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The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

The far end of the glen at the far end of the road


Postby magicdin » Mon May 10, 2010 12:27 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Ciche

Date walked: 08/05/2010

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 1200m

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I know a few hillwalkers who dread the car journey along the switchback road on the north side of Loch Arkaig to Strathan and access to Glen Dessarry.
I have been along a number of times now and personally quite enjoy the drive.
I do however well remember the first time I drove along it on a dark November night in the early nineties.My heart was in my mouth as I drove through the floods at the east end of the loch and continued in the dark to Strathan.

Anyway this latest journey would be perhaps my last along this road at least for a wee while. I was left with Sgurr na Ciche to tidy up this area .Why just this hill ? – explanation later.
Drove up on the Friday evening and stopped off at The Moorings at Gairlochy for something to eat. Arrived eventually at Strathan at nine o’clock.
Got the bike set up for the morning, and settled down for a few hours kip in the car.

Saturday Morning
Did’nt even hear my watch alarm at 5.30 and was only awoken with someone parking up in a camper van just before seven.
This stirred me into getting going and I set off at 7.20 using the bike as far as Upper Glen Dessarry.
Concentration was needed not only to miss the odd boulder but the fresh cow pats.

Started along the track,over the Allt Coire nan Uth,heading for the base of the slanting track leading uphill towards the Feadan na Ciche.
I was feeling awfy heavy legged and a bit out of sorts this morning.
Found myself gulping handfuls of water at each of the burns I crossed. :sick:
I was moving a bit too slowly but continued until the bottom of the rising track where I stopped for a break.Felt a bit better after a drink of orange juice, lay back in the warm morning sunshine for a wee rest and woke up with a start 45 minutes later. :shock:
The track gets you up quickly to the shoulder and along to the base of the feadan which was clear of snow
Image
so made quick progress up to the bealach.
Sat for another break and chatted to a father and son who came down from Garbh Chioch Mor and were heading for Sourlies.

So how did it end up that I had this one hill to do in Glen Dessarry.
I had been at this point almost a year previously after coming over Sgurr nan Coireachan and Garbh Chioch Mor on a day of almost continuous heavy rain and strong winds.
If it was’nt for the fact that I was also doing that walk for charity ,I don’t think I would even have been on the hill that day.
At the bealach only 600 feet or so below Sgurr na Ciche I had turned my back on the hill and walked back out totally soaked and totally scunnered. Whatever happened to my baggers instinct.
One of the reasons was that on two previous days on this hill I had not had any sort of a view from the top.
And this was why I was back today in fine weather.
Set on up getting to the top just after noon and finally got my views. :D

Westwards to Loch Nevis,Eigg and Rum
Image

And to Knoydart and Skye
Image

Beinn Sgritheall
Image

Looking north over Beinn Aden
Image
This is a hill I have still to do and it looked tantalisingly close,may have taken a couple of hours to get out to it,but how long would it have taken me to walk back out.
Anyway have other plans for that hill.


Sgurr na Ciche – Peak of the ------- Ach we all know what it means,no need for innuendo :oops:

These lines however came to mind

Far,far in the west
Is peace profound
Clouds pillow the hill’s crest
Seas suck at the shore’s breast
With rhythmic sound


Faint,faint is the gleam
On ocean cast
Dim, fantastic islands seem
Scattered fancies of a dream
When night is past



Chatted to a young bloke at the top who told me he had kayaked across Loch Quoich to get to the hill.
Once he left I relaxed at the summit for an hour and ate my sandwiches

Dropping back down to the bealach I met the couple from the camper van earlier at Strathan.
They told me that they had been just about to offer me a cup of coffee in the morning but I had disappeared on my bike. :(

Looking to Garbh Chioch Mor - Ben Nevis in the distance
Image

Back down into the feadan,I stopped to take this photo
Image

And the same spot a year previously
Image

Leaving the bottom of the Feadan
Image


Strolled back out in the warm sunshine with a cooling breeze

Bidein a'Chabair
Image

Glenfinnan hills
Image

Back at the car just after four – a bottle of beer before driving back along that road - when will I be back ? :think:


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Last edited by magicdin on Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby mountain coward » Mon May 10, 2010 12:58 pm

Well with that weather compared to the previous weather, it was well-worth doing on it's own! :D Great pics - funny how we all take that second one! :D Love the first pic of the Feadan - very detailed. If I'd known it was okay and nothing to worry about while descending it last year, I'd have stopped to take some pics... but as usual, when I'm worried about a route, I won't take pics, I just keep going.

