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Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wilderness!

Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wilderness!


Postby Jaxter » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:14 pm

Route description: Fisherfield 6, from Shenavall

Munros included on this walk: A' Mhaighdean, Beinn Tarsuinn, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Ruadh Stac Mor, Sgurr Ban

Date walked: 28/05/2016

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The original plan for last weekend had been to spend the weekend at Loch Pattack climbing the Alder hills, but seeing the fabulous forecast in the North West, not to mention a certain person posting a lot of orgasmic photos, a wee man in my head (one of many) started whispering...."Fisherfield? Fisherfield?" :idea: :think:

After a fair bit of umming and ahhing and checking the forecast during the week, we eventually decided to go for it. You only live once, so they say, and the window of opportunity looked good 8)

Arriving at Incheril on Friday evening, the sky was blue, the mountains were looking unbelievable and there wasn't a breath of wind....now we all know what that means in the northwest of Scotland... :shock: :problem: and yes, it was a midgey-fest. Unloading the bikes, I quickly packed my stuff and was ready to go. Sadly Hugh was not, so I waited, and waited, and waited (this was to become something of a theme over the next 24 hours) receiving last minute advice and encouragement from Dooterbang Mission Control currently stationed in Ullapool and then finally we were code green for GO GO GO! :thumbup:

On yer bike Hugo!
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Unfortunately we had to stop again before even leaving the car park as Hugh's panniers weren't attached properly.... :roll: Finally on our way at about 9pm, we had plenty of daylight and it was a perfect evening. Taking a quick look behind me, my breath was taken away by this view of Beinn Eighe.

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And this one, zoomed from a bit higher up
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The cycling was initially very easy along a decent road/track, but reaching the houses we could see it going steeply uphill on much tougher ground. However, more worryingly it was the other side of a high gate which was locked.... :shock: Now giving credit where credit is due, I would have found this extremely difficult on my own (I struggle to get my bike into the back of my car :lol: ) but between us (Hugh doing most of the lifting, I was there for moral support.... :D ) we managed to get them both over.

From here, the cycling was much trickier. I am nowhere near as fit as I should be on a bike, so persevered with difficulty, but there was a certain amount of pushing on the steeper sections; I didn't think it was worth knackering myself when Hugh was pushing already... :lol:

After about an hour of cycling, we had made a lot of progress and we were starting to see the mountains ahead of us. Excitement was rising! We made the decision to ditch the bikes so unloaded everything; I managed to tie everything to my pack and looked like Frodo Baggins on his quest (something like PeteR with his hoose on his back I'd imagine :lol: )

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The path, although hard for bikes, made for easy walking and we made good progress, eventually reaching the end of the wee lochan (Loch an Sgeireach). We had passed a few tents so far and were on the lookout for a decent spot. Suddenly the ruins of a wee hoose popped out of the gloom and there was a burn just next to it, so the decision was made. Hugh got dinner on, I got the tent up, and we enjoyed a delicious meal sitting in the ruins at 11pm with a better view than any hobbit deserves :D

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We decided a early start was in order, especially with the weather set to deteriorate from around 4pm ish so set alarms for 4am, got stuff ready and hit the hay.


Four hours later, it was time! Hugh welcomed the morning with something that would register around 7 on the Richter scale meaning it was time to evacuate the tent post haste (don't ever feed that man chicken tikka, honestly) :shock: :lol: :sick:

The view outside the tent was somewhat better than the smell inside it... :lol:
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Leaving all unnecessary gear in the tent, we continued along the good path from the night before towards Lochan Fada where it finally petered out. We continued along the shores of the loch for a while, picking up a vague path at times, other times following our noses. The ground was rough underfoot; a mixture of grass, rocks, bogs and whatever else you find on mountains. We were slowly gaining height, although conscious to not gain too much that we'd have to lose it again.

Beinn Lair (left) and A' Mhaighdean pointing up (right)
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A' Mag
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Looking back towards Lochan Fada and Hugh using my slipstream :lol:
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Finally A' Mag was starting to look closer. We could see a path of sorts heading up the final grassy pull, so picked a line and headed upwards. Winding through rocks, jumping across burns (and drinking the wonderful mountain water) and then stopping to admire the views. It was incredible. Although reports of this mountain being a slog were not exaggerated, we climbed steadily and eventually reached the final pull where we interrupted a herd of deer grazing peacefully... :roll:

