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Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig


Postby PeteR » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:22 pm

Route description: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn, Loch Arkaig

Corbetts included on this walk: Fraoch Bheinn, Sgurr Mhurlagain

Date walked: 29/09/2013

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With the forecast set fair for a cracking Sunday I was up for another overnight drive to some far flung remote glen and an overnight kip in the car. The far flung remote glen of choice this weekend was Glen Dessary, with a walk into Glen Kingie and a Corbett/Munro combo of Sgurr an Fhuarain, Sgurr Mor and Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoidh. It's certainly an “interesting” drive at night, along the long single track road that runs beside Loch Arkaig to the end of the public road :shock:
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Sgurr Thuilm from the start of the walk

As it was I was struggling very early on, and on reaching a rusting gate in an old fence at the base of the south ridge of the Corbett Fraoch Bheinn a combination of my distinct lack of energy, what can best be described as a wretched, boggy track to Tomdoun I was walking on, a 4.00 a.m. alarm call on the Monday morning to look forward to and the temptation to simply jack it in and head home, all led me to make a snap decision en route to scrap my plans and do something shorter and hopefully less purgatorial instead.

I initially thought I would do just the single Corbett of Fraoch Bheinn, but as it was I ended up adding on its neighbour Sgurr Mhurlagain as well. Despite the leaden legs and rubbish boggy ground my GPS suggested I managed a trip of over 11.5 miles on the day and plotting the route on the walkhighlands GPS planner suggested around 5,000 feet of ascent. Seems I probably could have completed my originally planned route after all had I stuck at it.

Making the decision to change my plans so early on was annoying. But I knew I wasn’t at the races, so saw no reason to push things. As it was Fraoch Bheinn, and its neighbour, gave a superb day :D :D

The route up Fraoch Bheinn was pathless, but involved some elements of picking my way through crags and over boulders, which I was enjoying.
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Starting the initial steep climb up Fraoch Bheinn

At this stage I wasn’t concerned with setting any sort of pace, so it was just a nice amble up through the rocks and crags of the south ridge. As a viewpoint it also afforded superb views back toward Gaor Bheinn, Braigh nan Uamhachan, Streap and the two tough Munros of Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan :D :D
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Streap and Sgurr Thuilm

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View down Loch Arkaig

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Sgurr Thuilm and Streap again

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The route up Fraoch Bheinn

As height was gained the Ben made an appearance, along with CMD and the big bulk of Aonach Mor :D
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The Ben

Despite being pathless the ascent of the south ridge of is actually pretty straightforward and very enjoyable :D
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Sgurr na h-Aide

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Into Glen Dessary and the hills to the south

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Gaor Bheinn, Streap et al

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Knoydart

My guide to the Corbetts suggested I should make my way across to the hill’s ridge to its north summit and there admire the crags on that part of the hill. Then I should return and make my way down via the route of ascent.
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Fraoch Bheinn north east ridge and the view to Gairich

Arriving at the north summit I was so taken with the view down the north east ridge I simply decided to go and have an “explore" and pick my way down the ridge from there :D There were quite a few more craggy bits to navigate through than on the south ridge. It was all fairly straight forward though :D I was still ambling along at this time, but with the sun out and warming my bonce I was feeling a whole lot better in myself. I’d probably say the walk along the summit and then down off the north ridge was the best bit of the day :D :D

Stunning views of my originally intended route ahead of me, which looked eminently more doable even in my lethargic state than I had convinced myself it was. I shall definitely return.

There were also great views to Gairich, Kinbreak bothy and into Glen Kingie.

I also had to get a few images back up the descent route……….just to panic MrsR :lol:
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Back toward the Fraoch Bheinn summit

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Some of the crags descended

Eventually I decided to drop down off the east side of the north east ridge and reacquaint myself with the wretched, boggy path back toward Glen Dessary.
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Fraoch Bheinn east ridge

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Sgurr Thuilm and Sgurr nan Coireachan from near the saddle between the two Corbbets

I’d been eyeing up Sgurr Mhurlagain from Fraoch Bheinn, and it didn’t look like too much extra effort from the high saddle between the two Corbetts :wink:

So 1 became 2.

The traipse over the boggy ground and up the west side of its south ridge wasn’t too bad, but once on it the ridge is a bit indistinct. And pathless. By now I was thinking more about my pace and so this section was a bit of a slog to get me to the top as soon as I could. More of a slog than I had bargained for really, but having started the hard bit I decided to finish it seeing as I was so close to the top.

