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When 1 Munro became 4
by tomyboy73 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:49 am
Route description: Beinn Dearg - the Four Munros circuit
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Dearg (Ullapool), Cona' Mheall, Eididh nan Clach Geala, Meall nan Ceapraichean
Date walked: 29/07/2016
Time taken: 10 hours
Distance: 26 km
Ascent: 1591mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It was the weekend of the Walkhighlands Inchnadamph meet up and with such a long journey from Glasgow/Paisley we decided to drive up on the thursday night and find an overnight camp before tackling a Munro the next morning. Or so Tommy and Martyn thought....
We found a great place by the Blackwater of Little Garve. By the time we found our spot we were already being eaten alive by a swarm of starving midges. Jim and I got to work on the tent, where we discovered a few new midge inspired expletives. Tommy and Martyn quickly set about the fire and they had it going in no time at all. Once we had the midge nets on, the fire roaring and beers in hand we were free of the flying parasites.
We had a great night by the fire and probably stayed up too long and drank too much beer.
I don`t know at which point they missed me saying the plan was for four munros
Got up nice and early in the morning and got on the road quickly. As we drove on our bellies started to rumble and we looked for somewhere to eat. We eventually found the Altguish Inn, timing and luck meant that they still had some breakfast left that they could sell us.
The staff where great and we were extremely grateful that we had some rations in us for what was to be a long wet day.
We got to the car park and we set out our plans for the day. It was to be a big day for Tommy and Martyn. Tommy with just a handful of Munros under his belt and Martyn had never done any, well " I must have done some in the army"
Although it was reasonably warm and dry when we set off, the low cloud hanging over the hills meant that most of the day would be spent in the clag and to add to our difficulties the map of the area hadn`t turned up in time for us leaving so we had to make do with the Walkhighlands map and route description. We also had Gps to help us out whenever we would need it.
The walk in was a good warm up for the day and as we started to gain height through Gleann na Sguaib we were already walking apart as we stopped to ditch jackets, take photos or take a call of nature.
The contrast in colours between the grass and heather was pretty nice.
But you could already see that we would soon be hitting the low hanging cloud and our pretty views would be pretty scarce from here on in.
The obvious path takes you most of the way in with no great difficulties until you start to cross the river at various points with some stone stepping along the way.
There then becomes a fork in the path at a small waterfall , cross the burn from the left and take the right path up the side of the fall.
Just as we got past here it started to rain a little and we stopped at various stages of crossing the river to put waterproofs on , unfortunately Martyn only had his jacket on when he fell in the river ! Even more unfortunate was the fact that we all missed it !
As we reached the Coire Mathair Lathail I was reading about the impressive cliffs by our side but there was nothing to see and we decided that we would stop at Lochan Lathail for a break and something to eat.
The rain had went off again but just as we pulled out our grub it was back on..for the rest of the day now.
Not great for taking pictures.
There was a family of birds dancing around the rocks on the edge of the lochan but it was impossible to see what they where or take photos of them .
We carried on up towards Bealach an Lochain Uaine where the real hard work navigating was to start. Fortunately we were able to use the lochans to pinpoint where we were and found the junction of the path which would take us where we could follow the compass towards the dry stane dyke. I take my hat off to whoever built these walls up on the hills especially in conditions like today that they no doubt would have to do. But we were glad of it because we could now follow this up to the summit of Beinn Dearg .
We followed the wall up, scrambling a little on the wet rocks as we went until we found the hole in the wall where it turns direction to the right. From here it is straight up following some small cairns until we saw the large summit cairn appear out of the mist.
We didn`t mess about and we told Martyn and Tommy that once we got back down to the lochans that although we had only done one Munro we would actually be halfway around the circuit ! I think they were happily reassured !
Once back down through the hole we took the path to the left around the rocks rather than following the wall which was a bit easier although there were a few slips and falls along the way.
We reached the larger lochan at the end of the wall and checked the compass and Gps to find our route to the second Munro of the day Cona' Mheall. It was a bit of a bog trot and a boulderfield and to be crossed on the way to the top. Not the last one of the day as the route was to get more rockier as the day went on.
No hanging around here either as the wind had picked up a bit and we headed back down. On the descent the cloud lifted a bit and Jim managed to get a photo of the loch in the Coire Ghranda.
We had a soggy climb up to the bealach and lochans where we found a small shelter on the way back to the junction.
By now our "map" was getting soggy, all the pulling in and out of the map cover to change sheets was taking it`s toll, the ink was running and it was tearing along it`s folds.
But we got to the junction , checked the Gps again and set the compass in the correct direction and headed toward Meall nan Ceapraichean . We knew we had as we ascended we would have a drop to our left and we realised we overshot the way up when we could see that the hillside was all going up on our left so we backtracked a bit till we found the path going up the "cliffside" .
The third summit was reached fairly quickly but again very rocky on top. Not very nice to walk on.
We had a wee rest here, being as wet as we were ever going to be so it didn`t make a difference anymore.
From here to our final Munro was going to be more difficult, with less points of interest to help us on our way.
Once off the summit Jim set off on a trailblazing mission to find our way.
Keeping him just in view we followed him down towards the smaller lochans east of Lochan a`Chnapach. We gathered here , avoiding the swampy ground as much as we could but it was just a bogfest. We then followed the high ground towards our north west which would lead us to Eididh nan Clach Geala. Jim again storming off , making sure we were correct. The legs were really heavy now but the reassuring fact that this was the last uphill of the day kept me going. Superman was waiting for us at the summit as we three dragged ourselves up.
From here it was just a case of getting back down to Gleann na Sguaib. We took a more direct route rather than going back on ourselves and just headed for the ever appearing daylight below the cloud. It was a long but dry walk back to car and I have to give great congratulations to Martyn and Tommy for undertaking such a route without any moaning, well with just a little bit of moaning.
by Borderhugh » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:16 am
by simon-b » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:39 am
by tomyboy73 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:31 am
Borderhugh wrote:Nice one Tommy! Good to get some new blood out on the hills and great to hear their enthusiasm wasnt dampened.
Cheers Hugh, they loved it really
by tomyboy73 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:32 am
simon-b wrote:Well done to you all. It's nice to get to those northern mountains early in your Munro career.
maybe so , but think i would like to go back up Beinn Dearg again on a nice day , felt like we were missing out on a lot of nice views
by Jaxter » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:05 am
by David-Main » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:52 pm
by The Rodmiester » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:56 pm
by jogilv16 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:20 pm
by pollyh33 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:03 pm
Similar conditions to what we had. Started off smashing and then got steadily worse.
Well done for smiling to the end