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Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg


Postby Helen Bruce » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:58 pm

Route description: Maol Chean-dearg ascent, Coulags

Munros included on this walk: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 21/10/2012

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 932m

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This was our first walk on a week's holiday in Strathcarron, a fantastic introduction to these amazing mountains hidden away between Torridon and Strathcarron. Maol Chean-Dearg is tucked away from the road, but what a great viewpoint it is. We just followed the usual route as on Walkhighlands and fortunately there were no dramas along the way, but I thought I'd share a few autumnal photos.

We'd expected to romp along this route and probably take in the Corbett next door too, An Ruadh Stac, but we hadn't anticipated how tired we would be on the first day of our holiday. I guess I'd worked like mad to get everything tied up before leaving the office late on Friday evening, then it was a 5-hour drive north with a stop on the way, so my legs were feeling heavy. The Bruce had been suffering from a bad back for the previous couple of months and wasn't even sure if he'd be able to walk at all - fortunately the endorphins must have kicked in and helped him along as he felt fine that day - and the rest of the week! So we took it easy and enjoyed the fabulous views knowing we only had a few miles to drive back to our holiday cottage afterwards.
Strathcarron Oct 12 001.jpg
Bit cloudy at the start, but fabulous autumn colours at Coulags.


First of all there's a great path to walk in for a couple of miles, over the bridge and past the bothy (locked shut until 20th October for the stalking season - though this was 21st Oct. Glad we hadn't arrived late in the dark expecting to stay the night!), then you bear left and there's a long pull up to the bealach. We followed bike tracks all the way! Is it a sign of age when you realise someone has taken a mountain bike up really rough terrain and you don't think "Wow! what a blast that must have been!", but "They must be mad, it looks exhausting!"? Then at a cairn, turn right and a brief scrambly, loose scree section to the first top and finally a slog across rocks to the summit. The views on the way up were getting better all the time, but from the summit cairn looking over to Torridon it was incredible and very clear.
Strathcarron Oct 12 012.jpg
The final push to the summit

Strathcarron Oct 12 016.jpg
Torridon village and Beinn na h-Eaglaise from the summit

Strathcarron Oct 12 024.jpg
And Beinn Damh on the left behind me.

After our second lunch on the summit we headed down. Had another break at the bothy just as the sun was disappearing behind the hills, great views of Strathcarron on our way back to the road.
Strathcarron Oct 12 029.jpg
Strathcarron in late afternoon sunshine.

So it took us about 6 hours altogether, a really enjoyable day at a steady pace. No rain, no wet feet, plenty of sunshine - altogether another quality hill day!
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Paula Hubens » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:18 pm

Woohoo! Must get myself up there, those views are stunning!
Nice one Helen 8)
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Helen Bruce » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:23 pm

Thanks Paula. Yes it's a great wee hill!
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby judbend » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:03 pm

Absolutely Stunning!!! What am I doing in London!!!!!
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby BoyVertiginous » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:32 pm

Lovely stuff.

Particularly nice to see "The Bruce" modelling his "fabulous autumn coulours".

:wink:
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Bod » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:28 pm

Love Maol Chean-Dearg! Need to get back there and climb An Ruadh-stac too :D :D :D
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Helen Bruce » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:59 pm

Thanks for the comments!

Judbend - you're right, why are you in London when it's as sunny as this every day (ahem!) in Scotland?

BoyVertiginous - yes, The Bruce does add a certain class to my photos!

Bod - I never thought I'd be tempted into carrying on to the Corbetts once the Munros were climbed, but as I get closer to that point I'm getting really excited since so many Corbetts (like An Ruadh-stac, Beinn Damh, Beinn Dearg Mor in Fisherfield, etc) are so stunning. Do you feel the same?
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:07 pm

Its a stunning mountain
010.JPG
Beinn Dearg Mor
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby Lenore » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:13 pm

Bod wrote:Love Maol Chean-Dearg! Need to get back there and climb An Ruadh-stac too :D :D :D


We'll be doing just that in May, Bod, so get yourself over (with some of those peat logs) and you'll have a bonny group to keep you company!
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Re: Sunshine on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby dogplodder » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:51 am

This will always be a special hill to me, it being the first I climbed after moving north. We started at Annat so I'd quite like to try it the traditional way as well. :D
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