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A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail


Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:24 am

Route description: A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire

Munros included on this walk: A' Chralaig, Mullach Fraoch-choire

Date walked: 23/10/2011

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This weekend it was time to carry on my Kintail love affair, as I continue picking off the north Glen Shiel ridge from east to west. So, it was A’Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire, with a pretty reasonable forecast for the morning and early afternoon, but unfortunately a less than promising mid to late afternoon :(

Parking up things looked pretty good weather wise. The views weren’t bad either from the roadside :D
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The start of the day

Early on this was a bit of a shock to the system. Over recent weeks I’d been used to long walks in to the hills, but this was a case of crossing the road, a few yards up a landrover track and then heading off onto an, at times, very boggy path straight up the side of the south ridge of A’Chralaig :shock: :shock: Man, was it steep in places. But the views back to Loch Cluanie and the South Glen Shiel ridge gave me good excuses to stop often for some ‘photo opportunities’ :D 8) :lol:
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View down to South Glen Shiel Ridge

On the way up the side of the hill I’d been passed by three chaps, who quickly disappeared ahead of me (I eventually saw them to speak to again as I was heading up onto Mullach Fraoch-choire and they were heading down).

As I finally heaved myself up onto the ridge that was really the hard work of the day over. From this point forward the walk along the ridge to A’Chralaig and then onto Mullach Fraoch-choire was nothing but a pleasure :D 8) After an initial moment where low cloud covered my first target (there was a fair old wind, so I knew that wouldn’t be hanging around for too long) it was a case of fantastic views all round, with cloud free Munros to my right, left in front and behind :D :D
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Cloud on A'Chralaig

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Sgurr nan Conbhairean

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Loch Cluanie

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Toward the Brothers

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Heading up A'Chralaig

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Early view of Mullach Fraoch-choire

And all on good paths all along the way.

At the start of this walk I’d had a serious lack of motivation, and the initial steep walk up on to the ridge hadn’t helped much. But once on the ridge this really was one of those days when the walking was just so good it was almost a shame to reach each summit as easily and quickly as I did.
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The understated (ha ha ha) summit cairn on A'Chralaig

Did I mention the views? Oh yeah, they were excellent. Even so, I was left wanting more, as this walk was delivering much more than I had even expected. The weather was really holding up well (better than expected) and on top of great views of the Kintail area there were also excellent views looking north to Glen Affric and the Mullardoch’s. I was making plans for 2012 (MrsR be warned, I may be purchasing a tent :lol: :lol: :D :D).
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Five sisters

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Mullach Fraoch-choire

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View toward Loch Affric

Heading down off A’Chralaig and onto Mullach Fraoch-choire and the nature of the walk changed, but for me it just got even better as the ridge narrowed nicely on Na Geurdain and up to the summit of Mullach Fraoch-choire.
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Mullach Fraoch-Choire......again

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View back toward A'Chralaig

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View to the pinnacles

There is a suggestion this might be a tricky section (which the three chaps who’d passed me earlier suggested as we met again). I’d also read about a possible dodgy step along this section, but I’d have to say that at no time was there any real difficult. For sure, it was a narrow path and I wouldn’t want to fall off it, but it never really posed that sort of a threat. Obviously it would be a different proposition in winter with a good covering of snow. Mmmmm, now there’s a thought :lol: :lol: :D 8)
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Path on the pinnacles

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More of the pinnacles

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Looking back to A'Chralaig

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Mullach Fraoch-choire

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Glen Affric hills

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Glen Affric from Mullach Fraoch-choire

The really good thing about this route is you get to come back along this nice, narrow ridge again in order to make your way back to the roadside :D :D :D
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Heading back

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Ciste Dhubh

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Beinn Fhada?

