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No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hills

No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hills


Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:53 pm

Route description: Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach

Munros included on this walk: Gleouraich, Spidean Mialach

Date walked: 10/09/2014

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 1130m

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All summer we'd been thinking about heading over to the Loch Quoich area, perhaps a camping trip to do all four of the Munros here or an even a longer trip to include a visit to the Knoydart. Somehow we always found ourselves somewhere else, gazing at different views, so when it came to mid September and the last walk we'd be able to do in the Scottish mountains for a month we abandoned the more elaborate plans and just headed to Loch Quoich for a wander up Spidean Mialach and Gleouraich. The walk reports I'd read here promised some stunning views and true to form we waited for the weather gods to assist (oh the advantages of being ancient and retired :lol: ).

By the time we reached the small parking area opposite the route from/to Gleouraich there were a couple of cars parked whose occupants were already away. We didn't really think too much about which way round the hills we went – we just followed the WH route and headed off for the track leading to Spidean Mialach, marked more by a twig that a post :wink: .

Roger and marker twig

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(Ignore the ugly new track heading up the hillside)

Once a bit of height had been gained we had beautiful views across Loch Quoich
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and over to the shapely Sgurr na Ciche.
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The day was getting hotter and hotter, the dogs took advantage of any water we passed, and were delighted when the path brought us to the Allt Coire Mheil.

Bertie making the most of the water
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We had brought extra water for the dogs, but on this part of the walk it wasn't needed – there was plenty of water – indeed the path was on the boggy side of wet. At this point we were walking into the sun and although there is a path beyond the Allt Coire Dubh it was difficult to see, as was the bog hole I stepped into :shock: :shock: .

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(Given the heat of the day I had no worries about drying out pretty quickly :lol: )

I've recently taken to playing the fiddle and so my walks have been accompanied by mental strains of whatever tune I'm playing at the moment – from here up to the summit of Spidean Mialach I kept time to Macphearson's Lament (more a comment about slow walking than wet feet 8) ).

We passed some berries (not sure what they are – any suggestions?)
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As we got closer to the summit of Spidean Mialach we could see some bobbly bits on the southern flank of the hill – closer look and – yes a herd of deer.

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We were taking no chances with the dogs – the deer were too far away for them to have alerted the dogs attention, but we had them on the lead before they could cause any hassle :-| :-| .

As we neared the top we caught a gentle breeze which eased away the heat of the climb and created almost perfect conditions. I took advantage of the views back along Loch Quoich to take more photos – all to perfect the art, nothing about needing a breather, you understand.

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And from the summit just staggering views...

Hungry hiker and food fixated fiends
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The Ben looking hazy
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Loch Quoich
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Western part of the South Glen Shiel Ridge
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North west to the Saddle
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Knoydart and Ladder Beinn
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The route ahead
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Loch Quoich again
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Just munching
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After plenty of time to relax and take in the views we set off for Gleouraich

With magnificent northern cliffs on the way.
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Looking back at Spidean Mialach and Loch Garry
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The deer were still on the southern flank of Spidean Mialach so the dogs stayed on the lead until we were safely away.

The path to Gleouraich is clear and very straight forward – straight down and then straight up :wink: .

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While my mental musical accompaniment on the way up had been a lament, on the downward slopes it was a rousing chorus of “You canna shove yer granny of a bus” (Dogplodder is this your doing? 8) ). However with a dearth of public transport in the area we were safe :lol: .

At the bealach between the two Munros we met three walkers heading in the opposite direction, so we stopped for a quick bleather. They were form Lancashire up in Scotland for a holiday and as much walking as they could pack in. Like us they were retired and headed off to the hills (for them the Lakes) whenever they got free time plus good weather – and like us had turned into 'good weather walkers'. You do lose some skills this way but I reckon we see so much more of the landscape because we have the luxury of choice. (Yes, I can remember what it was like when we worked, when we had to take what we got if we wanted to walk. I can also remember the frustration of having to go into work on beautiful hill days …)

It was only when we met this group that I started to wonder why we'd just followed the WH route and come this way round. Initially I thought that it gives the best views – west into the Knoydart rather than east along the Glen Shiel Ridge, but to be honest the view east is beautiful too. It was only when we were coming down Gleouraich that the true advantage of doing the hills this way round dawned on me.

The route up Gleouraich looked steep, but it really wasn't that bad and we were soon at the top … and yes more photos.

