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Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day


Postby martin.h » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:18 pm

Route description: Sgurr nan Clach Geala, near Braemore

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach, Meall a'Chrasgaidh, Sgurr Breac, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr nan Each

Date walked: 05/08/2014

Time taken: 9.5 hours

Distance: 22 km

Ascent: 1740m

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I had looked at climbing these mountains on two seperate days but looking at the forecast for the rest of the week had also looked at the slight possibility of doing them in one long day,but only deciding when we got down to the bealach at the head of Fliuch Choire.
The main objective of the day were the three Munro's Meall a'Chrasgaidh,Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr nan Each.
The day dawned with thin mist around the cottage were we staying just south of Lairg,there was a hint of blue sky above all this so we put the plan into action,had an early breakfast,chucked the boots,poles and rucksacs into the car and drove the 53 miles round to the start point,We parked up in the layby described in the WH route description got the boots on and were off trying in vain to outwalk the midges.
The views towards our mountains were good but the clear blue sky we had whilst travelling had given way to a thin layer of grey but did'nt look threatening. We saw the path going off to the left soon after the bridge but did'nt take it because it was more like 50 foot rather than 50 mtrs and found ourselves on the good stalkers path which runs alongside the Allt Breabaig and considering how to cross it,we eventually found a good spot but if anybody does what we did,go back and find the path,it saves a lot of messing about.
When we did cross we found a path heading in the right general direction and followed it then struck directly uphill and carried on like this upto the point where it starts to ease.
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Views opening up, An Teallach

In the distance we could see what looked like a cairn but as we got closer found it to be a boulder but,we were heading in the right direction, and we arrived at the cairn on the summit of Meall a'Chrasgaidh after not too much effort.
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Our first summit, Meall a'Chrasgaidh

The views from here are great with Sgurr Mor taking centre stage
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Sgurr Mor

and An Teallach really looking good with the Fisherfield mountains to the left.
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An Teallach

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Sgurr Breac and A'Chailleach looking good

I was quite suprised at how close Sgurr Mor looked from here, we could see the big cairn on it's summit very plainly indeed. Our way forward onto Sgurr nan Clach Geala was easy to see but it did look a bit daunting considering it's quite a bit bigger than the mountain we were on,but the day was fine so there was no hurry.
The climb onto the summit of the second munro was full of interest with the crags and cliffs of Sgurr nan Clach Geala in front of you
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Crags of Sgurr nan Clach Geala

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Denise and crags

and the sheer bulk of Sgurr Mor to the left it did feel huge and when on the summit you can see most of the eastern Fannichs stretching away from you,a fantastic place to be.
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On the summit of Sgurr nan Clach Geala

Looking onward to Sgurr nan Each it seemed a long way off but the time was good and the prospect of including two more munros did'nt seem too bad so we decided to get onto munro no:3 and then make the decision, Sgurr Breac did'nt look that far off.
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Looking over to Sgurr Breac

The walk down to Cadha na Guite is quite steep in places and you do descend about 280 mtrs but,thankfully, the climb up onto Sgurr nan Each is less than half of that and it is soon reached.
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Sgurr Mor on the way upto Sgurr nan Each

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On the summit of Sgurr nan Each

The views from here are magnificent in all directions,we could see Fionn Bheinn the mountain we were on 3 day's before, the other 4 Fannichs stretching away to the east and our next two possibilities too near to ignore.
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Sgurr Breac

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Looking over to Slioch

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Torridon

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An Teallach again

We retraced our steps back down to Cadha na Guite and then started the steep descent down to the bealach,all the way looking at the way up Sgurr Breac.
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The ridge leading upto the summit of Sgurr Breac

We could see a path running up the ridge opposite and when we arrived at a shelter in the bealach we could see the start of this path and it was then we decided to give the other two a shot.
We started up the path which was fairly wet initially and were soon caught up by the first person we'd seen all day,we had a quick chat and found out he was doing all 9 of the Fannichs in one day and these were his final two, and the way he shot off I could see he must be incredibly fit and in no time at all,he seemed miles away,how good it must be to be young and fit.
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Views getting better,on the way to Sgurr Breac

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Incerdible views from near the top

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Looking back to Sgurr nan Clach Geala from near the summit of Sgurr Breac,We've come a long way.

When we arrived at the summit of Sgurr Breac we did'nt feel too bad ourselves,
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On the summit of Sgurr Breac

looked over to A' Chailleach and thought "jeeps that's along way" but we still had plenty of time so we decided there and then it would be a shame if we did'nt carry on,eventhough I felt lead legged and once we got there it was only the long walk out to do so off we went towards our final munro.
On the way over we met up with young machine again, after nine munro's he looked remarkably fresh,he pointed out his descent route to us so that we had an idea of where to get off the mountain,he trotted off and we carried onto A'Challeach and reached the summit about 8 1/4 hrs since we set off that morning, we still had a long way to go to finish the walk but we felt good after doing five munro's in the day when we'd set off to do three.
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Last summit of the day, A'Chailleach

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Setting off down

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Loch Toll an Lochain, the path runs just below the skyline to the right.

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On the way down, Loch Toll an Lochain below and crags on A'Chailleach

The walk back to the car is a long one and down some steep hillsides so we took our time to avoid any nasty slips or falls on the way down. I managed to twist an ankle trying to correct a slip and Denise sat down in a bog but we arrived back at the car happy with a good long day in some of Scotlands finest mountains,it's a day we won't forget and we hope to finish the other four Fannichs next year on a day with similar weather, it's suprising how a bit of sun and clear summits lifts the heart.
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martin.h
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:30 am

Smashing pics. I really want to do the Fannichs, but I fear it won't be this year: 10 hour drive one way... :(
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby martin.h » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:19 am

Hi Alteknacker, yes that the problem with living south of the border, it's a long drive from where we are. These are fantastic mountains, well worth the visit, and the views..................wow!. Thanks for reading.
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martin.h
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby rockhopper » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:07 pm

A very favourable day right enough - did look very enjoyable. You got a much better day weatherwise than me. Ineresting that you went clockwise - can remember thinking about it but decided to go anti-clockwise to avoid a descent down Leitir Fhearna - cheers :)
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby martin.h » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:13 pm

rockhopper wrote:A very favourable day right enough - did look very enjoyable. You got a much better day weatherwise than me. Ineresting that you went clockwise - can remember thinking about it but decided to go anti-clockwise to avoid a descent down Leitir Fhearna - cheers :)


Hi rockhopper, yes we did have a good day,thanks, a lot better than what that part of Scotland has had over the last week.
We went clockwise because we were originally going to do the three and then take stock of how we were feeling on Sgurr Nan Each. The descent down Leitir Fhearna isn't that bad, a bit boggy and progress is a bit slow as a consequence but we both felt that we'd rather go down that way than go up it. Thanks for reading.
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martin.h
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby Johnny Corbett » Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:50 am

Good stuff and some super photos. Great hills the Fannichs and so many different variations on how to walk them :D
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby MountainTrail » Thu May 12, 2016 1:34 am

Great report. Going there this Saturday. After seeing your pics and report that's the same route I will take. Cheers
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Re: Five fine Fannichs on a very favourable day

Postby Mikelowther » Thu May 12, 2016 7:36 pm

The Fannaichs were the hills of my youth(well, at least in my 50's). Now 74, compleat and retired from bagging due to a long list of health issues, it was great to read such an interesting report and great photos. As Alf. Wainwright said to me when he was 80 "don't pity me that I can't climb hills anymore - memories can always be recalled and I can close my eyes and be on any summit I choose. Your photos have just transported me back to the Fannaichs. Thank you again.

Mike Lowther
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