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An Cabar - winter returns

An Cabar - winter returns

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:45 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: An Cabar

Date walked: 11/04/2021

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 16.9 km

Ascent: 487m

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The second week of April saw a short return of winter conditions in northern Scotland. We thought it was a good opportunity to bag An Cabar, a small yet very intriguing mountain situated just south of Loch Fannich. I was told it offered fantastic views to the surrounding higher hills and was worth saving for a snowy day. Well, a bright spring day with melting snow on lower ground seemed perfect for exploring this rarely visited Marylin.
There are several routes from the south, mainly Achanalt and Strathbran lodge, but we opted for a longer traverse starting from the western end of Loch Luichart and following the Fannich dam access track, which is tarmacked all the way to the loch. On the way back, we took the eastern ridge of An Cabar and descended to Loch na Beiste. It is possible to take in the two outlying tops, Carn na Beiste and Meallan Buidhe, but we didn't bother.

Track_AN CABAR 16.9 KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

There were two other caes parked in the layby next to the start of the track, but we never saw anybody apart from an estate walker driving up the road in his four wheel drive. Generally, this is a quiet area, some folks use it to access the southern end of the Fannichs but obviously it wasn't the time of year for multiday traverses.
Eager to go:
2021-04-11 an cabar 004.JPG

The morning was nice and sunny though cold; we enjoyed walking along the track. About 2km into the walk, we spotted a bridge over River Grudie - this would be our return route:
2021-04-11 an cabar 008.JPG

Carn na Beiste and Meallan Buidh from the track to Loch Fannich. Loch na Beiste is located on the bealach between he two tops.
2021-04-11 an cabar 014.JPG

We saw plenty of deer, mostly busy stuffing themselves with hey and granulate provided. I guess in autumn this is pure stalking country - the deer looked well fed :wink:
2021-04-11 an cabar 021.JPG

Past Aultdearg, it was even more wintry:
2021-04-11 an cabar 030.JPG

As we neared the loch, I was more and more fascinated with the southern flanks of An Coileachan, Garbh Choire Mor in particular. We had already climbed all the Fannichs, but this side looks like a good alternative route for a repeat visit. The idea at the moment is to climb the northern spur of Garbh Choire Mor to An Eigin and then up to the summit, descending via Coire nan Laogh. Once the snow is gone, we'll think seriously about this option.
2021-04-11 an cabar 040.JPG

At the moment we should concentrate on much easier but just as entertaining climb up the NE side of An Cabar. We used the faint ridge in the middle of the photo below:
2021-04-11 an cabar 056.JPG

We left the track about 500m before the hydro buildings and started the 300m climb to the summit. Very quickly, views began to open up, especially west along Loch Fannich:
2021-04-11 an cabar 083.JPG

The southern wall of An Eigin, Faire nam Fiadh, and the loch below:
2021-04-11 an cabar 086.JPG

At some point we spotted a flock of geese heading north - the obvious sign that spring has arrived (despite the snow around us):
2021-04-11 an cabar 100.JPG

The raising ridge is dotted with rocks, some good pockets of easy scramble or simply a great playground for a hill-hungry cat :wink:
2021-04-11 an cabar 107.JPG

Looking down to the eastern end of Loch Fannich and a strangely shaped cloud above Beinn Liath Mhòr a'Ghiubhais Li:
2021-04-11 an cabar 112.JPG

One of the so-called pockets of easy scramble :lol:
2021-04-11 an cabar 273.JPG

Me avoiding the scrambling section by skirting it on snow-cowered heather:
2021-04-11 an cabar 121.JPG

Weather was actually improving and with the cloud moving away, the views were now framed in blue sky. Fantastic light for photos, so we took time going up, looking for good "snapping spots".
2021-04-11 an cabar 127.JPG

The eastern end of Beinn na Ramh, a Graham we once climbed from Kinlochewe in winter conditions:
2021-04-11 an cabar 285.JPG

The final bit to the summit - even more fun with the rocky crest:
2021-04-11 an cabar 143.JPG

Don't tell me twice!
2021-04-11 an cabar 155.JPG

Kevin is usually more dignified in his behaviour when hillwalking but even he couldn't resist a smile today...
2021-04-11 an cabar 287.JPG

Following me up the steeper section with the superb view across Loch Fannich behind:
2021-04-11 an cabar 295.JPG

Honestly, I couldn't believe how good a viewpoint this hill is. So rarely visited as it is only a Sub, but it offers pure mountain p**rn to hill connoisseurs :D
On the top of the rocky crest, happy to be up another hill :D
2021-04-11 an cabar 159.JPG

The trig point is only a few metres west from the upper end of the line of rocks - and what a place to tick off our 52nd Sub'2 Marylin.
2021-04-11 an cabar 192.JPG

Lucy's 20th Sub, with the panorama of Loch Fannich behind:
2021-04-11 an cabar 195.JPG

The best vistas are to the west and north...
2021-04-11 an cabar 164.JPG

2021-04-11 an cabar 325.JPG

...but also south to the less known side of the Strathconon Corbetts:
2021-04-11 an cabar 186.JPG

Zoom to Ben Wyvis:
2021-04-11 an cabar 148.JPG

The western Fannichs (Sgurr nan Clach Geala ridge):
2021-04-11 an cabar 178.JPG

The mountains of Strathcarron:
2021-04-11 an cabar 165.JPG

For the descent route, we picked a long, gentle eastern ridge of An Cabar, which proved to be easy enough ground to cover, apart from a few rocks just below the summit (they can be bypassed to the right on less steep terrain):
2021-04-11 an cabar 213.JPG

Descending the eastern ridge:
2021-04-11 an cabar 214.JPG

The recent snowfall made the landscape more beautiful, but also covered half-frozen puddles and wet holes. One of such traps happened to be right in my way, oops, before I realized, cold water was pouring into my boot :lol: :lol: Luckily, my leg wasn't stuck so I pulled it out of the hole in a sec, but it was too late.
I remembered one of snooker commentators saying "there's always a gap!" each time the player missed a shot. In my case, the commentary would be "there's always a hole!" :lol: :lol:
Kevin on his way to Loch na Beiste:
2021-04-11 an cabar 350.JPG

We passed the loch to the left (northern side), there is a faint path (probably just a deer track). On a different day, we might have added Carn na Beiste, but with an extra loch in my boot, I said no, thank you :roll:
Carn na Beiste from below:
2021-04-11 an cabar 351.JPG

We crossed Allt Loch na Beiste (which is no more than a small burn) and descended the wet, bumpy ground towards the bridge we had seen earlier. Kevin was so fed up with the "mushy tatties" experience, that he suggested we could use the forest track below Meallan Buidhe, so we aimed for the edge of the fenced off area, hoping for a gate. We didn't find one, but the corner of the fence was strong enough to climb over it without destroying the whole structure :lol: On the other side, it was a very easy walk down the forest track to the bridge and the main road along River Grudie.
Looking back at the lower tops of An Cabar from the track in the glen:
2021-04-11 an cabar 355.JPG

A lovely hill, especially in half-winter conditions, amazing views and potential for adding extra tops if one wishes. The descent route might be wet but honestly, find me a Scottish mountain that isn't :wink:

One more TR to come from yours truly, this one describing a less frequented route up Loch Lochy Munros. Watch this space.
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 3609
Munros:260   Corbetts:169
Sub 2000:55   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

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