walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...


Postby andrewdoggett » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:45 am

Route description: Sgurr Mor and the eastern Fannichs

Munros included on this walk: An Coileachan, Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Meall Gorm, Sgurr Mor

Date walked: 09/03/2013

Time taken: 6.9 hours

Distance: 25.7 km

Ascent: 1535m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

So ten to go; and a forecast that didn't look great; strong winds; wind chill; but extensively dry... Hmmm well I felt like finishing of the four Fannaichs I left a couple of weeks back... A good check of the map revealed no steep slopes and no sharp ridges so I thought what the hell; let's do it; can always turn back if it's really bad...

It's an early start as it's a good 180 mile drive to the off from my home in Bridge of Allan; and by the time we're at the Cairngorms we're pretty much in Blizzard Conditions... Hmmm...

Sgurr Mor 001.jpg
Blizzard Conditions on Route...


We're soon at the start though; and it's cold... We're not feeling too inspired... But anyway; we get ready; an extra layer of warm clothing today and we decide to wear waterproofs as it's still snowing slightly; but more importantly it's windy; and we want the added protection from wind chill...

Sgurr Mor 002.jpg
Conditions at the Off...


We're soon underway; and it's fresh... A fairly good track starts the day off as it winds gently up through the young sapling forest... At the exit of the forest there are hundreds of deer who scatter... We follow the track for a while longer before taking a line off to the left toward An Coileachan... I've decided we'll do the route in reverse to the suggestion on Walk Highlands; mainly because of the wind direction, which I think will be over our right shoulder and behind us on the ridge this way, but in our faces via the suggested route... Not pleasant!!

Sgurr Mor 003.jpg
The Second River Crossing...


We soon reach Loch Gorm after crossing some fairly boggy ground with peat hags. I had hoped the ground would be more frozen but alas not to be so it was tiring work... We stop here for some liquid refreshment before the climb of An Coileachan...

Sgurr Mor 004.jpg
Smile Scraggles...


Sgurr Mor 005.jpg
Near the Lochan...


We need crampons after the lochan as it's now icy.. The ascent isn't too steep and we pretty much walk straight to the summit; albeit the wind starts to really pick up... At the summit the final small scramble over some rocks and we're in full on gale force wind... We can't speak; and it's seriously cold; a quick photo; and we head on hoping it's more sheltered further along the ridge...

Sgurr Mor 006.jpg
Me at the Summit of An Coileachan


The wind abates a little, but not much and it's fairly fierce conditions wise... Broadly the wind is over our right shoulders with some gusts that swirl and I'm feeling vindicated in the decision to reverse the route... Visibility is pretty low; it's not whiteout conditions but we can't see much much more than 20 metres; so I'm using Saint Matthew (the now patron saint of Sat Maps...) to ensure we're on track... Aside from the wind it's easy walking with no steep descents or ascents and it's broad so nothing to fall off... And we're soon at the summit of Meal Gorm...

Sgurr Mor 007.jpg
Interesting Ice Formations...


Sgurr Mor 008.jpg
Scraggles on the Summit of Meall Gorm


We don't stop for long and head on; it's around 3 km to Sgurr Mor from here... The ridge continues in much the same fashion; broad; and not too steep anywhere; though it's tiring walking in crampons; especially over the rocks and with the wind... The path keeps to the south western side of the minor top of Creachan Rairigidh and with this being a bit sheltered from the wind we decide to stop for some lunch... We don't stop long; there's various problems; the food we have (meat) is freezing pretty much instantly; by now even Lucozade Sport is frozen (I'd love to know what temperature this freezes at!!) and it's bloody cold...

We get some brief views across to the Western Fannaichs, but we're soon pushing on to Sgurr Mor...

Sgurr Mor 009.jpg
Some Brief Views...


Sgurr Mor 010.jpg
The Start of the Frozen Lucozade Problem...


It's pretty challenging on route to Sgurr Mor; the wind is properly up; feels like about 50 mph but with some gusts stronger; and it's a bit stop start... It's taking effort to breathe and turning into just the challenging type of day we were after... I love the mountains like this (though not too often!!)... It's good sometimes to take in the elements and the power of nature... Incredible stuff!!

Fortunately the wind eases on the ascent and we're not far off being wind free on the summit of Sgurr Mor which is strange being the highest hill... We've kept well left on the ascent giving a respectful berth to the cliff and cornices to the North... And the summit cairn is fairly impressive...

Sgurr Mor 011.jpg
Me on the Summit of Sgurr Mor...


