Sgurr na Lapaich from Glen Affric

Date walked: 25/07/2015

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 17km

Ascent: 1000m

Date: 25/07/2015.
Distance: 17km.
Ascent: 1000m
Time taken: 4 hours, 45 minutes.
Weather: Warm and sunny with a couple of showers.

I'd forgotten about the Affric SHills meet but it came back to me the night before, when we were booking a meal in Drumnadrochit for Saturday evening. It occurred to me I could have a day out in Glen Affric and be back in time for dinner. However by the time I started out on Saturday it was lunchtime and I didn't bump into anyone other than a couple of foreigners who were most likely doing the new Affric Kintail way (I also saw a lot of miserable-looking people walking on the Drum to Cannich road who were probably doing this too).

Lapaich.gpx Open map in GPS Planner  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I parked up at the head of the Glen Affric road and decided to head for Sgurr na Lapaich. Last time I was up here was 1999 - my introduction to Inverness and Glen Affric (I had run out of time to do any more back then). A rather warm stroll along to the lodge and up the stalker's path over to Gleann nam Fiadh soon turned to showers when I hit the pathless section across to Sgurr na Lapaich.

Loch Affric:

Sgurr na Lapaich:


Glen Affric:

Tom a’ Choinnich:

Before long the ground firmed up and I picked up a faint path up the SE shoulder. No idea where this actually starts. The weather cleared on the summit and I enjoyed great views to Mam Sodhail, Carn Eighe and Loch Affric.

Loch Affric with A’ Charlaig and Mullach Fraoch Choire in the background:

Toll Creagach from the summit of Sgurr na Lapaich:

Loch Bheinn a’ Mheadhoin:


Down to Loch Lapaich:

Classic view to Mam Sodhail and Carn Eighe:

I had originally wanted to follow the horseshoe around Coire Leachavie to An Tudair, but suspected I wouldn't have time for this. I carried on towards Mam Sodhail anyway, as I had never been along the majority of this ridge. It narrowed pleasingly in places but remained grassy and easy the whole way to Mullach Cadha Rainich. Turns out this is also a Munro top - a new one for me. Long may the slowest round of Munro tops ever continue :wink: .

The ridge from Carn Eighe to Tom a’ Choinnich:

I heard the sound of engines here, and a Coastguard helicopter approached up Gleann nam Fiadh. It passed close to me before circling round over the pinnacles on Stob Choire Dhomnhuill opposite, dropping down the Loch Mullardoch side of that ridge, then heading back out the same way.

Stornoway Coastguard:



Back to Sgurr na Lapaich:

I sat on the summit of Mullach Cadha Rainich for a late lunch, at which point another shower came in. I decided that even Mam Sodhail would be pushing it time-wise, and decided to drop down into Coire Leachavie just before the final ascent. I had come up this way in February 2001 to get onto Mam Sodhail. Everything was in deep-freeze and we had teetered 2/3 of the way out of Coire Leachavie on kicked steps before having to balance precariously in order to put our crampons on (later on, the weather closed off and we almost walked off a cornice trying to retreat in the whiteout. Fun times!). This all came back to me as I realized how steep the descent off the side of the ridge. Some of it was done on backside, before I reached the slightly boggy path in the corrie.

On the connecting ridge, watching the next shower come in:




Allt Coire Leachavie:


Lower down the corrie, the path had been widened to access a new hydro scheme. Before long I was out on the path following the northern shore of Loch Affric. Easy walking back to the car, but slightly longer than I had allowed for!

Back down to Loch Affric:

Mullach Fraoch Choire:


There are some pigs in a large enclosure next to the lodge.

Pigs at the lodge:


Back at the car, I was pushed for time as ever. There was almost no traffic in the glen so I was just about able to hare it back to Drumnadrochit in 30 minutes in time for dinner. A nice reminder of how great Glen Affric is - will definitely be back for more in the autumn when the colours are at their best.

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Comments: 3

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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Attachment(s) Munros: Ben Lomond
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Location: Inverness
Occupation: Civil Engineer
Interests: Walking, Scrambling, Cycling, Mountain Biking
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Wainwrights: 81
Hewitts: 206
Sub 2000: 123

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