Sgurr Mor

2016 Sgurr Mor is a rather isolated hill usually climbed by itself. Unless of course you are an ultra-fit hillwalker as my friend Frank is who had bagged the hill as a moderately exhausting minor extension to our memorable Sgurr na Ciche, Garbh Chioch Mhor and Sgurr nan Coireachan hike a few years ago. This feat of his had left me with a sore spot in my record that called for me making amends.

Fortunately, Frank had agreed to accompany me on my attempt to climb Sgurr Mor in a one-hill-expedition from Strathan in 2016. So a nice day in June 2016 saw us drive down the uuunnnndulating road on the north side of Glen Arkaig towards the parking at the end of the loch. From Strathan we continued on the track towards Glen Dessary Lodge. A few minutes before reaching the lodge we climbed the easy path up to the long and wide beallach (at about 360m) between Druim a’ Chuirn and Fraoch Bheinn. From there we moved towards Glen Kingie skirting the north east ridge of Druim aí Chuirn and heading towards the path alongside the developing River Kingie. On the way we paused sitting in the long grass.

When the path beside the River Kingie was reached we turned due west and followed it all the way to the Sgurr Mor ridge above. On the ascent the well-engineered path zigzags up the southern flank of An Eag and Sgurr Beag very nicely. We gained altitude in a steady fashion. Once on the ridge and west of Sgurr Beag we rested and ate some of our sandwiches. Another hiker — the only other one that day — was visible climbing Sgurr Mor. We lost sight of him in the mist later. From the beallach between Sgurr Beag and Sgurr Mor we climbed the path that […]

2017-09-19T14:14:57+00:00June 13th, 2016|2010, 2016, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Meall Corranaich

The last day of the 2010 hillwalking holiday saw Frank and me opting for an easy conclusion of the ten days of high-intensity scrambling/walking. Driving south from our house in Invergarry we finally decided to leave the somewhat showery conditions in the West behind us and to head to the Ben Lawers Group. From Edramucky we drove up the road to Lochan na Larige where we parked the car in a lay-by below the cairn makring the beginning of the day’s tour.

Routinely we packed our rucksacks with all the necessary paraphernalia. From a very comfortable 500m+ contour at Meall nan Eun we set out across the moor heading up the rising ground in a southeasterly direction. The going was easy enough over grass interspersed with heather. At an altitude of about 700 metres a few peat hags and some more squishy places needed to be negotiated which in due time caused the writer of these lines to stumble and fall into the mud. Yuck! Shit happens! But luckily the rain-proof trousers kept the dirt away from the body.

Soon the inclination of the slope became steeper and we kept trodding up the grassy slope. Shortly before we reached the shoulder/ridge ahead we turned east and headed straight to the final steepening leading to the summit of 1069m Meall Corranaich. On the final 150 metres of the ridge the strong wind made itself felt. So on went fleece jumper and wind-proof jacket. Once at the summit of Munro number one we had a good look around taking in views of Meall nan Tarmachan and of course Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas. Without much of a pause we then followed the well-trodden path over and down the north ridge of Meall Corranaich towards the col at about 800m. The views were extensive and the walking […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 15th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|

Meall a’Choire Leith

The last day of the 2010 hillwalking holiday saw Frank and me opting for an easy conclusion of the ten days of high-intensity scrambling/walking. Driving south from our house in Invergarry we finally decided to leave the somewhat showery conditions in the West behind us and to head to the Ben Lawers Group. From Edramucky we drove up the road to Lochan na Larige where we parked the car in a lay-by below the cairn makring the beginning of the day’s tour.

Routinely we packed our rucksacks with all the necessary paraphernalia. From a very comfortable 500m+ contour at Meall nan Eun we set out across the moor heading up the rising ground in a southeasterly direction. The going was easy enough over grass interspersed with heather. At an altitude of about 700 metres a few peat hags and some more squishy places needed to be negotiated which in due time caused the writer of these lines to stumble and fall into the mud. Yuck! Shit happens! But luckily the rain-proof trousers kept the dirt away from the body. Soon the inclination of the slope became steeper and we kept trodding up the grassy slope. Shortly before we reached the shoulder/ridge ahead we turned east and headed straight to the final steepening leading to the summit of 1069m Meall Corranaich. On the final 150 metres of the ridge the strong wind made itself felt. So on went fleece jumper and wind-proof jacket. Once at the summit of Munro number one we had a good look around taking in views of Meall nan Tarmachan and of course Ben Lawers and Beinn Ghlas. Without much of a pause we then followed the well-trodden path over and down the north ridge of Meall Corranaich towards the col at about 800m. The views were extensive and the walking […]

2018-08-30T09:05:55+00:00May 15th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, The River Tay to Rannoch Moor|

Gairich

When viewed from upper Glen Garry the Loch Quoich dam is quite an impressive, albeit ugly, concrete barrier plonked down onto the valley floor. But on the other hand it also provides easy access to the south shore of Loch Quoich, the creation of which it was instrumental in. So, we parked the car by the dam and walked over to the other side of the loch. As described in all the books we followed the boggy-ish path which in about 30 or 40 minutes delivered us at the foot of Gairich’s east ridge, Druim na Gaid Salaich. This we climbed, steeply at first, then on ground rising more gradually over Bac nam Foid to the spot where the path begins the final 300m climb to the summit ridge of Gairich. Before climbing up we took a short break, chatted with hikers coming down the hill and had a good look around.

