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More Obscure Grahams

More Obscure Grahams


Postby weaselmaster » Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:48 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Càrn a' Chaochain, Glas-bheinn Mhor, Meall Blair, Meall Fuar-mhonaidh, Sgùrr Choinich

Date walked: 18/12/2016

Time taken: 15.75 hours

Distance: 47.9 km

Ascent: 2737m

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Another mid-December weekend with no snow lying :D I was determined to get back up to Cannich this week and drive to Cougie before the snows rendered this difficult. Weather forecast was a bit uncertain, with low pressures lying off to the west coast. Would it be a wash-out? We weren't able to get away til after Allison finished at 4ish, so I wasn't really sure where to go. In the end I decided we'd drive up to Loch Arkaig, camp somewhere and do the 2 Grahams on the north side of Loch Arkaig, Meall Blair and Sgurr Choinnich - only 1 walk report for them, inevitably by Malky, and from the north, not the south approach. Then up to Cannich for a couple of nights, drive to Carn a'Chaochain on Saturday (another with only 1 report, again from Malky) then have an early start on Sunday and climb Meall Fuar-Monaidh and Glas-Bheinn Mhor on Loch Ness side on the way down the road (positively popular with 20 reports :lol: )

It wasn't a very nice night for driving up on Thursday but at least the roads were quiet. We found a suitable campspot in one of the parking areas along Loch Arkaig. The rain stopped for us to pitch the tent, which was appreciated, otherwise a rainy night. Nearby falls at Chia-aig kept up a thunderous presence in the background. Friday morning was rather dreich - dry initially but clag was down.


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



We drove a few miles along the loch and parked by a cattlegrid by Rubha Cheanna Mhuir. There's some new Hydro buildings and tracks not shown on the map which allow access to the hillside. Sgurr Choinnich is a slow, steady gradient over short grass and heather. Rain had started not long after we did and remained with us most of the day. Shortly before the summit a fence was reached. We continued to follow this part of the way to our next target, Meall Lochan nan Dubh Lochan.

Loch Arkaig
ImageP1140486 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140487 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr Choinnich
ImageP1140490 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140491 by Al, on Flickr

The way ahead
ImageP1140492 by Al, on Flickr

This was a boggy crossing, riven by peat hags and requiring minor adjustments to course as a result. We attained the summit of the 5H and continued west to Meall Blair. We are both wet by this time. A squelchy descent down the hillside eventually reveals great views west to the hills of Glenfinnan and Knoydart - we pick out the pointed head of Bidean a'Chabhair beyond An Stac and Meith Bheinn. Wonderful area. On the way down we stop at a wooden hide that looks across the loch to a Sea Eagle's nest. However, the eagles had more sense than be out on a day like this. We trot back to the car along the track, change into drier footwear and drive the 60-odd miles up to Cannich. Dusk has fallen by the time we arrive, but we pitch in the same spot we used last weekend and get the tea on.

Top of the 5H
ImageP1140494 by Al, on Flickr

Up Meall Blair
ImageP1140496 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140497 by Al, on Flickr

Sgurr Choinnich - remarkably steady gradient
ImageP1140499 by Al, on Flickr

Glenfinnan/Dessarry Hills
ImageP1140503 by Al, on Flickr

The long back of Mullach Coire nam Geur-Oirean
ImageP1140504 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140506 by Al, on Flickr

View from the hide
ImageP1140507 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140509 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140511 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140512 by Al, on Flickr

Chia-aig Falls
ImageP1140513 by Al, on Flickr

New snow on the Grey Corries
ImageP1140514 by Al, on Flickr


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Saturday we have a later start - it'll only be 12km today so no need to rush. We set off along the road to Cougie, which passes through the pretty village of Tomich - where the Golden Retriever breed was founded incidentally - then onwards toward Cougie. The last 4 miles are on dirt track - I wouldn't have liked to have taken my MX-5 along it, shall we say :lol: But it wasn't that bad. We parked by some garages and met a couple of estate workers who were asking if we were going up "that one". The elder, who looked as if he'd spend time on the hills was disdainful saying it would be better to do Winter Munros than wee things like that, but we all have our obsessions. We set off along the paved track, turning left onto a wet ATV track that led up through wooded land to open hillside. Boggy again. Behind us, the Affric hills slumbered under cloud covers. Beyond, we could make out some of Carn a'Chaochain to our right.

ImageP1140516 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Affric
ImageP1140517 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140520 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140522 by Al, on Flickr


We reached a cairn and continued on over squelchy ground, treading carefully on stepping stones of reeds through bog. We made for the trig point - not the highest point - that lies another few hundred metres to the south. We made it there then hid below the wind for lunch. Returning around Loch Carn a'Chaochain and down some rocky steps we headed over flatter ground for Carn a'Choire Leith, a Simm. Quite a long way and a drop of 117m. The weather cleared a bit as we returned to the track, lovely striated clouds over Affric.

