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A horrilbe day in the Fannichs

A horrilbe day in the Fannichs

Postby Rekrab » Wed May 27, 2009 7:43 pm

Route description: Sgurr Mor and the eastern Fannichs

Munros included on this walk: An Coileachan, Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Meall Gorm, Sgurr Mor

Date walked: 27/05/2009

Distance: 23.4 km

Ascent: 1389m

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Second day of our wee trip to Ullapool!!

weatherman said ''one hour of rain sunday, with raining most of the night sunday but alltogether a dry day and good views from the munro's and 35MPH winds'' LIAR! little did we know.

So four of us headed into the hills. kev and johnny were going to do An Coileachan and Meall Gorm and Richard and I were planning all four in this area. we headed along the path following the river.
passing a couple that we said hello to and then they blanked us, okay moving on. we made it around to the base of the lochan and sat on a rock I think it was a 4-5k walk in to the start of the accent.
this is where we had lunch and where the couple passed us again and as we said hello they blanked us again.
we then mustered up our courage as it started to rain and we headed up the very very steep path of An Coileachan Knowing that we'd be on the ridge all day for 22k and that once we were up........were were up all day.
now before the mist came in we managed to get some views
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7003262&l=09cc84bee6&id=607500577 Meall Gorm
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7003264&l=2c69cd68f7&id=607500577 Sgurr Mor
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7003263&l=7ca6d70574&id=607500577 Beinn liath Mor Fannich

as we hit 800m we lost all visibility and the wind gusts were getting harder and harder johnny (who's 69 BTW!!)
and Richard headed off to the summit but Kev and I took our time chatting away we caught up with the two 100m distance from the top putting on waterproofs as it was really comming down now.
we all got to the summit and took out pics.
Johnny and Kev were going to rest before doing thier last one of the day but Richard and I had three more to do so we
got on with it.

we headed back down onto the Bellach and found the ridge using the route I downloaded from walkhighlands and we made our way up Meall Gorms easy slopes stopping at the shelter just before the summit to get out of the wind which was pounding us from the SW at 35MPH and it wasn't gusts it was consistent non-stop, my waterproof jacket hood was soaked and was pressed against my face so I had the use of only one eye. in conditions like this you only look at where you're putting your feet and where the GPS is telling you to go.
we summited and hid behind the Cairn for our pics
I then asked Richard if he was Keen to go on and finish the rest of the ridge (a small part of me was hoping he was going to say no let's get out of here) but he said he was keen and he could take alot more of a beating than this. we then bashed on hoping to get out of this wind.
we decended da bit and then just as were about to start heading up, we see these 4 figures comming towards us. wow some other nutters are on the hills today, they were all carrying 50-60l ruck sacks with raincovers and were doing the same as I was earlier and just keeping head down and looking at where my next step was going to be trying to keep thier faces out of the wind and rain and they were doing this so well that they managed to walk right by us without even seeing us!!!!!!! I looked at richard and we couldn't believe it. I thought maybe i'd shout hello but then said to my self they can't see us if I shout hello they'll all get a fright so we left them to it and started our accent of Sgurr Mor.
now you'll have to excuse my lack of pictures it was one of those walks where you just do it, there's no pausing for taking out the camera so there's only summit pics on the ridge.
the accent was very very steep and by this time I was getting very warm but I wasn't stopping to take off any layers so I was starting to get some condensation build up inside my waterproofs.
this climb was one of the toughest i've ever done very steep and the conditions made it seem like it was goin on forever I stopped and asked richard what the final elevation was and he said he thinks 1006m well we walked to 1006 and nothing still up we walked to 1106 and still up i'm soo angry at this point and then we made it.
a quick picture and a bering is taken and we double back to get the NE ridge to make our decent to our Final Munro.
we quickly found the path and luckily it had given us a slight shelter from the wind but the Ridge was very very wide still and the wind would just come off the summits and eventually find us. we continued along and then had to turn SW right into the headwind now I thought having it on my left side all day was mince but this was horrible. but I must say this final stretch of path was really nice, it was like the red sea of boulders had been split and we had a clear path no scrambling/ slippery boulders just really nice zig zags
then we reached the final 100m or so and then that wind was at our backs after the final turn we got to the summit and the rain them picked up even more and Richard started shouting ''would you let up just a little!!!'' at the sky, pictures were taken and we were away out of this mess.

the normal Decent is along a really nice easy slopping ridge and then over a corbet top and back down to the River we followed up, but taking that route meant another couple of hours with this bloody wind so we looked at the contour lines on our map and decided we were escaping down into the Coire below is was very wet and very steep but the wind was gone!! ( and it's not like we were getting any wetter)
we dropped below 800ish and we could see continuing along the normal decent route were that couple from earlier seems that we were on thier heels all day.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7003273&l=f937f96f95&id=607500577 the wee lochan at the Bottom of the Coire
we then bounced down the heather and used the GPS to meet up with our intended decending path and found ourselves infront of that couple again. we had an easy walk down with no rain or wind and the odd burst of sunlight.

then as we rounded the last bend in the river we saw something up on a wee hill near the car park making sign language signals at us, as e got closer Johnny had climbed up onto one of the High river banks to see if he could see us coming and once he did was saying hello!

Back at the car we were congradulated by kevin and Johnny and found out that the weather puched them back and thay didn't do Meall Gorm. and that they've only just got back to the car 1 hour before us and were waiting that long.
then that couple made it back to the car park and Blanked us again

good long walk in one of the remotest parts of scotland in some of the harshest weather i've ever walked in, the four misty walkers were a treat and i've discovered that 5 hours at 900M in 35MPH winds is my comfort zone reached!!

thanks for reading

Last edited by Rekrab on Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A horrilbe day in the Fannichs

Postby Paul Webster » Wed May 27, 2009 7:52 pm

:crazy: Enjoyed reading that... quite a few years since I've been out and taken a battering like that - seems I only go out in good weather now we live in the Highlands. Sounds like a proper bit of weather you got :lol:

Ps. Don't mind you posting links to your pictures like that but more folk would see them if you put them in your post. Send me a private message if you need any instructions!
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Re: A horrilbe day in the Fannichs

Postby mountain coward » Thu May 28, 2009 12:59 am

Enjoyed that too - haven't looked at the piccies yet, will have to wait till I get back to work (broadband there). I was supposed to set off today but didn't like the forecast so I'm going in the morning... oh yeah - that's now! Well I'll go to bed first of course. I really hate those people who don't acknowledge you when you're out walking and you speak to them. I remember once I was on a really desolate long walk in the Harris hills and eventually saw a couple (could be same ones) - I was really delighted to see someone but they acted like me popping up was ruining their day!! Haven't done those Munros yet so looking forward to viewing your photos - know what you mean about not taking many in bad weather though - I'd far rather just plough on and not stop for anything in those conditions!
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Re: A horrilbe day in the Fannichs

Postby Marag » Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:31 pm

From your Piccies it looks like you didn't have too bad a time.
At least you saw something.
Every second Munro I've ever done was a white out/ foggy/ peeing rain.
I also enjoyed your story.
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