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Meall a'Chrasgaidh and Sgurr Mor - couple of Fannichs

Meall a'Chrasgaidh and Sgurr Mor - couple of Fannichs

Postby gld73 » Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:01 pm

Munros included on this walk: Meall a' Chrasgaidh, Sgùrr Mòr

Date walked: 26/09/2020

Time taken: 5.9 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 1400m

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Tried to do the 4 eastern Fannichs a few days ago, but ripped my boot sole partly off on the way up the first one so called it a day after making it to the summit of munro #1 (Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich). Quite fancied doing An Coileachan and Meall Gorm from the Fannich Lodge side anyway, maybe as a bike and hike, so not the end of the world, but disappointing I still hadn't got round to getting up Sgurr Mor.

A good weather forecast for the west particularly for this day had me dithering between going back to the Fannichs or going down Strathcarron to do Fuar Tholl and Sgorr Ruadh. When doing the 3 western Fannich munros on the Sgurr na Clach Geala ridge a couple of years ago I remember thinking Sgurr Mor looked eminently do-able as a detour from the col between Meall a'Chrasgaidh and Sgurr nan Clach Geala. Took maps for both areas with me as I drove up towards Garve, then made the decision at the last minute to continue heading on to the parking area for the western Fannichs after all. A few cars there already on this saturday with a good forecast, but got parked okay, and killed a bit of time having breakfast while I waited for the ominous clouds over Sgurr Mor to clear a bit.

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Nothing fancy about the route I took, same way to the first munro (Meall a'Chrasgaidh) as when I'd done those 3 previously. Bit surprised to see extensive industrial work going on this time; looks like another hydro scheme. In time, I suppose it might mean another initial approach route saving the boggy ground of the ATV track before you get to the shoogly wooden bridge, but it all looks like a blot just now.
Not the most scenic view from the boggy path between the bridges

The hydro works come right up to the old wooden footbridge, so maybe future access to this point will be up a good hydro track?

The pathless ascent of Meall a'Chrasgaidh is steep. Nice to look over and see An Teallach come into view though.

I'd forgotten just how the boggy the initial part of the route was - and also how steep the ascent up to Meall a'Chrasgaidh was. Oof. Got to the summit in a little over 2 hours but didn't loiter too long as Sgurr Mor was the main target. Relieved to see it was below the cloud now. I headed down and then up left to Carn na Criche, going over the top of that and down to then start the Sgurr Mor ascent. I was on a trace of a path near the bottom, but ended up losing it and headed off to the left slightly with a bit of easy scrambling over rocks. Even if you do lose the path, it doesn't really matter too much, just a case of keeping heading up the steep rocky ridge. Great to finally get to the summit of Sgurr Mor, it's such a distinctive pointy peak from all around the area. Great view point too.
Sgurr Mor from Meall a'Chrasgaidh summit cairn

Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Sgurr Mor and Carn na Criche from Meall a'Chrasgaidh

Looking back to Meall a'Chrasgaidh from Carn na Criche...

...and ahead to Sgurr Mor. Picture makes it look a lot less steep than reality!

Sgurr Mor summit cairn, with Meall a'Chrasgaidh in the middle of the picture and An Teallach in the background

Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr nan Each from Sgurr Mor's very slightly snowy summit

These 2 eastern Fannichs still to do, but I'll do them from the Fannich Lodge side

Zoomed to An Teallach

Heading back down I managed to stick to the path a bit better, so walking rather than any scrambling. Back over Carn na Criche, and headed down to the boggy bealach. From there, I didn't retrace my steps over Meall a'Chrasgaidh, I just headed off round the side, descending more gradually towards the path down the glen. From there, I followed the boggy path back to the car park, passing the hive of activity of excavators. Fingers crossed it all looks a lot less industrial and a lot more natural in a few months time...
Excavators at work back down near the wooden bridge

In a couple of years it'll be better embedded into the landscape I'm sure, but it's all a bit industrial looking just now
Posts: 629
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Joined: Aug 11, 2015
Location: Inverness

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