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Finalising The Fannichs
by martin.h » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:47 pm
Route description: Sgurr Mor and the eastern Fannichs
Munros included on this walk: An Coileachan, Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, Meall Gorm, Sgurr Mor
Date walked: 19/07/2015
Time taken: 9.5 hours
Distance: 24 km
Ascent: 1280m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
We had arranged to meet up with Matthew on Sunday if the weather looked half decent and on arrival at Leckmelm nr Ullapool on Saturday the first job was look at the weather, found the forecast to be reasonable so a couple of texts and a phone call later we agreed to give it a go and do the Sgurr Mor and Eastern Fannichs route as WH describes.
Sunday morning dawned overcast but fine so a quick breccy and off to meet Matt. Considering the distance Matt had to travel compared to us the timing could'nt have been better, as we turned into the parking spot so did Matthew so no waiting for any of us and I took this to be a good omen.
We were off in good time, three humans and two very excited springers.
The initial walk on the track through the trees was a good leg stretcher and we were soon at the bridge over the
Abhainn an Torrain Duibh,
we followed the ATV track and started the pull up onto Creag Dhubh Fannich, there is a path you lose and find again but really it's a case of heading uphill.
There is a small cairn marking the top and from there a bealach is crossed and the climb up to Beinn Liath Mhor Fannich is a steady walk. By now the clag had set in and spoilt any views, when the first Munro summit was reached the rain had arrived but luckily was just showering more than constant.
From here we set off W and then SW over bouldery ground into a broad bealach, picked up a good path and started the climb onto Sgurr Mor. In the mist this didn't seem too bad and we were soon on the summit of "beast of a mountain" as Matthew calls it, still in the mist but it had stopped raining.
We had a break and something to eat, Roy and Lochy had their lunch and were ready for the off before we were, being Springer Spaniels they have inexhaustible energy reserves and once they had the word from Matthew they were off up and down keeping their eye on us and making sure we were following, great dogs they are.
We descended the way we came to pick up the stalkers path for the way ahead, found it and soon found the way barred by a large bank of snow, it was very hard and the decision was made to go around it rather than risk the walk over it. This was fine until we discovered the grass/snowmelt around it was still solid and very slippery. Matthew slipped and slid downhill at a great rate of knotts probably travelling about 50 feet before coming to a rather bumpy halt, he was a bit shaken and a bit muddy and grassy but no injuries. Looking over to Denise I saw her higher up the slope and above the snow, she saw Matt's slide and tried to get over onto better ground but she too lost her grip on the muddy slope, slid and with her being above the snow slid onto it and picked up some real speed, at this point I was really concerned because she was heading for some boulders, she slid off the snow onto the muddy grass, was airborne for a couple of feet and came to a sudden halt with quite a bump when she landed, she was ok but had banged her bum quite hard and in her words "I felt that!" she suffered a bit from tender bum muscles for the remainder of the day. Both Matt and Denise were lucky that it didn't turn out worse, it shows how things can turn nasty.
After the relief of no injuries we got back on track and continued over easy ground to the top Meall nan Peithirean where the mist got thinner and it started to get brighter.
Onwards to Meall Gorm and we were getting the odd break in the clag and stared to get an idea of our surroundings.
On Meall Gorm we stopped for lunch and got the occasional glimpse of An Coileachan and realised it wasn't too far away.
Spurred on by this we set off and dropped into Bealach Ban where we started to get out of the clag, we could see Loch Fannich to the south and little Loch Gorm below us to the north and also the long trudge back to the road.
We walked back into the clag on the way up An Coileachan but it was thin and we could see the cairn as we got closer.
On the top we stopped a while watching the clouds drifting in and out, the views weren't great but there was no rain and were thankful we'd got here.
We set off north down towards the grassy slopes above Loch Gorm and finally got out of the clouds.
We headed towards the lower slopes of Meallan Buidhe and aimed for the Abhainn a'Ghiubhais Li in the general direction of the bridge marked on the Explorer map.
The way back to the road from here is over very wet marshy ground with little in the way of a path and after two hrs of boghopping we were back at the bridge on the Abhainn an Torrain Duibh where we washed the boots and the dogs in the burn and set off back to the cars.
This was a long day but it was good fun, the weather could have been better but the most important thing was Denise and Matthew came back with nothing but a bruise or two after their rather dramatic bum slides and now we've all finished The Fannichs.
by Beaner001 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:27 pm
Find some photos below which I took, didn't get too many that came out well due to the clag and rain:
- That snow field in the clag
by spiderwebb » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:00 pm
by martin.h » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:06 pm
by martin.h » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:23 pm
spiderwebb wrote:Fine pics of fine hills these, despite the clag Glad to hear no ill effects from the slips, cripes, it can catch you out. Long slog over rough ground that outward route, and its not much better when its plastered with snow
Yeh it was a pity about the clag but we had a good day, We'll just have to revisit them when we get one of those strange "good weather" days
Both Matt and Denise were thankful their slips turned out as they did with no ill effects and, looking back, we're sure the ground was still frozen around the snow so as you say it can catch people out even in July.
Thanks for reading.
by Silverhill » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:25 pm
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