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Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg


Postby trekpete » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:50 pm

Munros included on this walk: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 27/07/2011

Time taken: 9 hours

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Date: 22/7/11
Hills: Maol Chean-dearg
Present: Just Me
Weather: Dry, warm but overcast till late on.
Distance: 12mls approx
Height Ascended: 3600ft approx
Time taken: 5hrs 50min walking, 3hrs 24min loafing.


The day after doing Bruach na Frithe was a family day, and what a day it turned out to be. Young Alix had found a leaflet about Pony Trekking and wanted a go again. We had a go at Aviemore in the spring and it was fairly enjoyable, more so for her than me you understand.
So we set off to find the stables, and on arriving I thought the place was very quiet. Soon found out why though, they hadn’t done trekking for a good number of years, so the leaflet was a bit out of date. However they directed us to another place not to far away and we soon found our way there. I went in to enquire about the trekking and was asked to sit on a set of scales. Shock! Horror! I was politely informed I am a fat git and to heavy for the ponies :oops: :lol: , which seem to have a safe working load of 14st. (I had been given a horse at Aviemore). I had to go and tell Alix I was too heavy, much to the amusement of my wife and her mother. Plan A was now scuppered.

Onto plan B. I had read there was plastic sphere’s at Portree harbour which you get sealed inside and you get to roll about on the water. Sounded like good fun for me as well as Alix, so off we went. Too darned windy at Portree and they were not there, so plan B was now scuppered.

Plan C. H’mm what now? Let’s go to Eillean Donan Castle via the Kylerhea Ferry. As we turned down the road for Kylerhea a roadworks sign declared “Road Works” Long delays expected. A car stopped at a passing place and informed us the ferry was stuck on the rocks and would not be running for a while. Jeeezus! We carried on anyway as there is an Otter Haven further on and thought that would make a pleasant diversion. Almost there and the road is blocked by several heavy lorries and a loose chipping machine about to start working. No way by and a worker informed us the ferry was off for the day. I think he was telling porkies and was just using that as an excuse to unofficially shut the road for the rest of the day. Plan C scuppered.

How many letters in the alphabet ? Plan D now came into play and we headed for Kyleakin just to go for a walk and a bite to eat somewhere. Surely nothing else can go wrong today. Parked up and Alix and myself set off to explore the ruins of Castle Moil for a while. It’s only a short walk and Alix was leading the way round along the shore and then up onto a rough path just above. Bit boggy and overgrown, but on we went till we got to a bit of an awkward down step. I went down first and turned to give Alix a hand down. I took her hand, and as she stepped down to where I was, I stepped back a little bit. Arghh! :o I stepped into space and was falling backwards and pulling Alix with me. We fell about 10ft through the undergrowth, Alix bounced off a tree cutting her shin and shoulder before landing on top of me with a scream. I gave my knee a bit of a twist but was relatively unscaved compared to poor Alix who had got a bit of a fright. I started laughing to make light of the fall, which was kinda funny given the rest of the days events :lol: . We got dusted down and carried on to the castle before heading back and calling it a day. Time to go back to the cottage before the sky fell to earth or something.

I had planned on doing Sgurr nan Gillean the next day, but later on that night the knee was starting to swell and to niggle a bit. (It was the same knee I had hurt a few weeks before that I had twisted in the fall today.) Went to bed and woke up in the small hours and rolled over, the pain when I moved was enough to make me get up and take some anti inflammatory pills and pain killers.

Got up in the morning and it was still pretty uncomfortable, so Sgurr nan Gillean was dropped from the plan. I did not fancy doing a airy scramble with a crocked knee, just in case it got worse while on it. I had already earmarked Maol Chean-dearg as a possible walk, so that was quickly decided and I was soon underway.

I was at Coulags just before 9am and after a cocktail of drugs I was soon underway. Looked a fairly easy walk into the bothy and it would give me a chance to asses how the knee was going to fair.

Once through the gate you soon come to a cattle grid. The path goes immediately to the left of the grid and into the undergrowth .
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You soon come out onto the good path leading up the east side of the Fionn-abhainn.
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It was a nice easy bit of walking with little wind about. Ideal for a midge attack but rather surprisingly, they were few and far between. Can’t complain about that and my knee was doing ok as the path slowly gains in height.

A look back to Coulags.
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Bridge across the Fionn-abhainn.
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Not long after crossing the bridge you reach Coire Fionnaraich bothy with Sgorr Ruadh behind.
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I stopped at the bothy for a rest and bite to eat. Sat down on an old log outside but I had to make a hasty retreat inside as the Cleggs were worse than any amount of midges. It was very clean and tidy inside and would be a pretty pleasant place to spend the night. I signed the log book and got underway just as another walker came by. He was heading for An Ruadh-stac at a fair pace I had no chance of matching, the knee you see :lol: .

A look back at the bothy as another walker comes into view.
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The Clach nan Con-fionn stone with Fuar Tholl behind.
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The following walker caught me up where the path splits at a cairn and you turn west, heading for the col between Maol Chean-dearg and Meall nan Ceapairean. He was from Inverness and was also heading for Maol Chean-dearg, again at a pace I could not match, that darned knee again :lol: .

Wait for me.
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Time to get a bit of a sweat built up now as the path steepens a bit and some proper height is gained at last.

