Savouring Fisherfield part 2, Eastern three munros
by mrssanta » Sat May 18, 2019 9:57 pm
Munros included on this walk: Beinn Tarsuinn, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Sgurr Ban
Date walked: 07/05/20198 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It was COLD. we had our summer tent, but kept most of our clothes on inside our sleeping bags. This is a spot that does not get either evening or morning sun. There was ice on the inside of the flysheet in the morning. Rudolph made me a nice cup of peppermint tea which was almost passable. Anyone who knows me, knows that I drink tea as if it was going out of fashion so not having any milk because it had all curdled was a terrible blow, as I cannot manage it black. Even so, I was grateful to Rudolph for being the one who gets up and puts the kettle on.
We were a bit earlier up and going than the previous day, because we were woken by the sound of a helicopter. We watched it circling around An Teallach as we walked, and wondered what it was doing. We learnt later that it was recovering the body of Johnny Paton, who had tragically failed to return from climbing An Teallach the previous day.
But of course we did not know this as we were walking on this beautiful Tuesday.
We set off up the steep slope towards Loch a’Bhrisidh on a rising traverse. It wasn’t too bad really – a lot better than going straight up! There were one or two fairly deep water cut gullies on the lower slopes but with no real difficulty to negotiate.
We had plenty of stops to rest and nibble, and after about an hour of walking and climbing, the sunrise reached us at last. We reached the loch, which is at about 550metres, at about 10.50amfeeling like we had had a long climb, but actually we had only done 330m and still had another 440 to go.
We decided to skirt the loch on the left (northern) side which looked like it would give us an easier climb up to the ridge than the southern side. It was good going with traces of path and a beautiful spot. We’d had a vague plan to camp here the night before but actually the camp spot we had was much better and we didn’t have the energy to climb up here as it had turned out.
We’d intended to go up to the ridge and then follow it to the summit, but as we climbed it became apparent that this would involve large boulder fields whereas climbing up via the shallow corrie would be more grassy and smoother underfoot. It was reassuring to find traces of boot prints as we proceeded.
We stopped for a rest looking over Loch a’Bhrisidh and watched a couple and a dog climbing the other side of the loch, initially below us, but it was not long before they were well ahead of us. We wondered if they were doing the full circuit and certainly they were making good time. We were grateful to them later for their footprints in the snow.
At last we reached the top of Stob Ban and by this time the couple ahead of us had already gone. It was cold and we were a bit nervous about the next hill so we didn't hang about for long. But I did take a few photies.
The snow on the south side of the hill was a bit slushy having had some sun on it but the descent was straight forward, apart from looking over to Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair and thinking " how the *&^% are we going to get up there?"
But this is where the people ahead of us had come in handy. We watched them ascending without any trouble at all and were able to follow their footprints over the boulders at the bottom to the path which winds through the scree.
I had a bit of a wobble on the boulders at the bottom and lost my balance, almost recovered it, but then tumbled over, landing on a rock on my left bum cheek. I didn't hurt anything but my dignity, but later on after we were home wondered why this bit ached so much, then I saw the bruise! It did give me a little bit of a fright at the time, considering we were so far from home.
Because of the snow cover the path had not been obvious until we were on it, but actually the snow was really helpful here as it was nice and crunchy and held things together; I think it was probably easier than it would have been without.
The climb is steep and brutal but only 200metres of ascent (one Roseberry Topping) and when we reached the top it was perfect, with sun, no wind whatsoever, and definitely time for lunch. As we had our lunch we watched several people making their way up Beinn Tarsuinn and disappearing down the other side.
From here we made our way down the other side where the snow was a bit more slushy having been in the sunshine.
the bypass path of Meall Garbh is very straightforward and was below the snow line, and we soon reached Bealach Odhar, where we dumped our rucksacks, stuffed our pockets with snacks and stuff, and set off uphill, so much easier without the big overnight sacks.
We looked at the Tennis Court from the summit of Beinn Tarsuinn, but neither of us felt any compelling need to stand on it. We were ready to go down hill and find a camp spot.
From Bealach Odhar you descend past several burns in gorges which converge on each other and these need to be on your right or you get into trouble. As soon as we reached the gorges we found a lovely path which took us all the way to our original campsite, meeting up with the stalkers path from the Heights of Kinlochewe. When we arrived there was already a tent pitched nearby and shortly after we pitched another arrived as well but we all kept out of each others' ways and a peaceful night was had by all. At least if it wasn't I didn't notice as I was asleep by nine and didn't wake up until 8am!!
I have run out of attachments so I will post some more pictures and text in a reply.
by mrssanta » Sat May 18, 2019 10:08 pm
- back at camp
In the morning we noticed a definite change in the weather. We decided to walk out via Gleann Bianasdail for a change of scenery and because a figure of 8 walk is always good.
- in the morning looking west along Lochan Fada, Beinn Lair is out of the cloud but A'Mhaighdean isn't
The stalkers path from the heights of Kinlochewe continues across the Eastern end of Lochan Fada and round to the stepping stones at its outflow. Crossing the stepping stones was no problem but I wouldn't fancy it in a big spate.
- standing on the stepping stones looking south down the river
From here the path climbs about 100 metres on the western side to avoid a gorge with Allt Leacach in it, and then descends gradually to the floor of the glen.
