walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.

First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeithe.

First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeithe.


Postby JimboJim » Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:38 am

Route description: Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan group, Alltbeithe

Munros included on this walk: An Socach (Affric), Mullach nan Dheiragain, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan

Date walked: 25/07/2019

Time taken: 8.1 hours

Distance: 21.7 km

Ascent: 1550m

12 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).

Had been struggling to get away much and forecast was still a bit 'iffy' despite expected high temps down south, but it was time to decide on something. Anything! Seeing some chance for an over-nighter, or two, opted to try the hostel scene again, by heading for Alltbeithe. Decided to do it the lazy way, staying two nights and duly got booked in.

Had been some seriously heavy thunderstorms previous couple of nights. Left departure till later in day, to let them clear off to the north, though was still steaming hot and menacing looking, when I finally got to the car park, at the end of Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin.

It was a hot walk into Alltbeithe, but one couldn’t help being awe struck by some of the views. Affric Lodge, magnificent lochs, river, glens, pine forest and dramatic mountains. Scotland at its best! Surprised me how busy the car park was and passed a lot of walkers and cyclists too.
DSCN0952_1080_800_1024_759.JPG
Feeding time at Affric Lodge?
DSCN1178_1104_800_1024_742.JPG
Stunning place.
DSCN1175_1148_800_1024_714.JPG
I will probably buy this soon :)


Enjoyable road surface until after the bridge at Athnamulloch. Then it becomes much more stoney and many of the dips had filled with rainwater, after the recent deluge. Gradually, the enjoyment began to wane a little due to the ever present muggy heat, meanders round puddles and the expectation that Alltbeithe would just be around the next corner .... and then it was.
DSCN0984_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Glen Affric Youth Hostel. Fortunately, they never checked my date of birth :)

DSCN1144_1280_798_1024_638.JPG
Athnamulloch, with bridge over to Strawberry Cottage.
DSCN1156_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Beach at the west end of Loch Affric. No doubt some millionaire's playground ..... but, not this one :(

Still very new to this hostelling thing, but the warden, Hannah, was very helpful and informative and I soon got settled in. Enjoyed some bleathers with Pat, had tea, relaxed and enjoyed the isolation. Deliberated over how to do the three hills? Had planned to do Sgurr na Ceathreamhnan first, Mullach na Dheiragain second and An Socach last, but Hannah was more for reversing one and two, as per WH’s description. Mmmh? Ok, might just stick to the book then.

Up early next morning, had brekkie and hit the trail, straight from the back door, at half seven. Wouldn’t it be great if all hikes could start like that :) Pat had struggled to cross the burn the day before, but no such wories today. Lovely walk up the side of the Allt na Faing, to the bealach, as the views began to open up. Even had a fly past by three helicopters, heading east, through the glen.

Next stage, a 200m walk, to a wee cairn, where one diverts to cross over onto the ridge out to Mullach na Dheiragain. I decided to try and count my steps, measure the distance and see how close I got. Well! I previously used to under estimate metres, but this time I was well past the mark and never even spotted the cairn :shock: Ok, back to Plan A ..... which I actually felt quite pleased about, as weather was clear, although a bit breezy and chilly on the hands. Oh, how that would change later!

Continued over a few humps and bumps before making my way up the east ridge, to the fine, pointy summit of Sgurr na Ceathreamhnan (easier to write, than to say :lol: ). Think I was just under the two hours to here. The views are just magnificent over the Kintail hills, Skye, Knoydart, Torridon, etc. After a few pics, I set off down the NE ridge toward the Bealach nan Daoine. It is perhaps, a bit steeper and narrower than my ascent route, but nothing to worry about.

It is said Mullach na Dheiragain, is one of the remotest Munro’s and one really begins to feel that sense of remoteness, crossing the bloulder field of Carn na Con Dhu. Eventually, I was clear of that and making my way up to the summit, as the sun began to bring a bit of warmth to the day. Standing there, it occurred there was another top, with a cairn. Errmh, could that be the summit? Damn! I had left my rucksack and map, back at the Bealach na Con Dhu. What to do? Nothing for it, but to be certain and take in the other top, (Mullach Sithidh), which as it now turns out, is NOT the summit, being 8m lower. Aghh, what a wally! :oops:
DSCN1043_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Summit of second hill, Mullach nan Dheiragain, 982m.
DSCN1068_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Think that was me, back at the true summit, MnD.
DSCN1075_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Back to the NE ridge of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. Carumnan/Carumvan, or?

