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North Quoich Munros on a sunny day
by rockhopper » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:35 pm
Route description: Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach
Munros included on this walk: Gleouraich, Sgurr a'Mhaoraich, Spidean Mialach
Date walked: 24/02/2013
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 2250m7 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Date: Sunday 24 February 2013
Time taken: 10hrs (incl stops 2hrs 30mins – gazing at views, food, sunset stops, dawdling etc)
Fingers crossed all week that the good weather would remain until the weekend. Planned to head up to Loch Quoich for Spidean Mialach and Gleouraich on the Saturday but Friday’s forecast suggested Sunday would be better.
Was hoping to be up there around sunrise – got up [ridiculously] early and had an uneventful drive up to Loch Quoich where the temperature dipped to -5C. Parked in the wee layby opposite the end of the track down from Gleouraich beside the construction works and pipes. Then walked back down the road a bit to start up the track for Spidean Mialach - thought anti-clockwise may be better so that the easterly wind would be behind me on the ridge but, as it turned out, there was hardly any wind most of the day.
Good stalkers path up the hillside with most of the bogs frozen over. Was soon roasting hot as there was hardly any wind and the sun was gradually rising.
Got to the bit where I had to cross the Allt a’Mheil – this turned out to be quite straightforward as the water was relatively low and only had to go a few yards uphill to get to some decent stepping stones.
Continued on in a NE direction – looking back could see over Loch Fearna towards Gairich.
Further up there were some previous footprints in the snow – took a slightly more northerly approach to gain the ridge first before heading east to the summit as the straight line looked a wee bit on the steep side.
Got to the top with some nice views all round. Couldn’t believe my luck with the weather.
Then headed off towards Gleouraich which I could see in the distance.
Looking back to Spidean Mialach.
Good walk along the ridge being careful not to go too near the edge as there was some cornicing.
There were some tricky bits in the snow but nothing too serious and I was soon climbing up towards the summit of Gleouraich.
Met two walkers at the top who were from Yorkshire and were on their annual walking week – the weather this year was looking somewhat better than they had last year.
More views and photos at the top along with more food to keep me going.
Then it was a case of heading westwards down the ridge before picking up the stalkers path further down.
Steep drop down to the loch and the bridge.
Picked up the path and followed it back to the car.
Arrived back at the car somewhat earlier than planned – it was not long after midday, lovely weather and still 5-6hrs left of daylight. Seemed a shame to head back to Glasgow so I drove west over the bridge and managed to squeeze into the wee layby beside two other cars at the foot of stalkers path to Sgurr a'Mhaoraich.
Had some more food, got ready and set off up the path just after 1pm. Climbed steadily under the pylons with the path zigzagging – again mostly frozen bogs made for dry feet with snow line much further up.
It was getting a bit cloudier by now but the sun was still out.
The snow didn’t really start until I got up to Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach – there were some steep sections but was soon up and over and could see the way to Sgurr a'Mhaoraich. It did look steep and a bit worrying with the snow cover.
Anyway, continued on along the ridge until the start of the last steep section. I could see two people up near the summit but then lost sight as I started up the hillside. It did turn out to be very steep in places with some steep drops – doable going up the way but decided that there was no way I was going to try going back down the same way so would need to have a rethink.
Got up to the top before the final walk up to the summit. Could see the other two walkers had had the same thought about descent route and were headed down in a southerly direction towards Leac nan Gaidhseich.
Walked up to the summit for some photos – camera started misbehaving again at this point but managed to get some pictures. Also managed to get a phone signal to phone home and say I’d be a lot later than planned. Some cloud had been rolling in from the east and it looked as though there could be some snow so decided to head off in case it worsened.
Decided against following the other two walkers down as I could see some crags further down. Instead I took a wide berth south then east managing to pick up some grassy ground and less steep slopes before climbing back up to rejoin the route I’d taken on the ascent.
Then it was just a case of following the ascent route back down.
Dawdled and stopped a few times as the sun was getting lower and I was hoping for a sunset over the westerly hills with some low sunlight over Gleouraich. Didn’t disappoint though my basic camera doesn’t do justice.
Back to the car, changed and drove back home to Glasgow. Think this was the first time I’d been along this road towards Knoydart and hadn’t appreciated until now just how nice it is albeit that good weather does help.
Strong moonlight most of the way down – tried a long exposure at the end of Glencoe and you can just about make out the outline in this photo:
by pigeon » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:07 pm
by Alan S » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:21 pm
I loved spidean mialach and Gleouraich and done it the same way as you but my views were rotten, loved that stalkers path on the way down
by Bod » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:39 pm
by Fudgie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:44 am
by dooterbang » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:36 am
I've still to do Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and going by your report will be very careful.
Bet your glad you stayed out and got that lovely sunset
by dogplodder » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:05 pm
by DrMagpie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:47 pm
by Frigate » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:47 pm
Hope the weather is as kind this coming weekend in Torridon
by Scotjamie » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:42 pm
Did the two in clag and its great to see what I missed. Promising myself to get a day like yours for a Mhaoraich. Photos brilliant as always.
by gammy leg walker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:51 pm
by johnkaysleftleg » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:59 pm
by Johnny Corbett » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:05 pm
by jonny616 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:16 pm
by quoman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:28 pm