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Blown away on Maol Chean-dearg

Blown away on Maol Chean-dearg

Postby JimboJim » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:46 am

Route description: Maol Chean-dearg ascent, Coulags

Munros included on this walk: Maol Chean-dearg

Date walked: 20/11/2018

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 932m

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Spent the previous night half sleeping, half chittering in the Bongo, having had a few beers in the Lochcarron Hotel, after climbing Ciste Dhubh, earlier that day. At last the light came on, so I made my way, the few miles up to Coulags. Definitely duller and more breezy than the day before, but that was predicted.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 095_1151_800_1024_712.JPG
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 183_1169_800_1024_701.JPG
Meall nan Ceapairnean, from down near the start.

Followed the route, as per WH's without much problem, though a new wooden bridge before the "real" one, had me wondering a bit. Didn't take too long to finally come to the one referred to, then beyond that, the reassurance of seeing the Coire Fionnaraich bothy, then beyond, the Clach nan Con-fionn. No sign of Fionn, or his hunting dogs, but managed to find the cairn, marking where to turn left.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 099_1125_800_1024_728.JPG
Mini hydro dam, well up the the Fionn-abhainn, where one crosses "the wooden bridge." There is also now a newer wooden bridge, much lower on the walk, which might lead to a bit of head scratching?
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 175_1024_690.JPG
Coire Fionnaraich bothy, which looks a very warm, welcoming place, though I never poked my nose in, as there were folk inside. One never knows what might be going on?
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 166_1138_800_1024_720.JPG
A naughty looking digit, or just the Clach nan Con-fionn.
The path remains very clear and easy to follow up to the Bealach a' Choire Garbh. What was also becoming clear was the summit was unclear and the increasing wind speed was only adding to the already chilly temperature :shock:
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 164_1169_800_1024_701.JPG
Coire Garbh, with the ascent route hidden in the mist.

Even before reaching the bealach, I was having some question marks as to whether this would be do-able. The heavy gloves, face mask and jacket were soon added to the armour.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 162_1024_768.JPG
Path up/down from/to Coire Fionnaraich.

The sight of An Ruadh-stac, is indeed impressive, but my main preoccupation soon became narrowed down to staying on my feet, as I made my way up the steep scree. Having come this far, I was keen to get the job done, but the easterly wind must have been gusting well upward of 40mph+ and seemed determined to make me think again. Maybe it would be less severe above the bealach?
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 114_1024_707.JPG
An Ruadh-stac.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 160_1024_768.JPG
Sun doing its best to put on a light show.

In actual fact, this seemed to be the case and progress was much easier, though the trail harder to follow, to the foot of the boulders and steeping final climb to the summit, which remained steadfastly shrouded in thick, freezing cloud.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 125_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Even the boulders were feeling the cold :)
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 123_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Summit cairn, which has a few handy shelters, to protect from the elements.
Did I say it was cold?
Disappointed, I couldn't see the views of Torridon hills, I hung around as long as my fingers could tolerate, before reversing the journey back down. Fortunately, the wind eased a litle, but not much, till well below the bealach again. Met a couple of couple's on my way back, and enjoyed some great sunray effect, but otherwise not much doing until a spectacular rainbow, brought first signs of any precipitation, back at my start point, Coulag's.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 117_1200_800_1024_683.JPG
Think this is Spidean Coire an Laoigh, emerging as I descend.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 187_1138_800_1024_720.JPG
The bridge at Coulags.

Enjoyed the trip home, mostly, managing to stop for a few photo's along the way, till disaster struck going through the Pass of Glencoe, but that as they say, is a story for another day :(
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 195_1024_725.JPG
No prizes for guessing
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 197_1102_800_1024_743.JPG
Satisfying my ship spotting urges.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 112_1124_800_1024_729.JPG
First look at An Ruadh-stac. Quite impressive looking it is, too.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 152_1192_800_1024_687.JPG
Out to Skye, as it cleared a bit lower down.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 161_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 177_1139_800_1024_719.JPG
Coire Fionnaraich bothy.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 185_1199_800_1024_683.JPG
For you lorry fans out there.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 191_1236_800_1024_663.JPG
Skye, on the way home.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 192_1121_800_1024_731.JPG
Eilean Donan Castle.
Ciste Dhubh Maol Cheann-dearg 196_1024_669.JPG
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Mountain Walker
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