3rd. August, 2014
This was the second day on the hills with a group of eight lads from the South of England learning how to look after themselves on a trek north from Glenfinnan towards Achnashellach. After a long drive up from Kent followed by a hard day in difficult weather over Sgurr nan Coireachan and Sgurr Thuilm to the south of Glen Pean, they had got to the bothy at A'Chuil in Glen Dessary on the previous evening in reasonable shape and managed to be ready to go soon after 7.00.am. A heavy shower and very boggy ground either side of the bridge over the Dessary slowed our start but we soon hit the path on the north side of the glen and made quicker time. Given the pathless terrain and the steep gradients, we had decided not to climb up Coire nan Uth and turned right towards Glendessary Lodge before heading over Feith a'Chicheanais to Glen Kingie. The weather improved and we dropped down to ford the Kingie south of Sgurr Beag and picked up the good (if little used) stalkers' path up to the col between An Eag and Sgurr Beag - my third visit to this pass. From there it was a steady climb up the beautifully engineered path to Sgurr Mor with views to Sgurr na Ciche looking impressive behind us. The plan was to press on over Gairich but the lads were carrying heavy sacks and beginning to flag - and then the weather deteriorated and the issue was decided for us by a couple of big thunder claps. It was time to stay off the tops so we headed east off Sgurr an Fhuarain (a long descent as the party was now tired) and then flogged down Glen Kingie, prepared to camp short of our objective (somewhere near the Loch Quoich Dam) if necessary. However, the sun came out and some long waits combined with steady plodding brought us back towards the southern shore of Loch Quoich and, after another wet stream crossing, we stopped for an uncomfortable night's camp by Lochan an Fhigheadair at around 8.00.pm. A long day!
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