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Killilan Forest Corbetts and a wee Shellfish hill

Killilan Forest Corbetts and a wee Shellfish hill

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:57 pm

Munros included on this walk: Sgùrr a' Mhaoraich

Corbetts included on this walk: Aonach Buidhe, Faochaig, Sguman Coinntich

Date walked: 13/09/2015

Time taken: 14.5 hours

Distance: 45 km

Ascent: 3070m

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The forecast for this weekend wasn't promising - coupled with me being unable to get away from work before 5 I almost abandoned "the Schedule" and headed for Tyndrum rather than Kintail. But you can't mess with the Sched, so it was away up the A85 to Shiel Bridge campsite where we spent a windy night, gusts hurling around the tents.

View along Loch Quoich from the road on the way up
ImageP1100079 by Al, on Flickr

Next morning it was a quick drive up to Glen Elchaig for the three Corbetts that run in a line behind the Glen Shiel Munros. I'd already done Coinntich and Faochaig but needed to repeat them with Allison - Aonach Bhidhe was new ground for us both. I had swithered whether to try and do this walk in a day with light packs, or to do the hills and camp somewhere by Iron Lodge - given the forecast for winds of 50mph into our faces the latter was selected. If it had been earlier in the season I might have walked in along the Iron Lodge track on the Friday night and do the hills in reverse, but with the dark nights coming in this wasn't an option. We donned waterproofs on leaving the car and I realised that I'd left my poles in the boot of the Mazda after Monday's nip up Ben Lawers - D'oh :roll: Lugging a big pack without poles wouldn't help my dodgy knee much.

The road passes the schoolbuilding in Killilan and follows the river up to the Black Tongue where we crossed the stream watched by about 50 sheep from up on the track. I remembered the pull up grassy slopes onto Sguman Coinntich from last time. As we reached the ridge top the wind became stronger - 70kph at this point. Picking our way through the crags we reached the trig point and needed to hold on for balance against the force of the wind. Windchill was down to below zero, so another layer of clothing was applied before leaving the summit and heading down the long spine towards Sron na Gaoithe (aptly named - the windspeed here had picked up to 90kph). I got a bit disorientated in the rain as to where our next destination was but Allison kept me right. There's only about a 200m re-ascent to the top of Faochaig which was much appreciated in the conditions, and we made it up to the cairn.

Up onto the Black Tongue
ImageP1100082 by Al, on Flickr

Onto the ridge towards Sguman Coinntich
ImageP1100087 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100089 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100091 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100093 by Al, on Flickr

The way ahead
ImageP1100096 by Al, on Flickr

Looking back at Sguman Coinntich
ImageP1100100 by Al, on Flickr

Faochaig summit
ImageP1100102 by Al, on Flickr

The next section had me a little worried - the descent to the NE to join the stalkers' path looked a bit steep, but it was fair enough with a bit of care and we were soon on the track which wove its was down the hillside. There are craggy sections to the east of the mountain - best avoided! The track joins with the main track heading north towards the bothy at Maol Bhuidhe - we turned south along it for a short distance before turning up the steep grassy side of Aonach Buidhe. Unlike its predecessor this needed a re-ascent of 450m. As we gained height the clag came down which was disappointing as I'd wanted to look across to the Mullardoch hills from the top. We made it to the cairn and turned to head down the SW shoulder making for Iron Lodge. The ground was rather boggy and the last 200m was damned steep. Not good without poles :lol:

Towards Aonach Buidhe
ImageP1100109 by Al, on Flickr

Crags coming off Faochaig
ImageP1100110 by Al, on Flickr

Aonach Buidhe - we ascended where the line of the old wall goes up
ImageP1100111 by Al, on Flickr

Nearing the top
ImageP1100114 by Al, on Flickr

Carn na Breabaig
ImageP1100115 by Al, on Flickr

Cairn, Aonach Buidhe
ImageP1100117 by Al, on Flickr

A wet weasel
ImageP1100121 by Al, on Flickr

Looking towards Loch na Leitreach
ImageP1100123 by Al, on Flickr

Steep final descent
ImageP1100124 by Al, on Flickr

The views along Loch na Leitreach brought the eye to the impressive pocket battleship of Carnan Cruithneachd - it may only be a Graham but has ideas above its station! I remember climbing it from the west a couple of summers ago and finding it one of the steepest craggy climbs I'd done.