Since the weather had been acceptable bordering on good we expected to have some views of Knoydart from the summit but this is Scotland and you never know. Soon we shouldered our rucksacks and embarked on the final leg of the climb which was quite steep and surprisingly rocky in places. Very much different from the previous 6 or 7 km spent treading up the hill on easy ground. After some minor scrambling we finally reached the summit ridge and then the cairn. And would you believe it? The weather was good. Frank shot photographs and I spent the time at the summit enjoying the open 360 degree views of the landscape. Fine! But even though the weather was good there still was quite some wind on the bare summit. So we initiated the orderly retreat from the high parts of the hill and more or less retraced the exact steps to […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 14th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Luinne Bheinn

Knoydart. Kinloch Hourn. Barrisdale. Coastal Path. Remoteness. Challenge. Yeehaa! Stop. Return to order.

No other area of Scotland apart from Torridon had left an impression on Frank and me as lasting as Knoydart, which we had visited in the early 1990s when we had climbed Ladhar Bheinn. A mountain certainly to be ranked among the Top Ten of Scottish hills. For about fifteen years we had fantasized about coming back and doing the other two Munros. May 2010 saw us finally realizing that dream when we had rented a cottage in Invergarry to climb all the Munros in the Knoydart, Shiel, Quoich and Arkaig area of the Highlands.

Early in the morning we left our car in Kinloch Hourn and embarked upon the great path along the southern shore of Loch Hourn. Everyone who ever walked this path knows that it is quite scenic but also definitely *no stroll* since the ups and downs on the stretch between Kinloch Hourn and Barrisdale are definitely significant! We definitely enjoyed the path and were looking forward to walking Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. Enthusiasm drove us forward and we reached Barrisdale in about two hours. From this beautiful spot between the water the mountains we climbed the extremely pleasant and well-engineered path to the Mam Barrisdale. Alas, the weather kept deteriorating all along the way so that we reached the col in driving rain and strong winds. From the Mam Barrisdale we followed a path on the west side of Luinne Bheinn which steadily climbed up the hill’s contour lines. After some 40 or 50 minutes of walking we had reached a spot close to where the Allt a’Choire Odhar and the lochans close by where visible from above. There we turned due north and climbed the steep hillside. Soon we gained less steep ground and found the […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 13th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Chno Dearg

These two hills had been on Frank’s wish list for years but somehow we had never managed to climb this duo during one of our many stays in the wider region. But now in 2010 we definitely had them on our agenda since we stayed in Invergarry and the drive to Spean Bridge and further up Glen Spean was just a short trip.

Quite aware of the fact that this would be a less strenuous hike if the weather remained calm we reached Fersit late in the morning, set out from the parking, crossed the river and continued on the landrover-track through the village. After a few minutes we reached the open ground east of the village and left the track. Gradually at first over grass then more steeply on heathery ground we climbed due south, crossed the Allt Fhearghais and reached more level ground below the crags of Sron na Garbh-bheinne. From there we climbed the obvious grassy gully which after maybe 200m gives access to the more rocky rakes of this ridge. The going was steep but route finding was no problem on the grassy terrain with the sun blazing from above. Soon the fun on the steep terrain was over and we reached the flat crest of the ridge which leads to the summit after a final steepening. At the summit we enjoyed the impressive views up Loch Treig and across the loch towards the Eassins. A very nice viewpoint perched rather vertically above the loch. This is a good place to rest on a nice day like this.

Then we continued our hike towards Chno Dearg over some subsidiary bumps (958 m and 924m) on the very broad ridge. The wide bealach between the two hills at about 900m led to the final 150m climb up Chno Dearg. The wide summit dome […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 12th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Stob Coire Sgriodain

These two hills had been on Frank’s wish list for years but somehow we had never managed to climb this duo during one of our many stays in the wider region. But now in 2010 we definitely had them on our agenda since we stayed in Invergarry and the drive to Spean Bridge and further up Glen Spean was just a short trip.

Quite aware of the fact that this would be a less strenuous hike if the weather remained calm we reached Fersit late in the morning, set out from the parking, crossed the river and continued on the landrover-track through the village. After a few minutes we reached the open ground east of the village and left the track. Gradually at first over grass then more steeply on heathery ground we climbed due south, crossed the Allt Fhearghais and reached more level ground below the crags of Sron na Garbh-bheinne. From there we climbed the obvious grassy gully which after maybe 200m gives access to the more rocky rakes of this ridge. The going was steep but route finding was no problem on the grassy terrain with the sun blazing from above. Soon the fun on the steep terrain was over and we reached the flat crest of the ridge which leads to the summit after a final steepening. At the summit we enjoyed the impressive views up Loch Treig and across the loch towards the Eassins. A very nice viewpoint perched rather vertically above the loch. This is a good place to rest on a nice day like this.

