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East Affric from South Mullordoch

East Affric from South Mullordoch


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:10 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Carn Eige), Carn Eige, Mam Sodhail, Toll Creagach, Tom a'Choinich

Date walked: 05/07/2014

Time taken: 9.45 hours

Distance: 20.6 km

Ascent: 1863m

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The plan for these Munros was born from a post in the meetings section on the website by Nodge. I also wanted to try a report on a new route. I text Angus the Boatman to reserve spaces for me and my mate Andy and my two faithful young Springer’s Roy and Lochy on an 8.30am boat. The next layer of the plan was down to some great recent reports by Mountainlove and Weaselmaster which involved camping (both the camp site and wild type). Therefore I booked myself a pitch for the tent and Andy a Camping Pod at Cannich Camp site, this meant we would be in no hurry to get off the hill as long as there was light and also no long drive back to Aberdeen to be done the same night, it also meant there was an option to do a walk the following day.

During the week I introduced the dogs to the tent by setting it up in my garden and let them investigate, after around 20 seconds of letting them out to see, Lochy the black and white dug nearly hung himself on one of the guy lines, great start!! Soon they settled and I placed toys and treats in the tent to get them used to the enclosed space, after a couple of days I was happy they would be fine.

We arrived up at the Dam at 8.38am so had to quickly grab our gear and run down to get the boat, Angus was there waiting, “no hurry” he said, cheers Angus. Once aboard we set off for the west end of the loch, weather was looking promising. Angus dropped us off a little east from the foot of Beinn Fhionnlaidh, he said the ascent is much easier by heading for one of the many waterfalls of the Allt Coire an Lochain then over to the shoulder Coire Moireach and up to the summit.
photo 1.JPG
Angus leaving us to it

photo 3.JPG
Me drinking from one of waterfalls

photo 6.JPG
Beinn Fhionnlaidh

photo 10.JPG
Me stopped to rest on shoulder

We stopped at one of the waterfalls to wash the sweat from our brows, here we noticed three figures ahead of us, and I presumed this to be Nodge, Martin and another as they had both responded to the Forum. Once we got up onto the shoulder a Golden Eagle came gliding round the North side of Beinn Fionnlaidh, wow!! It must have passed within 20 feet of us, by the time we got our cameras out it was much further away and heading up towards Coire Lochan and the North Face of Carn Eige. It never beat its wings once in all that distance, just used the warn summer updrafts from the mountain to fuel its journey, amazing start to the day, Majestic Bird.
photo 1.JPG
Golden Eagle 1

We then caught up with the three ahead and it was Martin and nodge and their friendly young lady companion. We spoke briefly and they explained they were taking their time as they were just planning on the one Munro and Angus was coming back for them at 3pm, we raced on as we had a big day ahead of us and wanted to try to beat any rain that was forecast. Sorry if we seemed anti-social guys……. We reached the summit and the sweat was pouring off us as this was a steep climb on pathless terrain.
photo 3.JPG
Summit Beinn Fhionnlaidh

photo 4.JPG
Carn Eige & Mam Sodhail

photo 5.JPG
Tom & Toll to the East

photo 7.JPG
Beinn Fhada in the distance??

At the top we saw the whole route ahead south to Mam Sodhail and East to Tom & Toll.
We came off the summit and passed a group of three guys from Dunoon that can only be described as machines, they were doing the round of 8 from Toll Creagach to Mullach nan Dheiragain where Angus was collecting them at 6pm, I have a feeling they were going to be slightly early going by their pace!! We skirted round the side of Creag an Fhuarail Bheag which was full of boulders and I hate walking on the side of mountains as it puts pressure on my ankles.
photo 9.JPG
Resting before the col between Carn Eige & Mam Sodhail

