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Four fantastic Fanniachs

Four fantastic Fanniachs


Postby PeteR » Wed May 02, 2012 11:46 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: 22/04/2012

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It’s been a while since I have posted a walk report, but I thought it was time I got back into the habit. It’s not that I haven’t been out, but for reasons completely unconnected to the hills I’ve not felt too inclined to share my experiences recently. Reading Gammy Leg Walker’s excellent and inspiring report though on his century Munros on Beinn Alligin has inspired me “get over myself” :lol: :lol: :lol:

Since my last report I’ve had a day out on the Glen Lyon horseshoe, dealing with some unfinished business on Meall na Aighean. This was then followed by an aborted attempt on Beinn Bhuidhe, which found me in “can’t be a****d” mode and a bit of a snow shower gave me just the excuse I needed to turn back :roll: On the return to the car I was compelled to visit the Fyne brewery shop whereupon I made a small investment in some Fyne ales. And Fyne they are too :D Can’t think of a Fyner excuse to return – although I’m not sure how many “aborted” attempts I can have on the hill before MrsR becomes suspicious :lol: :lol:

Bhuidhe was then followed by a foray into Glen Carron and the Munros of Sgurr a’Chaorachain and Sgurr Choinnich :D A good day, but my return to walk reporting is going to be my trip to Eastern Fannaichs on 22 April and culminating with a real humdinger from the weekend just gone :thumbup:

It was the Eastern Fannaichs which had recently given pigeon a kicking. So, thanks to pigeon for planting the seed of a walk in my head. I hope this report can provide the encouragement to return and finish the job off :D :D

Not that I was that hopeful when I arrived at the parking area of Torran Dubh at the end of Loch Glascarnoch. Despite the forecast, which had been pretty promising, the cloud looked dark and brooding when I arrived :shock:
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And all I see are dark skies

My departure had been slightly delayed as dark and brooding had turned into p*****g down while I was getting suited and booted :lol:

But soon enough I was off. Not down the suggested, excellent landrover track that I has completely not seen signposted. Oh no, if I was going to have a bog trot I was going to do so from the very beginning and so took the path meandering alongside the Abhainn an Torrain Duibh :roll: :crazy:

Got a nice view or two of the water tumbling over the rocks, which I’m sure was worth the increasing bog I was having to endure :D Actually, it was worth it. As was the right hand fork making its way up beside the Allt an Loch Sgeirich. :D :D
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I always have a soft spot for a water feature

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Making my way up toward Creag Dhubh Fanniach

I probably walked in too far and had to cross the burn and head up the pathless side of the ridge where I then made my way easily onto Creag Dhubh Fannaich and ultimately my first Munro of the day Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach.
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Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach from Creag Dhubh Fanniach

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Clearing skies over Meall Gorm and An Coileachan

It seemed I was being blessed on the weather front too :D All the cloud and clag appeared to be melting away in front of me as height was gained. So, when I arrived on the summit of Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach the views were opening up nicely. A little hazy perhaps, but that’s much preferred to no views and/or getting soaked.
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Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach summit

And there stood one of the best views of the day so far – Sgurr Mor :D :D There was a little bit of cloud hanging around it as I hit my first summit, but as I was making my way down so the conditions just got better and better :D :D :D
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Sgurr Mor

I did have a slight issue in descent off Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach. In a desire to avoid the cliffs overlooking the Coireag Barr an Fhialaidh and Loch a Mhadaidh I took a line a little too far to the left and found myself on some rubbish, steep, rock and boulders. I was quick enough in putting that right and reacquainting myself with the path. It was then a good stroll over the minor blimp before a steady climb up Sgurr Mor. Passed the stone shelter along the way, but wouldn’t have fancied sheltering in it – it was full of snow :shock:
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Stone shelter

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View back to Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach from the slopes of Sgurr Mor

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Toward Meall Gorm from the slopes of Sgurr Mor

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Heading up Sgurr Mor

The snow on Sgurr Mor was a bit of a pain lower down. All a bit wet and soft. What with the soft ground underneath I was slipping and sliding up a fairly steep slope, so using more energy than I had expected. I was doing this walk off the back of a bout of “man flu” which had actually resulted in a very rare occurrence for me – a day’s sick leave. So I was coughing and wheezing my way up the side of Sgurr Mor at this point, contemplating calling it a day after just the two hills. Things improved nearer the top though, where the snow was compacted nicely making for good walking :D