Still a decent path for walking with Maol Chean-dearg in full view now.
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The path contours round the shoulder of Maol Chean-dearg towards the col.
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View back towards Sgorr Ruadh and Fuar Tholl.
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When you reach the col this is the wonderful sight that greats you. An Ruadh-stac :D .
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A closer look.
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So far me knee was holding out well, just a odd twinge if I didn’t look where I was putting my feet. A short breather at the col before the next steep ascent up the quartzite screes.

The walker from Inverness was not to far in front.
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A look back to Meall nan Ceapairean and An Ruadh-stac from the top of the screes.
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A look back down on the path up with Fuar Tholl and Meall nan Ceapairean.
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Some sunlight breaks through onto An Ruadh-stac.
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A right jumble of rock to walk over towards the summit.
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Great stuff for walking on as you reach the final dome to the summit.
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Every time you turn round An Ruadh-stac draws the eye.
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The angle of ascent soon relents and the summit is in view.
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The other walker had already started making his descent as I was still ascending so I had the summit to myself. A fine place to be with little wind and clear air with wonderful vistas every way you looked. Got settled down for some lunch and another cocktail of drugs before getting the camera into action.

A couple of walkers approaching the summit of An Ruadh-stac.
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Beinn Liath Mhor and Sgorr Ruadh.
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Walkers on the summit of Beinn Damh.
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Zoom down to Torridon.
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Beinn Damph and Beinn nah-Eaglaise.
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Time for a few summit poses 8) .
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Panorama across Torridon.
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Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Eighe.
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After my usual silly amount of time spent on the summit, it was time to turn and head back down from this very fine viewpoint.

And An Ruadh-stac fills the view once more.
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A look down the boulder field descent and onto Meall nan Ceapairean.
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It’s a tricky descent on the loose boulders which do their best to through you off balance and hurl you headlong down the slope. By now the sun was blazing down and it was time to get down to shorts and tee shirt.

A look back up to the summit.
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Beinn Damph again. One for a future trip I think.
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Er, that mountain once more with Loch Coire an Ruadh-stac.
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As I was making my way down a walker appeared behind me. Seem’s he had come up the north side somewhere and he had just missed me at the summit.
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Planning a future trip for An Ruadh-stac.
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And a trip into Beinn Laith Mhor, Sgorr Ruadh and FuarTholl.
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Seeing as my knee was holding out ok, I did briefly contemplate doing An Ruadh-stac but having no info to hand on the route, I thought it was best left for another day as it looked like some scrambling might be involved in it’s ascent. However, Meall nan Ceapairean looked like a worthwhile extension of the day and I took a bimble over.

Great view back onto Maol Chean-dearg.
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The sun was now shining on Liathach, so the zoom lens was back on for a panoramic shot.
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There must be a scramble up those slabs.
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Taking in the view from the summit of Meall nan Ceapairean.
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I didn’t spend to long here as it was just after 4pm and I was being pestered by a lot of flies. If the knee had been normal I would have made my back down over the s/e ridge, but opted to return to the col and follow the path back to Coulags.

Taking in the view on the way back to the col.
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A few more shots on the way back.
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A look back up to Meall nan Ceapairean.
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More sunshine on the way down with Sgorr Ruadh and Fuar Tholl ahead.
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A quick photo stop back at the bothy. Loads of cleggs again and the buggers got a few bites in.
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A last look back before hitting the trail and heading back to Skye.

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A thoroughly enjoyable day in wonderful surroundings and the drug cocktail kept the knee undercontrol, much to my relief. :D :D :D
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Bod » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:26 pm

Whow, another beauty and beautifully photographed. I would have been too heavy for the ponies too... :lol:
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby ChrisW » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:32 pm

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this TP, great walk and truly beautiful photography but that run of luck leading up to it should have been enough to make you think twice about ever stepping out of the house again :lol:

the best laid plans an all that :wink:, if you saved these and posted one a month you could be 'report of the month' every month, brilliant. :D
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby kev_russ » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:26 pm

Another great report pete with some fantastic pics :)
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:32 pm

Amazing report Pete.

Sorry at work so I cant see you pics. Will have a look in the morning.

Enjoyed this :D
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby kevsbald » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:36 pm

Phwooooooaaarrr thol.
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby lomondwalkers » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:08 pm

Some crackers in there Pete, really need to try and get up that way next year!! 8)
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:34 pm

Beautiful photos Pete, i was up this hill recently. Your photos certainly do it justice, it's a great area with superb views and that Corbett, An Rudh-stac, is crying out to be climbed,when it's dry of course :D
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Bod » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:42 pm

Absolutely Pete and Johnny, crying out to be climbed!!!
Johnny Corbett wrote:Beautiful photos Pete, i was up this hill recently. Your photos certainly do it justice, it's a great area with superb views and that Corbett, An Rudh-stac, is crying out to be climbed,when it's dry of course :D
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby jimandandrea » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:01 pm

Many thanks for allowing us to see what we should have been looking at from above 600m - fantastic pics and great report (again). We did it this week. Loved the view back on Maol Chean-dearg - worth the bumble over - absolutely. Tell us when you are heading for the hills - a valuable nod methinks that all should be calm with the weather.
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Re: Drugged up on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby mamoset » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:04 am

great photos, looks the kind of place everyone should visit at least once :shock:
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