photo 11.JPG
Resting before the col between Carn Eige & Mam Sodhail

After a couple of stops we reached the col between Mam Sodhail and Carn Eige where we took on water and ditched our packs to enable a quick ascent/descent of Mam Sodhail. The three machines caught us at the top and we chatted for a while and got some route information from them since they had come from that direction, apparently after Toll Creagach the ground was really soggy back down to the Loch/Dam. While on the descent Roy started barking at a fellow walker coming towards us and it turned out to be Douglas and Kevin whom we had shared much of the North side Munros route with back in May. It was great to see them and we had a quick chat, they were heading off Mam Sodhail into Glen Affric to collect their car after Angus had picked them up and taken them up to the foot of Beinn Fhionnlaidh in the 8am boat. Douglas pointed out that Carn Eige is the highest point in a direct line between Ben Nevis and the Arctic, as well as being the biggest beast north of the Great Glen. All the best guys.
We picked up our packs and made short work of the ascent up to Carn Eige, the path made it easy and at the top the views north were stunning, I did not know the exact mountains but presume it was Torridon. The wind was picking up a bit but not enough to spoil our moods. We could now see the whole route to the very distant cairn on top of Toll, peeking from behind Tom. We knew we still had around 17km to go so did not dither.
photo 12.JPG
Douglas and Kevin on top of Mam Sodhail

photo 15.JPG
Route East off of Carn Eige

photo 16.JPG
Distant Torridon??

photo 20.JPG
Tom a'Choinich

Ahead we saw the tricky looking small ridge of Stob a’Choire Dhomhnuill, the dogs led the way and there are paths round the sections which involve some holding on with hands, there was a small feeling of exposure here. The way forward takes you parallel to the ridge running off Mam Sodhail to Sgurr na Lapaich, this looks a nice walk too. This next section towards Tom a’Choinich is on rocky ground where you have to watch your footing, especially going downhill. After numerous undulations we crossed Tom a’Choinich Beag and ascended the final 80 meters to Tom a’Choinich. Summit four, and we could see the final Munro ahead, the end was near, but not that near.
photo 23.JPG
Looking worse for wear on Tom a'Choinich

photo 25.JPG
Toll Creagach peeping over far left

photo 26.JPG
Route off of Tom a'Choinich

The descent off Tom a’Choinich is steep and rocky down to Bealach Toll Easa but it evens out after that and the route to the summit of Toll Creagach is but a slightly ascending walk on grassy to Stoney ground, the dogs found a few pools of water/mud to keep them cool and with the wind getting up they started to scent things which were up wind to them so constant reiteration of ‘leave it’ and ‘come in’ was used to distract them from wanting to wander after birds and hare. We reached the summit and it really felt like we’d had a long day now. We still had around 6km back to the car through virgin territory as far as we were concerned, I had not seen any reports on here that report this exact route so all we had to go on was the map and the three machines comment about it being boggy after Toll Creagach.
photo 28.JPG
Dogs reaching last Munro Summit Toll Creagach

We decided to descend East to the 789m point and then head down into the glen as the face running off North East of Toll looked extremely steep with a mixture of grass and rock, which I always think spells disaster. The dogs sent up three Ptarmigan and Lochy gave chase, he lost his footing and somersaulted over, once I realised nothing was hurt but his pride I laughed my head off, wee sod came back over with tail firmly between his legs, looking right embarrassed, Roy was too busy seeking out pools of mud to laugh. It was once down in the Glen Fraoch-choire we realised the machines were dead right, it was boggy as hell and I would hate to have been coming up this way. We followed the Allt Fraoch-choire stream down to the woodland at the bottom.
photo 29.JPG
Reaching woods near the Loch

photo 30..JPG
Loch coming into view

Once here it was still really boggy and muddy, we took a right through a gate in the deer fence and headed towards a wee cottage. Another couple of deer fences had to be crossed over styles, luckily the Springer’s weigh not much more than 18kg so we were able to lift them over or they found gaps to squeeze through. Once down on the road beside the dam we had to jump a few gates and fences again lifting the dogs. Once down below the dam It reminded me on scenes from the old War Movie the Heroes of Telemark, us creeping below the huge Mullardoch Dam, great memories of long ago adventures in my childhood. Once over the other side you appreciate the true size and extent of the dam, it is huge.
photo Dam.JPG
Crossing below the Dam

