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Strathfarrar take 2, in reverse
by Fife Flyer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:08 pm
Route description: Glen Strathfarrar Munros circuit
Munros included on this walk: Carn nan Gobhar (Strathfarrar), Sgurr a' Choire Ghlais, Sgurr Fhuar-thuill, Sgurr na Ruaidhe
Date walked: 17/06/2018
Time taken: 7 hours
Distance: 17 km
Ascent: 1600m3 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
As everyone knows Strathfarrar is unique in that these Munro's are guarded by a dragon who is in charge of the keys to the locked gate. The dragon needs her beauty sleep so the gate does not open before 9am and to make sure she gets an early night is locked at 8pm.
Our plan was to meet at the dreaded gate at about 9am, so those of us travelling from Edinburgh and Fife had arranged to meet at the Park & Ride in Inverkeithing. Parminder and Stan had volunteered to drive and after a small hiccup which meant Stan went to one of the 3 railway station car parks rather than the P&R, but that was soon sorted out and we were on our way north. We arrived at the gate at about 9.30 and were met by Martin and Andy in their respective vehicles. As I was in the leading vehicle and only a co-pilot I leapt out and rang the dreaded bell. I was met by the dragon who questioned why we were here at 9.30 and not 9 o'clock, I explained that we had travelled from Fife, but she wasn't interested in that as an excuse and started dishing out her little greens tickets, she then opened the gate with it's umpteen padlocks on and we wre on our way. Parts of the road have been resurfaced but the latter part is a matter of avoiding the bigger of the potholes.
Our plan was to tackle the route in reverse to the suggested WH route, the logic being that descending the final hill through the bog would be easier and that decision turned out to be a good one. It also gave George and myself who had tackled the hills about 4 years ago a chance to assess which way is best and we were all unanimous that the reverse route is best.
As we had 4 cars between us, we parked 2 at either end of the route to save walking the 7km back along the road.
The start from the western end is very obvious a good track took us uphill at a nice steady gradient, the burn on our right hardly had any water in it.
A photo taken on my phone from the car on our way along the long single track road to the start, one of the 2 lochs
Looking back along the single track road
Normally a burn, spot the water - there isn't any
Looking back at low level
Looking back from slightly higher up
The way ahead
Water feature, but not alot of water
Above photo zoomed a bit
Team photo, left to right - Stan, Denise, Martin,George, Parminder & Andy
Easy burn crossing
What are they all looking at?
This, Loch Toll a' Mhuic
The path up to the bealach at about 990m is excellent, no wet feet for me. We could see looking ahead that it wouldn't be too long before we entered the cloud. There was a fairly steady breeze, so we were hoping that it would do it's job and moved the cloud to the east. As we entered the cloud we made sure that we stayed together, even though the path was obvious and from the bealach it was only a few minutes before the first summit of the day was reached.
Another water feature with hardly any water
Loch Toll a' Mhuic from a bit higher up and before we entered the cloud
Final photo of the lochan
George taking a final pre cloud photo, whilst Martin squeezes past
A nice cloudy photo looking back
Same 3 stragglers a bit nearer
All standing around the first summit cairn admiring it
Parminder demonstrating that he is a real man, the rest of us were putting fleeces and gloves on
A couple of small lochans appearing through the clag, but it is clearing - trust me
Andy amiring the improving view
Views improving, Andy has his phone out
Same 2 lochans from earlier, told you it was improving
Nice procession descending
The way ahead
Our 2nd summit
We had a bit of a minor panic on the 2nd and highest summit of the day. We were using my 20 year old map that I had highlighted the 4 Munro's, the problem was that the actual Munro's had been rearranged and I had highlighted a demoted one. The matter was resolved on the 3rd summit after getting in a huddle with map GPS's etc, etc.
The way ahead 3rd summit on the left after the usual descent/ascent
Cloud swirling round - getting in the way
Looking back, Andy demonstrating his usual descending posture - arms flapping
Looking back again, last summit in cloud again
3rd summit cairn
One for the little flower lovers
Looking back whilst on the final ascent slog
Final summit cairn on Sgurr na Ruaidhe
Looking east, view ruined by the inevitable wind farm
Same shot zoomed, oil rigs near Invergordon can just about be made out
One of the benefits of doing the round clockwise was it is easier to pick your way through the boggy areas and plan your route from on high. We were fortunate in that most of the bogginess had dried up, it was very noticeable that an ATV had been on or near the path. The ATV had really churned up the soft ground and in slight dips the ground was a real mess.
Some sort of concrete contraption for the numerous hydro schemes in the area
Not far back to the cars now
Sorry George, it has to be posted - googling the banks on a Sunday!
There was one midge and George had to get the serious stuff out of his rucksack whilst we were waiting for the cars to return, Andy wasn't concerned about the single midge and opted to put a short sleeved t shirt on.
This little outing turned out to be a great day, like most trips past Inverness it was also a very long day, I arrived home just before 10pm. Huge thanks to our drivers Parminder and Stan, was good to catch up with Martin, Denise and Andy again.
Next for me will be a Marilyn or two next Saturday on my way home from Englandshire.
by sunshine65 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:07 pm
by parminder » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:19 pm
by dibs » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:55 am
by martin.h » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:06 pm
Great day out, and thanks to all for joining Denise and I, we had a good do.
To be fair to the Dragon guarding the gate, we did get a smile from her on the way out.
Thanks again and keep in touch
by AJNicholls » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:53 am
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