Carnan Cruithneachd at the top of the Loch
ImageP1100125 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100126 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100127 by Al, on Flickr

Having reached the track again we cast around for a spot to pitch on. The wind - which had blasted us all day - now dropped to nothing and clouds of voracious midges rose all around us. Typical! We found a suitable spot by the Allt na Doire Ghairbhe and put the tent up double quick, inhaling midges in the process. A scurry inside was needed, and we watched them through the vent on the lee side of the tent looking for all the world like clouds of smoke billowing up from the ground. I can't imagine how many millions there were, but it was quite terrifying - we just prayed there would be wind in the morning when we had to pack up again :shock:

ImageP1100132 by Al, on Flickr

There was little wind overnight and it was hard to tell whether it was raining at times or if it was just a multitude of midge bodies rattling in frustration against the tent. Breakfast featured porridge with a hint of midge, but our prayers were answered with enough breeze when we dissembled the tent to avoid most of the menace. We set off along the track - 12km back to the car. We met a group of half a dozen older walkers on cycles off to do Faochaig and Buidhe.

ImageP1100134 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100135 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100137 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100138 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100139 by Al, on Flickr

aonachB_+2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

It was just gone 10 when we made it back to the car. Allison was in significant pain from many sources, I wasn't feeling that great either. However it was dry and there was the possibility of blue sky ahead. Too early to set off home, what could we do? I had 2 Tops on The Saddle, but that was quite a long day - an easier alternative was Sgurr a'Mhaoraich Beag. Decided, I drove along to Loch Quoich and we arrived at the start of the walk just after midday. I had no lunch packed, so devoured a tin of grapefruit segments and some tortilla chips. Allison had (wisely) decided that her aches and pains precluded any further hillwalking today so I set off myself up the main track up the shoulder of Bac an Canaichean - easy going on a good path. Passed a couple of guys coming down off Sgurr choire nan Eiricheallach then nipped along the ridge towards Sgurr a'Mhaoraich. The views to Ben Aden/Sgurr na Ciche and eastwards over Kintail were gorgeous. As I climbed to the top of Mhaoraich the vista included Loch Hourn and Ladhar Bheinn - I reminisced about sleeping out on the top of that great mountain last weekend.

ImageP1100140 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich (with Beag to the left)
ImageP1100141 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100145 by Al, on Flickr

Dessary Hills
ImageP1100146 by Al, on Flickr

Kintail hills
ImageP1100148 by Al, on Flickr

Towards the summit
ImageP1100150 by Al, on Flickr

The route I've walked
ImageP1100151 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Hourn
ImageP1100152 by Al, on Flickr

Munro Summit
ImageP1100154 by Al, on Flickr

The Top of Sgurr a'Mhaoraich Beag is a diminutive grassy rise off to the SW of the main summit. Easy going - half an hour there and back. It looked quite a nice shoulder to go down, and I might have done this if I hadn't left Allison waiting in the car - my "short cuts" usually turn out to be anything but :lol: So I just turned around and followed the ascent route, trotting down at a fair pace. Managed to miss the rain that I could see sweeping over the hills to the south of Loch Quoich and back at the car in less than 3 hours. Down the road in time for tea at the Clachaig.

ImageP1100156 by Al, on Flickr

Ladhar Bheinn
ImageP1100157 by Al, on Flickr

Main Summit from the Top
ImageP1100158 by Al, on Flickr

11 to go!
ImageP1100159 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Hourn again
ImageP1100160 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Quoich & Garich
ImageP1100161 by Al, on Flickr

Rain coming in
ImageP1100162 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100164 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1957
Munros:237   Corbetts:67
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Re: Killilan Forest Corbetts and a wee Shellfish hill

Postby pollyh33 » Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:14 pm

Well done you two for bagging more of those crafty Corbetts. :clap: :clap:

Great to see that wet and windy day one was replaced by sunshine and blue skies on day two 8) 8)

Not too sure about the tortilla and grapefruit diet though :crazy: :crazy:
User avatar
Posts: 2577
Munros:282   Corbetts:18
Grahams:5   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:1   
Joined: Mar 30, 2011
Location: Rutherglen

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