I took off for the summit and was treated to a very chilly wind but truly the best views in all Scotland (and therefore the world) :wink: It really was worth every ounce of effort and I had to stand there to enjoy it before taking out a camera. Sadly, by the time I had my camera out and Hugh arrived, the clag had also made an appearance meaning that there is little photographic evidence of this moment :cry: but the pictures would have been disappointing anyway. I will never forget that view, just unbelievable :D

Cleared towards Poolewe
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My moody version
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Atmospheric misty Lochan Fada
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There was a dude camping just below the summit so I stopped for a blether in the hope that it would clear properly. I would have been happy to wait but, surprise surprise, Hugh wasn't :roll: And we had a long way to go, so we said goodbye to our new friend and headed off towards our second target of the day, Ruadh Stac Mor, which from here looked insignificant in comparison!

View South from part way down - Lochan Fada, Beinn Tarsuinn (centre) and Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair (left)
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Fuar Loch Mor from the bealach
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Posing in front of a claggy A' Mag
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There was a good path down to the bealach, where we found the wee stone shelter and stopped for an apple break. I'd scoped out the route up Ruadh Stac Mor from here whilst coming down, but it was fairly obvious most of the way anyway. Initially scrambling we made quick progress through the crags, and then across loose rocky ground to the summit. After the 2.5 hours it had taken us to the top of A' Mag, psychologically it was nice to have another summit only 45 minutes later! :D

Bits of cloud hanging around the mighty Slioch
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North towards Poolewe and Fuar Loch Mor in foreground
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We were caught up by 2 guys who had been camping on A' Mag and had a wee chat; they were heading back for their gear and round the other way so we would see them later. Setting off in our different directions, we were faced with the infamous boulder field that Mission Control had warned me of.

Looking down the boulders towards Beinn Dearg Mor and Beinn a' Chlaidheimh
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It was a slow descent but the views were to die for. Eventually out of the boulders, we crossed a bit of bog and skirted round the lochan.

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It was here that I had a dodgy ankle moment :shock: Fortunately after slowing down for a few minutes it seemed to be ok (it was going to have to be!!) Coming up next was the bit that I was least looking forward to - a drop down to 150m, a river crossing and then back up to Loch a' Bhrisidh that was at around our current height....

Perfect place for a zip wire?! :D
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But it was early, the views were wonderful and we were in one of the most (if not the most) stunning location I'd ever visited, so it wasn't so bad really.... :lol:

It took us a wee bit to find a good route down - our initial choice looked a bit too exciting :roll: As it would be annoying to get stuck and have to climb back up, we found an easier route which even seemed to have something of a path some of the time. That being said, there were still a few exciting bits, "don't come down this way!" moments and chucking the poles down first. As we approached the river Hugh demanded a fuel stop, so out came the sandwiches; despite being only around 11am we had been on the go for over 6 hours! We sat by the stream and enjoyed the scenery, the cool mountain water and some food.

Looking up to Beinn Tarsuinn
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The mighty Tarsuinn, zoomed
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Sunshine in the glen
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Happy campers
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I was already regretting not planning to spend more time here, and we decided at this point that we would leave off the Corbett, Beinn a' Chlaidheimh, as another trip was essential and there was no point destroying ourselves today. It looked like a mountain to be enjoyed more than the rushed visit that it would receive on this occasion :thumbup:

We headed towards the river....it looked lower than I had feared but I still needed the assistance of my trusty rubble sacks (patent pending) :lol:
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It was really warm by now, so I had a quick pause to put my shorts on before catching up with Hugh. This section was difficult and long, so I put my head down, set a steady pace and got on with it. I met a lot of frogs and flies on this section, the only company I would see for a while as I had a significant wait at the lochan....enough to check the map, instructions, take some pictures, eat some food and change back into my trousers (was getting chilly!) and then enjoy the stunning views :roll: :D

Froggy friend
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The fabulous looking Beinn Dearg Mor
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Loch a' Brisidh
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Finally setting off for the bouldery fault line, I could see someone coming along the bealach from Chlaidheimh. We had a good drink from a conveniently placed burn here as it was getting hot, before I attempted to cajole Hugh up another steep slope....

Following the map and aided by instructions I made sure that we made for the straightest and easiest route towards the top. Skirting round the edge of the bouldery scree, I came out on the plateau with a few metres to walk towards the large cairn at the summit of Sgurr Ban.