We're soon off to Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich and in the Beallach for the first time the clouds properly lift and we get some stunning views in real winter conditions... Not surprisingly we've not seen a soul all day... It's a kind of monotone look; a little surreal; but I think the mountains are incredibly attractive like this... You feel like you're in another world... :)

Sgurr Mor 012.jpg
And some Views... Looking back to Sgurr Mor...


Sgurr Mor 013.jpg
The Ridge Before...


It's just a short pull to the summit of Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich where we meet Usain Bolt by the Shark Fin summit Cairn... The terrain isn't so much fun; rocky and icy; which is hard going in crampons... And that continues on the descent...

Sgurr Mor 014.jpg
Usain Bolt on the Summit of Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich


We make pretty short work of the track back to the car; it's good to be down and out of the worst of the elements but it's been an awesome day... We're buzzing...

So Scraggles' Munro map now has 99 blue balloons on it and I've just six left to the finish...

After 360 miles in the car; the best part of 26 km under foot; 4 more Munros it's time for a drink and we're back home in the Bridge of Allan and in the pub by 6pm... A perfect finish to an awesome day...

Sgurr Mor 015.jpg
And Relax with Estrella and a Mojito...


2013 - 03 - 09 - Sgurr Mor.jpg
The Stats...



2013 - 03 - 09 - Sgurr Mor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by andrewdoggett on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
andrewdoggett
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 283
Munros:282   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:6   
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
Location: Bridge of Allan, Scotland

Re: Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Postby Lenore » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:12 am

Tough one, well done!!! :clap: :clap: That looks like a dodgy drink there, though :lol:
User avatar
Lenore
Walker
 
Posts: 586
Munros:13   Corbetts:4
Grahams:1   
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Postby Fudgie » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:38 pm

Not too sure on the cocktail but the rest of it was excellent :lol:
User avatar
Fudgie
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 994
Munros:96   Corbetts:20
Grahams:3   Donalds:7
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
Location: Port Glasgow

Re: Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:44 pm

Another great walk in what certainly looked(and sounded) like very tough conditions but, well done to you and Scraggles :thumbup: Some wonderful photos as well :D
Not impressed with the drinks though.....you'll have to do better when you compleat :lol: :lol:
User avatar
SusieThePensioner
 
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:156   
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Postby Klaasloopt » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:26 pm

Another world, so white, I too like it that way (every once in a while)

You've got some good ones left Andrew. Suppose Ladhar Bheinn is the one to compleat on?
User avatar
Klaasloopt
Wanderer
 
Posts: 303
Munros:142   Corbetts:61
Grahams:9   
Sub 2000:20   Hewitts:49
Joined: Jan 13, 2011
Location: Haarlem, The Netherlands

Re: Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Postby andrewdoggett » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:15 pm

Lenore wrote:Tough one, well done!!! That looks like a dodgy drink there, though


Thanks Lenore; see on Talk Highlands you're coming over soon, what are you planning?

Fudgie wrote:Not too sure on the cocktail but the rest of it was excellent


More stick for the Mojito haha, or is it the lager that's taking the beating!! :D

SusieThePensioner wrote:Another great walk in what certainly looked(and sounded) like very tough conditions but, well done to you and Scraggles Some wonderful photos as well
Not impressed with the drinks though.....you'll have to do better when you compleat


Thanks Susie - was challenging but fun... And yet more stick for the drinks!! The Compleation is being organised - hopefully the weather gods will play ball in May... I think you'll be impressed... :?

Klaasloopt wrote:Another world, so white, I too like it that way (every once in a while)

You've got some good ones left Andrew. Suppose Ladhar Bheinn is the one to compleat on?


Thanks Klaasloopt - yes it will be a Ladhar Bheinn finish... What better place than 'The Last Great Wilderness?' Hopefully all my main walking companions over the Munros, Vicky, Monty, Scraggles, and Rocco will all be able to make it... :D
User avatar
andrewdoggett
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 283
Munros:282   Corbetts:10
Grahams:2   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:6   
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
Location: Bridge of Allan, Scotland

Re: Finishing off the Fannies in Arctic Conditions...

Postby dooterbang » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:43 pm

Looked a good day out in challenging conditions.

Good luck with the Knoydart trip and I do hope you get the weather...I would actually wait until I knew it would be a clear day, unless your in a rush :wink:

Please have a nice dark beer in your hand when you complete - Arran Dark is lovely or Cairn Gorm Gold :)
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:57
Grahams:18   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   Islands:19
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cbodrell, Fife Flyer, haslertom and 26 guests