I decided to drop down into Coire Odhar and then make my way via a very boggy path down into An Caorann Mor. Did I say boggy? Oh yeah, plenty boggy :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: But it all made for a fairly quick descent off the hill and back onto a track which eventually led to the landrover track I’d started this walk on. From then it was a straightforward walk back to the car and a final view of the South Glen Shiel Ridge before heading home.
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Final view of South Glen Shiel Ridge

All in all another excellent walk in what has to be fast becoming one of my favourite walking areas in the Highlands. I’d managed to beat the weather, as the rain I’d been expecting didn’t arrive until I was back in the car and heading south. And then, when it did rain, it rained :shock: :shock: :shock: Thank goodness I’d not had the (dubious) pleasure in walking in that :lol: :lol:
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby LeithySuburbs » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:50 am

Such an impressive pair from the surrounding hills 8) - not done them yet but on the agenda... Good effort on making the most of the "better" weather and some nice (not that there any other kind in this area) views :D .
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby b-illie » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:31 am

Wow, that looks like a fantastic day out! Not sure I would have appreciated the pinnacles much, though, but then there seems to be a path on your pic, so maybe not so bad after all? :shifty:
Camping out there in the wild is fabulous - go for it! :thumbup:
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby soulminer » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:15 am

A fine pair of hills with some stunning surrounding scenery -which I'm sure your tent will be pegged out in soon :lol: Glen Affric is a future camping spot on my list, will wave from another summit :lol:
Cheers.
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby dogplodder » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:08 am

Enjoyed reading that Pete. Interesting to see the early snow and compare it with the snow that was hanging on in May when I did it.

This is up there among my favourite walks! :D
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby iainwatson » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:17 am

brilliant report again peteR,always a good read and you seem to pick your days well weatherwise

after the kintail meet thomas came away with the best of quotes for this area

'if you like hills then Kintail is like disneyland for hillwalkers'

i couldnt agree more!
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:27 am

Great to see another of your fantastic reports that doesn't involve a near death experience!

These two were my intended target at the WH meet in September but plans had to be changed. Will hopefully follow in your footsteps (the non- boggy ones!) at the spring meet.

Smashing stuff Pete :D
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby jstalker66621 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:42 am

Nice report Peter...these are my intended targets this coming Friday...so its good to get a heads up on the possible route and conditions we may face...cheers :D
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby Alastair S » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:39 pm

Super report & photos :thumbup:

Did the first of these pair on New Year's Day this year. Its certainly an unrelenting first hour or so. Unfortunately didn't have time to do the Mullach so I'll be back... :D
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby HighlandSC » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:03 pm

jstalker66621 wrote:Nice report Peter...these are my intended targets this coming Friday...so its good to get a heads up on the possible route and conditions we may face...cheers :D

Did you and Mike not make it up there recently John?


Great report. These are a fine pair of hills and one of my best days out back on that tinder dry day end of April 2011. I actually stopped and puked half way up that first ascent- mainly due to a McDonalds breakfast! Like you say, fantastic walking when you gain the ridge. Since it was dry and calm on our trip we got hands on with the pinnacles on the return...
Image

No scrambling is mandatory though- all can be missed on easy paths.

8)
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby pigeon » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:14 pm

Nice one Pete ,looking forward to getting up to this area next year ,my tent has been bought and Mrs Pigeon has been warned :lol:
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby kevsbald » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:03 pm

Cracking report Pete. A fair old drive fae Ayrshire to there!

Ain't done these two yet - just waiting for clear conditions like yours. Maybe at the Spring meet...
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby Graeme D » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:09 pm

Stunning. Certainly gives food for thought for the spring meet-up! They sure like their big, chunky cairns on these ones!
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:29 pm

LeithySuburbs wrote:Such an impressive pair from the surrounding hills 8) - not done them yet but on the agenda... Good effort on making the most of the "better" weather and some nice (not that there any other kind in this area) views :D .

