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Strathfarrar 4 from glen orrin

Strathfarrar 4 from glen orrin

Postby tom061087 » Tue May 27, 2014 9:28 pm

Munros included on this walk: Carn nan Gobhar (Strathfarrar), Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais, Sgurr Fhuar-thuill, Sgurr na Ruaidhe

Date walked: 26/05/2014

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 1800m

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Decided to make an "expedition" of these 4 munros and parked at the bridge on the public road by the river meig at inverchoran farm about 7 in the evening. Having come straight from 90 minutes of football, and carrying a luxurious amount of food and drink, we were a bit slow over the hill into Glen Orrin taking close to 2 hours to cover the 5km.

Glen Orrin is a glen made in heaven for wild camping, with acres and acres of well drained grass kept trim by the thousands of deer, miles from any civilisation, plenty water and a good supply of firewood. We walked round in circles for a while deliberating on where to pitch, mostly due to my companions insistence on finding a spot sheltered from the wind and also not too close to the burn or river - apparently the noise of either would keep him awake.

The plan was to walk the munros the next day, return to the tents for the night and then walk out the following day. In the event the next morning we awoke to pouring rain which kept us in our sleeping bags until well into the morning, when we eventually emerged the weather and the low cloud meant we decided against going for the munros. We strolled up the glen a few km, and returned soaking ready to pack up and return to the bright lights of inverness. Then we had the idea of attempting to build a shelter from all the dead wood in the forest next to our tents, complete with a moss covered roof. Two hours later we had our shelter, a fire and the trip was saved, an evening spent under a moss roof with a few drams!

Anyway, the next morning the rain was still going and after waiting until around 11am to finally brave the elments we packed up ready to walk out back to the cars. Then the sun came out, the munro tops appeared briefly and we decided we would leave our packs behind while we walked the four munros we had come for, with a hasty retreat from the first summit if we couldnt get a phone signal to let our loved ones know what we were up to! This was really not ideal as it was now 12.30 and we had to walk back to the cars with full packs after what was quite a strenuous walk, but anyway!

We set off up a stalkers path before cutting of to the left making a direct line to the summit of Carn nan Gobhar. This was easy going except the final 100m of ascent over loose scree. Once on the summit the skies were still clear and the route over to Sgurr na Ruidhe was obvious. Unfortunately this second summit is possibly the most boring munro there is, its only saving grace being the carpet of moss up its slopes which is very easy on the knees! Even worse, due to climbing from the other side we essentially had to reascend Carn nan Gobhar before proceeding to munros 3 and 4. I'm claiming this as a 5 munro round!

Anyway, nearing the summit of Carn nan Gobhar for the second time a fierce squall came in and we seriously considered calling it a day at two summits and retreating to Glen Orrin. Shortly afterwards the rain cleared and the sun poked through and all was well again. We plodded on up Sgurr a Choire Ghlais which was a long drag above some impossibly positioned banks of snow. No real problems carrying on along the ridge dropping down before climbing the minor top of Creag Ghorm a Bhealaich where we briefly went wrong in the mist walking off down the north ridge before correcting ourselves. The final pull up Sgurr Fhuar-thuill was completed and we then headed down the north ridge, which was a bit tricky with the snow only recently thawed and the soaking wet moss mreaking away from the rock below conspiring to make a pretty tracherous surface. We took a bearing north-east where the gradient levels off, making a beeline across the outlet to Loch and Fhuar-thuill Mhoir back towards where our packs were stashed.

I had bee preparing myself for the walk over the track back to the cars all day and was expecting it to be horrendous after such a long day. Perhaps because of this, it was a breeze up to the top of the pass although a bit hard on the knees on the way down the other side. By 8pm we were on our way back to inverness.

It seems the conventional way to do these four is from strathfarrar, but given the fact we didnt leave glen orrin until after mid day and carried full packs for the final few km, it seems a feasible if lengthy option to do this walk from the public road to the north, and avoid all the locked gate issues. The total distance would be 29km, with about 2000m of ascent - not easy but achievable with an early start.
Posts: 9
Munros:32   Corbetts:24
Grahams:15   Donalds:20
Sub 2000:32   Hewitts:1
Wainwrights:1   Islands:41
Joined: Jul 23, 2009

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