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Postby SecondRow » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:36 pm

Route description: Gairich, Loch Quoich

Munros included on this walk: Gairich

Date walked: 22/10/2020

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 14.4 km

Ascent: 957m

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Gairich 22102020.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Despite having spent a good part of my childhood and adult life in the West Highlands (at one point I could see the Ballachulish horse shoe from my bedroom window), I had never ventured down the single track Kinloch Hourn road, which breaks off from the A87 at Loch Garry.

As a result this area, still had a magical slightly other worldly quality to my mind that the other hills in the area have had blunted slightly. The Buachaille still never fails to inspire, but I have driven past it 3 times in the past week alone.
Having checked my usual assortment of websites, radio reports and scattered chicken bones, I had decided that Thursday was the best option weather wise, mostly dry with at least some chance of good visibility. The downside, however, was that the rain was only scheduled to stop a few hours before sunrise which would leave the going wet under foot.

After duly rising at 4am, I got a clear run almost all the way to the start point, where I nearly ploughed into a herd of deer. Taking a more cautious last mile or so the dam, I parked and took my customary 10 minutes to drink coffee, boot up and assess the day. Looking across the loch, the cloud started to clear and the peak of Gairich was revealed in all its glory. If this visibility held out, it was going to be a peach of a day. Unfortunately that was always going to be a pretty big ‘if’ in this part of the world in October.



Looking from East from Dam.JPG


Striding off confidently across the dam, I reached the path that cut across the moor, following the line of the loch. Wet underfoot doesn’t begin to describe it, the fan boat from the start of ‘Gentle Ben’ would have been a viable option in these conditions.

I detoured briefly to examine this 'thingmyjigger'. I have no idea what it is!


I was joined by a decent sized heard of deer at one point, possibly the same ones I had met on the road. I am not sure if they were feeling cock sure after the end of the stalking season , there might have been a ‘nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah’ from behind me as I continued.


I had assumed, that as the gradient steepened, conditions under foot might have dried out. In reality what had been still water, just turned into a downhill stream. On the upside there was no water falling from the sky, thought the summit was increasingly starting to be shrouded in cloud. The glorious views promised earlier in the day were looking increasingly unlikely.

Boggy track.JPG

Approaching summit.JPG

Ascending summit ridge.JPG


My last good views were probably around the 700m mark, before disappearing into the clag. On reaching the summit, I sat and ate a roll, then waited another 10 minutes, hoping that the mountain gods would treat me to that rare, but magnificent experience of the cloud clearing to reveal breathtaking views.


Conscious of the lack of daylight at this time of year, I trotted on down at a slow pace, taking care on the slippy ground.
The march across the moors to the dam felt considerably less enjoyable this time with tired legs. On reaching the car I could hear the bellowing of a stag in the hills above me. It hadn’t been the day blessed with breathtaking views that initially had been promised, but it still wasn’t bad for late October in Scotland.

View to glen.JPG

View from ridge.JPG

Boggy descent.JPG
Posts: 33
Munros:79   Corbetts:19
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 8, 2015
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