Loch Arkaig 3....make that 4

Munros: Garbh Chioch Mhor, Sgurr Mor (Loch Quoich), Sgurr na Ciche, Sgurr nan Coireachan (Glen Dessary)

Date walked: 20/09/2014

Time taken: 11.5 hours

I had the Knoydart hills still to do, hopefully in the next few weeks so decided on the Loch Arkaig trio so I could get a view of what to expect when I return to do the remote Knoydart 3.

A look at the map in advance showed Sgurr Mor also unvisited, although given the quoted times for the other 3, I certainly wasn’t sure it would be within my grasp, but kept in mind and actually plotted it in advance, so maybe I had made my mind up, not least as it was a far sized walk on its own.

I wasn’t in the best shape when I awoke at 0430 to get ready, having only had 4 hours kip the last two nights, so wearily I set off in no rush.

As daylight overtook darkness on the way down, it was looking somewhat gloomy on the route down Laggan and further on at Spean Bridge, the Corries, Aonachs and the Ben all hidden from view.

But as I turned into Loch Arkaig that all changed and I stopped a few times on route for pics…well its not a road that you can admire them whilst driving, rollercoaster is very apt Jeez


Deer stalking suggested a route up the glen which I duely followed on a good track, but this was some 6 miles in, one lady taking to 2 wheels for the first part of the journey. But once the forest was left behind, my first view of Sgurr na Ciche, still in some clag but soon to clear.


Amazing light today looking back down the glen.


The initial ascent is on a good path and time to soak up the sun and ponder…


The path skirts the base of the rock face and enters a gulley, where the clegs had a field day with me.


The top of the gully and breeze thankfully, but the uphill still continued until finally at the summit of the tallest of the day, and the views were stunning.


Loch Nevis and Knoydart stole the day



About face for a view of my route, with both of the other two munros ahead, first Garbh Chioch Mor and behind looking some way off Sgurr nan Coireachan. Sgurr Mor out of shot.


Ascent of Garbh Chioch Mor gave a good view of the ascent route direct up the flanks of Sgurr na Ciche.


But after a brief stop to take in more views I headed off along the lumpy ridge, and Sgurr Mor came into view.


Later looking at the map the distance to this remote one was as much again as the ridge I was now on. My mind was changing, until I met a fellow walker up for the weekend who told me not to dismiss it just yet, he pointed out that the ridge to it looked more inviting than the traverse we were currently on. Hmm, all very well, but the legs need to be willing and able.

At the near side of Coireachan, I sat, map out, should I do it or not. I was weary, the lack of sleep catching up on me, also out of drink, if I were to press on I would need water. I looked long and hard at the route should I do this one separately, it didn’t cheer me up, I was here now, a large part of the climb done, and of course the walk in, not to mention a return drive down Loch Arkaig…that clinched it.

I climbed Coireachan and descended the far side and off the ridge to replenish my water, and set off to Sgurr Mor, with a couple of bumps in the way before Sgurr Mor itself.

The final slopes were zig zagged making the work easier at this stage of the day, with views back to more stunning light shows.


Views also to the Ben and Aonachs now free of that early morning cloud.


Finally the summit, I was shot ! The pointed outline of Sgurr na Ciche behind me.


One last look at Loch Quoich


And the surrounding hills as the sun fell lower


The Grey Corries now glistening too


My final shot of the route out through the pass opposite.


It had been a long day, I was pooped with the walk out over pathless terrain for the descent. But by 2030hrs I reached the car, in all 11.5 hours.

I hurriedly packed away my gear into the car so I could guzzle my drink that I had visions of for the last 3 miles, having almost choked on some cheese due to lack of spit.

I now had almost an hours drive to get out from loch Arkaig and set off forgetting my GPS which I had placed atop the spare wheel. I pulled up after only a couple of hundred yards but despite a search found no trace, so not only a long day but a trifle expensive too.

But what a day to savour :D :D :D :D :D

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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: 223
Corbetts: 10
Grahams: 3
Wainwrights: 68
Hewitts: 109

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Trips: 12
Distance: 22 km
Munros: 31


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Trips: 6
Distance: 37 km
Ascent: 910m
Munros: 14
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Joined: May 18, 2011
Last visited: Sep 22, 2014
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