Monday, July 18, 2011

Fannaichs and Ullapool Hills: Seanna Bhraigh (262), Eididh nan Clach Geala (257), Meall nan Ceapraichean (177), Cona' Mheall (176)and Beinn Dearg (57)

Walk date: 26/06/11
My Munro #'s:
207, 208, 209, 210 and 211

Pronunciations - translations - heights:
Shena vry - old upper part - 927mAydyee nan klach gyala - web of the white stones - 927mMyowl nan kyapreechan - a rounded hilltop - 977mKonival - hill of the joining - 978m
Beinn Dearg - red hill - 1084m

Duration - 09:05 - 20:45
Distance - 39.2km
Total ascent - 2500m
Weather - wet from the very start with low cloud, a break on Seanna Bhraigh
Team - with Paul P
Other hikers: a plucky 2

Paul P and George 'Daddy Team' Hiking Trip 2011

Day 2 - Sunday a.k.a. 'Superbig'

Now I've always had a penchant for looking at adjacent walks in books and thinking, 'Hmm, those could go together', but sometimes this enthusiasm can go too far. As I sat plotting a route linking the two walks that could produce this 5-munro almost 40km day I thought to myself that this one was definitely too ambitious but that it would be OK because Paul would make me see sense.

Paul didn't.

Paul was in fact as enthusiastic as me, or at least, we agreed to set off and see how we got on, which is always our speak for 'We're going to do it aren't we?'. This was no exception.

While still at the car park the rain came on; I actually prefer this as it means I put on the wet gear from the start and don't have to stop later. Well, I certainly didn't have to stop to take it off at any point!!

The route sets off very gentle, meandering through a forest plantation before rising sharply on a good path as the forest peters out. The path takes you onto the vast plateau of Inverlael Forest where the good path continues across this exposed land before finally turning a corner and climbing just south of Meall Glac an Ruighe toward Meall Choire Ghlais.

When the ground flattens the route becomes ambiguous and there are many options of how to make your way across the scarred land to Gate of Ca'-derg and its majestic views. The going is a lot slower than you might think due to having to walk round many a sudden drop.

From the gate the route on to Seanna Bhraigh is simple and the deep corrie is a just reward. Although this was our only view of the day, it did make the whole thing worthwhile. When we were leaving the summit we met our only other 2 hikers of the day, one looking much more enthusiastic than the other. The enthusiastic one informed us that they were doing the same loop but descending a different and quicker way, so we could meet them at their car later if we wanted. Hmm, they seemed nice guys but I don't want to have my down route dictated by someone who might or might not be there at the end of a full day's hiking. We said that we would see about it, but then we never saw them again, so caution seemed to have been the best course of action!

Anyway, to move on the only option is to slowly retrace your steps to Meall Choire Ghlais and then make your best line up the rocky slopes of Eididh nan Clach Geala. The link to this hill is by no means obvious, but is written into many books.

After that, steep grass and rocks take you over Meall nan Ceapraichean to Bealach an Lochain Uaine which was tough going for supposedly flat ground, and not just a little confusing in the thick mist.

We ascended first up Cona Mheall which was decent enough before returning and taking on the huge bulk of Beinn Dearg. At this point we were both fairly done in, and I was certainly slipping all over the path just because of not lifting my legs enough with each step. Eventually though, the path crosses the boundary wall and the incline lessens, becoming a rocky crest with a large summit cairn. Here we rewarded ourselves with a second lunch (it was 5ish) and a sit down!

Fortunately, the descent proved very swift. We were soon off Dearg and on a fantastic path along Coire Mathair Lathall which we pounded along back down to the forest plantation, arriving just under 12 hours after starting out. Time for a proper meal and a beer or two!

Crossing rivers on the Inverlael Forest plateau:

The view from Seanna Bhraigh:

And another:

Gate of Ca'-derg:

Taking a stroll:

T'was wet and miserable for some long stretches!This was approaching Meall nan Ceapraichean:

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home