Had enjoyed doing Beinn Sgritheall day before. Decided to return part way and crash out in the Bongo, near the Cluanie Inn. It was a cold night, but a great place to sit amid the mountains, watching the deer graze and cross the river....... oh, I forgot to mention the pints in the pub
Wind fair got up through the night and was quite gloomy looking when I got up. No rush round to Gairich, then!
Once I did get round there, Gairich was shrouded in cloud. Forecast had been for a better day, so I headed off across the dam, with optimism, or desperation, in my heart.
The track was reasonably easy to follow round to Bealach na Faire. I near made the mistake of going onwards into the trees, but spotted track going uphill beside the fence, just at right moment.
Made my way onto broad plateau/ridge heading for main bulk of Gairich. As I made progress, several nice looking hills began to clear to the south and gradually, Gairich itself began to join the show Mmmh? Quite a lot of snow there! Fortunately, had the ice axe with me and if memory serves right, crampons, too.
By the time I was nearing the main climb, almost all the clag was gone. Excellent timing! I was able to follow the stalkers path initially, up the now very steep slopes, in the snow. Couldn't see the original stalkers path which cuts left, but think I must have kept on track fairly well. Was a few tricky moments crossing steep drops, when I used the axe for extra reassurance, but nothing too dodgy.
Think I was about two and three quarter hours to the summit, which by now was perfectly clear and afforded a great panorama of the surrounding hills, Ben Nevis, Sgurr na Ciche, Sgurr Mhor, Sgurr Thuilm, Gleouraich ,Spidean Mialach and over Locch Quoich, to the dam, though it was still more than a bit breezy on top.
After some grub and plenty photo's, I retraced my steps carefully down the ridge and back to the relative safety of the flatter stuff. Enjoyed the rest of the walk back to the loch, exploring the ancient trees left decaying in the peat, near the dam. Some great sculptures there, if that's your thing
Back to the Bongo in five and a half hours. A bit tired after the exertions of the past two days, but took a trip up to check out the start point for the hike up Sgurr a' Mhaoraich, which was nudging higher up the schedule. A long trek home, but it had been a great couple of days. Thank you Pam xxx
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.