ImageP1140523 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140524 by Al, on Flickr

Trig point to the R, actual summit over to the L
ImageP1140526 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140527 by Al, on Flickr

Allison's 150th Graham
ImageP1140528 by Al, on Flickr

Carn a'Choire Leith
ImageP1140530 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140533 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Carn a'Chaochain
ImageP1140535 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140536 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140537 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140538 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140539 by Al, on Flickr

On the way back to Cannich we stopped off at Plodda Falls - just a short walk from the car park takes you to a viewing platform over the 46 metres of the drop. Impressive. We walked round to be underneath the falls - great drumming of water as it cascaded down. Then a lovely walk back through the forest with its Douglas Firs and Giant Redwoods. Back at Cannich in the twilight.

ImageP1140540 by Al, on Flickr

Viewing platform
ImageP1140541 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140542 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140545 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140546 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140548 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140549 by Al, on Flickr




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



Sunday morning - up early at 7 and packed up and away by 8am. The car registers 11 degrees. My! We drive in the dark to Alltsigh ("the burn of the bitch" apparently, where the last she-wolf in the area was killed.) Park by the hostel and set off up a forestry track which joins the Great Glen Way. It is an easy climb up from 30m at road level, wending through the trees initially then onto open hillside. Clag is down from about 500m so no tops are evident as we walk up through the regenerating woodlands. We pass a hydro dam and continue on the track a little way before heading due north into the clag. And wet. More bog, peat hags, general wetness. The top of Glas-Bheinn Mhor looms in front of us - a cairn and a trig point.

ImageP1140551 by Al, on Flickr

A daisy...in December
ImageP1140552 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140555 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140557 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140559 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140561 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140562 by Al, on Flickr

Descending eastwards in the mist, our next target is the northern tip of Loch nam Breac Dearga. Using deer tracks and avoiding deep peat gullies we get there. A chill wind meets us off the loch and we look around for some shelter for lunch, but in vain. Next is an exciting scramble up the rocky gully leading to Meall Fuar-Monaidh, made more interesting by the lack of visibility. We pass mounds of composite rock from the Mid-Devonian period, part of the Great Glen Fault foldings and reach the unusual table-top summit. Boot marks in the mud suggest the hill's had visitors the day before. We continue SW down the shoulder, managing to avoid crags in the mist mostly due to Allison's compass work. Once in the squelch zone again we head, wetly, for the track and join it at the metal bridge. It's nice to have solid ground under foot again and we romp down the track and back to the car. 19km in less than 6 hours is reasonable given the bog and mist involved in the upper parts.

Loch nam Breac Dearga
ImageP1140564 by Al, on Flickr

Up the gully
ImageP1140565 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140566 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140567 by Al, on Flickr

Meall Fuar-Mhonaidh
ImageP1140568 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1140570 by Al, on Flickr


On the drive back I narrowly miss running over a buzzard that is trying to lift a whole road-kill rabbit into the air. We make it back in not much over 3 hours which is welcome. A not bad weekend, really.
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 2103
Munros:265   Corbetts:137
Grahams:158   Donalds:86
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: More Obscure Grahams

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:02 pm

Wow, your dedication to obscure Grahams is truly impressive! I can only sit (in the dry and warmth!) and admire.

A couple of impressive sky pics there, notwithstanding the generally unprepossessing weather - 511, 514 - and especially 538: really dramatic. :clap: :clap:

I love the pick of SK sod-hopping her way across a bog - brings back happy memories... :roll:

And most impressive of all is your maximum speed on the first walk - 28.1 kph!! :shock: It seems to increase with every expedition. Does your walking gear disguise brightly coloured body suits and a cloak underneath.....???? :)
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 3433
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Grahams:1   
Hewitts:264
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Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: More Obscure Grahams

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:23 pm

Alteknacker wrote:And most impressive of all is your maximum speed on the first walk - 28.1 kph!! :shock: It seems to increase with every expedition. Does your walking gear disguise brightly coloured body suits and a cloak underneath.....???? :)


i thought of you as i loaded that pic up :lol:
I think the GPS loses signal for a bit sometimes then "joins the dots" so to speak and produces speedy bursts. Although there was one time I forgot to switch it off when I got back to the car and it was recording something like 95kph :wink:
User avatar
weaselmaster
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 2103
Munros:265   Corbetts:137
Grahams:158   Donalds:86
Sub 2000:383   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

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