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Sgurr Breac and A’Chailleach – adventures in the clag

Sgurr Breac and A’Chailleach – adventures in the clag

Postby mmm_biscuit » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:28 pm

Route description: Sgùrr Breac and A' Chailleach: The Western Fannichs

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach (Fannichs), Sgùrr Breac

Date walked: 21/05/2013

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1174m

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The sunshine on Am Faochagach on Sunday was not to last. The weather on Monday took an evil twist, so we waited until Tuesday’s forecast of cloud – but no rain – before heading to the hills again. The two western Fannichs were beckoning us so we headed off early (for us), setting off from the reasonably busy car park (3 other cars!) at 9:27 am.

2013 05 21 Sgurr Braac and A'Chailleach.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Bridge at the end of Loch a'Bhraoin - somewhere in that cloud there are hills!
Mrs Biscuit loves having her photo taken
After a bit of is-it-left-or-right (it’s definitely LEFT) at the detour signpost, we were at the boggy foot of Toman Coinnich’s NE ridge. What we could see of it that wasn’t shrouded in cloud looked quite foreboding, but the bog soon gave way to an easy to follow path and we gained height quickly and entered the clag. Following someone’s tip from Walkhighlands, we kept to the right on the ridge to avoid the worst of the peat hags, then returned to the ridge to reach the summit of Toman Coinnich, marked by a small cairn, almost exactly 2 hours after leaving the car. I had been slightly concerned that there might be too much snow lurking on the ridge, but all was well, the snow obediently leaving the ridge clear while still hugging the steeper corrie walls for aesthetic effect.

It was a short and easy detour E to the summit of Sgurr Breac. Another Munro, another cairn, another picture of the two of us looking wet in the middle of a cloud.

Summit of Sgurr Breac
Backtracking to Toman Coinnich, we then continued W towards A’Chailleach. After enjoying a wee slide on one of the snow patches on the descent to the bealach, the cloud suddenly lifted, giving us brief, magical views of the corrie below, and Loch Fannich stretching out beneath us.

Loch Toll an Lochain

Loch Fannich
Happy to have seen something other than the inside of a cloud we romped along the path, spotting the cairn for the return ridge on the way. Reached the summit 3:30 after leaving the car. The cloud was back, however, so we didn’t stay for long.

Luckily Mrs Biscuit was paying attention on the descent and so we didn’t completely miss the left turn to head down the N ridge. Descended N to the end of the ridge’s flat section, then E down grass and rocks into the corrie where we ate lunch by the stream. Spotted about 11 heavily laden walkers clambering into the gloom above us on Toman Coinnich’s ridge. Judging by their packs it looked like they must be on a walking / camping expedition – didn’t envy their packs or their camping prospects.

After lunch, followed the stream downhill, spotting some deer nonchalantly munching away above us. We skirted around to the right, not losing too much height as we’d read that the ground was extremely boggy near the loch. Reached the deer fence about 150m above the distant stile – perhaps we shouldn’t have kept so much height after all! Descended to the stile but didn’t like the look of the mire on the other side – so continued down to the lochside track. This actually wasn’t so bad – at least it was flat which was welcome relief after so much ‘haggis walking’ around the side of the hill. Saw quite a few birds swooping low over the loch. I'm no ornithologist, but I'm pretty sure they were black and white.

Rounded the final corner to the bridge at the N of the loch and clambered onto the track that led back to the car. Then had one of those weird moments. Our memory of the trip out had been car – detour sign –detour path – bridge. We’d completely managed to forget the 1km walk along the access road. Legs grumbling, (but another cake earned) we made it back to the car.
Mountain Walker
Posts: 22
Munros:227   Corbetts:8
Grahams:6   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: May 26, 2012

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