Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Fannaichs and Ullapool Hills: Meall a' Chrasgaidh (243), Sgurr nan Clach Geala (53) and Sgurr nan Each (267)

Walk date: 17/06/08
My Munro #'s: 148, 149 and 150

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Myowl a chras-kee - hill of the crossing - 934m
Skoor nan klach gee-ala - peak of the white stones - 1093m
Skoor nan yaach - peak of the horses - 923m

Duration - 11:00 - 18:45
Distance - 19.8 km
Total ascent - 1179m
Weather - Relatively low wind, some rain but not much. Low cloud on Sgurr nan Each.
Team - with Paul.
Other hikers: 1 (not chatty).

Hills close to the road? Outrageous!

Paul P and George Ullapool Hills 2008 - Day 4 (Tues)

After our big day out, we needed take our stomping feet off the throttle a little and so we opted to split a planned 5-Munro outing into two walks, in doing so actually going as low as doing what the books suggested!

Starting from 163760 on the A832 a good track turned into a good path but one which inevitably led to another bridgeless river with a 'comedy-cairn' at its far side indicating that the route on required some wet feet. Even with the level relatively low, that point of the river was not tempting, but a short distance upstream there were some more interesting options. At a just-not-quite-manageable crossing I set about building 'Gibb's Bridge' with childhood relish. Paul wasn't convinced and found a dry crossing further up, but I persisted and managed to create an 'exciting crossing experience'.

Once over we headed up the glen's path before branching off upwards on a Landrover track. This however soon faded out and we knew that the time for some more 'freestyle ascent' had come. The usual digging-in and slow rise on grass slopes ensued and brought us gradually up onto the broad rocky back of Meall a' Chrasgaidh which gave fine views to the many neighbouring hills.

After a snack, the wind chill was enough to push us on and despite the temptations of easy walking to Sgurr Mor and Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich we kept to our original plan and moved onward to today's highpoint of Sgurr nan Clach Geala. Here the wind was quite strong but the views down Coire Mor toward Loch Fannaich more than made up for it.

A good path continued on to Sgurr nan Each and it was here that the cloud descended. Due to this we didn't hang about, first returning to Cadha na Guite and then dropping west to the col. This descent soon became a pathless grass, bog, rock and wet and slow route, but it wasn't by any means horrendous and there seemed nothing better on offer.

Once at the col the path down the glen was obvious and offered a quick return albeit one including the river crossing again.

Having seen the route on up from the col to Sgurr Breac which would lead to A' Chailleach I can say that adding this pair to this day (which was the original 5-Munro plan) would indeed be possible, but it would be a fair bit more effort and definitely not classifiable as a rest day!

Is that a mirage? A bridge?? The eastern end of
Loch a' Bhraoin with Leitir Fhearna behind:

Now, could this still be a river to cross? Allt Breabaig getting a move on:

Running out of path on Meall a' Chrasgaidh:

Meall a' Chrasgaidh's rocky top with Sgurr nan Clach Geala behind:

A Paul head just visible above the cosy parapet:

Loch a' Mhadaidh and Coir a' Mhadaidh to the ENE:

A hill for another day, tall guy Sgurr Mor:

Today's trip, on to Sgurr nan Clach Geala:

Getting windy on the tops:

A helpful shelter at the col:

Fine views to the back of Sgurr Mor:

Coming up on Sgurr nan Clach Geala, and it's spiky crags:

Down into Coire Mor:

The full craggy eastern side of Sgurr nan Clach Geala:

Down into Coire Mor with Loch Fannaich at its end:

The full Paul, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Coire Mor and Sgurr Mor panorama:

Summit views:

Onto Sgurr nan Each, dwarfed by Sgurr nan Clach Geala:

From the south side, Sgurr nan Clach Geala:

Hill 3 of the day, who wants to go home now?

"I had a coat, and it was all Yellow..."

Best shelter so far at the col between Sgurr nan Each and Sgurr Breac:

A comedy-cairn makes the route of the path straight through the river!

A welcomed sight, the car of no-more-walking! (An Teallach behind):

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