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3 out of 4 of the Mullardoch Munros

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:13 pm
by ABZ_bagger
I had been planning to do the 4 Munros north of Loch Mullardoch for some time and I had been hoping to use the boat ( tel. 07725 334927) but discovered that it was out of service until 21st October (end of the stalking season or something). So I set about an alternate route that avoided the 3 hour long slog round the north shore of Mullardoch.

So................ I decided to tackle 3 out of the 4 (An Riabhachan, Sgurr na Lapaich and Carn nan Gobhar) from the Glen Strathfarrar side. The only problem being the locked gate at Struy.

I had been in through “security” last year doing the Strathfarrar Munros so I knew the score. I got there in plenty of time for gate opening at 0900. Enough time in fact for me to sit back and watch as walking hopefuls drove up to the gate before the magic hour only to have the custodian come out and shoo them back to the car park. :lol:

At 0900 on the dot I was allowed in and drove all the way to the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel. You can drive over both the dams at the south east of loch Monar. It took about 30 minutes to drive there from the gate.

I set off up Gleann Innis an Loichel towards Loch Beag before climbing the NE shoulder of Meall Garbh. A little steep but no real difficulty and it put me on the ridge about ¾ km east of the summit cairn of An Riabhachan. It was then a very easy walk along the ridge up to the large cairn.

I retraced my steps and headed down the easy slope of Creagan Toll an Lochain which has at the top a nice but all to brief narrow ridge. From the bealach, it was an easy but steady climb up to the large rocky shelter and trig point on the summit of Sgurr nan Lapaich. From this point the views were amazing and you could even see Liathach.

Coming off the summit of Sgurr nan Lapaich, I initially missed the path and found myself climbing down a large boulder field. By that I mean it hade large boulders in it and it was great fun climbing over them. Eventually I found the path and set off easily down to the bealach at the foot of Carn nan Gobhar. It was a straight forward climb to the top. The small cairn is the true summit I believe and the really big cairn is a wee bit lower. Or so I read any way. There was a good view of the rather empty dam at Mullardoch from here.

From the top of Carn nan Gobhar I set off direct back to the power station and the car. Initially it was good going on soft springy moss and grass, then it went into peat hags and bog and this was not so “good going”. I aimed to the west of the wee hill Carn na Saile Leithe as I heard the trees were a problem to the east. As it was, the terrain was quite steep and uneven and masked with thick knee length grass which slowed progress a tad.

I even managed to get “released” from the glen with time to spare to the 8 pm cut off.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Looking east towards Sgurr na Lapaich during the climb of Meall Garbh. Just below An Riabhachan
Looking west along the ridge of An Riabhachan
Looking down Creagan Toll an Lochain with Sgurr na Lapaich in the background
Looking west towards Creagan Toll an Lochain and An Riabhachan
from the summit of Sgurr na Lapaich looking south towards Sgurr nan Clachan Geala
Looking east down the boulder field off Sgurr na Lapaich with Carn nan Gobhar beyond
Mullardoch Dam from the summit of Carn nan Gobhar
summit of Carn nan Gobhar looking NW
driving over the Dam at Monar
the Monar Dam

Re: 3 out of 4 of the Mullardoch Munros

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:05 pm
by TomEllis
Was looking for Mullardoch Munros reports from August to see if midges were a focal point of a disasterous day getting eaten alive and stumpled on a great way to combine the Glen Strathfarrar Munros circuit with the Mullardoch Munros. Thanks for going off the suggested route!

Re: 3 out of 4 of the Mullardoch Munros

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:56 pm
by martinj
The SMC munro guide advises a Strathfarrar approach to these hills too but it's worth noting that this recommends a route that takes you into the corrie below An Riabhachan, the Toll an Lochain. You're then instructed to climb up the headwall to the bealach via "a gradually rising traverse" on the western edge of the corrie.

I tried this yesterday and came away thankful to have survived. The headwall of the corrie is a very wild, steep, rough spot indeed requiring extreme caution. It probably didn't help that when I climbed it everything was streaming wet and the undergrowth above the death-trap craglets was at its maximum leg-breaking density and playground-slide sliminess. But the upshot was that I lost so much time and the weather was so poor that I had to abandon my attempt on the other two munros. I knew that ABZ_bagger had climbed the north-eastern ridge but decided that, given the situation, I'd better go back to the corrie, but maybe try the eastern side this time. I can now confirm that the eastern side is no better!

The map suggests that ABZ_bagger's ridge is pretty steep too but if I ever went back I'd be having a close look at this as an alternative to the SMC route. An Riabhachan was my 250th munro so I think I'm in a reasonable position to judge. The only other route that gave me such difficulty was the ascent of the south-west face of Ben More Assynt - another SMC special.

Taken altogether what I think I'm saying is that An Riabhachan from Strathfarrar is quite some mountain and should be treated with respect.