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Am Faochagach – rivers, grouse, a hare, and a dead bee

Am Faochagach – rivers, grouse, a hare, and a dead bee


Postby mmm_biscuit » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:57 pm

Route description: Am Faochagach

Munros included on this walk: Am Faochagach

Date walked: 19/05/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 13.8 km

Ascent: 800m

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We had decided to spend our annual ‘guess the weather’ week in Ullapool this year. The drive up on Saturday had taken us through torrential rain, so things were looking good for another award winning week of stunningly crap weather. We were particularly pleased to note that the forecast sunshine on Sunday was entirely absent, a uniform blanket of cloud shrouding all the surrounding hills. The weather, coupled with another of our trademark early starts (ie we didn’t leave the cottage until 11am) signalled that this would be a one-hill-day, so we headed for Am Faochagach.


2013 05 19 Am Faochagach.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Parked up just before the bridge beside one other car and donned our experimental river crossing gear (me: approach shoes; Mrs Biscuit: wellies). Both types of footwear coped admirably with the boggy approach to the dreaded river crossing. I quite enjoyed heading straight through bogs I’d normally attempt to skirt, getting muddy and wet and not caring at all. Mrs Biscuit's wellies coped equally well, and we made good time to the edge of the river.

P1040193.jpg
Looking for a way across
Ah yes, the river. We followed the boggy path to the edge of the river and, perhaps mistakenly, headed to the left (upstream) when we hit the river bank. The river was quite, erm, daunting. After some hesitation we chose the worst looking bit, carefully put all the electronic things in a dry bag (apart from, for reasons that still escape me, the camera and the iPhone), and started to cross. It wasn’t especially difficult, but the combination of the current, the slippery rocks, being unable to see the bottom, and the fact that some bits appeared to be pretty deep using our walking pole depth-ometer meant we had racing pulses by the time we got across. We climbed gladly onto the opposite bank right beside a cairn that we hadn’t noticed from the other side – presumably it’s there as some sort of practical joke. The river had definitely come over my knees in places, and Mrs Biscuit had a full welly. It had taken us 22 minutes to reach the river, and about 25 minutes just to cross the river! We changed into boots and stowed our soggy footwear by the cairn.

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Safely across - and the tiny cairn of lies
Freshly shod we romped ENE beneath Loch a'Gharbhrain and then pretty much directly up the SW slope of Meallan a'Bhutha. The going was good and the cloud was disappearing!

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Cloud begins to lift
P1040199.jpg
Deargs appear out of the cloud
By the time we’d started up towards the ridge all the cloud had vanished and we were enjoying warm spring sunshine. We resolved to apply suntan lotion as soon as possible. Ascent was otherwise easy fairly simple. Saw some bumblebees at altitude and almost speared a couple of grouse with my walking pole as they erupted from the heather.

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Fannichs from the ridge
On reaching the summit we found the occupants of the other car basking in the sunshine at the cairn. Like us, they couldn’t believe their luck with the weather. Views all around were stunning – Ben Wyvis, An Teallach, the Deargs, all looking splendid. They told us that they had friends just a bit further south who were suffering under clag and rain. After some chat they headed off leaving us alone with the sun and the views.

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Obligatory summit photo (courtesy of our summit chums)
P1040206.jpg
Deargs and Cona Mheall - for another day
We strongly considered continuing on to include Cona Mheall, but my recollection of the route was hazy, the descent from the SE ridge looked a bit on the menacing side, and we weren’t sure if we’d actually need to cross the river twice just to get our wet shoes back, so we just headed back the way we had come, spotting a sprinting hare on the way.

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Easier crossing further down the river
We bumped into our two summit chums again at the river. They had found a MUCH BETTER crossing point near where the river forks around an island, about 200m east of where we had crossed. Mrs Biscuit still got a full welly, but without quite the same feeling of certain soaking. Then it was a simple quick march back through the bog (the worst bit is right before you get back to the road).

PS Mrs Biscuit killed a bee at the summit.
PPS We forgot to apply suntan lotion and got ridiculous sunburn.
mmm_biscuit
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Re: Am Faochagach – rivers, grouse, a hare, and a dead bee

Postby Johnny Corbett » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:34 pm

I got lucky with this one as the bog section was like walking across a trampolene and the dam was almost dry so no problem with the river crossing. You got lucky with the views though as i never saw a thing. :D
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: Am Faochagach – rivers, grouse, a hare, and a dead bee

Postby hills » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Nice report, enjoyed that, take's the biscuit I guess.
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hills
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Re: Am Faochagach – rivers, grouse, a hare, and a dead bee

Postby mmm_biscuit » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:You got lucky with the views though

We really did - I don't think I'd even have traded them for your trampoline!
mmm_biscuit
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Posts: 16
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Grahams:6   Donalds:1
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