Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Six from Alltbeithe Hostel (not 8 sadly)

Six from Alltbeithe Hostel (not 8 sadly)

Postby scotdavid63 » Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:28 pm

Route description: Sgùrr nan Ceathreamhnan group, Alltbeithe

Munros included on this walk: An Socach (Affric), Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Càrn Eige), Càrn Eige, Màm Sodhail, Mullach na Dheiragain, Sgùrr nan Ceathreamhnan

Date walked: 01/06/2022

Time taken: 11.5 hours

Distance: 38 km

Ascent: 3250m

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

So with no boatman this year and having the 8 munros on the southside of Mullardoch to do as part of the last three big walks to complete my round, tried to plot a different course. Hostel, then to two groups of three and over to Tom and Toll was the plan, ideally to get back to the car in time for the footie match that evening. I badly underestimated the distance and vertical but the day had plenty of other challenges as it panned out. Found a weather window and my son had tow days off on the trot so meant we could drive up and head into the hostel for a decent kip and not carry a tent !
Apologies in advance for the lack of data, my suunto went into power save mode at Carn Eige and the app is not letting me get some of the data that I would like to share.

Booked the hostel for me and the lad, and took the dog. Nice walk in and none of the forecasted showers materialised. 14km is almost bang on for the walk-in, as advertised and we met a group coming off the Carn Eige group on the way in - full metal jacket and they had had snow in the morning ! We were expecting cool temparatures and some showers the following day .......... Which meant no sun cream packed (to save weight of course).
So, the hostel, it's great and Alasdair is a lovely chap, even if our milk was stuck in his fridge until 7am (we planned to be off at 6.30am so no weetabix for us). Had a pile of pasta :) for dinner. We hit our beds at 9.10pm, just after a group of three Germans who were doing a big tour, got settled and then, for the next two hours or so, several people came in and out one at a time, made a load of noise, one person even switched on all the dorm lights before heading back out ! So from being asleep I was awake until midnight and the dog was awake and also not happy. So I headed for the common room with the dog at midnight and the person (a woman) who had arrived late and switched the lights on in the dorm spent another 45mins faffing around in the kitchen before heading to bed. Woke at 5.55am so not the best sleep, went to wake son and we took all our stuff down to the common room to try to be mindful of others. Ate some of our hill food plus a couple of bananas, had a cuppa (sachet milk available) and headed off just after 7am.
First challenge was pretty obvious straight away - bigger/heavier bags than normal. We are usually pretty quick walkers and the boat would have meant no sleeping bags, for example. Second challenge - it was sunny so that meant even more focus on water supplies. Thankfully there had been plenty of rain recently so loads of big puddles and pools for the dog.
Off we went, what a beautiful start to the day, even if we were knackered and **** off at the inconsiderate folks at the hostel.

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

Just over 3km to the bealach/col at Stob Coire na Cloiche, 1hr. Dumped one bag and headed up Sgurr na Ceath. 3km on the nose to there from the bealach, 1hr 10mins. Wonderful views, a bite to eat and a much needed drink.
First munro of the day

I had reckoned (from looking at my map) that it was about 3km over to Mullach na D but in reality it was well over 4km and there was a bit more up and down than I thought. A sign of things to come. Dropped the second bag at the low point on the way over (850m) just taking a bottle and snack bar over to the summit. Between this one and Fionnlaidh it's a bit of a preverbial pain as the munro summits are well out rather than the top nearest to where you head over from !
We had also decided to go this way round so that we could maximise chances to refill water (we had already downed and refilled one on the way up from the hostel) - plus it meant the up and down was less on the way back. We followed the walkhighlands route across the boggy (but not too boggy) plain/bowl and easily found the path back up to near our first bag. For those folks wanting to do this "short cut" first (ie go anti clockwise), there are some wee cairns on the ridge marking the way down into the coire.
The way up to An Socach is not too bad, the zig and zag I had not factored in properly so we already knew we had underestimated the walk. I had been thinking c35km ! We were heartened by the view across to Mam Sodhail noting that the path cut across the shoulder rather than straight up the front. Took us 6hr 50min to here, c20.5km.
that's the first wee group of three done, son tired already :(