Then we continued our hike towards Chno Dearg over some subsidiary bumps (958 m and 924m) on the very broad ridge. The wide bealach between the two hills at about 900m led to the final 150m climb up Chno Dearg. The wide summit dome […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 12th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Linnhe to Loch Ericht|

Sgurr na Ciche

This is the tour Frank and I had been planning to do for a longer time than any other hillwalk in Scotland apart maybe from the Five Sisters of Kintail which had also been on our agenda for quite a while before we made them. But then, after having driven the car about 20 odd miles along the undulating single track road on north shore of Loch Arkaig we finally arrived at Strathan. We packed our rucksacks, laced our boots and off we went for this much coveted Munro adventure.

It was quite cold that morning when we set out on the track to Glendessarry. Progress was easy and in no time Glendessarry House – a really massive lodge – and Upper Glendessary were reached. There we left the Landrover track and continued on the path which runs along the north side of the massive pine plantation in the glen. After about 9 or 10 kilometres we started climbing up a grassy track in order to gain height and to finally reach the deep gully which separates Garbh Cioch Mor and Sgurr na Ciche. We finally reached this narrow and deep gash in the mountains’ south side and steadily climbed the gully over boulders and lingering spring snow fields. Where the gully opens up a bit and levels out below the Feadan na Ciche we paused for a snack. It was there when we met an English hillwalker who should be our on and off companion for the rest of the day. We chatted a bit and went on.

From the Feadan na Ciche col we followed the increasingly steep path through crags and boulders to the summit ridge of Sgurr na Ciche. A very nice scramble in places. Soon the summit was reached and we took a well-deserved break enjoying the clear views […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 11th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Garbh Chioch Mhor

This is the tour Frank and I had been planning to do for a longer time than any other hillwalk in Scotland apart maybe from the Five Sisters of Kintail which had also been on our agenda for quite a while before we made them. But then, after having driven the car about 20 odd miles along the undulating single track road on north shore of Loch Arkaig we finally arrived at Strathan. We packed our rucksacks, laced our boots and off we went for this much covered Munro adventure.

It was quite cold that morning when we set out on the track to Glendessarry. Progress was easy and in no time Glendessarry House – a really massive lodge – and Upper Glendessary were reached. There we left the Landrover track and continued on the path which runs along the north side of the massive pine plantation in the glen. After about 9 or 10 kilometres we started climbing up a grassy track in order to gain height and to finally reach the deep gully which separates Garbh Cioch Mor and Sgurr na Ciche. We finally reached this narrow and deep gash in the mountains’ south side and steadily climbed the gully over boulders and lingering spring snow fields. Where the gully opens up a bit and levels out below the Feadan na Ciche we paused for a snack. It was there when we met an English hillwalker who should be our on and off companion for the rest of the day. We chatted a bit and went on.

From the Feadan na Ciche col we followed the increasingly steep path through crags and boulders to the summit ridge of Sgurr na Ciche. A very nice scramble in places. Soon the summit was reached and we took a well-deserved break enjoying the clear views […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 11th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|

Sgurr nan Coireachan

Frank’s story: Sgurr na Ciche and his neighbours were Munros which we wanted to climbed for years now but there was never the right time. This year it was. We woke up at 6 am enjoyed an extensive breakfast and packed our stuff. Then we drove one of the most torterous single tracks roads in Scotland i have ever driven. The track along Loch Arkaig is a hell of a road. Finally we reached Strahan and prepared ourselves for a really long day.

The walk through Glen Dessarry is a really nice one, although the forestation to the west is not especially eyecandy. We had decided that we won’t follow the recommandations from SMC and McNeish and everyone else. Instead we aimed to climb Sgurr na Ciche first and then his easterly neighbours with the remote Sgurr Mor as the final and 4th Munro. On the way through the Glen we passed Dessarry House – a very remote and a very huge sporting lodge. The paths continued and we left it after aprox 9 km’s and headed up the bealach. The gorge we saw was a surprise, didn’t read anything about that. But there it was and we had to climb that steep and wet rock thing. Soon after that the bealach was reached and we traced our steps towards the summit of this very recognisable Munro. This ascent is in fact much steeper than that through the gorge and we had to descent it after taking a well earned lunch break on Sgurr na Ciche.

Almost at the same height the next summit Garbh Cioch Mhor waited for us after a steep and very direct pull. In no time we were there. What was going to follow was a not so funny up and down of tops and Munros which Cord ended on the 3rd […]

2017-09-19T14:16:18+00:00May 11th, 2010|2010, 2017 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel|