walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Much Traffic in Affric

Much Traffic in Affric


Postby GillC » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:03 pm

Route description: Carn Eige and Mam Sodhail

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Carn Eige), Carn Eige, Mam Sodhail

Date walked: 29/06/2014

Time taken: 11.1 hours

Distance: 28 km

Ascent: 1800m

7 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).

With only 1 day off work for John this weekend, we planned a trip up to Affric to meet up with Campbell (Meatball) for the central Munros in Glen Affric. Sue Back signed up shortly afterwards for her return trip to Scotland, then Campbell bailed lol So, with a plan to camp around Chisholm Bridge we arranged to meet up with Sue late on Friday night.

We arrived about 11pm and ventured up to the car park at the end of the road for a look. Lots of cars/vans/campers already parked up and some very nice public loos :clap:

We headed back down to the bridge, spotted a car matching Sues description, with a note on the windscreen addressed to me :lol: Finally spotted her tent off down the track past the bridge, near the lochside. Since there were no signs of life and it was pretty late, we opted to just get ourselves a wee pitch and settle for the night. We had already arranged to set off around 7am.

First pitch of our tent, on long grass was a bit dodgy, John asked if I could smell death! :shock: Worried there may be some small dead animal in or under the long grass around the tent, we shifted it nearer the track. (Got in to the tent and the smell may have been coming from the MILLIONS of dead midgies, not yet scraped off from the last trip lol)

Kit all ready for the next day and in the car, nothing for it but to open a wee bottle of beer/cider. Still very light and a breeze coming in from the loch kept the pesky biters at bay (for now) Bed before midnight.

Alarm went off about 6am, couple of snoozes then a wake up call from Sue on her way past to eat her porridge in the car, yep,,midges were out in force, we could see them mustering outside the air vents on the tent. Clouds of them. :shock:

Cleared the tent, gear in the car and brewed up a wee coffee with some munchies for breakfast. Leaving the tent to air a bit we could take it down before we drove home this evening. With a 2 car trick we left Johns car up at the end of the road for our return, save a couple of km on the road, with Sues back at the start. 7:34am, headed off down the track.

1 On the track way in, Sue still guarding against the mighty midge!.JPG
On the track way in, Sue still guarding against the mighty midge!


The weather forecast was for cloud but no rain and it had certainly stayed dry overnight but with the wind down, midgy nets were on as we set out. Following the line of the Gleann nan Fiadh we passed through a lightly wooded area, by some lovely waterfalls then came out on to the open ground under Beinn a Mheadhoin. Bit of bog trotting here but the sun was out and the clouds were high. Good day in prospect.

2 Path getting boggier.JPG
Path getting boggier

3 Waterfall and a deep dark pool.JPG
Waterfall and a deep dark pool


As the path arcs round West our first target hill comes in to view. A quick check of the map and we could see our route up to a grassy shoulder before heading up to Garbh Bealach. Bit of a plod up here, climbing from about 550mtrs to around 900 at the Bealach. We had spotted someone behind us but they stopped more than I do lol so they didn't gain much on us.

4 Sron Garbh hiding under the cloud as we head up to the bealach.JPG
Sron Garbh hiding under the cloud as we head up to the bealach

5 John on the rocky road.JPG
John on the rocky road


Reaching the bealach, we stopped for a snack, having been on the go for a few hours by now, then packed up and headed up the rocky slope to Sron Garbh. Looking up, it was very rough and scrambly but a good path wound its way between the rocks and fenceposts to bring us out on the 1131 top of Sron Garbh, pretty high for what is just a Munro top.

6 Sue on her way up the last section to Sron Garbh.JPG
Sue on her way up the last section to Sron Garbh


The clouds had dropped a bit and were blowing around us so the views came and went. Time for some navigation practice then lol Took a bearing to the West and a flat area at 1107 mtrs, red in the bed, checked the direction and yep,,cloud had cleared and we could see our objective.

The wander round the ridge was an easy one, ticking off the tops of Stob Coire Dhomhnuill, North to Stob a Choire Dhomhain, all over 1100mtrs but not feeling like Munro height. After a flat section, we climbed the last short slope to the West and up to Carn Eige.

