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The Eastern Fannich's. Wild, wet & windy!

The Eastern Fannich's. Wild, wet & windy!


Postby JimboJim » Sun Jun 27, 2021 2:03 pm

Route description: Sgùrr Mòr and the eastern Fannichs

Munros included on this walk: An Coileachan, Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich, Meall Gorm, Sgùrr Mòr

Date walked: 14/06/2021

Time taken: 6.9 hours

Distance: 26 km

Ascent: 1475m

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With things looking more hopeful with the pandemic, Me, Andrew and Big Jasper booked a couple of nights at Aultguish, in summer, with a view to doing the Fannich's, or if weather favourable, maybe try for An Teallach. How we were to be disabused of that notion :lol: With a week to go the omens from the forecast apps were not good. Reminiscent of my trip to Skye the previous month, in fact. High winds, rain, possibly some snow! It hasn't been the best of summers! :(

The forecast didn't budge much and there was little difference to be seen between the eastern, or western bunch. We also had in mind doing Am Faochagach, but it didn't show much promise either, so we pretty much settled on doing the eastern one's as we approached Torrandhu. Having sat in the car for over 4 hours, the blast of wind getting out was most refreshing :shock: and at least it was still dry. No one said this is just crazy lads, so I continued putting the gear on. The sole surviving tree in these parts, just nearby was almost uprooted, just clinging on to a few roots. Just like my own scalp in fact :lol: Ok, I do exaggerate at times, but you get my meaning.
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A bit windy at the start.
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Jaf and Andrew. The ATV track wasn't too boggy, thankfully.

We opted to go anti-clockwise, roughly as per WH's route, hoping the wind would be at our tails on the way back. Made decent progress through the forest and down to the bridge over the Abhainn an Torrain Dubh. We stayed on the track, though at times weren't too sure where it was heading, losing it on one occasion, when we had to make a tough diversion over rough ground, to make the steeper path up Creag Dhubh Fannaich. Briefly got some views to Beinn Dearg, Ullapool Sgurr Mor and the main ridge, but visibility was like the weather, going down hill. From there, I remember a tough climb into the wind, to the summit of Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, where we were severely buffeted around, but still dry.
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An Coileachan, beyond Loch Gorm.
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Across to Beinn Dearg and Cona' Mheall.
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Cona' Mheall.
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Loch Broom. Just about seeing Ullapool.
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Cul Beag, I think.
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Just about make out Stac Pollaidh, there, too?
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The lads on Beinn Liath Mhor, 954m.
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Beinn Liath Mhor. Sgurr Mor, beyond.
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Sgurr Mor.

I led us over some very rough, bouldery, ground, leaving the summit. I don't think it was the right way, so don't tell the boys :) As we made our way up and round onto Sgurr Mor, the weather really began to deteriorate with gusts around 50-60mph, steady rain and poor vis. At one point, we were all knocked for six and I was thrown to the ground, not far from the edge :shock: I could perhaps, have tried to stay up, but thought I was safer lying horizontal for a bit. We did not dilly-dally much on the rest of the ascent :D
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Jaf, heading for the bealach. Weather going downhill, too :)
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On the summit, Sgurr Mor, after battering from wind and ran.
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Don't lose the route notes!
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Nice view over to Sgurr nan Clach Geala.

Quick check of route and then we were down outta there. Things opened up a little on our way over to Meall Gorm, but wind was still brutal, often making us "crab" sideways, just to try and keep to a straight-ish line. Didn't see too much, but we were impressed with the solufluction :lol: (Interesting and impressive, but for a superb example, try Toll Creagach, in my opinion :) )

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Making our way over to Meall Gorm. Sgurr nan Each, clear for now.
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Meall Gorm, beyond the next top. Relatively benign for now.
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Not so benign now :)
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Look back at the solufluction :)
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Somewhere - maybe SnCG, again?
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Meall Gorm ahead. Doesn't look too bad.

We didn't stop long at the undistinguished summit of Meall Gorm and by the time we were passing the remnants of a stalkers shelter, the weather had turned really nasty again, down to zero vis, raining and as windy as before. We were taking a chance heading along the broad, flat ridge by instinct/hope, as there was no obvious path to follow. Eventually, one can only chance that for so long. We found a bit of shelter, at what we thought could be the top at 922m, where we got a grid ref and set a compass bearing for An Coileachan.
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Summit, Meall Gorm.
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Passing the remnants of the shelter on Meall Gorm. Maybe should have stopped there for the night :)

I felt much happier now, but as we descended, nothing seemed to change, no ascent, not steep, just down and down as we walked a fair distance. The effects of no vis! I think doubts were also entering the other lads heads, but not long after the ground started to rise reassuringly, though by now I was struggling to keep up with the others. Choosing a good line to the summit wasn't really an option, it was just a case of plough on up, taking an occasional glance from within the jacket hood to see if ground was still rising ahead.
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Think this was heading for An Coileachan?
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An Coileachan. All going well so far :)
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Big Jasper, smiling away as usual!

Fortunately, this summit offered a bit of protection from the elements. I realised I hadn't had much to eat or drink, so topped up a little and we set a new bearing, roughly north, for the descent to Loch Gorm. I was more than a little relieved when it gradually came into view, now getting a bit more out of the wind and able to see the route out. As stated it is a bit of a long drudge, boggy here and there, but at least we were better able to converse and curse our awful luck, having been so impertinent to try a summer traverse. Next time it's winter for us :lol:
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At last, Loch Gorm!
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And, enjoying the trek back home.

Despite that our spirits were lifted with the thought of a warm shower, food and a pint, or two at the Aultguish Inn, as we made it back to the car, now relatively dried out, in just under the 7 hours. Oh, that Goose island was good :lol:
Tomorrow would be another day and the weather couldn't be that bad, could it :lol:
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JimboJim
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Re: The Eastern Fannich's. Wild, wet & windy!

Postby Big Jesper » Tue Jun 29, 2021 10:23 pm

A great couple of days away even tho the weather was poor 😃
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