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The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby Mountainlove » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:50 am

Route description: Sgurr Mor and the eastern Fannichs

Munros included on this walk: An Coileachan, Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Meall Gorm, Sgurr Mor

Date walked: 24/06/2014

Time taken: 9.15 hours

Distance: 24.1 km

Ascent: 1417m

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Holidays – I was on my way to the far north, but before hand I finally wanted to finish the eastern Fannichs. Those who remember I had aimed to finish the 9 over 2 days last year, but missing a Munro and having to re- climb another one 3x because of it, all topped by bad weather during next day, made my plans fail. :(

Everything happens for a reason! :roll:

I had planned to start the walk at 1pm, but for different traffic related reasons I did not arrive until 3pm. Annoyed I checked the times, but starting a 8-10h walk at that time, is a wee bit late even for my standards! 8) :D Not wanting to miss out the walk I decided to pack overnight gear and camp up high. :thumbup:

Soon after the content of my complete holiday wardrobe and camping kit was spread out on the car park, much to the amusement of a lady who had a quick stop. :lol: Packing my bag I was ready half an hour later and set off towards the hills. The sun was hot and the tiring 6.5h drive was soon forgotten. Walking the short distance along the road, I crossed the bridge and followed the great track through the forest.

The car park

The views ahead

The easy path and the cut off, before you leave the forest

The lovely burn I followed up

It was all very easy and lovely, but not for long. Once I left the wide path and stepped on the open moor site, it started to get boggy. The faint path continued towards the loch, but as I had planned to walk from east to west, I soon had to leave it and walk through bog and heather. It was relentless and I was glad when I finally reached the shore of Loch Gorm.

The bog begins and the path towards Loch Li in the distance- which not to follow

Loch Gorm and the first summit in the sun

Looking up An Goileachan the first Munro of the day, it looked easy and I decided to take a straight up approach. Soon I was covered in sweat and 3 hours after setting off, I finally stood on the first Munro. The views were lovely and from the east I could see some low cloud racing towards me. My fear that this could be the end of amazing views, was short lived, as as soon as they approached they were blown off again by the icy wind. Shivering I already regretted for putting shorts on and moved on quickly. Down the grassy slopes and out of the wind I stopped for dinner.

Looking back down to Loch Gorm on the way up the first Munro

The first summit, with clouds racing towards me

Loch Fannich in the distance

Lovely big eyes

Having dinner as a first meal up in the mountains, is a sure sign I started off too late, but on the plus side I had the hills to myself. Setting off I climbed towards the second Munro Meall Gorm and what a pleasant walk it was. In the distance I could see the hills I had climbed before and I loved the view of Scurr Mor who had a ring of clouds around its base. Spectacular!

The ring of clouds and 2 deer

Me on Munro No 2

As soon as I reached Meall Gorm the views started to get really dramatic. Oh this was great! Scurr Mor, Munro No 3 doomed high above me and having another short rest I watched the deer who not long ago had been wandering around the summit cairn of the second Munro.
I had hoped the ring of clouds would stay at the bottom of Scurr Mor, but by the time I made my way up, they had disappeared…maybe as well as the views towards the east were lovely. Feeling tired for the first time I checked my watch – 9:00 pm! Not surprising then.

The way towards Sgurr Mor



The views from the way up Scurr Mor

Dramatic views down

Further views down

By the time I reached the ancient looking summit cairn, I was rewarded with some of the most amazing summit views one can hope for. The sun was standing low over An Teallach and beams of light coloured the Atlantic behind golden. A sheet of low cloud rolled over am Burach in front of Meall a ' Chrasgaidh and puffs of cloud were rising from the valley in front of Carn na Criche.
It was amazing and standing still, all I could do was watch and take photos. It was as if the mountain wanted to make up for the bad times I had previously and the show I got was something else.

I might had to wait for the answer why everything happens for a reason, but here it was.

Scurr Mors ancient looking cairn

Golden light over the Atlantic

Low cloud rolling over am Burach in front of Meall a ' Chrasgaidh

From a different angle, with clouds rising from far below

Sunbeams shining down on An Teallach

Sunset over An Teallach

Loch Broom and Stac Polly in the distance

My numb legs and fingers brought me back to reality and unpacking my bag I changed into my long trousers and was glad I had remembered my gloved and hat. I still could not drag me away and watched in amazement when little hats of clouds appeared above A Chailleach and Sgurr Breac.