The summit of the hill soon put paid to such ideas of stopping at two though :D :D :D Enthusiasm and energy soon returned when the views opened up before me :D :D :D An Teallach 8) 8) What a beast :D What a view :D
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An Teallach from Sgurr Mor

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Sgurr Mor summit cairn

And then there were the Western Fannaichs :D They looked inspiring too :D
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Sgurr nan Clach Geala from Sgurr Mor

And then the view along the rest of the route toward Meall Gorm and An Coileachan :D
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Toward Meall Gorm and An Coileachan from Sgurr Mor

Decision made, I was going to continue. And I’m glad I did too. Once on the ridge it’s just a lovely stroll along to the third summit of the day, Meall Gorm :D Views were still hazy, but the views close around me were excellent, with good views to the Western Fanaichs, back to Sgur Mor and Beinn Liath Mhor Fanniach.
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Toward Meall Gorm

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Loch an Fhuar Thuill Mhoir - a rather long name for such a small locan

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Looking back to Sgurr Mor as I strolled my way to Meall Gorm

Can’t say the Meall Gorm summit set my heart on fire though :eh: Something of an anti-climax if ever there was one. A bit of a poky cairn and, perhaps due to the haze, the views weren’t that great to my eyes.
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Meall Gorm summit. A poor show for a summit cairn. I almost missed it as I was walking along. Had to look tewice and check my map to be sure this was it!!

Still, I mustn’t grumble :lol: At least I had views. It was a bit chilly on this summit so I was soon heading for Munro number four for the day – An Coileachan.
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Can't resist another view back to Sgurr Mor. Once seen it dominates the views

En route I met the only person I’d met all day. We’d met initially on Sgurr Mor, which has surprised us both as we hadn’t seen or heard a soul before then. He had been descending that hill as I was arriving at its summit. We’d had a chat then and had another brief chinwag on our second meeting before I headed off on the final pull of the day.
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Almost at the last summit of the day

I’m not sure if there is a path up this one, but I wasn’t on one. It was a case of making as direct a line as I could up to the summit. Not difficult, but it did involve a fair bit of boulder hopping and by now I was beginning to feel it. So it was some relief to spy the summit Tor, and as I walked onto the summit cairn. A lesson to Meall Gorm if ever there was one on what a summit cairn should actually look like :thumbup:
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An Coileachan summit cairn. Take note Meall Gorm, this is what a summit cairn should look like!

I spent a short while on this summit, sussing out the best plan of attack for my return route. I had a feeling it was going to be boggy :shock: I wasn’t to be disappointed :lol: :lol:

The actual descent wasn’t difficult, but without a path it was a case of picking my down through rocks and peat hags. So slow going at times. Still, it was a nice view of Loch Gorm :D
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Loch Gorm and the route home (to the right of the view)

Eventually as I lost height I spied a path ahead of me, so made a beeline for it (well as much of a beeline as I could over the hag :lol:). This path sped up progress, until it either disappeared or, as is more than likely, I lost it :lol: At which point it was back to bog and peat hag.
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Just a final look back at Sgurr Mor

Eventually I thought it best to cross the Abhainn a Ghiubhais Li in order to be better placed to rejoin the original path back out. So I found a suitable spot and adopted my usual river crossing style, which is to just go for it and march across. If I slip then I hope that momentum will get me across before I get too wet. It didn’t quite work this time, as the river was deeper than I had expected. The result was a couple of lovely wet feet :shock:

A few minutes later and I discover a footbridge over the water :-x Now that would have saved my feet :lol: Not so much fun though I thought :D

So, with squelching boots it was on with the bog trot back to the car. It seemed to take longer than the walk in, but eventually I was back at the car.......where I discovered the sign post to the less boggy walk in :(
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And a final look back to Meall Gorm. How the weather had improved from the start of the day!

