Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair

A repeat. At least most of the tour was a repeat of what we did two years ago when we climbed Beinn Tarsuinn. You see, the approach to these three Munros is definitely the longest bit of the tour and the really hilly part of the tour is not that long. Then, on the last day in April 2015, conditions had been quite wintry with slushy, powdery, compacted or icy snow underfoot depending on the aspect of the hill and the altitude you were at. That day we had not been able to add Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair and Sgurr Ban to our tick list.

On 7 June 2017 the conditions were different since there was no snow left anymore this late in spring. But again like 25 months ago we left our bicycles at the Heights of Kinlochewe. Again we climbed the Landover track beside the Abhainn Gleann na Muice and gained the open moor. Just as in 2015 the hike to Lochan Fhada offered great views of Slioch’s north-west aspects, of Beinn Tarsuinn, Meall Garbh and Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair. At least when the hills peeped out from the rain clouds.

But the ground was reasonably dry, even though there had been rain and some showers very recently, when we picked up the faint track leading through grass and over some slabby sections all the way from the shore of beautiful Lochan Fhada to the Bealach Odhar. We reached the bealach and sat down in the lee of some rocks to enjoy the views of A’Mhaighdean and Ruadh Stac Mòr in the sunshine. Then without further ado we continued along the bypass path below Meall Garbh and reached the foot of the steep south ridge of Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair.

This is quite some climb, the first 120m of which led over and around huge slabs and rocks made of red sandstone displaying some beautiful examples of woolsack weathering. Then the sandstone abruptly gave way to big white quartzite boulders through which and over which a faint track climbed all the … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:14:56+02:00June 7th, 2017|2017, 2019 - 2010, Loch Marree to Loch Broom, looking forward to|

Lurg Mhor

6 June 2017 was a rather wet and windy day. It wasn’t too bad when we parked our Audi outside Attadale Gardens in the lot provided for hikers’ cars. Only later, on the hills, did the downpour really thrash us.

This early in the day, however, spirits were high. But we were also a little apprehensive of the task ahead since the cycle tour to the bothy at Bendronaig Lodge is no piece of cake. And after one kilometre on flat ground the 300m climb to the high point of the hydro road above Loch na Caillich and below Meall Ruadh (454m) started. This was steep in many sections but also had one or two stretches which provided some respite. Do I need to mention that we were overtaken by quite a few lorries making their way towards the hydro constructions further up the Glen?

From the highpoint of the road at about 330m it was a long swoosh down to the bridge over the Black Water where the hydro construction village was situated. Another kilometre on the new hydro road got us to the bothy. There we paused, changed into hiking gear and set off in the rain towards Loch Calavie. On a better day we would have enjoyed the remoteness of the surrounding hills and the setting of the loch but on 6 June 2017 the place looked dreary to desolate. Sorry to say.

At the loch we pause for a snack and then climbed the steepish hillside beside the Allt Coire Calavie. In fact there are several small streams but the Allt Coire Calavie is the biggest and most easterly burn. For me the going was tough as the ground was soaked and the wind hit us front-on. I made it to the col between the two Munros: Cheesecake to the left (i.e. northwest), Lurg to the right (i.e. southeast). There I chatted to a group of three cheerful Scots who lifted my spirits with their kind words. I followed Frank towards Lurg Mhor first over a steeper and rockier … [Read More]

2019-01-02T22:05:49+01:00June 6th, 2017|2017, 2019 - 2010, Glen Cannich to Glen Carron, looking forward to|

Meall Buidhe

The Knoydart peninsula proper has three Munros: Ladhar Bheinn, Luinne Bheinn and Meall Buidhe. Frank and I had climbed the first two of them in 1993 (Ladhar B.) and 2010 (Luinne B.). On both occasions we had walked into Knoydart from Barrisdale and had walked out again the same day. Both hikes were memorable leaving us with lasting memories and burning soles.

For the third Munro on the peninsula we opted for the approach from Inverie. The evening before the hike we took the boat from Mallaig to Inverie, enjoyed the marvellous panorama this maritime approach holds in store, checked into our accommodation (Knoydart Lodge, very nice!) and spent the evening in the Old Forge in the company of a Scots/American group of friendly hikers who also stayed at the Lodge.

The next morning saw us peeling out of bed bleary-eyed, eating a hearty breakfast in the communal kitchen of the lodge and then setting off towards Meall Buidhe. The Landrover track from Inverie and the ensuing good path made for an easy first hour of hiking at the end of which we reached the Druim bothy. From there it was another ten minutes to the footbridge over the Allt Gleann Meadail at the entrance to the eponymous glen.

From the entrance to Gleann Meadail we hit the steep slope to the left overgrown with bracken which – after about 250m of very arduous climbing – deposited us on the grassy back of the Druim Righeanaich ridge. From there it was a straightforward if steepish and longish climb to the pre-summit of An t-Uiriollach (826m) and down to the 770m-or-so bealach at the foot of the final climb to Meall Buidhe’s summit and cairn at 946m.

There we rested for a while and tried to take some photographs when there were short breaks in the clouds that shrowded the summit on and off. There was no use in continuing towards the east summit of Meall Buidhe since there were no views. But we had seen all of Knoydart including the Matterhorn (ha-ha!) shape of … [Read More]

2017-09-19T14:14:56+02:00June 2nd, 2017|2017, 2019 - 2010, Loch Eil to Glen Shiel, looking forward to|