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Gairich, and with dry feet!

Gairich, and with dry feet!


Postby bobble_hat_kenny » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:49 pm

Route description: Gairich, Loch Quoich

Munros included on this walk: Gairich

Date walked: 25/07/2018

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 15 km

Ascent: 870m

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I'm not long back from a fortnight's holiday in Malta (as you do), and catching up on some WRs from earlier in the year. This was Day Three of an outing in late July, based at the Saddle Mountain Hostel in Invergarry to do some mopping-up of Section 9 and Section 10 Munros. After a moderately strenuous outing the day before doing the two Lochy Lochy Munros plus the adjacent Corbett Ben Tee, I was looking for something shorter and easier for the third day, and Gairich seemed to fit the bill.
I'd already had a good look at this hill on a backpacking outing up Lonely Glen Kingie last year to bag Sgurr Mor. On that occasion, my abiding memory is of a complete bogfest of a path round the southeast corner of Loch Quoich, when I got back to the car looking like Swamp Thing .... However, this time I'd be attempting it after one of the West of Scotland's most prolonged dry spells in living memory :lol: , so maybe that would help a bit!
There is really only one sensible route up Gairich (at least for the non-kayakers amongst us), namely to park at the Loch Quoich dam, then cross it to head southwards towards the eastern end of the Druim na Geid Salaich ridge, then head westwards up that to the Munro summit, exactly as per the website's route description. So that's what I did.

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The forecast for the day was very promising, and there was a fine view of Gairich from the car park:
WR1 - Gairich across Loch Quoich from car park.jpg

The Loch Quoich dam looks pleasingly munumental from this angle :) !
WR2 - the Loch Quoich Dam looking monumental.jpg

I headed off through the (thankfully unlocked) gate that led across the dam. Halfway across, I got a nice zoomed shot of the attractively conical Ben Tee off to the east, one of the three hills I'd climbed the previous day:
WR3 - zoomed shot of Ben Tee from the dam.jpg

At the other end of the dam, the potential bogfest-of-a-path starts ... however, to my considerable relief, it did indeed prove to be much drier than it normally is, and with careful footwork I managed to end the day with dry feet, amazingly enough :lol: - quite a rare achievement for Gairich, by all accounts!
A view back to the dam from a bit further south, with Spidean Mialach looming up to the north on the other side of the road:
WR4 - looking back to the dam and Spidean Mialach to the north.jpg

The path undulated southwards over some boggy and hummocky terrain, to eventually descend again towards the forestry north of Glen Kingie, and the eastern end of the Druim na Geid Salaich ridge.
WR5 - descending towards Glen Kingie forestry & foot of Druim na Geid Salaich.jpg

Looking up the Druim na Geid Salaich from the corner of the forestry, with Gairich raising its head in the distance:
WR6 - looking up at Druim na Geid Salaich and distant Gairich.jpg

There proved to be an excellent stalkers' path up the first bit of the ridge, which made for fairly straightforward progress.
Up on the Druim now, with Gairich not looking quite so far away:
WR7 - on the Druim with distant Gairich.jpg

A bit further up, the path became rather intermittent amidst some peat-haggery. This wasn't really a problem on the way up, since Gairich itself made a very obvious navigational target, but it proved a bit trickier on the way back down, when I temporarily found myself a tad off-piste amongst those entertaining peat hags :lol: .
From here, Gairich looks disconcertingly like Tolkein's Lonely Mountain :lol: ! Thankfully, Smaug wasn't in residence, however.
WR8 - heading westwards towards the Lonely Mountain.jpg

Eventually I reached the foot of Gairich itself, picking up the path again en route to make a steeper zigzagging ascent up the Munro's western flanks. There was a fine view southwards across Glen Kingie to the Corbett Sgurr Mhurlagain, with its impressive big northeastern corrie and unusual double east ridge
WR9 - looking south across Glen Kingie to Sgurr Mhurlagain's interesting big NE corrie.jpg

Slightly higher up, there was an entertaining Wee Scrambly Bit up a short rock wall with good holds: actually easier than it looks from below.
WR10 - the Wee Scrambly Bit on ascent.jpg

It wasn't that much further up to the summit plateau. The clouds had mostly cleared on the way up, and as might be expected for such an isolated Munro peak out in the Wild West, Gairich proved to have very impressive summit views.
Looking west towards Sgurr Mor, with pointy Sgurr na Ciche just visible in the distance over its right shoulder:
WR11 - at Gairich cairn looking west to Sgurr Mor and distant Quiche.jpg

Northwest towards Loch Quoich and distant Knoydart, with Sgurr a' Mhaoraich on the far right:
WR12 - NW towards Loch Quoich & Knoydart with Sgurr a' Mhaoraich on R.jpg

The northern arm of Loch Quoich and Sgurr a' Mhaoraich again:
WR13 - northern arm of Loch Quoich & Sgurr a' Mhaoraich.jpg

Gleoraich and Spidean Mialach:
WR14 - Gleouraich & Spidean Mialach.jpg

An interesting view of three impressive Glen Dessary Corbetts: from east to west (i.e. left to right), Sgurr Mhurlagain, Fraoch Bheinn and Sgurr Cos na Breachd-Laoidh.
WR15 - Corbetts - Sgurr Mhurlagain, Fraoch Bheinn & Sgurr Cos na Breachd-Laoidh.jpg

A zoomed shot of Sgurr an Fhuarain, Sgurr Mor and distant Sgurr na Ciche. Quite a relief to realise that I'd already bagged these ones!
WR16 - zoomed shot of Sgurr an Fhuarain, Sgurr Mor & distant Ciche.jpg

Sgurr an Fhuarain and Sgurr Mor again, with the west end of Loch Quoich and the Knoydart peaks visible in the distance:
WR17- Fhuarain & Sgurr Mor again with W Loch Quoich & Knoydart in distance.jpg

...And looking south again across Glen Kingie to that interesting double east ridge of Sgurr Mhurlagain:
WR9 - looking south across Glen Kingie to Sgurr Mhurlagain's interesting big NE corrie.jpg

I paused to pass the time of day with another chap who had appeared up while I was taking the photos, then had a bite of lunch before heading back down again the way I'd come.
A great wee outing, and thankfully not the complete snorkel-and-flippers job that I'd feared :lol: !
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bobble_hat_kenny
Walker
 
Posts: 328
Munros:187   Corbetts:33
Grahams:34   Donalds:19
Sub 2000:23   Hewitts:2
Joined: Sep 3, 2011

Re: Gairich, and with dry feet!

Postby Alteknacker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:26 am

This sure is a great hill for superb views.

My pic of the 3 Corbetts is almost identical to yours - a really wonderful place.
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Alteknacker
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Posts: 2696
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
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Wainwrights:78   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

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