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Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies


Postby Sgurr » Sat May 25, 2019 4:56 pm

Munros included on this walk: A' Mhaighdean

Grahams included on this walk: Meall Mheinnidh

Date walked: 21/05/2019

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 12.6 km

Ascent: 860m

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On March 23rd 2018 Hils from Scottishhills.com sent me the following message
“I have booked Carnmore Lodge in Fisherfield for 4 days from the 18th May next year 2019.

Carnmore Lodge sits at the foot of A’ Mhaighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor, in the most wonderful setting imaginable.

It has 4 bedrooms, sleeps 8, 2 bathrooms. Cooking and heating is by gas, light by lamp.

Such a location doesn’t come cheap unfortunately, the cost is £276 per person. This includes pick up in Poolewe by landrover, and then a boat trip up Fionn Loch to the lodge. Also includes all the gas and wood for the fire etc. £68 a night isn’t much more than I paid for a room in the lakes 2 weeks ago, and not much to pay for what would be a dream trip.

Deposit is £90, payable now. Then £90 by the end of this year, balance next February.

I’m drooling at all the wonderful possibilities this provides, and pre midgey.

Would you be interested in this? Thought you might be so giving you heads up before I fire it public.”

I waited for approximately ½ an hour before replying “Yes!”

The group would also consist of Polystac and Stan, Beverly, munros 111 and anne 3366 and her dog, all from Scottishhills.com.
There was a lot of messaging to and fro about who would take what. I seemed to have nothing communal to take but cake, so as the 17th was my birthday, I baked a birthday cake and bought an M & S one as well. At first I thought we would need to carry all the stuff the 600 metres from the boat to the lodge, but the estate provided a quad bike and trailer so people were free to bring as much booze and milk as they pleased.
On the 17th we stayed in the Loch Maree Hotel, a far cry from the time it appeared to be run by two public school guys playing at Fawlty Towers when we had gone there for a meal in the ‘90s.

Slioch, where we heard a climber had been lost since the beginning of the month.
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Beinn Lair from the Loch Maree side
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We fooled around trying to make my age in three circles, but we could usually manage two, but not the third.
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Come the 18th, and the gates had all been left open for us and we all drove carefully along the track so many of us had cycled on previously to Kernsary, where we left the cars. We were transferred a few at a time by estate vehicle to The Bad Bog and then onto a boat. Anne had intended to do a hill on the first afternoon, but the weather wasn’t too great, so we dragged our gear up the narrow stairs
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Set up the bar
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Polystac and Stan cooked bangers, mash and onion gravy.

May 19th, The cloud was still fairly low.
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The others all headed towards the Chasgeins , and most did both. We decided we wanted to do Meall Mheinnnidh.
We crossed the causeway and soon found the path we remembered from Realsquiz’s Corbett completion on Beinn Lair in June 2010. We had cycled in from Poolewe and took a long time doing it together with today’s Graham. R’s legs had been aching and on return he covered them with ibuprofen gel, which wasn’t the proper stuff but Tesco’s Own Brand which wouldn’t dry. Eventually he put on his pyjamas and woke up with his legs died blue. It wouldn’t scrub off for days.

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Trip_Report&topicid=8328

However we had some great views then, but today it looked as if we were marching straight into the cloud.
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Some climbers overtook us towards the bealach. They had stashed most of their climbing gear beneath a cliff and were retrieving it before kayaking across Loch Maree and home.

At the bealach we set off westwards towards our objective along an intermittent path which we lost when we started ascending again.
We stumbled across a small lochan between crags and then spotted the summit
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Made it to the top
Nothing to see here.
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I briefly caught a glimpse of the lochan below as we started back, and then it disappeared again, however, we managed to find it
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On the return, instead of retracing our tracks, we made the mistake of trying to go below the huge rock the path had circled to the east on our ascent. The ground was fairly rough and it was slow going.
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The path down seemed to go on for ever so we didn’t get in until nearly 7 pm. The following days did not look to be a good prospect, since the forecast had them exactly the same as today.
Beverly made a fantastic chicken curry

May 20th. Stan and Polystac took out one of the two boats. The Lodge had a motor boat on each loch, but nobody really took in how the engine worked. Something about a plastic cover, a red switch and a kill switch. We should have recorded what Andrew the stalker had said. They got blown down to the end of the loch without getting it to start and had to row back, so I don’t know how much actual fishing got done.
Anne had got up very early to walk Beinn Dearg Mor and Beag, which looked frighteningly far on the map. Munross111, hils and Beverly did what we had done the previous day and added on some exploration of the humps bumps and valleys around Beinn Lair.