Off we went for #4, starting to feel the fatigue now (although legs still fine) due to the heat - a wee breeze here and there was lovely :)
The last trudge up Mam Sodhail was a bit of a slog but it was great to get #4 of the day.
Mam Sodhail

You can see the contour path around Carn Eige to get to Beinn F but all of a sudden Beinn F looks an effing long way away, which it is. Clambered down from Mam and set off. My app, and this is when the watch was in power save mode, says 8hr 9mins and 22.9km to Beinn F. We dumped our bags a bit higher than the wh route outline having made our own contour through some boulders, boy did that help on the way back, carrying those bags was becoming a real scunner.
and some more views, down to Mulladoch from Beinn F
#5, Beinn F

That said I bent a pole on the boulders then that pole snapped later in the walk on the drop down from Sron Garbh. From the app the only other data point I can get is that we topped Carn E at 9hrs bang on at about 24.3km.
dog also tired on Carn Eige

boy tired on top of Carn Eige

We then figured it would be another 4km or so to Tom C followed by 4km more to Toll C, plus the ascent then the walk-off. So, time for a grown-up decision based on running out of food (down to two pork pies and a couple of snack bars by now) that we should call it quits - and come back again another day. We did debate if the distance was going to be a major difference if we headed over and then dropped down, probably only 3km-4km more, but the additional vertical was going to be the killer.
From Carn Eige, to mitigate the walk out, head to Sron Garbh (1131m) and head down the steep path on the far side to a bealach before dropping into a bowl from where you can see the river (to follow to get out), then one more drop to a boggy path beside the river.
some amazing slate stacks (vertical !) on the ridge walk over to Sron Garbh

Crossing that river is no mean feat, I got one foot soaked, no easy crossing place to get over to the landrover/ATV track on the far side. Once over the track is quick walking but long as it meanders back up a good 50m or so before heading the wrong way before it points back in the right direction and a drop down to the Affric Lodge road where you turn left and then have about 1km or so to the car park. My guess, and estimate having walked it and looked again at a decent scale map, is that the walk out from Sron Garbh is 12km.
Never has a bottle of orange lucozade tasted so good.

Ups - weather, six done, views, good water planning and food almost bang on, lovely walk into hostel, hostel warden, hostel itself
Downs - no sun screen, broken pole, crap sleep in hostel, no weetabix for brekkie, boggy path out, wet foot for last 5km or so

PS, watched the footie on the way home on my phone (rather my son did) and we lost 3-1 to Ukraine, sad end to a long day.
pork sausage treat for the dog
more views
views amazing
Mountain Walker
Posts: 83
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 10, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Six from Alltbeithe Hostel (not 8 sadly)

Postby Jaywizz » Fri Jun 03, 2022 2:02 pm

Love the photo of the vertical slates. Nice.
User avatar
Posts: 245
Munros:237   Corbetts:32
Grahams:70   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:141   Hewitts:9
Wainwrights:4   Islands:26
Joined: Sep 16, 2012

Re: Six from Alltbeithe Hostel (not 8 sadly)

Postby Knuttus » Sat Jun 04, 2022 4:57 pm

Great to see this hills again. Well done. Greeetings froom my Nessie
Like your dog
Mountain Walker
Posts: 22
Munros:282   Corbetts:19
Sub 2000:38   
Joined: Dec 8, 2012

Re: Six from Alltbeithe Hostel (not 8 sadly)

Postby scotdavid63 » Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:06 pm

Knuttus wrote:Great to see this hills again. Well done. Greeetings froom my Nessie

ahar, another daft flat coat, suspect Nessie also does the lying on the back with paws up think :)
Mountain Walker
Posts: 83
Sub 2000:3   
Joined: Jul 10, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cgal7, stevescott88 and 82 guests