Clouds above A Chailleach and Sgurr Breac.

Panoramic views back

Even though I would have loved to camp high, the cold finally drove me down to the last Munro. Not very spectacular after Sgurr Mor, but with sun beams fallen upon An Teallach in the distance I reached the 4th Munro at 22:15h.

On the way towards the final Munro

The cairn

As it was getting late, I did not hang on and made my way down the Munro following a great path. Unfortunately the wrong path and realizing my mistake a good 20 min later I checked the GPS and saw a good spot to camp at Loch Sgeireach just above 500m, which would be on the road back home. Perfect.

At 23:00 I finally reached my destination and it was still incredibly light. I put up the tent, had a late night snack of squashed Jaffa cakes and water and retired to bed….what a day it had been!!

At 23:00h looking for a camp spot close to Loch Sgeireach

Just before Midnight

Waking up early during the next morning, I packed up my gear and checked the map. It wasn’t far back to the road, but the area was the mother of all bog. Even after the dry spell we had, the ground was soaked with water and I don’t think I stepped one piece of dry grass for the next hour. To pass time I made an effort to look out for Sundew. I had read about it in the last Walkhighland newsletter and had been annoyed since that I never had spotted the plant before.

Wishing that I had paid more attention were this plant grows (all I remembered was bog) it took me ages to spot the rather small plant, but afterwards I saw them everywhere. Strange how I managed to walk by them for years! Thanks to the plant spotting activity the walk back passed rather quickly and 2h after leaving my camp spot I was back at my car and ready for some further adventures in the far north.




What to look out for

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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:20 pm

Some stunning pics there, as usual ML. Well done. :clap:

Note to self: I must try and get into this wild-camping caper at some point. Looks fab.... :D
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby orion » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:22 pm

Love the clouds draped over the hills :D
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby jmarkb » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:31 pm

Wow - brilliant! Great photos. :D

Mountainlove wrote:To pass time I made an effort to look out for Sundew.

That's Greater Sundew, which is mostly found in the NW Highlands, rather than the Round-leaved Sundew which occurs all over Scotland and, as the name suggests has much rounder leaves.
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby spiderwebb » Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:40 pm

Great report ML, loved reading that, brought back fond memories of the Fannichs, favourites of mine, although did them all bar 2 in full winter, superb.

Pics are superb but especially the atmospheric cloud ones, stunning....note to oneself, late starts can be as good if not better than early ones :lol:
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby David-Main » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:21 pm

Brill photos ML, love then sundew ones and the bird in the pic is a Dotterel, a bird that lives in the mountains over the Summer. Well done. :clap:
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby gordon l » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:30 pm

Those pics of an teallach in the sunset are fantastic. :D
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby Sick Kid » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:32 pm

Wow!!! You really were rewarded for your previous misery.....what views and great pics!
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby dogplodder » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:43 pm

Those cloud pics are superb - worth being up there late to get those. You should start a side line of making mountain landscape calendars! :D
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby Fife Flyer » Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:47 pm

Great report with some superb photo's :clap: :clap:

The Fannichs sound a tad soggy underfoot, did the western ones & got drenched & saw nothing :(

An area I must re-visit 8)
Thanks for posting :wink:
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby goth_angel » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:49 pm

Wonderful sunset photos. 8)

These are on my radar at the moment given a planned trip to Ullapool. One for a good day by the look of it!
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby Collaciotach » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:58 pm

Some fab photos there and you cannot beat a late afternoon /evening walk this time of year ....the best :D
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby AnnieMacD » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:24 pm

Your report is great but the photos are stunning - especially the cloud rolling over the hill tops. I must admit I'm very much a night owl so love the evening light - wish I was brave enough to camp out!
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby mrssanta » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:25 pm

ooh thanks for that, the planned destination for next week !!! if our views are half as good as these we will be blessed. your evening pics are fabulous.
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Re: The eastern 4 Fannichs – A walk into the night

Postby litljortindan » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:34 pm

Some superb pictures.
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