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Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:20 pm

Munros included on this walk: A' Mhaighdean, Beinn Tarsuinn, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Ruadh Stac Mòr, Sgùrr Bàn

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn a' Chaisgein Mòr, Beinn Dearg Bheag, Beinn Dearg Mòr

Date walked: 07/10/2015

Time taken: 25.25 hours

Distance: 65.2 km

Ascent: 4589m

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On our first trip to the Fisherfields last spring we'd walked in from Incheril, been wowed by Tarsuinn & a'Mhaighdean and set up camp in the dip between Ruadh Stac Mor and Beag. A sunset wander over to the summit of RSB let me catch sight of the amazing duo of the Beinn Deargs - especially Beinn Dearg Bheag which looked otherworldly that night. I longed to climb the pair, and for a while had planned to complete my Corbetts on them.

ImageP1010307 by Al, on Flickr

Roll the clock on and I need to get the Deargs climbed along with their buddy Bein a'Chaisgein Mor before winter sets in. I'd looked at routes from the north and west but decided on another walk in from Incheril, which would allow me to combine them with the Fisherfield Munros - useful as I also wanted to get to the two Tops on Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair. Although the forecast for the 3 days I'd allocated had originally been grim, on Tuesday night it had improved to sun, sun, sun - yay! We packed up the packs and looked for a reasonably early start the next morning.

Drove the few miles from Torridon campsite to Incheril and parked beside a group of youngsters off to climb Slioch. We noticed that the track along the Abhain Bruachaig had been widened and upgraded to permit more Hydro work which was taking place around the Heights of Kinlochewe. A driver we spoke to going in was scathing about the rules - not allowed onsite until 9.30 and off by 5, so as not to disturb the Eagle that lived on Carn na h-Achlaise. He didn't offer us a lift from the gate, which would have been a nice start :wink:

We made reasonable time along the track, enjoying the sight of the mountains as they started to appear - Slioch standing proud and pointed from this perspective. As we neared Lochan Fada we could plainly see the rocky crest of Sgurr Dubh - the ridge rising from Mhic Fhearchair. Looked inviting. If it hadn't been stalking season I might have ascended along that ridge rather than gaining access via Bealach Odhar, but as it was we followed the track up to the bealach and walked along to the north of Meall Garbh. We started off across the grey boulderfields of Mhic Fhearchair heading first for the East Top, a simple bump on the shoulder, then down the sinuous ridge edge towards Sgurr Dubh. On our left Beinn Dearg Mor rose like a crown from the valley. Drawing nearer to Sgurr Dubh the ridge narrows and there's some highly enjoyable scrambling over shattered pinnacles to reach the airy summit. Definately one of the best Tops and well worth making a visit next time you climb Fhearchair.

ImageP1100771 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100776 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100779 by Al, on Flickr

Ridge to Sgurr Dubh
ImageP1100783 by Al, on Flickr

Mhic Fhearchair east Top
ImageP1100786 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100788 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100793 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100794 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100796 by Al, on Flickr

Just 3 to go now
ImageP1100798 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100800 by Al, on Flickr

Summt of Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair - 141 again
ImageP1100803 by Al, on Flickr

We scampered back along to the Munro summit, having left our packs at the start of the ridge. This marked Munro number 141 for me - halfway round again :D The steep descent to Sgurr Ban was easier than I'd imagined it would be and soon we were ambling up to Sgurr Ban's flat summit plain. I knew the next section would play havoc with Allison's knees - the long descent over rough boulders to Loch a'Bhrisidh, then steep grassy drop to Gleann na Muice. She was struggling and slowing as the afternoon wore on and by the time we were at the lochside was in some considerable discomfort. I was just revelling in the sight of Beinn Dearg Mor in the late sunshine. it was getting on a bit and we had to find a campspot before darkness fell. i sighted a possible spot near a kink in the Abhain and made for this, Allison dragging behind. The last straw for her was getting her feet wet as she crossed the river :( . The pitch was perfect - flat, soft and with a gobsmacking vista of An Teallach. I cooked up our noodles as the sunset lit the sky.

Beinn Dearg Mor & An Teallach
ImageP1100804 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr Ban
ImageP1100805 by Al, on Flickr

Down to Loch a'Bhrisidh
ImageP1100807 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Dearg Mor
ImageP1100808 by Al, on Flickr

Campspot - the light green patch across the river
ImageP1100810 by Al, on Flickr

An Teallach
ImageP1100811 by Al, on Flickr

The day's efforts
ImageP1100812 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100814 by Al, on Flickr

The night passed to the sound of roaring stags. One was very close to the tent and did give a modicum of anxiety that it might make closer acquaintance with us through the night. Otherwise sleep was aided by the burbling of the river - always a comfort I find. Morning brought blue skies and puffy white clouds - a fine day in prospect. We gathered up the tent and continued north along the path by the riverside, making for the eastern slopes of Dearg Mor. We turned off the path just after it splits at Leitir a'Bhinnien and started off up the steep heathery slopes, picking a route up through crags and large boulders and making for the hollow in the centre of the mountainside. Another steep hillside, worse than Beinn an Eoin. Allison was really struggling with pace and I was becoming a tad frustrated - I knew how far we'd have to go today if we were to finish the route by Friday tea-time, i'd only brought 3 days food with us so I was keen that we pressed on. Slowly we neared the top of the slope, with a slightly tricky scramble over the last blocks we were in the hollow of Coir' an Talamh-tholl. We headed up to our right, following the contour of the coire rim and spotting the peak of the summit up ahead. The views to An Teallach were just mouthwatering, offset by the serious cliffs on the north of Dearg Mor. We scrambled to the narrow summit which juts out over the edge - Allison's 200th Corbett although we didn't remember that til later.

