Bidean a Choire Sheasgaich and Lurg Mhor

Munros: Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich, Lurg Mhor
Corbetts: Beinn Tharsuinn

Date walked: 13/03/2015

Time taken: 13.5 hours

Distance: 35km

The Walk Highlands description …A challenging expedition to climb two of the remotest Munros. The fine, pointed summit of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich would be more celebrated if it were not hidden deep in the wilds of Monar, whilst neighbouring Lurg Mhor is even more inaccessible.
Hmm, he thought. I like a challenge and the description is breaking it into two days. I think I prefer the description ‘committing’. It fits better for me, a walk where once in you have little choice, but at the same time understanding your own capabilities of course.

I had already eyed these two and was just waiting for length of day provided by March earliest and some good weather, as despite being one to not shy away from any day on the hills, I love it that much (not to mention buying all that gear just to carry it all year), a walk of this duration and terrain one needs to ensure the odds are in your favour.
There was no question of route, it would be from Craig near Achnashellach, up the excellent track and into the hills.
So it all came together on Friday the 13th cripes, never realised until after as I wouldn’t have gone. Not that I’m particularly superstitious but many years ago a certain caving trip to Yorkshire on a Friday 13th, had its fair share of mishaps, but that’s for another day…if anyone has trouble sleeping, just pm me and I’ll tell you the tale.
I already had a busy week at work, more work equals more pennies, only way to get on in life as my dada would say, and not by polishing the sofa with your xxxx, but the alarm went off at 0400hrs, to get away for 5 ish.
By 0730 I was walking in and the view back to the start was clearing nicely, for once the forecast was looking correct. View back towards the hills surrounding Coulags.


The track in is excellent and any keen bikers would make short work coming out but not for me, I would have had to push it all the way in, and in those instances see little point.
Once some height is gained the next stage of the route comes into view with Sgurr a Chaorachain and Choinnich at the back, my route to the right behind the first spur, my targets for the day not in sight.


The track continues around Sgurr nan Ceannaichen to Glenuiag Lodge but I have to turn right across the burn by a rather limp wire bridge, luckily only needing to use the last few feet to avoid the deep stuff, thank god for yeti gaiters. My route takes me up to the Bealach Bhearnais, with a view back to Sgurr nan Ceannaichen.


As height is gained the view of the Bealach, to which I would return some time later in the day.


I was now heading up the slopes of Beinn Tharsuinn, some significant snow patches up here, but wow what a great hill, glad I came this way.


Across to the summit


Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich had already poked its nose above the summit ridge of Tharsuinn but now at Tharsuinns summit both my targets for the day came into view. Still work to do though but the remoteness kicked in, I reveled in it.


My route off Tharsuinn was behind its lochan, I knew it would be steep and also that Tharsuinns crags further left needed to be avoided. On descent I admired Sheasgaich and its formidable sides. I had read a report of someone taking a direct line up the right flank and contemplated this, although I had plotted a route up one of the numerous gullies seen in this pic, on the left. I would decide once I had negotiated Tharsuinns descent !


Looking back up at Tharsuinn, I had come down the edge of the snow fields to their right. They look fairly small in the pic but they were big enough for axe to be deployed, the crags seen to the right.


Option 1 for Sheasgaich, hmm. Little did I know that a couple of weeks later I would be ascending something similar and steeper.


I decided to contour round the side to a point that would take me up the right of the col between my two targets but on route stopped to take in the view to Loch Monar.


Ascent took me up steep snow fields which I tried to avoid to save crampons on and off. The snow was hard so wherever possible I followed bare grass and cut steps across the short bits to gain access to the next grassy line. The corrie view as I gained height.


Pano from the summit was stunning.


Lurg Mhor now seemed just a stroll, but time seemed to disappear on route to its summit, maybe just because of the views.
View to Lurg Mhor on descent of Sheasgaich


And back to Sheasgaich from ascent of Lurg Mhor


Some large cornicing on the ascent with Sheasgaich behind. My route down was from this col.


Pano from the summit looking to my route home, seemed a long way off from here this remotest of spots


Pano along Lurg Mhors crest towards Strathfarrar and Affric.


So now I just had the walk out, simples, first wee obstacle, over the top. Crampons and axe for this one, it was a tad steep. My route out up the Glen in shadow to the left back to Bhearnnais.


Time for a break after dropping down, and a view of Loch Monar before I head left.


The walk up to the Bealach, this was the longest mile of the day !


Nearly there but the face says it all, I think I aged a bit coming up there.


But with all downhill left, I waited at the bealach for the sunset and wasn’t disappointed, the Cuillins framed nicely between Tharsuinn and Feartaig, beautiful.


In all the walk took 13 and a half hours, I saw not another soul all day :D . I later checked and it was about 22 miles for anyone that’s loves stats, me I just love a long day such as this and would do it again in a heartbeat. And if your winter boots hurt after such a walk you've got the wrong boots :lol:

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User avatar
Location: Miltonduff, Elgin
Interests: Mountaineering, Landscape Photography, beer & whisky
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Old Brig
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Inverpolly
Gear: crampons,
Member: None
Camera: Olympus E620
Ideal day out: Winter anywhere, ridge walk, priceless.
Ambition: Cant say.

Munros: 266
Corbetts: 13
Grahams: 3
Wainwrights: 68
Hewitts: 109

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