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Lunndaidh, Bloody Lunndaidh

Lunndaidh, Bloody Lunndaidh


Postby weaselmaster » Sun May 20, 2018 11:27 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Iutharn Mhor, Carn Bhac, Maoile Lunndaidh, Sgurr a'Chaorachain, Sgurr Choinnich

Date walked: 20/05/2018

Time taken: 20 hours

Distance: 78 km

Ascent: 3748m

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Apologies for the terrible pun in the report title.. ...
We've reached the point where Allison required one more mainland Munro Top (still 5 left on Skye), so no difficulty in planning where we'd be going this week - up to Achnashellach to nab Bidean an Eoin Deirg on Sgurr a'Chaorainn. Might as well tag on Maoile Lunndaidh for my second round which has been sadly neglected so far this month (sob).Another weekend with big packs then.. ...


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We managed good time up to Craig on Thursday night arriving shortly after 9pm and deciding to walk a few km in to camp. Should really have made it down to Ardach but we were tired after the long drive and found a spot to pitch just after going through the gate. Dry but a little bit uneven :lol: We both slept like logs anyway. We were up bright and early the next morning,urr Ch although the sky was overcast. Plan was to go over Sgurr Choinnich,Sgurr a'Chaorainn, and its Top and find ourselves somewhere to camp either on Maoile Lunndaidh or down in Gleann Fhiodhaig. Easy going down to the river crossing, the water level very low at present. We used the wire bridge, which is looking (and sounding) a bit worse for wear at present although one could have crossed on stepping stones. A small digger sat motionless at the start of the path up to Bealach Bhearnais having dug out some rocks. Places that are usually very boggy are much drier at present - this was a pleasure. We met a foreign couple coming down the track as we climbed up towards the shoulder of Sgurr Choinnich.

Evening light on the South Torridon hills
ImageDSC01472 by Al, on Flickr

Ascending Sgurr Choinnich
ImageDSC01474 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01475 by Al, on Flickr

View to Cheesecake & Lurg Mhor
ImageDSC01476 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Monar
ImageDSC01478 by Al, on Flickr


No snow to speak of on the hills here, just some remnants clinging to the rims of coires. We had dragged our ice axes with us again, but could have left them behind. Nice rocky ascent to the ridge, where we met a walker coming the opposite way. Wind chilly and moderate. Down then up to the summit of Sgurr a'Chaorainn, wind stronger. Good views up to the Fisherfields and east to Loch Monar. Left our packs halfway along to Bidean an Eoin Deirg. A pert peak this one, only slightly shorter than the undistinguished summit of Sgurr a'Chaorainn itself. Returned along the ridge rather than risk any heroics coming NE off the summit of Bidean itself and slunk down into Coire an Lochain Ghaineamhaich where we stopped to top up our water.

Fisherfield
ImageDSC01479 by Al, on Flickr

From Sgurr a'Chaorainn to Bidean an Eoin Deirg
ImageDSC01482 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01483 by Al, on Flickr

5 to go
ImageDSC01484 by Al, on Flickr


From here we continued up again, a full 400m up to Maoile Lunndaidh. We met an older guy coming down: "ah, box tickers" was his retort when we spoke of going over the 2 Sims at the northern end of Lunndaidh - once we'd explained what Sims were, that was. The wind was too strong to contemplate a high camp on Lunndaidh, shame since there are lots of soft mossy patches. We continued over the summit then headed off the northern shoulder making for the Sims - Creag Dubh Mhor and Bheag. The first, and bigger hill, is quite impressive and has some nice craggy sections descending off the eastern side. Bheag was less impressive. We then tacked down towards the River Meig, which was easy to cross given the low water level, and easily found a flat, dry area near the track to pitch for the night. Nice and sunny but too windy to sit outside. Many nocturnal noises - herd of deer rattling by on the track, a bird which sounded as though it were perched on the tent emitting a single peep and one of those strange warbling voiced birds that only come out at night and which I've never yet identified - Ha! Youtube to the rescue: reckons it a Common Snipe.

Lunndaidh
ImageDSC01486 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01487 by Al, on Flickr

Creag Dubh Mhor
ImageDSC01489 by Al, on Flickr

View along Gleann Fhiodhaig
ImageDSC01491 by Al, on Flickr

Creag Dubh Mhor, Lunndaidh behind
ImageDSC01492 by Al, on Flickr

Bheag
ImageDSC01493 by Al, on Flickr

Included purely for Alteknacker's benefit
ImageDSC01495 by Al, on Flickr

Campspot
ImageDSC01496 by Al, on Flickr

Blue skies as we pack up and set off for the walk out. We pass the shelter hut at Glenuiag and stop to have a peep inside. Lots of folk coming along the track this morning. One irate cyclist asks us where the bridge is and is nonplussed by our reply that there are 2 wire bridges only. He goes off on a rant about the SMC deliberately misleading people with their instructions, particularly on Skye so you need to buy the time of a guide to get you to the summits. We also met the couple we've met more than anyone else, I think, when out on the hills, nearing their second round completion who hailed us from afar with "oh there's the Greenock mob". And lots of people pushing bikes up the track. On bits that even I would have cycled on.