7 View over to Sgurr na Lapaich and our descent route.JPG
View over to Sgurr na Lapaich and our descent route

8 On over to the pinnacles before Carn Eige.JPG
On over to the pinnacles before Carn Eige

9 Classy rock formations.JPG
Classy rock formations

10 First views over to Beinn Fionnlaidh.JPG
First views over to Beinn Fionnlaidh


The wind had been blowing in and had a touch of ice so we had layered up a bit, I left the gloves off but it took a while to get any heat back in the fingers. Reached the summit, highest in this region at 1183mtrs, with a cylindrical trig in a handy wee shelter. The clouds still swirling but we had great views over Tom and Tol the the East and to a recent trip to the North over Loch Mullardoch and pretty sure that was the Cuillin on Skye to the West.

11  Top of Carn Eige and time for a sarny.JPG
Top of Carn Eige and time for a sarny


No sign of the person behind us catching up as we checked the map and our route out to Beinn Fhionnlaidh. Descending North West we saw some tiny people (far away, not little :lol: ) on the top of BF and 1, then another come in under Carn Eige and head over towards Stob Coire Lochan, for remote hills, they were certainly busying up. I'm pretty sure there's a proper path all the way down to SCL but we ended up picking our way over a boulder field, as another person came round from the West below us.

12 Over the boulder field to Beinn Fionnlaidh.JPG
Over the boulder field to Beinn Fhionnlaidh

13 Passing above Stob Coire Lochan.JPG
Passing above Stob Coire Lochan


By the time we got to Bealach Beag, a couple of groups were on their way down. John stopped to chat to two gents about hills, where they were heading etc and I used this time to make up some distance, he and Sue wouldn't take long to catch me up lol. The distance to BF is longer on the ground than it looked from Carn Eige but its a clear easy path following the crags on the right.

14 Loch Mullardoch.JPG
Loch Mullardoch


Reaching the top of the steeper section, the summit has a flat plateau with the cairn at the North end, 1105mtrs and the smallest of todays trio. Despite a crowd having already headed off, there was another group still there. On reaching the cairn, had a chat and found out they had been dropped off by Angus, the Mullardoch Ferryman and were heading over the hills to Affric. Lucky they asked us about skirting round the top ahead to reach Carn Eige, that top WAS Carn Eige lol close call to missing it. Nice clear views and another snack break.

15 Lunch stop on Beinn Fionnlaidh, John showing off his Ginsters lol.JPG
Lunch stop on Beinn Fhionnlaidh, John showing off his Ginsters lol

16 Munro #95.JPG
Munro #95

17 Can't beat a wee selfie.JPG
Can't beat a wee selfie


Our next target, Mam Sodhail was clear to the West of Carn Eige as we retraced our route back to Stob Coire Lochan. At this point we had seen probably up to 15 people in the bowl between the 3 hills and others up on the summit of MS and another couple appeared below us on their way up BF.

18 3rd target of the day, Mam Sodhail.JPG
3rd target of the day, Mam Sodhail


Initially following the path we then spread out across the hillside like a search party, not sure if there was a path here but we just each picked our own way round what was quite a steep slope. A bit of a way across, the rain came on, looked like it might stick around so waterproof jackets out!! , wasn't heavy rain but better to stay dry. 2 figures came off the top and headed over to Carn Eige and the 5 guys from Beinn Fhionnlaidh were crossing in the opposite direction as we reached the ridge above Loch Uaine. The views to the South here were impressive.

19 View south from the ridge between Carn Eige and Mam Sodhail.JPG
View south from the ridge between Carn Eige and Mam Sodhail


From here the climb steepens up to the cairn at Mam Sodhail, but was easily done on a zig zag path through the rocks. A group on their way down were doing our route in reverse and considering it was after 3pm and they were just coming off their first hill, they would be having a late one I think :shock: Thankfully, as you reach the top of the hillside, the (HUGE) summit cairn is sitting right there. We heard the cairn could be climbed down into. I envisaged some sort of Mesolithic chambered cairn lol yes, its an impressive cairn, about 7ft high and very broad. On clambering up, the void in the middle is a 3-4ft deep square, great shelter I'm sure but I wasn't about to call Tony Robinson and the Time Team crew lol :crazy:

