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Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor

Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor


Postby mrssanta » Sat May 18, 2019 7:39 pm

Munros included on this walk: A' Mhaighdean, Ruadh Stac Mor

Date walked: 05/05/2019

Distance: 23.5 km

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In my last walk report I described struggling due to being unfit and my determination to get fitter. So on my first free day after getting home I put four litres of waterin my rucksack, put ankle weights on and rushed up Roseberry Topping as fast as I could. Two days later I started with a cold and three weeks after that was visiting my GP and getting a course of antibiotics, something I have not had for approximately 35 years!
So here was a week's holiday coming up, where would be a good place to go for an unfit wifie recovering from a bug, somewhere nice and gentle perhaps, with plenty of opportunities for escape? Oh yes, Fisherfield would fit the bill nicely! We decided that instead of rushing around we would take four days, take it steady, enjoy the experience and have a lovely time. Which is what we did.
To be honest I don't think I would ever be fit enough or want to do the Fisherfield circuit in a day anyway.
We decided to walk in from Kinlochewe, camp at Lochan Fada, and having read Scoob and Fi's report of doing this whole walk in one day (bonkers, but amazing) to drop down in to Gleann na Muice from Ruadh Stac Mor and camp there.
Driving up from the Borders on Sunday, we set off from Incheril car park at about 4pm and walked in via the Heights of Kinlochewe. It starts off as a very good track, becomes a not bad track then a path, which goes all the way to the eastern end of Lochan Fada.
We set off at a gentle pace from Incheril to the sound of a cuckoo, which was easy to spot as there were not many trees to choose from where it might be sitting. We met quite a few people walking the opposite way.
P5052898.jpg
rowan tree growing out of a fence post.

Turning left at the Heights of Kinlochewe, we stopped for a brew and a jammy roll, and it was at this point that I discovered that my UHT dairy sticks had curdled. They weren't off, just separated, but that meant that I had to fall back on my emergency stale peppermint teabags and poor brave Rudolph carried all those dairy sticks all round Fisherfield :(
As we left our brew place, it started to rain, which was NOT what the forecast had promised us. The rain got gradually heavier as we continued, and it took us a lot longer than expected to reach the east end of Lochan Fada. We'd hoped we might get a bit further but had not planned for it so we found a lovely place to camp not far from the path or the loch side where we were able to womble up some litter left by a previous camper.
P5052902.jpg
approaching the Eastern end of Lochan Fada.

It rained for a good part of the night, exactly how much I could not say as I was asleep for most of it, but this meant that there was a good covering of snow on the tops in the morning.
We woke quite late, 8am, to a lovely morning with high cloud and clear views and it promised to be a lovely day.
We were not in any rush and set off about 9.20am again at a gentle pace.
P5062908.jpg
Lovely morning from the tent, looking up to Beinn Tarsuinn with Creag Ghlas Mhor in front

P5062911.jpg
Slioch

We had intended to make a long gentle traverse up to the 525m bealach at 021735 but actually found a nice almost-path with cairns which was much better going underfoot than the tussocky grass lower down, and took us to the little bealach at 566m just west of Creag Ghlas Mhor. This would be a lovely place to camp on a summer night.
P5062915.jpg
Beinn Eighe on the other side of the trench of Gleann Beanasdail

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From the little bealach, A'Mhaighdean peeking out from behind the slopes of Beinn Tarsuinn.

P5062922.jpg
Oh, I don't know! I knew when I took it, but it's gorgeous anyway!

From here we aimed to traverse fairly level but ended up a little uphill of our target. We reached the boggy bealach a full 3 hours after setting off - slow even for us!
P5062925.jpg
our targets for the day, from the high point of our traverse

We found a nice sheltered hag to sit behind for a first lunch and while Rudolph noshed on oatcakes, cheese and hard boiled egg with nice coffee I nibbled on a meat paste and lettuce roll and sipped my rather unpleasant peppermint tea (actually I don't like coffee so don't feel too sorry for me!)
P5062926.jpg
Happy mugs at our lunch spot

P5062928.jpg
Looking back the way we came, Beinn Tarsuinn on the left

I have read that people found the ascent of A'Mhaighdean quite a boring long slog and I suppose it could well be at this point in a full day round from Shenavall. However I really enjoyed this hill. After a steepish ascent through a rocky bit, it was a lovely smooth, gentle climb into soft but crunchy snow, not so deep as to cause problems, and as we approached the summit, two eagles appeared as if from nowhere and slid around the sky for a bit. We got to the top about three o'clock and very lovely it was too.
P5062931.jpg
Ruadh-Stac from the slopes of A'Mhaighdean

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Looking East to tomorrow's targets, it's interesting how I take more photos on the way up, wonder why?

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Here's Rudolph on the top, Ruadh-Stac Mor behind and An Teallach in the distance

P5062936.jpg
and me, view back the way we came

P5062937.jpg
Looking west, Fionn Loch, and the sea. ooh!

P5062938.jpg
Beinn Lair

P5062940.jpg
Ruadh-Stac Mor

P5062941.jpg
An Teallach with Beinn Dearg Mhor in front that is an interesting looking mountain.

From here we did not follow the WH line straight to the bealach as it looked quite treacherous in the snow and we could not see a good line. Instead we followed the edge of the corrie downhill south east for about 80 metres descent and then turned north east to aim for the bealach.
P5062942.jpg
the slopes above Fuar Loch Mor

As promised, the line up the cliffs of Ruadh-Stac Mor became apparent as we approached, as promised there was a cairn showing the line through the boulders, a big scrambly step over a rock, a gully through the rocks and then cairns through the boulder field to the summit where we arrived at about 4.20pm.
P5062943.jpg
we could make out the way up from here. Not up those two scree falls which cut the rock band, but a bit to the right of them.