- dramatic gorge of Gleann Bianasdail
- lovely lichen coloured rock
There are one or two places where the path is a bit eroded, mostly near the bottom, but in general it is straightforward and pleasant. The footbridge marked on the map at 027672 does not exist and it looks like there has been no bridge here for a long time. We had a break here for some food. The lower parts of the glen again plunge into a beautiful gorge with trees, pools and waterfalls. Just before this gorge there is a fork in the path, if you take the left path you get to go very close to the edge of the gorge, not for the vertiginous but very beautiful. The right path gets you to the same place in the end but goes uphill a bit - why do that if you don't have to?
- a birch and a pointy holly
- the promise of a gorgeous gorge
- the trees hang on very tightly, even when they are dead and upside down!
- fresh green leaves on this little stand of trees
- the plunge pool of this waterfall looked bottomless. we watched some leaves swirling round in the eddies and decided it was not a place for a swim!
It's a small world, you get chatting to people you meet and we spoke to a man who had been taught in school by Rudolph's Dad many moons ago. We passed quite a few people going up who were planning the circuit back to Kinlochewe which we learned is a regular running and racing circuit. I'll stick to walking thank you very much.
The bridge at the bottom of Gleann Bianasdail is looking the worse for wear with rotten planks and some holes in it. but as long as you watch where you are putting your feet it is safe enough.
- the bridge. watch your feet!
We stopped for a brew at the bridge before the beautiful trudge back along the shores of Loch Maree and the Kinlochewe River back to the car at Incheril. From there we were completely blessed to be served with a helping of lovely home made tomato soup at the Kinlochewe Hotel before making our weary but happy way to Rudolph's folks in Aboyne in time for evening grub.
So that was the savouring of Fisherfield.
by gammy leg walker » Sun May 19, 2019 9:32 pm
by Alteknacker » Sun May 19, 2019 11:33 pm
What a great place to spend a few days....
by Huff_n_Puff » Mon May 20, 2019 8:26 pm
by mrssanta » Sat May 25, 2019 8:22 pm
gammy leg walker wrote:Fantastic weather you had
yes it was very lovely, cold, but that's no problem with the right clothing.
Alteknacker wrote:Good to see a route that is still fairly fresh in my mind from different angles. And some great pics - I especially like the first shot of AT with the bush on the RHS...
What a great place to spend a few days....
Oh yes I totally agree. Thank you that tree was a gift!
Huff_n_Puff wrote:Thank you for such detailed descriptions - very helpful to people like me who are still pondering the options You've confirmed my insitinct - to spend time savouring these hills. Beautiful photos
best not to rush too much you just get out of breath and knackered - well I do anyway!
by Sgurr » Sat May 25, 2019 8:30 pm
by mrssanta » Sat May 25, 2019 8:35 pm
Sgurr wrote:Glad all the snow had gone by the time we arrived on the 18th. Looks quite different from how I remember it from 2003.Somebody told me that Sainsbury does quite acceptable powdered milk, but our is such a tiny branch I have never managed to find any.
I'll have a look. I tried the co-op one and it is fine when new but it goes a bit sicky not very long after opening.
by dogplodder » Mon May 27, 2019 8:48 pm
by mrssanta » Mon May 27, 2019 9:34 pm
dogplodder wrote:Felt for you on the curdled milk. That added to the challenge of camping in Fisherfield on a cold May weekend would feel a bit like the proverbial straw.... Not that I even like tea but if I'd gone to the bother of taking milk for coffee I'd have been well miffed.
Well I think I am going to have to learn to like black tea or herbal tea.
And next time if it is proper cold I will just take real milk
by bobble_hat_kenny » Tue May 28, 2019 6:02 pm
Lovely WR !
by mrssanta » Wed May 29, 2019 10:00 pm
bobble_hat_kenny wrote:Snap! I did these three hills just four days earlier, as I think you'd noticed - we didn't get such good weather (or photos) however ! It's interesting to see all the possible variations on these hills - we included the Corbett Beinn a' Chlaidheimh (and Beinn Tarsuinn's NW ridge including the "tennis court" which was definitely good fun), but on the other hand, we didn't manage to get A' Mhaighdean or Ruadh Stac-Mor done, so I'll have to come back for those two someday - probably from the Poolewe side.
Lovely WR !
I'd love to come in via Poolewe if I ever come back, it looks magnificent!
by kippenlil » Fri May 31, 2019 11:25 am
- Posts: 2
- Joined: Jun 13, 2016
by malky_c » Fri May 31, 2019 10:33 pm
by mrssanta » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:02 pm
kippenlil wrote:Great report. I feel your pain re the milk. As a fellow milk tea drinker and herbal tea dislike I can recommend Lidl Knightsbridge Rois Bois and Twinings English Breakfast as surprisingly palatable black.
Thanks I'll go seek out a Lidl!
malky_c wrote:Looked like some great weather for that! I mean not wall-to-wall sunshine, but atmospheric and exciting nontheless . Time for me to take another wander through Fisherfield I think - great report(s)
I think wall to wall sunshine is boring anyway - the little bits of weather that came and went were great, and the wind kept away, and the cloud was above the summits, that is the best kind of weather I think!