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The Eatern Fannichs

The Eatern Fannichs


Postby LongRanger » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:13 pm

Munros included on this walk: An Coileachan, Meall Gorm

Date walked: 24/04/2015

Time taken: 9 hours

Distance: 30 km

Ascent: 820m

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Having read Dogplodder's excellent report, I decided to tackle these two, my first foray into the Fannichs, using the southern approach. The weather forecast was not promising; cloud base around 800m falling to 500m in the afternoon with showers getting heavier and more frequent as the day wore on. Fortunately this was more or less completely wrong.

The weather had been steadily improving as I drove up the A9 from Perth. I'd left the misty clouds of early morning in the Forth valley. By the time I crossed the Kessock bridge and turned towards Achnasheen the sky was brightening, the clouds breaking and the odd glimpse of sun breaking through.

For the approach along the excellent and for the most part well tarred road I used my mountain bike. The climb is steady all the way in and as my fitness wasn't yet fully developed for this season I did walk some parts. This wasn't a great hardship though as the day was pleasant and the views opened out as I progressed towards Fannich Lodge.

At about 11km in I parked the bike and took to the hillside climbing steadily up the southern slopes of An Coileachan. The underfoot conditions were surprisingly dry. The climb up more or less the south west ridge led eventually in a series of small humps and boulder fields to the craggy summit.

The wind was stronger here and had a cold edge to it, luckily the rocky outcrops at the summit provided both somewhere to shelter and a relatively comfortable seat.

Suitably refreshed I head down to the bealach on route to my next Munro, Meall Gorm. The bealach is 775m leaving around 200m of re-ascent to Meall Gorm's summit.

Again I was pleasantly surprised at how dry it was underfoot. From the bealach I climbed up to the shelter below the summit.

The shelter is in a poor state and I suspect it has suffered from the last two winters; it now looks no more than a wind break.

The summit of Meall Gorm is an excellent view point and thanks to the clear conditions I could not only see the rest of the Fannichs but also the Torridon hills, the Beinn Dearg group and a myriad of mountains in almost every direction.

Had it not been for the wind which was both strengthening and cooling down, it was the sort of day where one feels reluctant to leave such a perfect spot.

In the clear conditions I was easily able to pick up the stalkers path descending down the long ridge back to Fannich Lodge.

At the time of writing it is necessary to take the path through the small wood behind the lodge though it looks as if the estate are planning to re-instate a bridge north of the lodge. Either way one returns to the tarred road.

After a 2km walk back from the lodge I picked up my bike, replenished my water supply from a stream nearby headed back out to the start of the walk.

It was now the bike really came into its own and I was back out in a little over 30mins. The last 10minutes was a bit of a trial however as the rain, forecast all day, came down with a vengeance driven by an icy wind; a real face stinger :shock: !!

The trial by rain was soon forgotten once I was inside my car with a nice hot drink in my hand.

A most enjoyable day out and a route I can thoroughly recommend.
LongRanger
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Re: The Eatern Fannichs

Postby dogplodder » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:38 pm

Glad my report was useful. With a bike it's a no brainer which route to choose but without wheels Kath and I did find it a long walk out (especially with the wifey in the empty 4 by 4 passing us near the Lodge!). 8)
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