P5062946.jpg
Fuar Loch Mor

P5062947.jpg
And Rudolph on the top, tomorrow's hills behind

P5062948.jpg
and me, looking back the way we came (the camera is, not me)

Leaving the summit over the boulders we followed the ridge north west for a bit past the steepest section, then headed north east to the east side of the two lochans. from there we found a nice sheltered spot for a brew where I managed to finish my meat paste roll along with a cup of delicious (not) peppermint tea.
P5062950.jpg
two lochans, Ruadh-Stac Beag, at the front.
Beann Dearg Mor and Beinn a'Chlaidheimh in the middle
An Teallach and a wee snow shower at the back

well I seem to have run out of attachments at this point so will post a reply to myself with the last few pictures.
Scoob and Fi had come down this really steep slope into Gleann na Muice, and so we figured we could too. It was steep, but passable with care and from high up on the slope we could see a good place to cross the river. It goes into a gorge on the glen floor where it would be hard to cross; we had no difficulty at all crossing upstream of the gorge at about 036749. From there we walked downstream a bit and found a lovely camping spot next to a tributary burn, on a nice grassy spot complete with tree.
After pitching the tent we rested for half an hour before cooking tea and so to bed.
Here's a track of our route over the Munros. I haven't posted the walk in as it is pretty obvious.

Track_06-MAY-19 191304.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

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mrssanta
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Re: Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac

Postby mrssanta » Sat May 18, 2019 7:44 pm

So here are my last few photies I could not quite bear to leave out.
P5062954.jpg
Just before the start of the steep downhill

P5062967.jpg
arty picture of An Teallach from camp, with tree

P5062969.jpg
Beinn Tarsuinn from camp with some mist

P5062930.jpg
matchstick lichen poking out of a hole in the snow

P5062951.jpg
quite unexpected marsh marigold on the higher slopes of Ruadh stac Mor just below the snowline

and that's it till the next instalment which I still have to write
.
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mrssanta
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Re: Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Sat May 18, 2019 10:09 pm

Great photos - what a magical area Fisherfield is

I like the rowan tree bravely growing out of the fence post too!

Tim
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Re: Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac

Postby gammy leg walker » Sun May 19, 2019 9:23 pm

I'm off now to read part 2
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Re: Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac

Postby Alteknacker » Sun May 19, 2019 11:13 pm

Ah, what a wonderful place is Fisherfield! This brought back a lot of superb memories - though I didn't have the snowy part - that was a bit shocking: I hadn't realised there'd been that much snow!

I'm afraid I'm one of those who described the last part of the ascent of A' Mhaighdean from the south east as a bit boring - but really only in comparison with the utterly stupendous views you get once on the summit - I can't think of anywhere like it. Though you don't especially comment on it, apart from the gentle "ooh!" - perhaps you weren't as blown away by it as was I...???

"... where we were able to womble up some litter left by a previous camper..." Arrrghhhhh :evil: It just beggars belief that folk will take the trouble to get out to the wonderful remote place that is Fisherfield - and then litter it. When I was there Sheneval was pretty grim, with litter all around, including of a very unsanitary kind between the bothy and the stream :roll: .

As GLW above: now for part 2....

PS HATE you for the eagles - still after 7 years I haven't had a decent view of one...

PPS good to see the smiley mugs alive and well... :D
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Re: Savouring Fisherfield - part 1, Maighdean and Ruadh Stac

Postby mrssanta » Sat May 25, 2019 8:33 pm

HalfManHalfTitanium wrote:Great photos - what a magical area Fisherfield is

I like the rowan tree bravely growing out of the fence post too!

Tim

there were several of them actually, all power to their elbows!
gammy leg walker wrote:I'm off now to read part 2

Thank you I hope you enjoyed it! :D
Alteknacker wrote:Ah, what a wonderful place is Fisherfield! This brought back a lot of superb memories - though I didn't have the snowy part - that was a bit shocking: I hadn't realised there'd been that much snow!

I'm afraid I'm one of those who described the last part of the ascent of A' Mhaighdean from the south east as a bit boring - but really only in comparison with the utterly stupendous views you get once on the summit - I can't think of anywhere like it. Though you don't especially comment on it, apart from the gentle "ooh!" - perhaps you weren't as blown away by it as was I...???

"... where we were able to womble up some litter left by a previous camper..." Arrrghhhhh :evil: It just beggars belief that folk will take the trouble to get out to the wonderful remote place that is Fisherfield - and then litter it. When I was there Sheneval was pretty grim, with litter all around, including of a very unsanitary kind between the bothy and the stream :roll: .

As GLW above: now for part 2....

PS HATE you for the eagles - still after 7 years I haven't had a decent view of one...

PPS good to see the smiley mugs alive and well... :D

oh yes it is really amazing at the top. I could have sat there for longer but it was cold and we were a leetle bit worried about whether we would manage Ruadh-Stac Mor with the snow. It was fine though, we needn't have worried. Actually the pictures don't do it justice. Maybe one day I will come up from the Carnmore side which is more spectacular.
Eagles are just the icing on the cake - although we are cautious of saying we saw eagles in case they weren't, we were sure about these ones.
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