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Ridge? What ridge?

Ridge? What ridge?

Postby Alastair S » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:22 pm

Route description: Sgurr nan Clach Geala, near Braemore

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

Date walked: 16/04/2010

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17 km

Ascent: 1234m

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Sgurr nan Clach Geala (actual).gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

My first Granite City Hillwalkers “meet”, staying in the Aultguish Inn (which was pretty reasonable).

Anyway, forecast was fairly dire (wet, cold & windy, maybe improving pm) but what are you going to do? We were up there to bag some and that’s what we did.

Five of us (+ 1 dog) settled on doing the three middle Fannichs. It was light rain as we arrived so it was straight into the waterproofs as soon as we were out the car and off down the new path through the woods to the footbridge at the end of Loch a’ Bhraoin.

Foot bridge at East end of Loch a' Bhraoin with unimpressive Meall a' Chrasgaidh behind (& Sgurr nan Clach Geala behind that)

Having not read excellent route description on this site we followed the path along the burn (Allt Breabaig), past the ford and eventually found a dry crossing point around NH162735.

Meall a' Chrasgaidh looked distinctly unimpressive. More than one of our party expressed doubt that it could even be a Munro but with the low cloud we could only see to the shoulder. The initial climb to the shoulder is quite steep and grassy (i.e. slippery), but after the shoulder easy going. We cut up further to the south than the route shown on this site to as to keep as much out of the strong Northerly wind as possible. But for that last 100/150 vertical metres there was no hiding – it was blowing a gale up there. 50-60 mph winds that turned the light rain in needles. I’d wished I had my ski goggles.

Meall a' Chrasgaidh shelter - it was needed, blowing 50-60 mph up there

For one of our party that was enough. Thankfully the wind never got up to those levels again.

So down to the bealach and up the north ridge of Sgùrr nan Clach Geala. Visibility was low and there was a lot more snow than the previous peak. Thankfully there was no ice as the slope was very steep & cut across our path. More by chance than anything I ended up leading. Keep everyone close and stopped a couple of times to check everyone was happy to continue (which they were). Walked straight past the trig point as there was only a few inches of it stick up out of the snow. For a supposed ridge walk we say precious little of it – just enough to keep well clear!

Me on the Sgurr nan Clach Geala summit trig point

Bearing taken and down to the next bealach. Lunch taken behind a large boulder and it was but a short jaunt to Sgùrr nan Each. Could only glimpse the views from the bealach but on a good day I’m sure they would have been magnificent!

Sgurr nan Each north ridge

Fellow Granite City Hillwalkers at Sgurr nan Each cairn

The route back was fairly uneventful in the increasingly steady rain. Crossed the river at the ford which wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. No doubt the combination of gaiters & over-trousers helped so feet didn’t get any wetter. So 3 more bagged – the second two looked like they are worth a re-visit but I probably wouldn’t bother Meall a' Chrasgaidh again.

Glen Allt Breabaig on the way back

Full flickr set here
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Alastair S
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1283
Munros:78   Corbetts:13
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Joined: Dec 14, 2008
Location: Banchory, Aberdeenshire

Re: Ridge? What ridge?

Postby mountain coward » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:36 am

Poor ol' Crasgaidh - it does actually have quite a good-looking side - the one that faces the main Ullapool road - will probably be East or NE...

I'm amazed there's still that much snow that only the top of the trig is sticking out of it in late April!!
mountain coward

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