Thanks Leithy. These are a good couple of hills, and you're right - there's no such thing as a bad view in Kintail :D

b-illie wrote:Wow, that looks like a fantastic day out! Not sure I would have appreciated the pinnacles much, though, but then there seems to be a path on your pic, so maybe not so bad after all? :shifty:
Camping out there in the wild is fabulous - go for it! :thumbup:

Thanks b-illie. The path round the pinnacles is straightforward enough :D Makes a nice little route working your way through them :D

soulminer wrote:A fine pair of hills with some stunning surrounding scenery -which I'm sure your tent will be pegged out in soon :lol: Glen Affric is a future camping spot on my list, will wave from another summit :lol:
Cheers.

:lol: :lol: I'll be easy to spot. I'll be the one chasing after his tent as the wind blows it away :lol: :lol:

dogplodder wrote:Enjoyed reading that Pete. Interesting to see the early snow and compare it with the snow that was hanging on in May when I did it.

This is up there among my favourite walks! :D

Thanks dogplodder - this is fast becoming a favoutite area for me now :D

iainwatson wrote:brilliant report again peteR,always a good read and you seem to pick your days well weatherwise

after the kintail meet thomas came away with the best of quotes for this area

'if you like hills then Kintail is like disneyland for hillwalkers'

i couldnt agree more!

Thanks Ian. I love the quote. Get butterflies in my stomach every time I drive up to Kintail. The same thing happens with glencoe too :D

pollyh33 wrote:Great to see another of your fantastic reports that doesn't involve a near death experience!

These two were my intended target at the WH meet in September but plans had to be changed. Will hopefully follow in your footsteps (the non- boggy ones!) at the spring meet.

Smashing stuff Pete :D

Thanks polly, I hope you get these two done at the spring meet, as they are great hills :D Long enough to make it worth getting out of bed, but not so long the pub is calling last orders before you get back :lol:

I was hoping to make it to the spring meet and get the chance to meet up with some of the people that contribute to this site, but it clashes with my two young lads coming up north. Still, if I have to miss the meet I can't think of a better reason than seeing my two lads :D

jstalker66621 wrote:Nice report Peter...these are my intended targets this coming Friday...so its good to get a heads up on the possible route and conditions we may face...cheers :D

Cheers jstalker. Hope you make it up to these two and have as good a day as I did :D

Alastair S wrote:Super report & photos :thumbup:

Did the first of these pair on New Year's Day this year. Its certainly an unrelenting first hour or so. Unfortunately didn't have time to do the Mullach so I'll be back... :D

Cheers AlastairS. Get yourself back up to Mullach :D It really is worth the effort of the initial slog.

HighlandSC wrote:Great report. These are a fine pair of hills and one of my best days out back on that tinder dry day end of April 2011. I actually stopped and puked half way up that first ascent- mainly due to a McDonalds breakfast! Like you say, fantastic walking when you gain the ridge. Since it was dry and calm on our trip we got hands on with the pinnacles on the return...

No scrambling is mandatory though- all can be missed on easy paths. 8)

Cheers HighlandSC. A tinder dry day......Mmmmmm, can't remember the last time I was out on one of those days :lol: :lol:

pigeon wrote:Nice one Pete ,looking forward to getting up to this area next year ,my tent has been bought and Mrs Pigeon has been warned :lol:

Cheers Pigeon. MrsR has seen my tent of choice. Just need to make the step and order it now :lol:

kevsbald wrote:Cracking report Pete. A fair old drive fae Ayrshire to there!

Ain't done these two yet - just waiting for clear conditions like yours. Maybe at the Spring meet...

Thanks Kev. All new hills are a fair old drive for me these days. I've suggested moving closer to the ones I've got left to do, but apparently it involves a divorce lawyer for some reason :lol: Unleaded's cheaper :shock:
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Re: A' Chralaig & Mullach Fraoch-choire, Kintail

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:33 pm

Graeme Dewar wrote:Stunning. Certainly gives food for thought for the spring meet-up! They sure like their big, chunky cairns on these ones!

Cheers Graeme. If I was there in the spring I'd certainly do these two again. And you're right about the cairns. The one on A'Chralaig was so big it wasn't possible to touch the top. More of a scramble than on the Mullach pinnacles themselves
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