The slog was worth it though, with more great views all round, especially down the length of Loch Arkaig, as well as a super view northwest toward Beinn Sgritheall :D :D
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Cloud glancing the summit of the Ben

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Sgurr na h-Aide

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View down Loch Arkaig

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Panoramic view back off Sgurr Mhurlagain

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Sgurr Mor

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Beinn Sgritheall

Met the only other walker all day on the summit. A chap over from Edinburgh out with his dug. Stopped and had a good chat with him for a few minutes, discussing the various hills in the area. I did get slightly concerned at one point when he suggested the crags and boulders on the side of Fraoch Bheinn would be a good place to hide a body if I ever committed a murder :wtf: :lol: I was thinking of asking at that point just how his good lady wife was……….but thought maybe not :lol: :lol:

I took a few minutes on my own on the top once the chap and his dug had headed down. I then descended down off the south ridge of the hill, taking it as far as I could before making a short detour back to the awful track. Once on that it was a simple case of slipping and sliding my way back down to the Glen Dessary track and back to the car.
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Back to Streap and pals again

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Strathan

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One final view

So what may have started out as a bad at the office certainly ended much better than I might have thought an hour or so into my walk. I was shot to bits for sure, but certainly glad to have stuck at it and got to enjoy two unsung little gems in amongst their bigger cousins :D .
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PeteR
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby Bruno » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:27 pm

Brilliant photos, Pete - a favourite area of mine. These pics really do justice to the area.
Iain :clap: :clap: 8)
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby malky_c » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:31 am

Lovely day, and you included the best bit of Fraoch Beinn, which most people seem to miss out :D
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:38 am

Stunning photos Pete. A lot of bonnie mountains in that area which is just as well with the long drive up Loch Arkaig to get to them. :D
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:16 am

really looking forward to exploring this area. Sunday was a great day to be out. I was on Beinn Sgritheall ..should have given you a wave!! :D
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:06 pm

Bruno wrote:Brilliant photos, Pete - a favourite area of mine. These pics really do justice to the area.
Iain :clap: :clap: 8)


Thanks Ian. It's a bit of a favourite area for me too and one I'll be back to explore more :D Glad you enjoyed the photos.......I've been known to take a few when out on a walk :lol:
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:08 pm

malky_c wrote:Lovely day, and you included the best bit of Fraoch Beinn, which most people seem to miss out :D


Thanks malky. As soon as I saw the NE ridge I have to admit the only thought I had was "I'm having some of that" :lol: Great fun :D
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:11 pm

Johnny Corbett wrote:Stunning photos Pete. A lot of bonnie mountains in that area which is just as well with the long drive up Loch Arkaig to get to them. :D


Cheers JC. A great area and yes, a long drive along the loch. Some sections of that road toward the end of the loch were a bit tasty in the dark, with the fairground-ride-like rise and falls :shock:
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:14 pm

SAVAGEALICE wrote:really looking forward to exploring this area. Sunday was a great day to be out. I was on Beinn Sgritheall ..should have given you a wave!! :D


So I was in a favourite area of mine and you were on one of my favourite hills :D Sgritheall is a magnificient hill and seen from Sgurr Mhurlagain gives a different perspect on its superbness :D Hope you had a great day on that one :D
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby pigeon » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:57 pm

Smashin'report again Pete,never quite made it down the Arkaig road again this year,just need to look at your pics till next year :wink:
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby lochlaggan » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:41 pm

Great report, thanks.

One of my favourite parts of Scotland even with the recent forestry removal. Surprised you didn't mention the land slip on Fraoch Beinn it amazed me. :crazy:
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:52 pm

pigeon wrote:Smashin'report again Pete,never quite made it down the Arkaig road again this year,just need to look at your pics till next year :wink:


Cheers pigeon. It's a damn long road, that's for sure :shock: But some of the best walking I've done so far :D You need to get yourself back there and explore :wink:
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:58 pm

lochlaggan wrote:Great report, thanks.

One of my favourite parts of Scotland even with the recent forestry removal. Surprised you didn't mention the land slip on Fraoch Beinn it amazed me. :crazy:



Cheers lochlaggan. I suspect the landslip you are referring to was the area it was suggested I might like to lose my imaginary murder victim.........should the need ever arise :lol:
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby rockhopper » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:21 pm

One of these days I'll read one of your reports and find that everything went exactly according to plan.... :wink:
Seriously though, a great result in a fantastic area - only been down here once so far but really enjoyed it - cheers :)
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Re: Two Cracking Corbetts from Arkaig

Postby PeteR » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:42 pm

rockhopper wrote:One of these days I'll read one of your reports and find that everything went exactly according to plan.... :wink:
Seriously though, a great result in a fantastic area - only been down here once so far but really enjoyed it - cheers :)


:lol: :lol: It feels there is a bit of a theme to my reports rockhopper, but most do go to plan I think :? I just love being out in the hills and these two Corbetts gave me great views, so more than happy in the end :D
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