As I was standing on top trying to take panorama shots of the spectacular views (without falling off :roll: ), the lone stranger appeared and said hello. Turning round for another wee blether I realised that I recognised that voice....it was Martin (fife flyer)! We started catching up and eventually were joined by Hugh who looked very relieved to reach the summit :lol:

Panorama shot (Martin approaching on left)
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Other direction
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Martin and I
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Knackered Hugo
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Beinn Dearg Mor and An Teallach
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We took some pictures and it was time to be off. Martin was on a mission with 4 summits to go, and we had a long way plus a birthday party to get to!

The way ahead up Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair
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The descent was nicely pathed and enjoyable and we were enjoying the new company. As we reached the bealach we met a man coming the other way - I stopped for a natter and he recognised us! Was lovely to meet you, Martin the Second :thumbup: I caught up the others with news of us being celebrity spotted :D

The ascent up Mullach looked steep but rocky and fun. Martin set the pace and I followed; we were having a good chat and reached the top in good time, only about 40 minutes after leaving Sgurr Ban. We sat down to enjoy our sandwiches and the views and Martin whipped out a bottle of Irn Bru which made me very envious; definitely something I'll be adding to my kit list :D

I think this is East and the Fannichs
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Tarsuinn and the ridge
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Beinn Dearg Mor, An Teallach and previous summit, Sgurr Ban
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Eventually Hugh arrived. At this point Martin headed off as he had a lot further to go, but it was lovely to have a wee impromptu meet up; totally insane to meet someone we knew in the most remote part of Britain :lol:

Hugh required a rest and some nourishment so I watched Martin head down the ridge, across the bypass path and start to head up the long pull to Beinn Tarsuinn, our final target of the day. It turns out from his report that he was photographing me doing this :lol: I also updated Mission Control with our position....he was sunbathing on top of Am Foggy and predicting our arrival at midnight, the cheeky monkey :roll:

Eventually Hugh was revived enough and we followed Martin down the ridge. We bumped into our two pals from Ruadh Stac Mor who were looking for a camping spot so we had a chat to them again. Hugh was having pole trouble here, so thanks for your assistance with the pushing and pulling guys :shock: :lol:

Eventually reaching the bealach before Tarsuinn, the views North were outstanding.
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Back up to Mullach
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Me heading uphill again
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Soon enough we were heading up again, towards our final summit of the day. I could see Martin ahead, so set off in pursuit. I thought this final climb would be a struggle but (for me at least) it was actually really enjoyable; rocky to begin with and then picking up a path towards the top.

Martin had just left so I watched him pick his way across the ridge towards table mountain and beyond. It looked like a wonderful ridge and decided that I would definitely be crossing it on my next trip here. Many photographs later, I sat down to study the map and work out our best route off. Finally joined by Hugh, we took some pictures and enjoyed the views.

The Tarsuinn ridge (look closely, Martin is along there somewhere :lol: )
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The mighty An Teallach
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Previous two summits (Sgurr Ban and Mullach), plus Beinn a' Chlaidheimh, an excellent reason to return
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Hugh finally arrived
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How awesome? This awesome!!
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Fisherfield Panorama
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However, we could see some very dark sky and cloud further west, so mindful of the predicted weather change and the long way we had still to go we set off down, heading diagonally down to meet up with a stalkers path coming down from the bealach.

This path took us down the left hand side of a ravine and eventually led to the beach where the path from Incheril finished. However, half way down the stalkers path, the heavens opened and we had to goretex up very quickly. From here it was a case of head down, although there were some opportunities for some lovely moody pictures.

Slioch
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The rain did ease a little at times but it was pretty persistent all the way back to the tent, which we proceeded to pack up wet. Doing my hobbit impression again, we packed up all the stuff and headed along the path towards the bikes.

Looking back
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The path ahead
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The rain did finally stop here and the sun came out giving us lovely views back the way. Reaching the bikes, we loaded up and set off down the track. This felt lovely as it was almost entirely downhill and when the rain came back it was nice and refreshing :D Getting the bikes over the big gate was a big struggle but we managed it and now it was an easy cycle back along the road to the car park. Hugh was yet again having pannier issues and was stopping every 30 seconds so eventually I got fed up and enjoyed the views (and the silence) on my own :D

The home straight
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Reaching the car, we were greeted by swarms of hungry midges who seemed to have not eaten in days judging by their desire for me... :shock: :roll: Bikes loaded, we set off for Aultguish with the precious birthday brownies where birthday boy Dooterbang was surprised to see us a) alive and b) before midnight :lol:

We were in time to order food so I had a big plate of lasagna and chips. Don't remember what everyone else had as I was enjoying my own far too much... :D :lol: A very enjoyable evening was spent with banter aplenty, brownies (the hilarious picture of Doots blowing out his candles will be kept as hostage or released to highest bidder :wink: ) run (gentle jog....walk) up to the dam to watch the sunset and plans for the following day where I would attempt to match Dooter-pace in order to meet Hugh's imposed deadline of 3pm departure.... :roll: :wtf: but that will all feature in his report!

