Friday, 28th. July, 2017:
Although everybody who climbs Munros has done it, there is always something less than satisfactory in running in to bag a summit from the nearest road access point. As such, I reckon that those committed to climbing the Scottish hills in any style feel that some sort of full immersion in remote wilderness is the way to go. At any rate, I've always wanted to climb the hills on longer trips, hauling my kit over the tops and accessing the summits from high camps during treks. As such, this was the first day of a week out with my good friend Steve Chalk (Chalky) and my son (Tommy) when, once again, we'd decided to spend time wandering the big glens of the northern wilderness. Despite the weather forecast, we were optimistic…
Having camped overnight in Cannich, we were up early enough to meet Angus the boatman at the Mullardoch Dam before 9.00.am. and, after some trouble sorting out a boat with a working engine, we climbed aboard and headed west up the loch. We stepped off the boat and into the trackless wilderness less than half an hour later and started to pick our way northward. Leaving the main valley after a couple of kilometres, we turned into Coire na Breabaig, climbed over the gentle col at its head and then descended to the sandy beach (and an isolated rain gauge) at the north east end of Loch Mhoicean. Then we headed on down Coire nan Each – missing the indistinct track – and traversed the dead marshes at the south east end of Lochan Gobhlach before crossing the Allt Loch Calavie and climbing laboriously up the southern slopes of Lurg Mhor with our heavy bags. The views were relatively restricted by continual heavy showers but it was good to be out and ticking off our first hills. A quick descent to the west then enabled us to gain the summit of Bidean a’ Choire Sheasgaich without our rucksacks and then we returned to the col and headed into the remote territory above Loch Monar at the head of Strathfarrar - our home for two nights. This area is beautifully described in Iain Thomson’s book "Isolation Shepherd" but, since the loch was dammed in the early 1960s, even fewer people pass this way and it is a truly lonely place. Now, though, we had it all to ourselves and tomorrow we would be climbing the hills surrounding the loch's northern shore.
Next Report: https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=74716.
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