We walked up the path to the bealach between Chasgein Mor and Beag.
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Realsquiz approaching the bealach
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We did contemplate climbing one or other, but wouldn't have got views, and wanted to save our strength for the next day.

From there we could see An Teallach
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Beinn Dearg Beag. Last time we were anywhere near here, ten years ago, Manny Gorman cycled past us on his continuous round of the Corbetts, having run directly down the nose.

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Trip_Report&topicid=5380

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It followed a stream part of the way
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Getting back towards Fionn Loch
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Walking back to the Lodge…the barn is in front of it. I popped my head round the door and spotted what looked like a water-buffalo skull, but it was probably a highland coo.
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In the evening it looked better, some good sunset photos were taken, though not by me Image

Could we hope for good weather the next day? Maybe.

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Munros111 Kept us supplied with superb fires throughout the stay.
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Polystac and Stan were on cooking duties again and produced an excellent pasta dish. I dragged out my birthday cake.
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May 21st. It actually dawned fair with the cloud above the tops. Anne was going to do Beinn Lair and Meall Mheinidh We set out at 9.15 towards A’Mhaighdean with the idea of doing what we could before turning back.

Looking back .
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Getting higher
The path to Shenaval
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Munros 111 was doing the north ridge where we knew a large block of stone had to be navigated. We thought we could see it on the sky-line.
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Looking towards the bealach
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Higher still
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At the bealach and looking back across Fuar Loch Mor.
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The others caught up with us here, and after a snack were soon overtaking us up a steep slope to get to the ridge.
Looking down
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When we got to the top of the ridge, the cloud suddenly lowered. We were so depressed as we knew the others would get the views and here we were climbing into cloud. WE even had to get out the GPS to work out which way to go.

Clearing a little
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At the summit, the cloud cleared. Hils took the next photo for me
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Looking down to the Fionn Loch
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I stole the next two photos from munros111’s facebook page.
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Can’t escape the paparazzi.
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It was great to realise that we can actually drag ourselves back over the 3,000 foot mark without collapsing.

Some of the others set off downhill
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Back on the top of the ridge. Hmm. Where do we go from here? It was in clag on the way up. Luckily munros111 and Hils rushed past us and started bounding down the path.
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Below, Realsquiz dons the arse crampon to spare his knee
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The others, with boundless energy set off to do Ruadh Stac Mor. We met a couple of bankers from the barn on descending and asked them in for a drink that night. We never liked the other Munro the first time round when we had camped behind Slioch with three of R’s college friends to do five (having done what we then thought was the sixth earlier.) in 2003. Two had only done one hill as it was raining, and the one who did three the first day with us rested in his tent for A’Mhaigdean and Ruadh Stac Mor.

We were only at the bealach when the Carnmore party were all near the summit.
Below, some of the other Fisherfield hills getting their share of the cloud
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As we flopped down a scramble in rather ungainly fashion we were overtaken by someone who it later turned out was doing all five in a day.
R’s knee was beginning to suffer, so it took us a long time to get back to the lodge.

Nearly home, that’s Beinn Lair over there, and the path down
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Almost back to the lodge
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We had been out 10 hours by the time anne’s dog Ralph welcomed us home. I would have happily thrown sticks for him, but there were none and he kept presenting me with long stalks of grass which would go nowhere. Anyway, for once, we decided, we had been SOMEWHERE and achieved a Munro. (this really is the Softies ascent, as it measures 12.6 km with 860m of ascent).