From here it was a reversal of my route back to Bealach nan Daoine, then across the bottom of the Loch Coire nan Dearcag lochans. It looks awful wet and boggy in here, but it was no problem to avoid the wet, squelchy bits. There was little sign of tracks, so I aimed for where I thought would be the wee cairn, on a rising traverse. Again my estimations sent me too high. A couple of Dutch lads from the hostel crossed below me, but they wouldn’t have thought any fool would have been above them.
67282199_2596691567032064_7081688050698289152_n_1280_720_1024_576.jpg
Over to Mam Sodhail and Carn Eige.

DSCN1086_1130_800_1024_725.JPG
Mullach Fraoch-choire and A Chralaig, beyond the lochans.

Was a bit steep and sweaty, but made it onto the ridge and descending, finally found the wee cairn, a bit off track and lower than I had figured. By this time, I was really feeling the heat, wondering and hoping the summit of An Socach was as close, as the map showed. Bit of an anti-climax heading to this one as it doesn’t have too much appeal from this side at least, but the views down the glen, Carne Eige, Mam Sodhail and the south remain terrific.
DSCN1108_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Carn Eige and Mam Sodhail, from An Socach.
DSCN1113_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, looking impressive from An Socach.

At last, time to head down! Also, bumped into a couple of Swedish ladies having a dip in the Allt na Faing. No, I hadn’t started to hallucinate by this stage! :lol: They too, were in the hostel and seemed to have swimming as a major part of their itinerary. Made it back to the hostel in just over the eight hours, which wasn’t bad on a hot day, including an unnecesary half hour diversion.
DSCN1116_1187_800_1024_690.JPG
On the way down. Alltbeithe below. Mullach Fraoch-choire beyond.

How I enjoyed my allotted 5 minute shower, in Alltbeithe, but I was still fair roasting, so took to the River Affric, just by the bridge, for another lengthy dip. I normally hate cold water, but this was a pleasure. Subsequently joined in with a couple of Aberdeen lads and kindly helped them finish their wine rations :lol: They had come in from Cluanie. Said it wasn’t too boggy, though my wee pal from the previous evening, had said he done it once, but never again. By coincidence, another couple of Dons arrived on bike, from Glen Affric. They took near three hours as well, due to the heat and rougher bits of track.
DSCN1120_1117_800_1024_733.JPG
Bridge over the River Affric, at Alltbeithe. Just had to go for a dip!
DSCN1122_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Cooling off. Trying to keep the big toes dry :)

It was a very restless night’s sleep, in a busy dorm, so I was glad when it was time to get up next day, get fed and on my way, hopefully before the beastie’s were on to me. Again, it was sunny and very warm as I set off and only got warmer, by the mile. I hadn’t been bothered by insects on the way in, but arrival’s the previous day, had been beset by clegs. By Athnamullach, it was my turn. They were vicious, though I only got a couple of bites. Saying that, I was thrashing, swiping, slapping and slashing like Zorro on steroids!
DSCN1150_1280_797_1024_638.JPG
Looking back at Athnamulloch.
DSCN1169_1235_800_1024_663.JPG
Passing another beautiful lochan, on the way out. Clegs out in strength at this point!

DSCN1136_1081_800_1024_758.JPG
Heading back out. Back towards Beinn Fhada. Think that is some of Five Sisters beyond.
DSCN1163_1161_800_1024_706.JPG
Lovely pine forests. An Tudair Beag, left.

As I’ve said elsewhere, personally, I hate midges more. I think you have a fighting chance with clegs, but best you can hope for with midges is an honourable draw. I find the best technique is to actually let the cleg land, then batter the living daylights out of it, when it goes to bite. I would accept the difficulty in Glen Affric, was their general numbers and in some parts, was like Cleg Alley! :shock:
DSCN1190_1158_800_1024_707.JPG
Sgurr na Lapaich, through some beautiful pine.
DSCN1193_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Time for a wee trip round the view point, before heading home.
DSCN1186_1188_800_1024_690.JPG
Sgurr na Lapaich, rises above Loch Affric.