For anyone interested in timings, it took us 2 hours to reach the camp spot on Friday evening (approx 1 hour cycling, 1 hour walking), 12.5 hours tent to tent on Saturday and then around 1.5 hours back to the car.

This trip has definitely whetted my appetite for the Fisherfield Wilderness, a place I can see myself spending a lot of time wandering around in the future. Although part of me wishes that this been a longer experience, it was wonderful to finally sample it, and in good weather too 8)

Next time I'll go for a week to climb every mountain, ford every stream and follow every rainbow that it has to offer :D
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby scoob999 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:45 pm

Great report from a spectacular area :clap:

We love it up there and have a few more trips planned 8)

You'll have compleated by the end of the year at this rate :shock: :D
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby dooterbang » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:25 pm

Absolutely stunning write up, with equally fab photos! Had me smiling from the start till the very end :)

The brownies...just melt in the mouth goodness, I think we all agreed on that. Cheers :)

And if you want to live, then that photo will be secured in a strong vault for eternity :wink:

"But it was early, the views were wonderful and we were in one of the most (if not the most) stunning location I'd ever visited" You ain't been to Assynt and up Polly yet girl :wink:

Surely a candidate for report of the month 8)
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby PeteR » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:21 pm

I passed your camping spot on my walk in Jackie. Remember thinking at the time what a great spot it was. And we did the same route as well.....reaching the same decision about the Corbett too.

When I dropped of RSM I went to the point 674 after the lochans and followed some quite easy grassy rakes above crags down from there. Headed off mainly the the right and then landed me down at the junction of the two burns, with an easy river crossing. The resulting slog up the other side though was a lesson in torture...........my lowest point quite literally on the whole circuit.

Shame you missed the Tarsuin scramble though.........best bit of my two days I reckon. That, the view from A'Mhaighdean and the path up Mullach Coire Mhich Fheachair :D

If I return (I probably will).......I won't be carrying my house on my back all the way round next time........some introduction to wild camping that was......looking at a 1 person tent already, so save a bit of wieght and the soles of my feet. I'd also split this over multiple routes approaching from different directions.....Poolewe looks a stunning choice to me.

Must get round to doing a report giving my view of these hillls......still have a Liathach one I drafted from a few weeks back ready to post before that though :roll:
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby Fife Flyer » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:49 pm

Fantastic report Jackie :clap: :clap: Love the dusk photo's :wink:
It brought a smile to my face - I could picture Doots, sitting in a control room with a microphone dishing out his orders :roll: :lol:
Was a huge surprise and great to meet you both, even though Hugh was really struggling :(
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby Borderhugh » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:14 pm

Fantastic report of a great day with great company. It had its trials. I wont forget that slog up Sgurr Ban in a hurry or my choice of route up MCMF. Like you, its definitely wetted my appetite for more trips in there. Beinn Dearg Mor looked amazing. We will try and plan these trips a little better next time - it will be easier when im living in Scotland. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: 8) :crazy:
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby simon-b » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:16 pm

A great place, one of the highlights of climbing Scottish mountains. One range above all, particularly the western 2, to visit when you've got the views. You don't want to miss them when you've walked all that way!
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby Borderhugh » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:20 pm

scoob999 wrote:Great report from a spectacular area :clap:

We love it up there and have a few more trips planned 8)

You'll have compleated by the end of the year at this rate :shock: :D



Agree Scoob. She's burning thru them like nobody's business. :)
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby litljortindan » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:35 pm

Great to read such enthusiasm for the hills but then what hills!
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby Guinessman » Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:59 pm

Another quality report and I agree you'll have them done before the end of the year! :clap:

I was planning to this route the middle of this month but was going to anti-clockwise, any advantage?

I intend biking in and returning same day.

I went that way on the CWT last year, I recall a gate at the end of the flat section, is that the one that is locked or is it the higher one more or less after the steep sections
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby jupe1407 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:27 pm

Superb stuff Jackie. I'm planning to head in from Incheril for the eastern three with a camp beside Lochan Fada. Well done on a huge day :clap: :D
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby Graeme D » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:24 pm

Nice, but you don't half meet some dodgy geezers on your hill travels! :lol:
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby scoob999 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:42 pm

Guinessman wrote:Another quality report and I agree you'll have them done before the end of the year! :clap:

I was planning to this route the middle of this month but was going to anti-clockwise, any advantage?

