Munros of the Fannichs and An Tellach. Further to the summit of Sgurr nan Each. Drifting snow hurting the eyes. Return by way of ascent. Beautiful glen with good path on both sides of the Allt Breabaig. Relaxing if somewhat long approach to this part of the Fannichs.

2017-09-19T14:19:28+00:00February 1st, 1999|1999, 1999 - 1991, Loch Marree to Loch Broom|

Meall a’Chrasgaidh

Start at the A 835 two kilometers west of Loch Droma was a mistake because river crossing was extremely difficult. The dam of Loch Droma to be recommended. Up the land rover track beside the Allt a’Mhadaidh and further on the stalker’s path to Loch a’Mhadaidh. From there up the North East ridge of Meall a’Chrasgaidh avoiding the steeper upper part of that ridge by detouring to the east and then up the steep hillside WNW to the crest of the summit ridge. Ice axe and crampons a must on that part of the climb. Very strong head-on winds. Track making extremely exhausting with the very deep snow and galeforce wind. When we climbed over the crest we were blown away. Never experienced such winds. Walking absolutely impossible for a time. In a lull we fought our way to the cairn on the summit and rested for a short time in the stone shelter nearby. Planned continuation to Carn Na Criche, Sgurr Mor and Beinn Liath Mhor Fannich would have been suicidal this day. Thus quick descent over the steep north side of the hill to the foot of the North East ridge of the hill. Return on approch path. Memorable but extremely tiring day. (Noteable: loss of a glove, googles and walking pole)

2017-09-19T14:19:28+00:00February 1st, 1999|1999, 1999 - 1991, Loch Broom to Easter Ross|