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Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochagach!

Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochagach!


Postby Graeme D » Tue Aug 11, 2015 8:16 pm

Munros included on this walk: Am Faochagach

Date walked: 04/08/2015

Time taken: 6.6 hours

Distance: 24.5 km

Ascent: 1090m

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During the school summer holidays, I always try to get away by myself on a multi day trip. The plan this year was going to be 3 or 4 days in Fisherfield with day trips from a central wild camp location, but when I returned from Lanzarote in the immediate aftermath of the Durness meet, I discovered that Charlie had been appointed as organiser for the next meet and it was to be towards the end of the summer holidays at the Aultguish Inn and bunkhouse.

Fisherfield plans were therefore put on hold in favour of the opportunity to head up to Aultguish several days before the meet and do a number of other high priority routes around the Fannaichs and the Beinn Dearg group.

I settled on Tuesday as Day 1 and with the estate packed up with a variety of crates, boxes and bags to see me through until Sunday, I was off up the A9 for the 3 hour or so drive to Am Faochgach.

This rather unheralded outlier of the Beinn Dearg group had eluded me last summer when I spent a few days up here before heading to the Nethy Bridge meet so this was an ideal opportunity to put it to bed.

Given the extremely soggy summer that we have experienced, I didn't fancy the traditional route starting from Torrandubh Bridge and neither the bogfest across some kilometre and a half or so of the strath at the north end of Loch Glascarnoch nor the infamous crossing of the Abhainn a'Gharbhrain that this option would require. I therefore read up on PeteR's TR from before the Inchnadamph meet and followed the longer route from the Glascarnoch Dam that he, Jelena and Andy had taken that day.

It was 1.40 before I was walking onto the dam wall to access the track on the northern/eastern side of the loch - I reckoned I was looking at 6 or 7 hours for this route so plenty time to get back for a cold pint at the Aultguish before calling it a day. :D

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Wyvis and the Aultguish Inn from the start by the dam wall

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Across the dam wall

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North west down Loch Glascarnoch with Meall an Torcain to the right

Pete and co had made the error of staying on the track too long and getting as far as the mast (understandable I guess given the alternative!) so with this in mind I left it after a kilometre and a bit and started the pathless ascent of Meall an Torcain.

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Beinn Liath Mhor a'Ghiubhais Li from the bridge over the stream where I left the track

The deer fence on the lower slopes was easily taken care of and it was on up to the 536m summit where the high level promenade (to use a McNeishesque phrase) began that would eventually cross Meall Coire nan Laogh before picking up the ATV track that leads over Tom Ban Mor and Sron Liath before joining the traditional ascent route up from Loch a'Gharbhrain and then turning north for the final 3km or so up onto the 954m Munro summit.

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Back to the start from Meall an Torcain with the Wyvises in the background

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North west over the eastern Fannaichs, An Teallach and the western Beinn Dearg group - Lochs Glascarnoch, Droma and a'Gharbhrain all visible

The weather was more or less doing what it had said it would do, with various combinations of weather meaning various combinations of clothing were employed, but showers tended to be light and not too prolonged. There was little if anything in the way of blue sky but the cloud was up enough to allow good, often atmospheric views of the neighbouring hills. The Fannaichs did a good job of holding onto the cloud base, as they often do, but An Teallach and the Beinn Dearg group were largely free of summit cloud.

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The route ahead - Beinn Dearg itself now popping its mighty head up

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Across the shoulder of Meall Coire nan Laogh towards Meall a'Ghrianain and Beinn a'Chasteil

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Am Faochagach (right) from MCnL

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South down Strath Vaich to the Wyvises

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Loch Vaich with Beinn a'Chasteil and Meall a'Ghrianain over the water, the twin peaks of Carn Chuinneag in the distance

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MCnL and MaT from Tom Ban Mor - the dam only just visible


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Creag Rainich and Sron Liath from Tom Ban Mor, with Beinn Dearg and Faochagach behind

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Towards the summit from Sron Liath - Beinn Dearg and Cona Mheall dominating the background

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Wisps of cloud blowing through

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Meall nan Ceapraichean and Loch a' Choire Ghranda now getting in on the act

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Sunbeams on the eastern Fannaichs and Loch a'Gharbhrain

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Seana Braigh in the distance

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Clear on Beinn Dearg and Cona Mheall

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Seana Braigh zoomed - patience grasshopper, patience!

I spent a good while at the flat, featureless summit enjoying a bite to eat and enjoying the views, as well as the sense of peacefulness and calm that this summit gives off. 8) 8)

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Seana Braigh from the summit of Faochagach

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Beinn Dearg group

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Eyeballing big Beinn Dearg

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Another zoom to Seana Braigh

Then it was back the way I had come as far as Tom Ban Mor, from where I elected to cut down via Tom Ban Beag towards the mast and the loch side track back home to the roadside by the dam.

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By the stream coming off Tom Ban Beag, just north west of the mast

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North west up Loch Glascarnoch

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Random section of crash barrier

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Almost home

A lorry was parked up in the parking area next to my car and a chap (presumably the lorry driver) was taking a stroll on the dam wall. As I passed him and said hello he asked me if I had caught anything. "Excuse me?" I replied, thinking perhaps I had misheard him. "Did you catch any fish?" he asked again. "Eh, naw". "Och, never mind!". Moving swiftly on....... :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

Thus concluded day one of what I hoped would be a fruitful and epic 5 or 6 days - well, after a pint in the Aultguish followed by chilli con carne and a few more beers sitting on the tailgate at a surprisingly midge free Inverlael!


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Graeme D
 
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:21 pm

Interesting route Graeme, how was the underfoot conditions and was there much undulations on the ridge you took?
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:14 pm

Some views at least :D

Saw nothing but white through a howling gale on this one .

Good stuff :clap:
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby pollyh33 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:57 am

Jings well done Graeme, you managed to make a dull hill very interesting :clap: :clap: :clap:


I don't remember much about this hill other than a dodgy river crossing and having problems locating our rucksacks after we dumped them :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby Guinessman » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:36 am

I was there the day after and went over the moor from the north end of the loch. It was indeed a bog fest and such was the depth of the burn that wet feet were unavoidable
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby PeteR » Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:23 pm

Glad you got some views Graeme. When we did it the three of us saw absolutely nothing on the summit; being blasted by strong winds and snow. So I had to smile at your reference to "the sense of peacefulness and calm that this summit gives off" :lol: It was clearly in a better mood for your visit.......
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby Graeme D » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:06 pm

Thanks folks. Rod, to answer your question, it was surprisingly firm underfoot and once you were up, there wasn't a great deal in the way of up and down.
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby rockhopper » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:30 am

does look a good alternative to the usual boggy approach, Graeme - good result despite the weather - cheers :)
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Re: Aultguish 2015 (Tues) - the fish ain't biting on Faochag

Postby kevsbald » Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:47 pm

Dam good.
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