Gairich again and the one I missed. 28km 1910m 10h 26 May 2007
I’ve climbed Gairich in summer and winter, yet here I am again for Susan Murchie`s last Munro
The weather is clear and dry, couldbe a good day. My final munro was a miserable outing, in clag and strong winds but the party we had afterwards made up for everything else.
Early rise, leave the sleepers, so it’s only me on the single track up Glen Garry. Pass loch, hotel and Kingie, leave the trees behind for the stone ediface that rises ahead. By the dam walls then turn the car and park. The Loch Quoich dam – filled with earth and rock, reinforced with concrete then faced with natural stone. The largest of its kind when built 1955/ 62, it raised the water level by some 100ft increasing the size of the loch from 3 square miles to 7. Cross the dam - a mucky path hugs a shore, lots of driftwood here, then climbs away from the water, to pass E of lochan an Fhigheadair. Cross a bealach to gated fence, then enter into a forest. Ignore a path up the Munro, it should be my return route. The trail runs downhill SW, across a logging track then goes W with the Kingie river. Clear of the trees I pick up the pace, viewing a range of Corbett hills already done. The S side of Gairich is really craggy. My path leaves the river and climbs to a long wide glen between the two hills. Here I get my first glimpse of Fhuarain, it looks impressive. Cross the Allt a choire Ghlais burn and take a break at Coire na Maroch. Rested I climb the long E ridge with some sharp bits before it evens to a grassy climb for the cairn and trig point of Sgurr an Fhuarain@ 901m. I look W at a range of munros from the mass of Sgurr Mor to a distant Sgurr na Ciche, all done with Darren in May 93. He wanted add this to our day, another km and just 200m would have claimed it, but not doing Corbetts I`d had enough, all the things u don`t do - shoulda bit the bullit. Time to go. Drop 300m on the N ridge for 1km, then cross the basin of Clach na me`ineir to where a stalkers path climbs the W wall of Gairich Beag@730m. Then easy walking with a rise to the broad neck of Gairich @919m. There`s nobody here. This is one of the smallest munro`s, I look across at Fhuarain, it seems higher - 17m is all the difference. I look about me, crags fall away on both sides here, three Munros across the loch, all done on winter days – Mhaoraich being Alans final Munro. I walk about searching for party signs, 5h 35m to get here, maybe they’ve been and gone - there’s nowt here. Go E to the crags. Downclimb and walk over Bac nam Foid before I can see them streaming up the lower hills. I sit in the sun and wait for them soaking up my day. Later at the cairn the KMC welcomed Susan into the Munro club. A good meal and a great w/e followed.
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