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Dawdling around Mullardoch

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:39 pm
by whiteburn
There’s something to be said for speed and then there times when a good dawdle (“to take one’s time; be slow; ...) is called for, the full 12 Munroe’s circuit of Mullardoch seemed like an excellent opportunity for a good dawdle, why take 20 hrs when 3 days can prove far more enjoyable?

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Parked up by the bridge below Loch a’Bhana and got set off at a tardy 10:30 and it wasn’t long before the dam was out of sight, I followed the Allt Mullardoch right up to the bealach east of Carn nan Gobhar which stubbornly stayed hidden in the mist.
I experienced intermittent low cloud along the grand walk from Carn nan Gobhar to An Socach, the cloud didn’t really spoil the day it just seemed to add a dramatic touch and got less through the afternoon.




I planned to camp somewhere beyond An Socach so filled up with water high on its western flank before wandering off downhill, ended up finding a good spot on Meall Shuas (NH 085310) at 19:00. By 20:30 the full 3 course dinner had been consumed and with a mug of chocolate, a large dram and plugged into the iPod it was off to bed.
On the ‘road’ at 08:00 and a soggy descent following an ATV track to the estate track, overnight the wind had dropped to zero and Mrs Midgy and all her million friends were waiting for breakfast in the valley, Mr Deet and a head net put pay to that idea!
The ford across the river was ankle deep but as the trail shoes were already sodden I just waded straight across, there is possibly a dry route across about 2-300m further upstream.


The +600m ascent up Coire Aird following the Allt Cam proved a real slog, first 300m was 45deg bog! Tip - fill up with water at the head of the coire as there is limited water available for the rest of the day, unless you count small stagnant pools. For those planning a circuit in 2 days the ridge around here has good camping spots well above midge hell.
From the top of Mullach na Dheiragain the rest of the days route around to Beinn Fhionnlaidh was clearly visible, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan looked just a short hop away it’s summit hidden in the clouds.


The short hop actually took 1:45hrs, it’s a lot further than it looks and has lots of ‘bumps’!
The route across An Socach, Mam Sodhail is a lot further than it looks as well but a nice chunk of varied walking. I bypassed the submit of Carn Eige with a descending traverse of its west slopes towards Bealach Beag, filling up the water bottles on route, didn’t see any sign of a path across most of it. I found a nice camping spot just south of Stob Coire Lochan at 18:30 a little later than anticipated probably down to too much chatting with folk met during the day (from Affric SYHA) and dawdling! Only 2 courses for dinner, too much pasta meant I’d not enough space for pudding and I had to leave some room for the remains of the Scotch!
Took a pre-breakfast stroll up a distinctly claggy Beinn Fhionnlaidh, the view down a very dry looking Loch Mullardoch was not looking that inspiring.


Finally got packed up and away by 08:30, the 300m climb up Carn Eige wasn’t rewarded by stunning vistas just clag. The route across to Tom a'Choinich was probably the highlight of the circuit, lots of little bumps in the ridge, wee craggy bits coming and going in and out of the mist.


Lunched on the summit of Toll Creagach in the mist, all there was left to do was get down. I headed off east down to the bealach before following the Allt Fraoch-choire north, good going in the most part until the lower slopes. Headed off east through a gate in the deer fence into bog hell for 3-400m, went in up to the thighs in filth at one point, before joining the road; a bit of a mucky end to a fantastic walk!
The picnickers must have though it a little strange watching as I sat in the river below Loch a’Bhana and had a good wash off,
I based my plan around a pace of 4km/ hr + 1hr for 500m ascent = 23:30hrs total walking; nominally 3 * 8 hr days (+ stops); actual walking time was around 22:30 hrs.

Re: Dawdling around Mullardoch

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:20 pm
by monty
An excellent report Whiteburn. Just an abject lesson in how to do the Mullardock round. Love it :D

Re: Dawdling around Mullardoch

PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:56 am
by whiteburn
monty wrote:An excellent report Whiteburn. Just an abject lesson in how to do the Mullardock round. Love it :D

Thanks's an excellent route, well worth savoring....IMO equal or better than the Fisherfield 6

Thought you'd run around :lol: :lol:

Re: Dawdling around Mullardoch

PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:36 am
by Alteknacker
Just read this for the first time - yes, having blitzed it once, I'm sure the better way is to take a bit of time. And that's what I'm planning to do later this year (unfortunately this year's plan to dawdle it on the May Bank Holiday was scotched by the heavy snow).