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Advice about best ascent conditions

Advice about best ascent conditions

Postby marcday » Sun May 24, 2009 7:39 pm

Route description: Am Faochagach

Munros included on this walk: Am Faochagach

Date walked: 24/05/2009

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Did this hill on the first week of May, and I'd been waiting for a good day to get this one out of the way.

It had been dry for the four days before I attempted this hill. I was well aware of the rumours that this hill is a pain to get onto, especially if you count the river crossing on top of the boggy ground. There were no peat hags though, so some saving grace for this tricky customer in that respect!

There is a path from where the books say to begin (the same start point as for the Eastern fannaichs). The styal has lost its wooden step, but the supporting pillars are still visible. Once you're over the fence there's a pretty clear path that can be followed to the river. As I said it had been dry for four days (after a previous week of legendary rain storms), which had the effect of draining the ground to such an extent that the walk across to the bottom of the burn was crisp and dry in all places except for very few areas of long-term bog (easily avoided).

The river crossing was a non-event; I didn't have to take my boots off or even perform gymnastic moves to step across the rocks. If you want to follow my trail then keep to the main path, then haed for the island in the middle of the river. Once on the island go three quarters down its length where you will find places to hop across. Alternatively, like a bloke I met on the way down, carry a pair of wellies with you to this point (about 20 mins walking from the car at most) and leave them hidden in the heather.

Once over the boggy ground it's a simple push up the burn (on a path), then once on the plateau above it you need to do a couple of KMs to the peak. I was met with an ice storm and white-out on the final 200m of ascent and walk-in to the top, making navigation tricky. It's very featureless and hard to follow the faint path, so best you have a good grasp of navigation in the cloud if you're keen in trying this one on a bad day.
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Re: Advice about best ascent conditions

Postby IainG » Sun May 24, 2009 10:03 pm

We were up this hill last week. The initial part of the walk is across a bit of wet boggy ground, but there was a faint path to follow most of the way.

Having been plagued by river crossings in the past, we take no chances. We carry 'crocs', and as soon as we reached the river, it's off with the boots, into the crocs, and cross. We crossed at the west end if the island and it was about knee deep.

I was surprised to find a reasonably good path all the way from the river, at the side of the burn, all the way to the ridge. There's a series of very valuable navigating cairns from the top of the ascent onto the ridge, with a big cairn acting as an indicator of where you head left along to the summit.

After that, the path fizzled out and as you say, in the poor conditions we were in, it was a case of keeping an eye on the navigation.
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