Monday, November 17, 2008

Glen Affric and Strathfarrar: Tom a' Choinich (41) and Toll Creagach (77)

Walk date: 16/11/08
My Munro #'s: 170 and 171

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Towm a choanyeech - hill of the moss - 1111m
Tow kraykach - rocky hollow - 1054m

Duration - 10:30-15:30
Distance - 17.3km
Total ascent - 1063m
Weather - perfect winter's day. Cold with fine sun. Cold but light wind on top of Tom a' Choinich.
Team - Skuz, Ed, Mark and American Dave
Other hikers: many

AMC Strawberry Cottage Meet 2008

I had planned another big day for this Sunday walk, taking in Mam Sodhail, Carn Eige and Beinn Fhionnlaidh, but I found out Saturday night that we were packing up and moving back down the glen in the morning and walking from there. This mattered little as some of the group were already planning to go up what would be two brand new Munros for me once they got down there and so I happily latched on.

With weather thankfully in total contrast to Saturday's, we parked up and set off at a very brisk pace, moving well up the slightly boggy but otherwise good path on gently rising slopes with views to the fine peak of Tom a' Choinich opening up ahead of us.

Once things flattened out, a split in the path signaled an increase in the ascent as we started to zig-zag up the lower slopes of the hill alongside Allt Toll Easa. We left this path at Creag na h-lnghinn and made our way up along this south eastern ridge. The terrain included rock and ice and myself and American Dave made slower progress than our experienced compadres. Nonetheless, the going was fine enough and we were soon strolling on top of a frozen world offering a majestic vista.

With a cold wind greeting us at the summit, we pressed on to the col straightaway. The descent off the ENE ridge was easier than the ascent had been, but it still required concentration, and a departure from the ice and snowed-up path for safety reasons!!

After a fine lunch progress was fast up the second peak of the day, the much more tame Toll Creagach. This offered excellent views across Loch Mullardoch to the hills of the East Benula Forest, every single one an untouched Munro for me!!

The pace on from the summit was even faster, and I demonstrated my 'controlled falling' descent method well; it made such a nice change to get to do it in the daylight! After a fabulous but exhausting weekend adventure, it was then fine to get home too!

Tom a' Choinich makes its first appearance:
The route ahead up Creag na h-lnghinn:

Looking back down our ascent route:

Carn Eige and its pals to the west:

Tom a' Choinich summit complete with the rest of the group:

Getting closer:

Choose your colour, and let's move out:

Toll Creagach is a more gentle beast:

Looking back up our descent from Tom:

Loch Mullardoch from the col looking WNW:

Looking back to Tom a' Choinich:

Time for a brew:
Me modeling many unvisited Munros:

Steep grassy slopes and rest of group:

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Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I demonstrated my 'controlled falling' descent method well

Safely I hope!!! Great pics and as ever fab reports of your journeys! Hugs to all!

18 November 2008 at 22:42  
Blogger George said...

I would say that I am always safe but to do that would surely curse me!! T'was much fun anyway, and was followed by the most fabulously tasting beer; deserved flavour....

19 November 2008 at 19:27  

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