Eididh nan Clach Geala

The 2009 outing slowly coming to an end Frank and I set out to climb the last Munro of the Beinn Dearg Group which we had not climbed yet – Eididh nan Clach Geala. Again we started our climb at the parking at Inverlael. On a different note it is funny to remember that we never managed to start any of our several tours to the Beinn Dearg group via the scenic Loch Droma approach and the south ridge of Cona Mheall. Always the Inverlael forrest road tramp. But, ok, Glen Squaib is beautiful, too. There were major works going on in the bed of the River Lael. Lorries and caterpillars, oh my. We reached the end of the forrest road where a lot of new concrete was used to tame the river and slow the water carrying rocks down the glen.

We continued climbing steadily on the well-known path. After an hour and a half we reached the cairn where the well-engineered path leading to Lochan a Chnapaich branches off. We gained height quite nicely and after less than two hours the Loch came into view. This loch has a fine position between the craggy northwest face of Meall nan Ceapraichean and the south face of Eididh nan Clach Geala. Where the path starts its descent towards the loch we left it and headed in a north easterly direction up the heathery slope of the west ridge of todays Munro. The first 100 metres were steep but then the terrain levelled off when we reached the crest of the ridge. Soon we got to the final steep stretch of slope before the summit. There we met an American climber whom we had talked to three days before. He was doing the hills in these parts alone – a few days before he’d been to […]

2018-09-02T14:30:39+00:00May 8th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Broom to Easter Ross|

Meall Gorm

May 2009 was the wettest hiking season in Scotland that I ever had the privilege of experiencing. This tour proved to be no different from the average squishy, slithering, sleety, soaking standard. Having set our mind on ticking off the four eastern Munros of the Fannaichs we approached the hills from the parking on the A835 between Loch Droma and Loch Glascarnoch which is at the bridge over the Abhainn an Torrain Duibh.

On the left bank of the Abhainn we followed the bends of the burn which carried a lot (!) of water indeed. The going was good and the path was sort of dry. Soon we reached the confluence of the Allt an Loch Sgeirich and the Abhainn a’Ghiubhais Li, crossed the first and continued our tramp along the left bank of the latter. We did not (!) use the bridge but climbed further on the deteriorating path. Higher up the burn we managed to cross it and headed over heathery terrain up the gentle slopes of Meallan Bhuide. Well, close to the rounded summit of this hillock the rain caught us and ended the short intermezzo of two hours walking without water coming down (my feet were soaked anyway, so hey, what difference does it make?). Loch Gorm came into view. It nestled nicely between the crags of Meall Gorm and the corrie headwall which lay ahead. We climbed into the hanging corrie above the loch, veered in a south easterly direction and came to the summit slopes of An Coileachan. At the summit sleet was coming down so the short rest was rather uncomfortable.

From this first Munro we turned north-west, crossed the area at the head of the corrie of ascent and climbed the grassy slopes, interspersed with rocks, which lead to the very flat ridge of Meall […]

2017-09-19T14:17:05+00:00May 6th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Marree to Loch Broom|

An Coileachan

May 2009 was the wettest hiking season in Scotland that I ever had the privilege of experiencing. This tour proved to be no different from the average squishy, slithering, sleety, soaking standard. Having set our mind on ticking off the four eastern Munros of the Fannaichs we approached the hills from the parking on the A835 between Loch Droma and Loch Glascarnoch which is at the bridge over the Abhainn an Torrain Duibh.

On the left bank of the Abhainn we followed the bends of the burn which carried a lot (!) of water indeed. The going was good and the path was sort of dry. Soon we reached the confluence of the Allt an Loch Sgeirich and the Abhainn a’Ghiubhais Li, crossed the first and continued our tramp along the left bank of the latter. We did not (!) use the bridge but climbed further on the deteriorating path. Higher up the burn we managed to cross it and headed over heathery terrain up the gentle slopes of Meallan Bhuide. Well, close to the rounded summit of this hillock the rain caught us and ended the short intermezzo of two hours walking without water coming down (my feet were soaked anyway, so hey, what difference does it make?). Loch Gorm came into view. It nestled nicely between the crags of Meall Gorm and the corrie headwall which lay ahead. We climbed into the hanging corrie above the loch, veered in a south easterly direction and came to the summit slopes of An Coileachan. At the summit sleet was coming down so the short rest was rather uncomfortable. From this first Munro we turned north-west, crossed the area at the head of the corrie of ascent and climbed the grassy slopes, interspersed with rocks, which lead to the very flat ridge of […]

2017-09-19T14:17:05+00:00May 6th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Marree to Loch Broom|

Beinn Dearg

May 2009 saw us hiking up Gleann na Sguaib twice. I described construction work going on the banks of the River Lael in another tour description (Eididh nan Clach Geala). Just let me mention that the surroundings were not super scenic until we left the forest road. It was a wet day and the weather got worse the longer the hike lasted.

