Day Three – The Strathfarrar Four
Our final day in Tomich started perfectly – a cracking breakfast and bright blue skies. We had originally planned on these hills for our final day and we were hoping the milder weather of yesterday had melted some of the snow. We had nearly been beaten by the stuff on our first day in Glen Affric so were hoping that there was not too much left up high above Strathfarrar…….
Our plan was to leave one car at the western end of Strathfarrar so as an easy descent could be made at the end of the day. At 09.00 the gate was opened and about 8 cars went flying through from the wee car park at Milton. We were last in the line but that was ok as it made the driving easier!! We followed a couple of cars who were depositing bikes at the end of the road (that was our back up plan should we not have found enough space for the car!)
Anyway we left the car at one end and travelled back in my car to the start and ere probably the last people on the hill. The three people who had left their bikes were only marginally ahead and we spent most of the day meeting with them and exchanging some good banter.
We must have left about 10am and headed up beside the Allt Coire Mhuillidh. The going was nice and soft although boggy and the views up to the second and third Munros for the da were cracking with the blue skies behind the white tops. The hike up the SW ridge of Sgurr na Ruaidhe was tough especially after the previous two days but we knew the going would be easier after this. We reached the top about middayish if memory serves me right. There was now a little more cloud cover however we could see that a lot of the snow had indeed melted which was a relief. We were still unsure as to whether we would do all four summits and had a target of getting back to the car for 4pm!!
Onto Carn nan Gobhar and this was easily reached, probably the easiest of the four summits. A rocky top and a great view for the route ahead!!
Next – the highest hill of the day Sgurr a’choire Ghlas. The snow patches were slippery which made for exciting descents but punishing ascents – especially up this hill. I topped out on the Northern top and then headed over to the trig and other cairn. Glad I did as apparently the northern top is the true summit!! We had now decided that we would complete the ridge and we had enough time left.
The next top was not a munro but we seemed to have a second wind and speed up this quickly knowing that there was only one more ascent for the day. This ascent to the last munro was not too bad and we met another walker who had come up this in the opposite direction from us. He warned that the descent was snowy, steep and dangerous. Indeed it was and we eventually abandoned the path and headed directly downhill on grass which was safer than the snowy path!!!!
We got back to the car bang on four – right on time to get home for a nice relaxing Sunday night – or so we thought!!
Turned out the car had broken down and after a few hours trying to get jump leads etc. the AA were eventually called. One of us got home at 10.30 – the other at 02.00am!!!!!!!!! A memorable day for a number of reasons!!!!!
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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.