North Cluanie Munros
by rockhopper » Tue May 21, 2013 7:45 am
Route description: A'Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire
Munros included on this walk: A' Chralaig, Carn Ghluasaid, Mullach Fraoch-choire, Sail Chaorainn, Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Date walked: 19/05/2013
Time taken: 10.6 hours
Distance: 31.4 km
Ascent: 2031m8 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 19 May 2013
Time taken: 10hrs 40mins (incl stops 2hrs – afternoon sunbathing, food, photos, bike footering, dawdling etc)
Distance: 31.4km (walk – 26.4km, bike 5km)
Original wild camping plan for this weekend was thwarted due to the weather forecast and snow coverage. Was looking like a weekend at home until, on Saturday afternoon, Sunday’s forecast was looking more promising particularly for the afternoon in the north west.
So, up very early on Sunday, quick breakfast and drove up to Loch Cluanie. Parked in the lay-by north of the A87 at NH086121. Set off about 0715 and cycled back down the road – hard going against the strong wind. Stopped at NH131103 and locked the bike to a tree in amongst a group of trees to the south of the A87. Then headed NE up the open hillside until reaching the old military road.
The map showed a track up past An Cruachan but couldn’t really find it so just kept going until I joined the main stalkers path up to Carn Ghluasaid.
Not much to say about the journey to the fist three munros. The forecast was right – very low cloud and fog so I spent most of the time not being able to see more than a few metres ahead.
First up Carn Ghluasaid
Then Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Then Sail Chaorainn
After leaving Sail Chaorainn, I thought I’d have a go at contouring round by Toll Easach and then up to Bealach Choire a’ Chait. This would avoid having to climb most of the way back up Sgurr nan Conbhairean. All was going fine until out of the fog loomed a large, steep snow patch around NH128146. I had all my winter gear but didn’t really fancy the steepness and the soft snow – also couldn’t see just how big it was. Opted instead to climb back up and rejoin the main track round Drochaid an Tuill Easaich.
When I got to the point where the track returns via Meall Breac, I was starting to think about giving up and going home on account of the weather and lack of views. Around this time though the weather brightened up a bit so I set off along the ridge in a north westerly direction.
Now you don’t see it
Now you do
Views appearing and disappearing in the cloud
Pleasant enough walking, fair bit of snow round the top of the corrie but not much where I was walking. First sight of A' Chralaig.
Then had to drop back down into the mist at Bealach Choire a’ Chait and saw where I would have rejoined if the short cut had worked.
After the initial climb, this is the low point at just over 700m and is the benefit of covering the five munros in one trip. Then started the climb up to A' Chralaig with the weather improving all the time.
Around the point where the track from the A87 joins, there was a steep snowy section – stopped for some food and to get the ice axe out for the first time. Snow was soft enough but there are steep drops to either side.
Unfortunately the top was shrouded in cloud. Impressive cairn.
From here there’s a drop down before beginning the ridge.
Met some walkers further on as the weather continued to improve.
Cloud kept rolling in and away
Looking back again
Passed the point where the return path starts before heading up the approach ridge. No snow on the track but kept the ice axe out just in case.
Views looking up the ridge
Used the bypass track which goes down to the right then up and over to the left. One steep bit where there were footprints in the snow but I opted instead to use the grass and rocks to the side.
Got to the top which once again was in cloud – still a fair bit of snow up here.
Then it was just a matter of retracing my steps back down to the ridge before dropping down westwards via Coire Odhar.
Sloping snow patch on the descent meant that I could slide a wee bit. Clearer view to the north.
Needless to say the weather cleared completely and I could see back up to the ridge and Mullach Fraoch-choire.
Now a beautiful day, sun out, sky clearing, very hot. Stopped for a break and to repack my ice axe – filled up my camelbak in a burn.
Wet and boggy with all the snow melt until I got down to the main track. Lot of boggy sections on this as well which slowed up progress until reaching the start of the landrover track.
Long walk out and met another walker who was heading up the way. Clearing weather in the afternoon and the resultant views more than made up for the morning in the cloud and clag – glad I trusted in the forecast.
Back to the car, changed, had some coffee, took some more photos and then drove back home remembering to pick the bike up on the way.
by wjshaw2 » Tue May 21, 2013 9:07 am
by Fudgie » Tue May 21, 2013 9:32 am
by Johnny Corbett » Tue May 21, 2013 10:34 am
by kevsbald » Tue May 21, 2013 11:45 am
by pigeon » Tue May 21, 2013 5:42 pm
by andyroog » Tue May 21, 2013 7:17 pm
alone shows me up ha ha
by PeteR » Tue May 21, 2013 8:04 pm
Shame about the lack of views early on, but some great views later on. One Hell of a trip too, picking off the five in one round.
by pollyh33 » Tue May 21, 2013 8:33 pm
Still have A'C and MFC to do. I was dreading them because of the leg burner at the start but looks well worth it for that ridge walk. Although maybe I'll wait until the rest of that snow has disappeared- more in the forecast for tomorrow!!!
PS love the mosaic ice puddle
by basscadet » Tue May 21, 2013 8:53 pm
Might do the same route myself, as these ones are the last kintail ones left for me.. I'm glad Dougie still has a couple more so I will have ample excuse for repeats.. love kintail
by Collaciotach » Tue May 21, 2013 9:30 pm
Mullach nan Fraoich Coire I did on ice n snow she is a cracker and good drops indeed !
by simon-b » Tue May 21, 2013 10:48 pm
by gammy leg walker » Wed May 22, 2013 9:02 pm
by quoman » Thu May 23, 2013 8:04 pm
by rockhopper » Fri May 24, 2013 11:52 pm
I did think about it, honest.....for all of five seconds maybeJohnny Corbett wrote: you could have come out over Am Bathach
a bit of a sore point, gammy suggested it on the meet-ups page then got thwarted by the weather - shouldn't have tempted fate, I guess (need to get fitter anyway....)gammy leg walker wrote:next stop Mullardoch by any chance.