Once on the good footpath in Gleann na Sguaib we made good progress, enjoyed the view of the Eas Fionn and climbed up the three or four steps of the higher corrie. On the Beallach Choire Ghranda between the three Munros Beinn Dearg, Cona Meall and Meall nan Ceapraichean (climbed more than ten years before in February 1999 – stomping through lots of snow on the beallach and the slopes of Meall nan Ceapraichean) we were engulfed by clouds. Again no views! So we headed up the steep north ridge of Beinn Dearg following the stone dyke and crossing patches of old snow. Soon the flatter summit section of Beinn Dearg appeared and we spent 15 minutes at the summit cairn of M57. These were the last minutes without rain for hours. We retraced our steps to the beallach and were lucky enough to be afforded a few minutes of relatively clear views of the way ahead to Cona Meall. Over the hillocks of the beallach we reached the grassy slope leading up to the summit ridge of Cona Meall.

Higher up the slope and the ridge got quite stony. After slithering a few times on the wet slabs we reached the summit of the second Munro of the day. The weather being as it was (wind, rain, no views) we did not linger at the summit for long. On our way back we did stumble upon the path climbing up the […]

2017-09-19T14:17:05+00:00May 5th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Broom to Easter Ross|

Cona’ Mheall

Beinn Dearg and Cona Meall May 2009 saw us hiking up Gleann na Sguaib twice. I described construction work going on the banks of the River Lael in another tour description (Eididh nan Clach Geala). Just let me mention that the surroundings were not super scenic until we left the forest road. It was a wet day and the weather got worse the longer the hike lasted.

Once on the good footpath in Gleann na Sguaib we made good progress, enjoyed the view of the Eas Fionn and climbed up the three or four steps of the higher corrie. On the Beallach Choire Ghranda between the three Munros Beinn Dearg, Cona Meall and Meall nan Ceapraichean (climbed more than ten years before in February 1999 – stomping through lots of snow on the beallach and the slopes of Meall nan Ceapraichean) we were engulfed by clouds. Again no views! So we headed up the steep north ridge of Beinn Dearg following the stone dyke and crossing patches of old snow. Soon the flatter summit section of Beinn Dearg appeared and we spent 15 minutes at the summit cairn of M57. These were the last minutes without rain for hours.

We retraced our steps to the beallach and were lucky enough to be afforded a few minutes of relatively clear views of the way ahead to Cona Meall. Over the hillocks of the beallach we reached the grassy slope leading up to the summit ridge of Cona Meall. Higher up the slope and the ridge got quite stony. After slithering a few times on the wet slabs we reached the summit of the second Munro of the day. The weather being as it was (wind, rain, no views) we did not linger at the summit for long. On our way back we did stumble upon the path […]

2017-09-19T14:17:06+00:00May 5th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Broom to Easter Ross|

Ben Hope

I repeat myself: May 2009 in Scotland was not an extremely dry hillwalking holiday. The day on which Frank and I climbed Ben Hope and Ben Klibreck was a particularly stormy and wet one. But let’s start at the beginning. After about two hours of driving through nice parts of Northern Scotland with many miles on single-track roads ( 🙂 ) we reached the parking a mile north of Alltnacaillich farm on the east bank of the Strathmore River.

We climbed the path by the stream coming down the steep western face of Ben Hope. This was fun since the going was quite good, though boggy in places. After 200m we reached a slightly more level section on top of the first tier of crags. From there we still followed the well-trodden path through the distinct second tier of crags. At an altitude of about 500m we reached the steepish but broad southern slopes (or developing ridge) of the hill and trodded up this first grassy, then gravely and sandy stretch of the climb. The gradient became less steep higher up but the very strong north-westerly wind started to become a real impediment to walking. Battling our way upwards we met several other walkers with whom we exchanged a few shouted words: The loudness of our words was not a sign of any bad feelings much rather it was impossible to understand normal speech because of the raging wind. Then, less than two hours after we set out we reached the summit cairn and trigonometry point. A short break in the lee of the stones, no views of anything, no barren plains stretching out to the Atlantic Ocean, no Foinaven, no Ben Loyal, no sunshine reflected from lochs. Nothing, just plain Scottish rain, storm and clouds engulfing us and the hill. Ahhhh!

The way […]

2018-09-03T10:50:19+00:00May 4th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Coigach to Cape Wrath|

Ben Klibreck

This was a novelty: Climbing two Munros in one day but using a car to travel from the first to the second hill. We climbed Ben Hope from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Ben Klibreck from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Frank and I parked the car in a layby on the A836 a kilometre north of Vagastie. From there we crossed the River Vagastie by a footbridge and followed the sometimes dry but mostly squishy path through high grass to Loch Bad an Loch. The surroundings of the Loch were very wet. From the flat land by the Loch we climbed to 150 metres to reach the south end of Loch nan Uan which nestles between Meall nan Uan and A’Chioch. Once at Loch an Uan we checked out the way ahead but could not make out any path from the loch leading up to A’Chioch. So we finally decided to climb the steep (!) grassy and heathery western slope of A’Chioch to reach the ridge at point 688m. This was a real slog! But we made it and stood on the defined ridge which we followed in a northerly direction. The wind had picked up quite considerably and was coming from a west-north-westerly direction. We were glad to walk in the lee of the crest of A’Chioch’s ridge! Soon we got to the flat area dotted with outcrops of rock, where the path veers east and the final 200m climb to the summit of Ben Klibreck begins.