The short walk back to the car on tarmac felt great and we could almost taste our impending first Pint of Amber Nectar. The dogs got food at the car and we drove back to Cannich to check into our abodes.
I pitched the tent and we then showered quickly and headed to the Slaters Arms for pints and homemade curry, delightful, and the dogs were welcome too!! Once back at the camp site the dogs got a quick walk round the Shinty pitch behind the site and it was bed by the back of 10, dropped off dreaming of the hills and adventures still to come, and a meeting with a nemesis the following day!!
photo 36.JPG
Abode for the night
Attachments
photo 13.JPG
Summit Beinn Fhionnlaidh coming into view
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Beaner001
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 743
Munros:234   Corbetts:26
Grahams:3   
Sub 2000:5   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   
Joined: Sep 17, 2013
Location: Aberdeenshire

Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby dogplodder » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:18 pm

Well done you and the Springers! I did the first three of your five with labs Jack and Tess - but without a lift from Angus and they didn't ask for a walk for the next three days! 8)
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:24 pm

Well done guys and dugs ..bit of an epic! :clap: I was the other one with Martin and John (Nodge). Glad you had a good day. :D We met the 'machines' on the top of Fhionnlaidh. Gutted I missed that Eagle ...must have had my head down :evil: Maybe see you again on the hills sometime!
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:10 pm

dogplodder wrote:Well done you and the Springers! I did the first three of your five with labs Jack and Tess - but without a lift from Angus and they didn't ask for a walk for the next three days! 8)


I read your report before my trip DP so got some tips, cheers. I think your walk was more of an epic as that was some walk in/out for you guys. I wish my dogs would be like that, they were recharged after sleeping in the car back to Aberdeen and needed out when home, all i wanted to do was sleep!! :lol:
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Beaner001
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Posts: 743
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:14 pm

SAVAGEALICE wrote:Well done guys and dugs ..bit of an epic! :clap: I was the other one with Martin and John (Nodge). Glad you had a good day. :D We met the 'machines' on the top of Fhionnlaidh. Gutted I missed that Eagle ...must have had my head down :evil: Maybe see you again on the hills sometime!


It was actually easier than i thought, the boat helps take a huge distance off :lol: The eagle sighting made it for me, cannot believe how close it came. Yeah no doubt we may bump into eachother again :D
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Beaner001
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:20 pm

Brilliant trip, having done the first 3 of these recently I felt exhausted by the time you got back to your tent :lol:
The spaniels did well, how do they take to being in the boat?
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby martin.h » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:18 am

Great report and some really nice photo's Matthew, well done guy's. :clap: and the dogs, knowing those two they probably did twice the distance.
That looks like an enjoyable day out, yet another one added to my ever growing agenda, wish we could retire. :lol:
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Mountainlove » Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:50 am

Great report and pictures and I am glad you gave the camping a go :D :clap: :clap:
How much did you pay for the boat ride??
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:36 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Brilliant trip, having done the first 3 of these recently I felt exhausted by the time you got back to your tent :lol:
The spaniels did well, how do they take to being in the boat?


Thanks Huff_n_puff, they seemed to take to it fine, your not actually on it for that long, i held onto them quite tight as i was worried they would 'spring' into the water as they both love water and spaniels can be daft as brushes anyway i'd not put it past them to jump out a moving boat :lol: :lol:
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Beaner001
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:37 pm

martin.h wrote:Great report and some really nice photo's Matthew, well done guy's. :clap: and the dogs, knowing those two they probably did twice the distance.
That looks like an enjoyable day out, yet another one added to my ever growing agenda, wish we could retire. :lol:


Defo Martin, they were still going strong at the end and i had to take them round to the shinty pitch behind the camp site twice for a run before bed!! Cheers
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Beaner001
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Re: East Affric from South Mullordoch

Postby Beaner001 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:41 pm

Mountainlove wrote:Great report and pictures and I am glad you gave the camping a go :D :clap: :clap:
How much did you pay for the boat ride??


I don't think im ready for the wild camps yet though, maybe by time next summer comes round and i've saved up for a lighter weight tent......
The Boat is £25 a head, dogs were free though. Angus is also happy to pick you up from Affric and surrounding areas so you can leave your car, i think he's happy to accomodate most ideas people have.
Cheers Matt
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