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Passing the half way mark on the Fisherfield 5

Passing the half way mark on the Fisherfield 5


Postby thorburn7 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:54 pm

Route description: Fisherfield 6, from Shenavall

Munros included on this walk: A' Mhaighdean, Beinn Tarsuinn, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Ruadh Stac Mor, Sgurr Ban

Date walked: 26/05/2018

Time taken: 18 hours

Distance: 32 km

Ascent: 2188m

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I had two days left of unused holidays to take at work and I selected Monday and Tuesday in the last week of May in the hope for some dry weather. I was sitting pretty on 140 Munros and i really wanted to pass the half way point with a really memorable outing. I knew i wanted to go further north than I had previously been and I wanted to make a real adventure of it, possibly a bothy night or a wildcamp. I was doing a lot of research on walkhighlands in the week before the trip and I finally settled on something really special. How about possibly the most remote Munros in Scotland?
"The Great Wilderness" had always been in the back of my mind after first hearing the phrase from another walker back in May 2016 while descending off Stob Binnein. I had a keen eye on the weather in the run up to the weekend and with 3 days of gorgeous sun guaranteed, it was a no brainer!

My good friend Colin and I left Greenock at 8am on Saturday morning with the excitement of the Northwest Highlands beckoning us. The drive was ok considering I would be stuck in one position for ~5hrs. Once past Inverness I was now in uncharted territory. The furthest north I'd been was Beauly up until that point and I was eager to see just what made this part of Scotland so special. Once past Garve, the landscape started to open out and the scenery was just amazing. When An Teallach first came into view it was truely breathtaking.
Managed to get a parking space in the layby luckily as someone was just leaving. The entire length of the road almost was lined with cars. Looked like we wouldnt be alone in the "Great Wilderness".

Leaving the car about 1pm we set off with our large rucksacks aiming to reach a wildcamping spot below the summit of Ruadh Stac Mor by 8pm.

The walk begins with a track through a small forest before opening into a nice valley with views of An Teallach on the right.
ImageDSC_0011 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

"An Teallach is a real page 3 of a Munro" - Muriel Gray. 100% fact.
ImageDSC_0031 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Cairn marking the high point of the walk in to Shenavall bothy. All downhill until we get to the bothy.
ImageDSC_0033 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Descending down the small gorge towards Shenavall. The Corbett Beinn Dearg Mor in the background is a real stunner.
ImageDSC_0037 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Shenavall bothy comes into sight.
ImageDSC_0043 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Beautiful setting for a bothy.
ImageDSC_0047 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Quite a large and well maintained building.
ImageDSC_0048 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

I couldn't get the Wifi to work for some reason.
ImageDSC_0049 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

We spend about 20 mins looking around the bothy and found a lot of people had laid out sleeping bags in preparation for returning late at night.
ImageDSC_0050 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

We left the bothy around 4pm to continue on until reaching a suitable wildcamping spot. The terrain between Shenavall and the Munros is a boggy mess and requires a good bit of care to navigate without losing a foot. Colin wasnt so fortunate.
ImageDSC_0059 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Looking back in the direction of Shenavall gives you a great view of the back of An Teallach.
ImageDSC_0068 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

River crossing required and if you wander along the side far enough you'll find a decent bit to get across without having to take your boots off. Beinn Tarsuinn able to be seen in the distance at the end of the glen.
ImageDSC_0070 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Loch Beinn Dearg at 7pm as we climbed up towards our wild camping spot.
ImageDSC_0077 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Looking back down the glen.
ImageDSC_0078 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The summit of Ruadh Stac Mor finally in sight. Our camping spot was between two small lochans just below the summit.
ImageDSC_0082 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Reached our wild camp spot for 8pm and were set up cooking our dinner by 9pm.
ImageDSC_0098 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Sunset that evening was surreal and lasted for hours.
ImageDSC_0089 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0091 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0090 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

It was still very bright up until midnight when we finally succumbed to sleep. It had been a heatwave for the last few days and that night it was very mild. A gentle breeze kept the midges away.

The next morning we arose at 8am raring to go. We had breakfast and packed up for 9am and began heading to the top of Ruadh Stac Mor. As we climbed we got a brilliant view of our camping spot between the two lochans in relation to the remote landscape we were now in.
ImageDSC_0106 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The summit of Ruadh Stac Mor was reached by 10am and marked Munro number 141/282. Making it the half way point in my Munro bagging career.
ImageDSC_0113 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

This area of Scotland is truly stunning and the 360 degree views were mesmerizing.
ImageDSC_0125 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

From the summit of Ruadh Stac Mor you get a good view of arguably Scotland's most remote Munro, A' Mhaighdean.
ImageDSC_0118 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Quite a steep down climb from Ruadh Stac Mor required to continue our journey.
ImageDSC_0132 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Looking back at Ruadh Stac Mor as we made our way up A' Mhaighdean.
ImageDSC_0133 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Summit of A' Mhaighdean reached for midday.
ImageDSC_0154 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

I'd seen many photos from other walkhighlands reports of people standing in this same location and I can completely see why. The scenery was phenomenal.
ImageDSC_0156 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

From here it was a long descent of 400m before having to reclaim a similar height at the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn. Once reaching the Beinn Tarsuinn ridge you get a good view of the two Munros we'd just completed.
ImageDSC_0168 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Beinn Tarsuinn in sight.
ImageDSC_0166 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The ridge has a few nice scrambling sections if you stick to the crest. Brilliant views and good fun, would have been easier without the big packs though haha.
ImageDSC_0181 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

This incredible platform on the ridge made us wish we'd selected it for our wild camping spot instead.
ImageDSC_0183 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

Summit of Beinn Tarsuinn at 3:30pm. I can't stress enough how good this landscape is and I'm running out of vocabulary to convey its beauty.
ImageDSC_0186 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The descent from Beinn Tarsuinn was quick enough but unfortunately the highest Munro in the circuit was now ahead of us. 300m of ascent to reach the top.
ImageDSC_0199 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

It was a bit of a slog to the top of Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair. Made it to the summit for 5pm.
ImageDSC_0205 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The descent of Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair was pretty awful due to the scree. The boulder field up to the last Munro, Sgurr Ban was extremely tiring and the day's exploits had finally caught up with us. The heavy rucksacks had been digging into our shoulders for 2 days and the weight making every step an absolutely chore.
ImageDSC_0201 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

We reached the summit of Sgurr Ban at 6pm and was too exhausted to take anymore photos until the late evening sunset. We'd completed the Munros and the additional Corbett just seemed too much to include and we were running very low on water so we decided to find a stream to fill up. We descended down to Loch a' Bhrisidh and reached a decent stream to replenish our supply of water. We followed the stream to the bottom of the glen and then found our way back to Shenavall just as the sun was setting around 10pm.
ImageDSC_0210 by Matthew Thorburn, on Flickr

The bothy was silent but absolutely rammed with people sleeping so it was another night in the tents for us. This was a unforgettable trip to a fantastic area of Scotland. Extremely demanding and tough but well worth it!
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thorburn7
Hill Bagger
 
Posts: 19
Munros:196   Corbetts:6
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Joined: Aug 26, 2015
Location: Greenock

Re: Passing the half way mark on the Fisherfield 5

Postby rockhopper » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:39 pm

thorburn7 wrote:I was sitting pretty on 140 Munros and i really wanted to pass the half way point with a really memorable outing.

Well, you certainly managed that ! Well done and some great photos too - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6401
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Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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