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by NevJB » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:19 pm
Route description: Sgurr nan Clach Geala, near Braemore
Munros included on this walk: Meall a' Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr nan Each
Date walked: 12/08/2009Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
We'd got a week in The NW Highlands; staying in Ullapool. Craig (just flown in from Ohio) had last been here in August '97 and did Beinn Dearg - he wanted some more Munros. I was only to pleased to oblige.
My wife and daughter dropped us off at the lay-by on the A832 (they were going to Inverewe) – the air was still and the midges fearsome. After applying a generous coating of Autan, we left for the forestry track to Loch a’ Bhraoin. A new footpath leading to the bridge has been cut through the plantation – is excellent, but you need a breeze which thankfully had begun to pick up.
Brief pause for a photo opportunity at the bridge – midges no longer a problem.
Bearing off to the left away from the path we followed what seemed to be ruts left by an all-terrain vehicle – it was boggy! After crossing the second bridge the track seemed no better so we dropped down and rejoined the stalkers’ path as soon as possible.
No sign of a ‘faint’ path so we started up the middle of the W shoulder of Meall á Chrasgaidh. The heather had been burnt off – probably last year, but it was still hard work. Craig, terribly jet-lagged, was finding it hard going so we stopped at the top of the steep bit to take on water and jelly babies.
The gradient soon eased and after several false dawns we made the summit. The morning breeze had risen and was now blowing hard from the S. Craig didn’t care as long as there were no midges – he first met the mighty midge on his first visit to Ullapool in ’89 – he’s hated them from that time and anything is preferable. Craig renamed the hill Mountain of Despair – the lump of rock which, from a distance looks like a cairn; isn’t! Mercifully, the real thing is not much further. Great views – not least, Sgùrr nan Clach Geala rising to the south.
The view to An Teallach was womderful.
Pictures, food and water later we descended to the barren bealach and found the makings of a path through the boulders to the NE ridge. What a view – Sgùrr Mor to the E and the crags of Sgùrr nan Clach Geala to the S.
Thankfully, the path was sheltered from the wind for the most part so we reached the summit quickly without having to pause. The trig point has seen better days. More pics, jelly babies etc.
A fairly steep, but easy descent took us to the col where we left our packs – this was not Snowdon and we hadn’t seen a soul since leaving the lay-by. The walk along the ridge to Sgùrr nan Each is straight forward, but with great views from E through S to W.
And me, looking as happy as ever - I was
Summit pics were taken and having checked in to confirm our arrival time at the lay-by, we made our way back to the packs.
The descent from the col is probably the worst part of the walk – it starts gently, but quickly steepens. Even on a dry day this was wet – on a wet day or with melting snow it could be nasty – lots of holes and boggy bits not to mention the odd rock band - start at the low point of the col and aim slightly to the right as you descend. Still, it does not go on forever (memories of descents from Anoach Eagach and Sgurr á Mhàim) and we soon reach the stalkers’ path. From there it is an easy, but long, walk out. Missed the track to the bridge over Allt Breabaig so had to ford it – this simply would not be possible in wet weather – at least, not without getting very wet. Met Kevsbald’s friends along the path – do think they would budge? So a few mini-detours later Loch a’ Bhraoin hove into view. Quickly through the plantation – the wind had dropped – and back to the lay-by. Tremendous walk.
by Paul Webster » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:43 pm
walkhighlands wrote:strike off directly up the steep slopes on the left. There is no path and the going is arduous
That bit sounds like it is still right then! But we need to check out this new path at the start, sounds a big improvement if you can avoid the bogs near the ruin. Don't suppose you have a GPS track of it?
by NevJB » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:27 pm
Think I must have imagined the 'faint path' - anyway, no path.
Sorry, haven't got a GPS track - although I have a GPS I only tend to turn it on when in mist to double check where I think I am - old fashioned and stick to map and compass.
You can see the new path in one of Doogz's pictures - it's very obvious when walking down to the loch.
by MiniRambo » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:54 pm
- mountain coward
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