Morning view out the tent - I've seen worse
ImageP1100820 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100821 by Al, on Flickr

Up to Beinn Dearg Mor
ImageP1100822 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100825 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100826 by Al, on Flickr

Up the coire rim
ImageP1100827 by Al, on Flickr

Summit bound
ImageP1100828 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100829 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100831 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100832 by Al, on Flickr

Impressive summit cairn
ImageP1100834 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100836 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100838 by Al, on Flickr

Corbett 200
ImageP1100840 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100842 by Al, on Flickr

A steep descent, but with a clear path, takes you down to the ridge leading to Bheag - a sizable drop in height. Loch Toll an Lochain looked mysterious and beguiling to our right, An Teallach continued to catch the eye and I could make out the pyramid of Sgurr Creag nan Eich across Loch na Sealga - this was where I hoped my Tops would come to their conclusion. We ditched our packs at the lowest point between Mor and Bheag and set off up another 200m towards Bheag unladen. This was straightforward, paths pick their way through the crags and soon we were stood on the fine summit of this mountain. The ridge continues in what looks an exciting scramble on to the west, but we were heading back to the bealach to regain our packs and have lunch.

ImageP1100845 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100846 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100847 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Bheag
ImageP1100848 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Toll an Lochain
ImageP1100850 by Al, on Flickr

I'd originally planned to drop down the western side of the hill and cross Cadhachan Riabhach directly, but this looked unappealingly steep. There was an easier looking route at the eastern end of Loch Beinn Dearg and it even seemed as if there was a track winding up the hillside there... We descended easily towards the loch and followed the western shore until we reached the head. Yes indeed there was a good path - it dawned on me this must be the route walkers from Shenevall use to tackle the Fisherfields. An unexpected bonus, this aided our progress immensely, rather than having to bog hop. In no time we arrived at Lochan Feith Mhic Illean. We dropped our packs by a huge split boulder and set off westwards up the heathery slopes of a'Chaisgein Mor - "big forbidding mountain" maybe, but not from this approach - big whaleback hill it was. Lovely mossy slopes made walking to the summit cairn a pleasure and we were rewarded with views over Fionn Loch to Beinns Airidh Charr and Lair. I was keen to press on and camp on the upper slopes of A'Mhaighdean for the night, which I though we could reach in a couple of hours, but it was clear that Allison was coming towards the end of her energies for the day and instead we camped around the loch when we returned to our packs. Another pleasant night, with minimal wind and less stag roaring.

Loch Beinn dearg - path rises at the far end
ImageP1100851 by Al, on Flickr

View back up to the Deargs
ImageP1100853 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100854 by Al, on Flickr

Good track towards Lochan Feith
ImageP1100856 by Al, on Flickr

Ruadh Stac Mhor & A'Mhaighdean
ImageP1100858 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100860 by Al, on Flickr

Summit a'Chaisgein
ImageP1100861 by Al, on Flickr

Fionn Loch
ImageP1100863 by Al, on Flickr

View back to the Fisherfield Hills
ImageP1100865 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100867 by Al, on Flickr

We were up at dawn and set off for Ruadh Stac Mor, a mere hop, skip and jump from our campspot. Left the sacks at the cairn and scrambled up over the scree and boulders - unfortunately forgetting to take my camera with me :? The views were a bit hazy from the summit anyway. Back down and onto a'Mhaighdean, noting the transition from red to blue/grey rocks as we moved from one mountain to the next. We went slightly off track coming down from a'Mhaighdean towards Tarsuinn and had a minor disagreement about the best way up Tarsuinn. Eventually we reached the ridge under the pinnacles and took the bypass path to the tennis court and on to the summit. The day had dulled by this point and rain kept threatening but always passed us by. We passed back down via Bealach Odhar and were at Lochan Fada by just after 2pm - good timing. The track back to Incheril was traversed at a healthy pace and we reached the car just as the rain started - spot on timing :lol:

ImageP1100872 by Al, on Flickr

Up to Ruadh stac mor
ImageP1100876 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100877 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100880 by Al, on Flickr

View from A'Mhaighdean
ImageP1100884 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100886 by Al, on Flickr

beinn lair
ImageP1100889 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100893 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100894 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100895 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100896 by Al, on Flickr

Up to the tennis court
ImageP1100899 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1100900 by Al, on Flickr

day 2-3 stats to lochan fada
ImageP1100904 by Al, on Flickr

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Re: Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Postby IreneM » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:30 pm

Just amazing photos of a wonderful area!

What a fantastic holiday you've had.

I'm really enjoying overdosing on the trip reports! :lol:

Thanks again!
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Re: Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:24 pm

Brilliant - again! I don't know what else to say - except perhaps that I remain most envious of your proximity to these wonderful places. :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Postby Collaciotach » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:08 pm

A haul and a half that :clap: :clap:

Cracking area and some damn good photos .
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Re: Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Postby basscadet » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:09 am

Another short wander then :wink:

What more can you ask for - time off and decent weather :)
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Re: Beinn Dearg Dreams - The Fisherfield Eight

Postby jamesb63 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:45 am

Your photos are just fantastic and to see so much blue sky :D
looks like you knocked it off with the weather for your break
great report also well done :clap: :clap: :clap:
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