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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.

Winter walking in May: Sgurr a' Mhaoraich

Winter walking in May: Sgurr a' Mhaoraich


Postby kleighton » Wed May 08, 2019 5:34 pm

Route description: Sgurr a' Mhaoraich, Loch Quoich

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

Date walked: 07/05/2019

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1077m

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Winter seemed to return last weekend and we were faced with the coldest early May bank holiday since records began. I checked the weather and decided on a midweek walk to Sgurr a' Mhaoraich, my 4th munro at Loch Quoich. The road is open again after the landslide last November. I set off at 8.30am. Sunny with little wind at the start and a few clouds on the tops. A dusting of snow above 900m. The wind rose and fell through the day and clouds came and went with some light sleet and snow near the summit. The hill was quiet and peaceful. Only one group of 3 passed me near the final pull to the summit.
All went well up the fine clear stalkers' path. The start point is marked by a small cairn at the roadside. Further up there a number of tops along a delightful ridge then a steep ascent to the final summit plateau. There was some snow lying here and the last rise to the plateau was a little scary but the snow was soft and no crampons were needed. I decided however not to go back this way as it was a bit slippy and exposed for descent.
Views were wonderful all around especially north to Kintail which I have recently started exploring.
I then headed off NNW towards the steep descent to Bealach Coire a'Chaorainn. And yes this was a very steep descent down grassy slopes interspersed with rocks and crags. There was quite a bit of snow so I found the easiest way was to slide down sitting stopping frequently to negotiate rocks. Exhilirating. Eventually I found a rough intermittent path which I walked down from about 900m. On my rough descent when the sleet started I changed my mind about my return route and dropped down from the bealach beside the Allt Coire a'Chaorainn where I met a stalkers' path. This meandered along till it turned into a new hydro track shortly before the ford mentioned in the walk report. I couldn't see this track on the OS map. I also saw an airplane runway apparently constructed for royalty to come stalking here last century. The track continued and met the track from Alltbeithe and this led easily back to the parking place on the roadside.
A wonderful walk with some exciting challenges in the snow in May. :clap:
kleighton
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 31
Munros:181   Corbetts:21
Grahams:20   Donalds:52
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Joined: Jul 28, 2016

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