Funnily enough, I knew you were talking about Loch Arkaig from your title...

Must be a hell of a walk from Loch Quoich end though - especially after kayaking across it!
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby magicdin » Mon May 10, 2010 1:12 pm

mountain coward wrote:Must be a hell of a walk from Loch Quoich end though - especially after kayaking across it!


yes the chap told me it was very rough going up coire nan gall to the bealach

I was a bit lazy on saturday - considered going back along over GCM but settled for the easy option
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby mountain coward » Mon May 10, 2010 2:34 pm

The Garbh Ciochs were my favourites on the whole walk - I'd definitely do them again... not sure about Sgurr na Ciche though and definitely not Sgurr nan Coireachan!
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby magicdin » Mon May 10, 2010 3:03 pm

mountain coward wrote: definitely not Sgurr nan Coireachan!


it sure is a slog up that hill :(
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby mountain coward » Mon May 10, 2010 3:24 pm

Wasn't the slog up it that bothered me... it was the (to me) horrifically steep and scary descent to the bealach before the Garbh Ciochs! :o

The more I look at the pic of the Feadan, the more I think that, if that gully wasn't there, there would probably be no sensible or feasible way down that side at all - and you'd either have to descend quite a way down the Druim na Gortein until you could get down it's side, or go all the way back over the Garbh Ciochs and descend from the bealach at the other end of them!
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 10, 2010 6:55 pm

Top report, magicdin :thumbup: , really enjoyed reading it :) .
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 10, 2010 6:59 pm

Do you mind if I lower the tone a tad poetry-wise...



There was a hill-bagger called Davey
A pap or a ciche man was he
He could have done with, our friend
Some camper van blend
'stead of rising like on army tea.



:lol: :lol: :lol:



Well, you started it!...talking about ciche again!!! :twisted:
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby monty » Mon May 10, 2010 8:00 pm

Great report Magic...,
The weather certainly makes the difference :D Might get up there again with my kayak this year :D Who wrote the pem?
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby magicdin » Mon May 10, 2010 9:57 pm

walk aboot wrote:Do you mind if I lower the tone a tad poetry-wise...



There was a hill-bagger called Davey
A pap or a ciche man was he
He could have done with, our friend
Some camper van blend
'stead of rising like on army tea.



:lol: :lol: :lol:



Well, you started it!...talking about ciche again!!! :twisted:


ah well Janet - at least Carole Ann Duffy can sleep easy :lol:

monty wrote:Who wrote the pem?


a bloke called douglas fraser - will post full poem tomorrow :)
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby EACHANN AN DOIRE » Mon May 10, 2010 10:17 pm

I guess from the photie you're a Son of The Rock?
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby magicdin » Mon May 10, 2010 10:20 pm

EACHANN AN DOIRE wrote:I guess from the photie you're a Son of The Rock?


yes a true Son of the Rock - have'nt managed to escape yet :D
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 10, 2010 10:29 pm

magicdin wrote:at least Carole Ann Duffy can sleep easy :lol:


:twisted:


Bet Pam Ayers is worried tho :)
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby magicdin » Mon May 10, 2010 10:33 pm

there was a lass called Janet
who tried to write a sonnet
the rhyming made you wince
the scanning was mince
she must do better yet
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Re: The far end of the glen at the far end of the road

Postby walk aboot » Mon May 10, 2010 10:35 pm

:clap: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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