20 The crucifix pose on Mam Sodhail.JPG
The crucifix pose on Mam Sodhail

21  I can see the pub from here!.JPG
"I can see the pub from here!"


Few summit pics, more food and a great look to our ascent from the start of the day. Even better, as we headed off South West over the plateau top, the ridge of our descent appeared before us, reaching straight out to the Loch and Glen ahead. The map showed a path running under the ridge to the West, following the Allt Coire Leachavie but on two points, this would have brought us down much further from the car park at the road end and also, we would miss what looked like a terrific ridge walk. As we headed down towards Mullach Cadha Rainich, the cloud moved in from the West and obscured all views down the valley floor but our route of ascent was clear. So far, these hills hadn't really felt like the big hills they are but as we got better views of the rocky slopes of CE and BF, further in the distance now looking bigger from this angle, the Munros took on their proper status.

A great path takes you over the undulating ridge towards Sgurr na Lapaich where a strange formation shows a dropped ridge line which looked pretty steep and a bit daunting for the last part of the day (wasn't that bad though) Sgurr na Lapaich, was demoted from Munro status to a Top (at a mere 1036 mtrs!) by Sir Hugh Munro himself, in 1921 for his second reviewed edition. ( He died before completing this)

22 Our descent stretches out before us.JPG
Our descent stretches out before us

23 Heading up to Sgurr na Lapaich.JPG
Heading up to Sgurr na Lapaich


The trek up to Lapaich was the first time today I'd used my marker strategy, aiming only at the next prominent rock etc, to chip away at the distance to the top. As ever, this helps to cut the distance into manageable chunks and sooner than expected the ground levelled out and the cairn lay ahead. Quick touch and off again as the path heads South East. A bit of that low cloud kicked in here as we skirted the top of the North facing crags. John was on a mission now and was way off ahead. After a long day so far, my knee started to twinge a bit but kept an eye on it and didn't break into any mad runs lol. Sue and I picked our way down, initially on a path but eventually just making our way over the ground, some bog but nothing we couldn't stretch over. The ground here rises and falls a bit so like a wee boat on the sea, we lost sight of John between the waves, only to pick him up again as we rose to the top of the next crest.

Checking the map and the ground ahead, we could see a sharp curve of a light coloured track, heading down to Affric Lodge. This was our goal for now and we headed off behind John. A look back over our shoulders to the descent shows Lapaich as a fine big hill and I feel, still worthy of Munro status,, pesky Mr Munro lol

24 Affric appearing under the cloud.JPG
Affric appearing under the cloud


John waited for us on the curve of the track and worryingly, as we arrived, he had the midgy net on but they were only a problem if you stood still,,so, guess what? we didn't stand still and headed off down the track. It meanders down and round the hillside towards the Lodge and associated buildings. On getting further down, this whole wee settlement looks pristine, very tidy, clear and manicured. Reaching the track at a little after 6pm, we were looking at an 11hr day. Walking down by the lochside, the midgies were on the prowl again so we all had the nets on again. The last 1.25Km from track to car was the only point where my legs started to suffer, tired and with a mind of their own lol. Saw the car park off through the trees and with a wee scoot down a path to the bridge and picnic tables, up through the trees, we arrived quicker than if we had stuck to the road. Back to the lovely public loo's very handy at this time of the day. :D

25 Midgie net at the ready.JPG
Midgie net at the ready


Back to Chisholm Bridge to take the tent down, now raining which was quite refreshing but so much for airing the tent (and we had left the zip up on the front section!) Quick change of clothes, watched some others setting up their tents, god help them, under trees in the shelter of the bridge,,they will be EATEN ALIVE :shock: :shock: :shock:

Quick cheerio to Sue, nice to see her again and wished her well on her trips planned for the next few days and we headed off back to Glasgow. 4 hr drive (cheers John) after an 11 hr hill day. All round, a great day on smashing hills, didn't expect to see the large numbers of people out there. Another 3 blue balloons for me, up to 96 now and John has now hit 232, only 50 more to go John, the end is in sight. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Last edited by GillC on Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
GillC
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1509
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:28   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby old danensian » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:24 pm

Thanks for this report - really informative as well as whetting the appetite for getting up there.

All those Munros round Affric and Mullardoch are on my list for later in the year so I think I'll be dipping in and out of this one in the weeks to come.