I intend biking in and returning same day.

I went that way on the CWT last year, I recall a gate at the end of the flat section, is that the one that is locked or is it the higher one more or less after the steep sections



The gate is locked and after we lifted our bikes over it we saw a stile 10 yards further up :roll:
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby Jaxter » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:51 am

scoob999 wrote:Great report from a spectacular area :clap:

We love it up there and have a few more trips planned 8)

You'll have compleated by the end of the year at this rate :shock: :D

Thanks Scoob, you're totally right, it's awesome! Can't wait to get back :D



dooterbang wrote:Absolutely stunning write up, with equally fab photos! Had me smiling from the start till the very end :)

The brownies...just melt in the mouth goodness, I think we all agreed on that. Cheers :)

And if you want to live, then that photo will be secured in a strong vault for eternity :wink:

"But it was early, the views were wonderful and we were in one of the most (if not the most) stunning location I'd ever visited" You ain't been to Assynt and up Polly yet girl :wink:

Surely a candidate for report of the month 8)

Cheers pal :D I'll be keeping that photo on ice :wink:



PeteR wrote:I passed your camping spot on my walk in Jackie. Remember thinking at the time what a great spot it was. And we did the same route as well.....reaching the same decision about the Corbett too.

When I dropped of RSM I went to the point 674 after the lochans and followed some quite easy grassy rakes above crags down from there. Headed off mainly the the right and then landed me down at the junction of the two burns, with an easy river crossing. The resulting slog up the other side though was a lesson in torture...........my lowest point quite literally on the whole circuit.

Shame you missed the Tarsuin scramble though.........best bit of my two days I reckon. That, the view from A'Mhaighdean and the path up Mullach Coire Mhich Fheachair :D

If I return (I probably will).......I won't be carrying my house on my back all the way round next time........some introduction to wild camping that was......looking at a 1 person tent already, so save a bit of wieght and the soles of my feet. I'd also split this over multiple routes approaching from different directions.....Poolewe looks a stunning choice to me.
:

Well done for getting round with the extra gear! It's funny how people can do such the same hills in such different ways. Totally agree about the slog, hard going. Plenty of excuses to go back :D :D



Fife Flyer wrote:Fantastic report Jackie :clap: :clap: Love the dusk photo's :wink:
It brought a smile to my face - I could picture Doots, sitting in a control room with a microphone dishing out his orders :roll: :lol:
Was a huge surprise and great to meet you both, even though Hugh was really struggling :(

:lol: Commander Doots, he would love it :D
Was awesome to meet up! :D



Borderhugh wrote:Fantastic report of a great day with great company. It had its trials. I wont forget that slog up Sgurr Ban in a hurry or my choice of route up MCMF. Like you, its definitely wetted my appetite for more trips in there. Beinn Dearg Mor looked amazing. We will try and plan these trips a little better next time - it will be easier when im living in Scotland. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: 8) :crazy:

Least I had plenty of time to enjoy the views :wink:



simon-b wrote:A great place, one of the highlights of climbing Scottish mountains. One range above all, particularly the western 2, to visit when you've got the views. You don't want to miss them when you've walked all that way!

Definitely. A stunning area :D



litljortindan wrote:Great to read such enthusiasm for the hills but then what hills!

It's hard not to be enthusiastic about them isn't it :D :D



Guinessman wrote:Another quality report and I agree you'll have them done before the end of the year! :clap:

I was planning to this route the middle of this month but was going to anti-clockwise, any advantage?

I intend biking in and returning same day.

I went that way on the CWT last year, I recall a gate at the end of the flat section, is that the one that is locked or is it the higher one more or less after the steep sections

Thanks dude :D don't see why the direction would matter to be honest, lots of tricky stuff either way!



jupe1407 wrote:Superb stuff Jackie. I'm planning to head in from Incheril for the eastern three with a camp beside Lochan Fada. Well done on a huge day :clap: :D

Thanks! It's a lovely camp spot, enjoy :D :D


Graeme D wrote:Nice, but you don't half meet some dodgy geezers on your hill travels! :lol:

Aye I know :shock: :crazy: :lol:
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Re: Fabulous Fisherfield - five fine fiends in the wildernes

Postby rockhopper » Thu Jun 09, 2016 2:06 pm

That looked enjoyable - a good way to approach and makes a change from the more normal northerly start - cheers :)
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