Looking east
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By this time the dogs did need that water
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Sgurr a'Mhaoraich
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The route down was a joy, wonderful views of Loch Quoich with the afternoon sun glinting off it, Image

Glen Quoich
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But it was the path down that really stole my admiration – it's superb, a really graceful descent with gentle zig zags on the steep parts. Yes this was my idea of how to come off a hill – the boggy path we ascended in the morning would have been far more of a trial at the end of the day than this beauty.

Last look backwards.
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These two Loch Quoich hills had not disappointed – they and their environment were stunning. Great hills to keep us going on a four week Scottish hill-fast.

During those 4 weeks we'd be off to the Andes, now would they live up to expectations??
Last edited by Huff_n_Puff on Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby Beaner001 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:28 am

Lovely pics Liz :clap: You must have quite a collection now.
I was in Argentina in 2011 to watch the Coppa America Football tournament and we took a trip from Mendoza to Santiago going through the Andes, absolutely superb scenery, never got the chance to hike though, would love to go back to do some walking. Let us know how the trip went, maybe post some pics?? 8)
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby dooterbang » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:59 pm

Fantastic day to be in this area. I did these hills clockwise, the path out was a bugger!

Have a similar photo of the Ben taken from Sgurr a'Mhaoraich.

Cheers.
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby Silverhill » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:16 pm

What a great day! I don’t envy you, you retired fair weather walkers. :wink: Not at all. :wink: Not a bit. :wink: At least I get to practise my navigational skills. :wink: I very much look forward to doing these hills and hopefully will get a glorious day for it like you. :D
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby dogplodder » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:40 pm

Did these two opposite way to you but I can see the sense of enjoying the great path and views on the descent. As for shoving grannies off buses - with free bus travel for over 60s there's certainly no shortage of grannies not to shove! :lol:
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby electricfly » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:58 am

What a cracking day you had there. Love these two hills, and your fantastic pics have reminded me of the reason why. :D
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:10 pm

Beaner001 wrote:I was in Argentina in 2011 to watch the Coppa America Football tournament and we took a trip from Mendoza to Santiago going through the Andes, absolutely superb scenery, never got the chance to hike though, would love to go back to do some walking. Let us know how the trip went, maybe post some pics?? 8)

Watching footie in South America - that was brave :lol: - must have been great fun though.

The trip was wonderful - although the weather in the mountains was more like autumn in Scotland than I'd expected, except for the cloud forest - I've never watched clouds move so quickly up a mountainside, with not a breath of wind, just the effect of the thermals rising from the Amazon. Still sorting through the photos - as usual took far too many :lol:

dooterbang wrote:Fantastic day to be in this area. I did these hills clockwise, the path out was a bugger!

You're right about the day - shame that it wasn't clever planning on our part that we got toe better way out, but either way this is another stunning part of Scotland :D

Silverhill wrote:I don’t envy you, you retired fair weather walkers. :wink: Not at all. :wink: Not a bit. :wink: At least I get to practise my navigational skills. :wink: I very much look forward to doing these hills and hopefully will get a glorious day for it like you. :D

I just hope you are around when we get ourselves lost again :roll: :lol: These hills are worth saving for a great day.

dogplodder wrote:As for shoving grannies off buses - with free bus travel for over 60s there's certainly no shortage of grannies not to shove! :lol:
:clap: :clap: They might just fight back - amazing what you can do with walking poles :lol:

electricfly wrote:What a cracking day you had there. Love these two hills, and your fantastic pics have reminded me of the reason why. :D

Thanks - you are right about the area - its stunning - but then we have so many stunning places to walk in Scotland, its a real privilege to live here :D :D
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby dawnfoth » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:46 pm

Well Done!! These are cracking hills and I thoroughly enjoyed them too apart from the boggy trot back to the road. Cracking photos! 8)
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby kev_russ » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:50 pm

stunning :clap:
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby rockhopper » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:58 pm

It's certainly a special area - good to see you were able to wait for better weather :thumbup:

Great set of photos to bring out the best of it - esp the one below - cheers :)

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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby AnnieMacD » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:05 pm

Fantastic report and photos. These two are high on my list after seeing them from the South Shiel Ridge and I'll now do them in the same direction. Like Rockhopper that is my favourite photo - just stunning. I can't WAIT to retire but it keeps running away from me and I just hope I get there while I still have some oomph to get up the hills :lol:
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:56 pm

Thanks for your kind comments everyone - like you Annie I love the view of the Loch Quoich hills from Kintail - they really demand attention :D :D
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Re: No public transport for a good route on Loch Quoich hill

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:54 am

Super stuff. Love this area, camped when i did the Munros here and looking forward to returning for the other hills :)
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