The strong wind virtually blew us up the hill, bombarding Frank and me with a mixture of rain, sleet and snow. We stumbled on pushed and tossed around by the force of the wind. Then, after a seemingly endless climb the small summit plateau view its trig point and stone shelter came into view. The […]

2017-09-19T14:17:06+00:00May 4th, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Coigach to Cape Wrath|

Sgurr nan Clach Geala

2009 I had always looked forward to climbing A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac one day since they form a compact and attractive group of two Munros with steep-sided ridges jutting out to the north. So it was with anticipation in my heart that Frank and I started the hike at the parking on the A832 where the landrover track to Loch a’Bhraoin starts.

From our last walk in this area when we climbed Sgurr nan Each we still had the recollection of a very soggy path which leads from the ruin on the lochside to the bridge over the outflow of Loch a’Bhraoin. However, this had been replaced by a well engineered path through the pine plantation and in no time we had crossed the bridge over the Abhainn Cuileig and started the climb of the steep north end of Druim RÈidh. Higher up the grass was dotted with boulders, outcrops and even some small trees in protected spots. Progress was made very nicely and soon we reached the much flatter part of the ridge at 550m. This was all very pleasant since the sun was shining and no rain was falling.

We continued southwards and after a kilometre the ridge became more defined. Nice views of the crags of Sgurr Breac, the gentle, curving ridges from Tomain Coinich to both Munros and of Loch Toll an Lochain were the reward for our efforts. Snow covered the ground in many places once we crossed the 750m contour. Then the summit of Tomain Coinich was gained, we turned west and descended a few dozen metres to the beallach where the steepish ridge leading to A’Chailleach begins. From the beallach to the summit the whole ridge was covered in snow – frozen in some places, soft in others.

At the summit cairn the wind was strong and […]

2017-09-19T14:17:06+00:00May 3rd, 2009|2000, 2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Marree to Loch Broom|

Sgurr Breac

I had always looked forward to climbing A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac one day since they form a compact and attractive group of two Munros with steep-sided ridges jutting out to the north. So it was with anticipation in my heart that Frank and I started the hike at the parking on the A832 where the landrover track to Loch a’Bhraoin starts.

From our last walk in this area when we climbed Sgurr nan Each we still had the recollection of a very soggy path which leads from the ruin on the lochside to the bridge over the outflow of Loch a’Bhraoin. However, this had been replaced by a well engineered path through the pine plantation and in no time we had crossed the bridge over the Abhainn Cuileig and started the climb of the steep north end of Druim Rèidh. Higher up the grass was dotted with boulders, outcrops and even some small trees in protected spots. Progress was made very nicely and soon we reached the much flatter part of the ridge at 550m. This was all very pleasant since the sun was shining and no rain was falling.

We continued southwards and after a kilometre the ridge became more defined. Nice views of the crags of Sgurr Breac, the gentle, curving ridges from Tomain Coinich to both Munros and of Loch Toll an Lochain were the reward for our efforts. Snow covered the ground in many places once we crossed the 750m contour. Then the summit of Tomain Coinich was gained, we turned west and descended a few dozen metres to the beallach where the steepish ridge leading to A’Chailleach begins. From the beallach to the summit the whole ridge was covered in snow – frozen in some places, soft in others. At the summit cairn the wind was strong and it […]

2017-09-19T14:17:06+00:00May 3rd, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Marree to Loch Broom|

A’Chailleach

I had always looked forward to climbing A’Chailleach and Sgurr Breac one day since they form a compact and attractive group of two Munros with steep-sided ridges jutting out to the north. So it was with anticipation in my heart that Frank and I started the hike at the parking on the A832 where the landrover track to Loch a’Bhraoin starts.

From our last walk in this area when we climbed Sgurr nan Each we still had the recollection of a very soggy path which leads from the ruin on the lochside to the bridge over the outflow of Loch a’Bhraoin. However, this had been replaced by a well engineered path through the pine plantation and in no time we had crossed the bridge over the Abhainn Cuileig and started the climb of the steep north end of Druim Rèidh. Higher up the grass was dotted with boulders, outcrops and even some small trees in protected spots.

Progress was made very nicely and soon we reached the much flatter part of the ridge at 550m. This was all very pleasant since the sun was shining and no rain was falling. We continued southwards and after a kilometre the ridge became more defined. Nice views of the crags of Sgurr Breac, the gentle, curving ridges from Tomain Coinich to both Munros and of Loch Toll an Lochain were the reward for our efforts. Snow covered the ground in many places once we crossed the 750m contour. Then the summit of Tomain Coinich was gained, we turned west and descended a few dozen metres to the beallach where the steepish ridge leading to A’Chailleach begins. From the beallach to the summit the whole ridge was covered in snow – frozen in some places, soft in others. At the summit cairn the wind was strong and it […]

2017-09-19T14:17:06+00:00May 3rd, 2009|2009, 2009 - 2000, Loch Marree to Loch Broom|