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Gairich - if the formula works, dinnae mess wi' it!

Gairich - if the formula works, dinnae mess wi' it!


Postby Graeme D » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:08 pm

Munros included on this walk: Gairich

Date walked: 19/07/2017

Time taken: 4.9 hours

Distance: 15.4 km

Ascent: 1000m

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After the little 55 minute warm up on the Glen Roy Sub2K, it was time to knuckle down to some serious business. Time to make a decision and nail my colours to the mast in other words. As I said, I wanted to nail some red balloons in Kintail and possibly get to Skye at some point over the coming four days, and I definitely wanted to collect my first blue balloons in Glen Affric. But Gairich and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich were also calling my name.

I set off for Invergarry, still not knowing which road I would follow once I arrived there. Continue on the A82 along Loch Ness heading for Glen Affric, or onto the A87 towards Loch Quoich or Kintail? I had considered the parallels with the day back in April last year when I had stopped off on my drive north west to do the Graham Creag Dubh, and to buy some time while I studied what the weather was going to do. That day my patience and faith had been rewarded with a stunning afternoon on Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach. Perhaps a similar formula might be equally rewarded today? A little aperitif on a smaller Glen Roy hill just across the glen from that Graham, then some bigger hill action on the shores of Loch Quoich later in the day. Gairich and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich it was then!

I can think of a number of long drives in along bumpy, single track roads that are an absolute nightmare, but I really like the drive in along the Kinloch Hourn road, and not just for the superb view as Gairich first comes into view ahead.

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Gairich from the Kinloch Hourn road

There was one car already parked in the gravelled parking area just beyond the dam wall, and I pulled in alongside and did a bit of loitering around the shoreline and the dam buildings, camera in hand, before heading across the dam wall to pick up the path.

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Gairich from the corner of the dam

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Low water levels and exposed, bleached tree stumps

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Stork's leg

In contrast to the dry, exposed shoreline, the path around the head of the loch was distinctly wet and spongy in the early stages but gradually firmed up as it approached the forestry and made the turn onto the long ascent ridge of Druim na Geid Salaich.

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Skirting the head of the loch

I have looked forward to Gairich ever since that wonderful spring day last year across the other side of the water, and as I started along the ridge of Druim na Geid Salaich, I knew I was not about to be disappointed!

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Spidean Mialach

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Light and shade - Gleouraich and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

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Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach

As is often the case, pictures can tell a thousand words so I will limit the words and include a fair few pictures. Several thousand words worth in fact!

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Gairich summit cone

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Along Glen Kingie to the Arkaig/Dessarry hills

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Gleouraich and Mialach again

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Glen Kingie and Gairich

At the foot of the final push and scramble to the summit, I met a guy and a little girl descending, presumably the owners of the vehicle parked next to mine, and they informed me that it was seriously blowy at the summit and not the sort of place to be hanging about for too long!

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Glorious Gairich

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The splendid isolation of Glen Kingie

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Back down to the dam and east along Glen Garry, Ben Tee prominent in the distance

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It's Gleouraich and Mialach again!

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Gairich summit

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Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and the South Glen Shiel Ridge

The guy and the girl had been right enough about the wind at the summit! I had tears in my eyes and was almost being lifted off the hill without the assistance of a helicopter winch! I took what photos I wanted and headed back down a bit to find a sheltered spot for lunch.

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Towards the Rough Bounds

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Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and Gleouraich with the South Glen Shiel Ridge behind

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Starting the descent

After lunch I made a snap decision to head down through Coire Thollaidh to pick up the shore of Loch Quoich for the walk back to the dam rather that retrace my steps back past Bac nam Foid and along the Druim na Geid Salaich.

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Spidean Mialach from the south shore of Loch Quoich

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Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and Gleouraich

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Mialach once more

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Goodbye Gairich


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User avatar
Graeme D
 
Posts: 3461
Munros:220   Corbetts:102
Grahams:64   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:56   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Gairich - if the formula works, dinnae mess wi' it!

Postby Coop » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:08 pm

Good shout on heading down to loch quoich early.
Awaiting on a half decent day now before heading back to this area.
Cheers
Coop
Walker
 
Posts: 869
Munros:259   Corbetts:92
Grahams:29   Donalds:40
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Jun 5, 2016

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