OD
User avatar
old danensian
 
Posts: 416
Munros:282   Corbetts:64
Donalds:9
Hewitts:108
Wainwrights:150   
Joined: Jul 6, 2009
Location: Ayrshire

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby GillC » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:36 pm

old danensian wrote:Thanks for this report - really informative as well as whetting the appetite for getting up there.

All those Munros round Affric and Mullardoch are on my list for later in the year so I think I'll be dipping in and out of this one in the weeks to come.

OD



cool stuff,,smashing area, we did the 4 Northern Mullardoch ones back in April too, another epic day out there lol

Cheers OD
User avatar
GillC
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1509
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:28   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:38 pm

Great report Gill. You are getting to the magic 100 at a fair pace!
User avatar
AnnieMacD
Walker
 
Posts: 789
Munros:25   Corbetts:15
Grahams:13   
Sub 2000:8   
Joined: Jun 25, 2013
Location: Applecross

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby GillC » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:40 pm

AnnieMacD wrote:Great report Gill. You are getting to the magic 100 at a fair pace!



Thanks Annie,,,got my sights on the eastern 4 Mamores for this weekend to get to the hundred,,but not counting my chickens and all that :lol:
User avatar
GillC
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1509
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:28   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby Tomsie » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:53 pm

Making another two trips soon enough. Road down is good for a glen road.
Ah 4 to get to the ton hopefully weather is good Sunday.
User avatar
Tomsie
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1161
Munros:119   Corbetts:59
Grahams:35   Donalds:33
Sub 2000:14   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Jan 8, 2011

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby tina bonar » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:44 pm

Nice report there Gill and some cracking photos too :clap: Haven't been to that area yet but that may change soon
Fingers crossed you get to " ton up" this weekend :D Will gie you a wave from Glencoe!
User avatar
tina bonar
Walker
 
Posts: 142
Munros:157   Corbetts:1
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Jun 24, 2012
Location: montrose

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby GillC » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:04 pm

Cheers Barry, I'm finishing a walk at Kingshouse on Saturday and staying over in Glencoe, might just wave back lol.
User avatar
GillC
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1509
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:28   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:23 pm

Nice one Gill, you are catching me up fast :lol:
Good luck for the ton, another mile stone :wink:

My target of 150 by the end of the year is looking easy peasy :lol: Having said that I hadn't been planning to get out as much, but if the weather forecast is favourable why stay in Fife :lol:
User avatar
Fife Flyer
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 2346
Munros:171   Corbetts:46
Grahams:35   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:116   Hewitts:2
Islands:5
Joined: May 15, 2013
Location: Guess?

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby Munchie » Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:21 pm

Well done to Gill the Redemeer & Co ..... that was a long day on dem der hills :crazy:
User avatar
Munchie
Walker
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Jul 21, 2013

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby Terryk » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:13 am

Hey that person behind you at the start was me! You're correct, I did rest more than you! :) Thanks for your unknowing support though - my first decent walk this summer - it can help to have walkers ahead pulling you along. Red jacketed John seemed to be leading the way.

I opted out of Beinn Fionnlaidh but after Mam Sodhail followed your route out. (Angus the Ferryman dropped me off at base of BF next day and picked me up after climb. Interesting guy with great local knowledge). Thanks for the great photos.
Terryk
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 12, 2013

Re: Much Traffic in Affric

Postby GillC » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:09 am

Terryk wrote:Hey that person behind you at the start was me! You're correct, I did rest more than you! :) Thanks for your unknowing support though - my first decent walk this summer - it can help to have walkers ahead pulling you along. Red jacketed John seemed to be leading the way.

I opted out of Beinn Fionnlaidh but after Mam Sodhail followed your route out. (Angus the Ferryman dropped me off at base of BF next day and picked me up after climb. Interesting guy with great local knowledge). Thanks for the great photos.



hehe, fab stuff Terryk. we actually started to think you were someone we knew but avoiding us :lol: , we were going to hide behind the cairn at Carn Eige and shout BOO! lol We even watched out for you following us off Eige,, but you never appeared. :shock:
User avatar
GillC
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1509
Munros:282   Corbetts:37
Grahams:28   Donalds:30
Sub 2000:19   Hewitts:5
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Chryston

7 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is now advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: petelynn, StevieC and 56 guests