All that was left after a great day in the Fannaichs was the long drive home, where I could plan for the following weekend when MrsR was away and I was going to have the freedom of the Highlands :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby Jock McJock » Thu May 03, 2012 12:06 am

Nice to see you back reporting. Looks a grand day that one. Love the pic looking back at Sgur Mor. Keep them coming :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby pigeon » Thu May 03, 2012 6:42 am

Well done pete ,another great report.Sitting here reading this i'm kicking myself for not pushing on to tthe third and fourth munro's when i was up there,suppose it's easy to say that now though :lol: :lol: Looks like a great view of An Teallach 8) Hopefully get up there again later in the year for the western 5.
P.S ,Did you drive up and down there in the same day?
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby Fudgie » Thu May 03, 2012 11:24 am

An excellent read backed up with some great pictures. I particularly like the one of Sgurr nan Clach Geala from Sgurr Mor :thumbup:
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby jonny616 » Thu May 03, 2012 8:29 pm

Great report & pics Peter. I've always enjoyed your reports so keep them coming 8) That said it can take up a lot of time.
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 12:53 pm

Jock McJock wrote:Nice to see you back reporting. Looks a grand day that one. Love the pic looking back at Sgur Mor. Keep them coming :D

Thanks JMcJ :D I seemed to take a lot pf pictures looking back to Sgurr Mor that day. It just has that great mountain shape :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 12:56 pm

pigeon wrote:Well done pete ,another great report.Sitting here reading this i'm kicking myself for not pushing on to tthe third and fourth munro's when i was up there,suppose it's easy to say that now though :lol: :lol: Looks like a great view of An Teallach 8) Hopefully get up there again later in the year for the western 5.
P.S ,Did you drive up and down there in the same day?


Thanks pigeon. Given the weather the day you were up there it is probably best you return on a good day and appreciate the views :D I was cerainly impressed by the views of An Teallach :D A magnificent looking hill :D

And yes, this was a drive up and down in a full day - with the wee walk in between :lol: But then I'm a nutter :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 1:01 pm

Fudgie wrote:An excellent read backed up with some great pictures. I particularly like the one of Sgurr nan Clach Geala from Sgurr Mor :thumbup:


Cheers Fudgie. It was good views all round really. Sgurr Mor took my fancy, as once it came into view it seemed to be visible for most the rest of the day :D Sgurr nan Clach Geala and that whole ridge looked appealing too, but I don't have the camera to capture the full effect :( So I concentrated on the main event of that group, which I can't wait to get back to some time soon and enjoy the views from there to the surrounding hills :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 1:05 pm

jonny616 wrote:Great report & pics Peter. I've always enjoyed your reports so keep them coming 8) That said it can take up a lot of time.


Cheers jonny, and thanks for the compliment :thumbup: I know, it can take time to write up reports, but I quite enjoy doing them really. My recent retreat from writing up reports was completely unrelated to the hills or this great site, but hopefully now normal service will be resumed :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby quoman » Fri May 04, 2012 1:06 pm

Thats a good read there Peter and the pic's are nice.
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 1:12 pm

quoman wrote:Thats a good read there Peter and the pic's are nice.


Cheers quoman. It's a good walk this one and a good introduction to this group of hills (if you can cope with the bog :lol: ) :D Just a long way for me to go to do them though :lol:
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri May 04, 2012 1:29 pm

Fab hills the Fannichs, you got a similar day to myself, starting off with dark clouds but brightened up as the day went on :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby Tomsie » Fri May 04, 2012 6:04 pm

Glad you decided to do this report, great photo of Sgurr Mor.

Is that the other walker in your photo of An Coileachan summit
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 8:11 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Fab hills the Fannichs, you got a similar day to myself, starting off with dark clouds but brightened up as the day went on :D


Cheers JC. You're right about the Fannaichs :D Great hills indeed :D
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Re: Four fantastic Fanniachs

Postby PeteR » Fri May 04, 2012 8:15 pm

Tomsie wrote:Glad you decided to do this report, great photo of Sgurr Mor.

Is that the other walker in your photo of An Coileachan summit


Thanks Tomsie. Sgurr Mor really imposes itself on this walk :D I took loads of photos of it at various points in the day, it was difficult to know which ones to use :D

The other walker was long gone by the time I got to An Coileachan's summit. I think he was parked for the approach to the western hills and had wild camped the night before. So he probably got the 9 done in two days, which was a fair olf effort.
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