Our new banker friends arrived for a drink in the evening, but were probably a bit put out to find us tucking into huge plates of chilli rice, courtesy of Hils, and seemed more interested in our two bath rooms than in staying for more drinks (who wouldn’t be after a couple of nights in The Barn.)
That night it started pouring with rain, and it continued to the next day. The boatmen came early, so what with one thing and another we had to cancel the photo-shoot with us all in identical courtesy grey towelling dressing gowns provided by the Estate.

Walking back to the boat after last night’s heavy rain
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Munros111, Hils and Beverly as imagined by me in her dressing down.
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Thanks to Hils for her brilliant idea of booking the lodge and to everyone else for the cooking and the company and reintroducing me to gin and tonic. I might add it to the shopping on occasion after 40 years of thinking it disagreed with me.
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Sgurr
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Location: Fife

Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby nigheandonn » Sat May 25, 2019 5:20 pm

Happy birthday! Or unbirthday by now :-)

I laughed at R's blue legs, but I was a bit scared to click the link in case it showed me them! ;-)
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Sgurr » Sat May 25, 2019 5:37 pm

nigheandonn wrote:Happy birthday! Or unbirthday by now :-)

I laughed at R's blue legs, but I was a bit scared to click the link in case it showed me them! ;-)


You should have clicked as no blue legs at all, just a poll as to whether blue legs were a price worth paying for completing the Corbetts, with various options. 3 people thought it would be worth having blue legs for a YEAR to have completed, but 1 (goodness knows who) said blue legs weren't a price worth paying at all. So faced with compulsory blue legs, EVEN FOR A DAY, one (presumably) hill walker said "No thanks, I'd rather not complete."
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Sgurr
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby RocksRock » Sat May 25, 2019 7:46 pm

Many congratulations on the 80 - if I can even dream of getting up the easiest Munro by 80 I'll be well pleased! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby mrssanta » Sat May 25, 2019 8:17 pm

That was lovely, happy birthday and many happy returns
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Jaxter » Mon May 27, 2019 11:31 am

What a wonderful way to spend your birthday - many happy returns 8)

And those views.... :shock: 8) worth the effort eh!
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby rohan » Tue May 28, 2019 11:54 am

Happy 80th Sgurr. It appears that you were celebrating your birthday as I was just starting to celebrate my daughters 40th (actually on 20th but we started on 17th) in Edinburgh. What a place for you to spend it and what an inspiration that you are still climbing significant hills, long may it continue. "Softies" no way!
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby rockhopper » Tue May 28, 2019 2:35 pm

Congratulations and many happy returns. :clap: A great way to celebrate ! Thanks :D
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Sunset tripper » Tue May 28, 2019 6:55 pm

Great stuff Sgurr and one of the finest hills. I've stayed twice at Carnmore in the barn, and it's pretty basic but watertight which was a blessing. The lodge looks a better option as does the transport along the loch. We took the bikes in all the way to Carnmore once, which was a bad move.
A great area - another place I need to get back to. :D
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Sgurr » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:50 pm

Thanks for the "happy returns" . If people keep posting accounts of 90 year old people encountered on the hills, I'm encouraged to keep going. Still the rest of the Wainwrights to go, but alas, no lovely lodges from which to do them.
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:46 pm

Great report, and a belated happy birthday. Pretty inspiring that you're still doing this stuff :clap: :clap:
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby EmmaKTunskeen » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:22 pm

Happy belated birthday Sgurr. Really enjoyed the read, it sounded like you all had a blast! :D
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:40 pm

Ah, Happy (belated) birthday Sgurr - funnily enough we're just back from there, having camped on the south side of the causeway for a couple of nights. I was wondering what the lodge was like when walking past it, little thinking you'd been in there the week before.
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:01 am

Happy belated bday
People like you are really inspirational :D
Fingers crossed you get a wee bday voucher from webtogs as that was also a real corker of a report
Look forward to more reports :thumbup:
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Re: Carnmore...and More. Fisherfield for Softies

Postby Ceannacrocked » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:24 pm

Happy belated birthday!

For years I've been trying to figure out how get up A' Mhaighdean but have never camped, let alone wild camped. I've researched Carnmore Lodge and having seem your post, you've convinced me Fisherfield for Softies is probably the only way to achieve my ambition.

Thanks for your wonderful post and congratulations on your trip.

ATB
Mike G.
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