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Kayaking Gairich

Kayaking Gairich


Postby pmallan1 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:02 am

Route description: Gairich, Loch Quoich

Munros included on this walk: Gairich

Date walked: 18/05/2018

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 8.2 km

Ascent: 700m

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The day started early at our B & B on Loch Hourn, where we filled ourselves with a big breakfast and our kayaks with hiking gear. Half an hour paddle along to the head of the loch and we're back at the cars, unloading the kayaks again so we could put them on the roof. Six folks in our party in total, we were like a mini army moving over water and land with a slick efficiency comparable to the armed forces....or maybe not. Faff was at an all time high.

A few hairy bumps in the road meant the kayaks were bouncing maybe a bit more than was healthy but before long we'd reached our destination - an enlarged layby on Loch Quoich. Again the kayaks were loaded up with gear and then carried down to the loch to set off on our adventure. This year the water level was good, it meant we didn't have to carry the kayaks quite as far, and launching from solid ground instead of squidgy silt made all the difference.


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



The weather wasn't as perfect as was forecast (sun, no wind, hardly any clouds) and before long I was regretting not wearing my waterproof as the clouds darkened and it started to spit with rain. This didn't last thankfully so I needn't have worried and it looked like the sun might come out as my kayak scraped onto the small beach on the other side of the loch where we planned to start the walk from.

If you're not a fan of faff, this might not be the trip for you because now I'm out the kayak and I'm unpacking it again and getting changed into hiking gear. :crazy: However, the sun is shining now and it's the route looks short and sweet. :D

Because we'd aimed for the shortest crossing of the loch, we were now faced with the western flank which has clearly seen far fewer feet than the route over from the dam. It was nice to be able to navigate my way up to the top of the munro using map compass and brain instead of following path to summit. We found a couple of victims of the long winter at the bottom - 2 deer had perished near to the stream, one with a nice pair of antlers if anyone fancies a wall decoration without the shooting requirement!

Up we went at a good pace, stopping to enjoy the views as they opened up over Loch Quoich with Gleouraich and the South Shiel Ridge in the background across the loch. A wee lunch stop at a rocky outcrop out the wind before the summit then we headed up to the cairn to bag the munro.

The views from the top are great - to the west and north I was mentally ticking off the hills I'd done before - Ladhar Bheinn in Knoydart, the 7 tops along the glen shiel ridge, gleouraich and spidean mialach - and then on the eastern side, just the long expanse of glen garry with the wind farm in the background as you look towards Invergarry.

Strangely enough, after having No Service on the mobiles for the last few days and all the way up, 4G signal is available up there so if you're ever needing a forecast or to watch some youtube you know where to head!

Very straightforward walk back down the way we'd come up and then more faff to get ready for the water crossing. The way back the wind was quite strong forcing us east down the loch so we headed across at a steeper angle and then let the wind help us along the coast. It was never too challenging but without paying attention it could have added a longer distance on to the kayak. Back across at the other side and it's out again, carry the kayaks up to the cars and then empty again to get them on the roof for drive back to the final kayak home to the B & B. Knackered but great day.

Time/distances:

1st Leg, 2.7km kayak - 30mins
2nd Leg, 1.7km kayak - 20mins
3rd Leg, 8.2km hike - 4hrs (including plenty rest stops!)
4th Leg, 1.8km kayak - 20mins
5th Leg, 2.0km kayak - 22mins (shorter on the way back as the tide was out!)

Would recommend Gairich for anyone wanting to start out doing a munro by water.
pmallan1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 29
Munros:142   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Joined: Jan 13, 2009
Location: Aberdeen

Re: Kayaking Gairich

Postby Mal Grey » Mon May 21, 2018 5:22 pm

Nice way to approach the hill, avoiding the bogs. Its a good one, though unfortunately my attempt this March was cut short by a knee injury, whilst my mates continued up. WE'd cleverly avoided the bogs by doing it when frozen, so I was doubly sad not to then get to climb the hill, but I was struggling too much. This report reminds me I might not have to brave the bogs if I take the canoe.

As a regular canoeist, I am very familiar with the faffing. One of my favourite bits, which we have down to a T these days, sometimes we can make taking down a quick overnight camp last until at least lunchtime!

Mind you, with canoes rather than kayaks, most of the time the clothing is the same as hill clobber, so we don't have that extra bit of faff to worry about.
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Mal Grey
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2418
Munros:110   Corbetts:20
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Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Kayaking Gairich

Postby pmallan1 » Tue May 22, 2018 9:12 am

Mal Grey wrote:Nice way to approach the hill, avoiding the bogs. Its a good one, though unfortunately my attempt this March was cut short by a knee injury, whilst my mates continued up


Nightmare! Nothing worse than when the body gives up on you. Hope you get back there - and yes it was a nice way to get over - been thinking of swapping the kayaking for canoe recently since getting a puppy however he's a bit mad at the moment so getting him to sit still for anything longer than 30 seconds would be a challenge! One day perhaps.

Cheers
pmallan1
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 29
Munros:142   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Joined: Jan 13, 2009
Location: Aberdeen

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