ImageDSC01497 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01498 by Al, on Flickr

Shelter hut
ImageDSC01499 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01500 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01501 by Al, on Flickr



What would we do next? Torridon for a traipse over the Black Carls on Beinn Eighe and a full traverse would have been nice, but the weather didn't look too great and we knew there was rain all day forecast for Sunday. That forecast similarly discounted the Fannaichs. Maybe Beinn Iutharn Mhor and Carn Bhac? It was a long drive to Braemar, but maybe we'd avoid a soaking on Sunday. As we drove east of Inverness the skies lit up and it was a glorious day. We took a while to get to Braemar, not least due to the closure of the Tomintoul road at Gairnshiel Bridge. We arrived at a busy Inverey sometime after 2pm and packed up the kitbags again. I reckoned we could walk down towards Altanour Lodge and set up camp, leaving the hills for tomorrow.


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Neither of us had been down Glen Ey before. A fine track, quite busy with cyclists returning from the hills as we walked in. A strong southern wind freshened our faces as we marched along the dusty road. We pitched just before the bridge at A'Chailleach although would probably have been better continuing on til we were just south of the ruined lodge. It seemed a bit early to stop for the day - not even 5pm yet. I dangled my feet in the river. There might be time to do the hills after tea, but both of us were quite tired and tomorrow would do. The wind remained strong all night, preventing sleep. At around 3.30am the rain started and I regretted not having done the hills the evening before. Luckily it was back to being dry when we got up at 6am and we set off with light bags, leaving the tent in place.

ImageDSC01504 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01505 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01506 by Al, on Flickr


We walked along the track past the lodge then onto boggier and less defined ground towards Beinn Iutharn Mhor. A steep climb up the wet grassy side of the hill brought up into clag and strong winds - bad enough to require my belay jacket on under my waterproof just to deal with wind chill. To the central cairn then out to the summit, seeing very little. A drop down the northern aspect over loose scree brought us to the southern Top of Carn Bhac (our first Sim of the day) then a slow tramp up towards the west Top and out to Geal Charn (Sim #2) which had its own track leading to the bare summit. It was so windy up there we struggled to stay upright. I picked up an old cartridge case, much larger calibre (0.50) than that used normally to shoot deer - wonder who uses those? We continued back up to the 920m Top then across to Carn Bhac.

Beinn Iutharn Mhor
ImageDSC01507 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01509 by Al, on Flickr

View back up Glen Ey
ImageDSC01511 by Al, on Flickr

Summit
ImageDSC01512 by Al, on Flickr

Scree descent
ImageDSC01513 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01514 by Al, on Flickr

Geal Charn
ImageDSC01516 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01517 by Al, on Flickr

ImageDSC01518 by Al, on Flickr

View back to Iutharn Mhor
ImageDSC01519 by Al, on Flickr

Carn Bhac
ImageDSC01520 by Al, on Flickr

Summit
ImageDSC01521 by Al, on Flickr


We came off to the east and made for the final Sim of Carn Creagach. From the boulder strewn summit be dropped down south, regaining the track at Altanour Lodge and thence back to the tent. Allison felt "dead" she said, though was partly revitalised by lunch and later assisted by some pie and custard when we returned to the car. I felt it only fair to take her into Glasgow for her tea on the way home :wink:
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weaselmaster
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Re: Lunndaidh, Bloody Lunndaidh

Postby Phil the Hill » Mon May 21, 2018 1:36 pm

Useful report as I'm planning a trip up Glen Ey for next week. So you reckon the best camping spot is beyond the ruined lodge?
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Phil the Hill
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Re: Lunndaidh, Bloody Lunndaidh

Postby Mal Grey » Mon May 21, 2018 5:16 pm

Great stuff, fab hills these.

Even better report title! :lol:
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Mal Grey
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Re: Lunndaidh, Bloody Lunndaidh

Postby weaselmaster » Mon May 21, 2018 6:16 pm

Phil the Hill wrote:Useful report as I'm planning a trip up Glen Ey for next week. So you reckon the best camping spot is beyond the ruined lodge?


Yes, there's a good area of flat, dry grass there. After the track deteriorates into muddy boggy terrain.
It's certainly drier than when we last did these hills - I remember the area between Carn Bhac and Iutharn as being a swamp then :wink:
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weaselmaster
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