Anyway, I still enjoyed the great views on my retreat, which took two and three quarter hours, undoubtedly hastened by the clegs :) Took a walk round the view points at the car park. Superb! Then the long drive home. Not so superb.
DSCN1195_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Garbh Uisge, the outflow from Loch Affric, into Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin.
DSCN1185_1236_800_1024_663.JPG
I don't know if I have ever captured a finer view.
Last edited by JimboJim on Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
JimboJim
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 598
Munros:219   Corbetts:36
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby JimboJim » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:25 pm

So special I had to add a few more, ok a lot more ...... :)
Attachments
DSCN0953_1051_800_1009_768.JPG
Black and white.
DSCN0955_1045_800_1003_768.JPG
Affric Lodge and some bonnie horses.
DSCN0965_1224_800_1024_669.JPG
West end of Loch Affric.
DSCN0988_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
The trail from the back of the hostel leads right up the hill.
DSCN0992_1192_800_1024_687.JPG
Early morning flypast, on my way up to the bealach.
DSCN0998_1065_800_1022_768.JPG
Looking to first top, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, with Loch Coire nan Dearcag below.
DSCN1008_1206_800_1024_679.JPG
Sgurr a Choire Ghairbh ridge, of Beinn Fhada, which I traversed a few months back.
DSCN1021_1143_800_1024_717.JPG
Distant Sgurr na Ciche, among many others.
DSCN1027_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Beinn Sgritheall, beyond the Sgurr a Choire Ghairbh ridge.
DSCN1028_1139_800_1024_719.JPG
Faint view of the Skye Bridge.
DSCN1030_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
NE Ridge of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan, out to the second summit, said to be the remotest Munro, Mullach nan Dheiragain. I wouldn't argue.
DSCN1037_1209_800_1024_678.JPG
Another shapely glen, Gleann Sithidh. Mullach nan Dheiragain, up to the right.
DSCN1039_1156_800_1024_709.JPG
Hazy view out to the Torridon hills.
DSCN1050_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Across to Beinn Fionnlaidh, from the second top.
DSCN1053_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Torridon view from an outlying top, which I thought might be the summit, of MnD. As I had left rucksack further back, I had no means to check if it was the summit, so cost me a wasted half hour to take it in :(
DSCN1093_1035_800_994_768.JPG
Heading down to Loch Coire nan Dearcag lochans.
DSCN1105_1150_800_1024_712.JPG
Gleann a' Choillich. Beinn Fhionnlaidh at far end.
DSCN1106_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
Summit, No.3, An Socach. Roasted, toasted, frazzled and fried, by this point. Hottest day of year recorded in the UK!
DSCN1135_1115_800_1024_735.JPG
Bridge over the River Affric, coming into the hostel from the Cluanie side.
DSCN1139_1208_800_1024_678.JPG
Calmer part of the Affric.
DSCN1142_1116_800_1024_734.JPG
Bridge over the Affric, at Athnamulloch. Perhaps, not overly impressive except for the fact it is in the back of beyond.
DSCN1145_1067_800_1024_768.JPG
River Affric.
DSCN1153_1190_800_1024_688.JPG
Beach at the western end of Loch Affric.
DSCN1166_1180_800_1024_694.JPG
Loch Affric.
DSCN1168_1193_800_1024_687.JPG
An Tudair Beag, Loch Affric.
User avatar
JimboJim
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 598
Munros:219   Corbetts:36
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby DizzyVizion » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:23 am

Pictures are stunning, and comprehensive. :thumbup:
I look forward to returning to Glen Affric - but I don't like the sounds of those clegs! :lol:
User avatar
DizzyVizion
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 97
Munros:15   
Joined: Jun 15, 2018

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby Coop » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:15 pm

Great comprehensive report and pics and timing , as im up there in a couple of weeks.
Does the hostel sell boil in the bags- as I dont want to carry in more than necessary?
Cheers
Coop
Walker
 
Posts: 946
Munros:259   Corbetts:95
Grahams:39   Donalds:54
Sub 2000:5   
Joined: Jun 5, 2016

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:13 pm

Smashing report :clap: :clap: - we were there 3 weeks before you similar weather but very few cleggs. Your photos really capture the beauty of Affric thanks for sharing them. We had to faff about a bit but did find the cairn to do the by-pass first and follow Hannah's line onto the next ridge. Loved the hostel!
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 939
Munros:249   Corbetts:16
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:18
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:44 am

Brings back memories from our wild camping trip in May. Well, we didn't jump in the river, but to our excuse, temperature at night was still below zero :lol:
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3315
Munros:260   Corbetts:163
Grahams:112   
Sub 2000:46   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby Big Jesper » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:22 pm

Great report and pictures Jimbo. Disappointed to have missed another trip away but hopefully one day :D
Big Jesper
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 51
Munros:189   
Joined: Jun 17, 2012

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby JimboJim » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:38 am

DizzyVizion wrote:Pictures are stunning, and comprehensive. :thumbup:
I look forward to returning to Glen Affric - but I don't like the sounds of those clegs! :lol:


Ta, DV, Clegs are like sun, usually only there for a wee while 😀

BlackPanther wrote:Brings back memories from our wild camping trip in May. Well, we didn't jump in the river, but to our excuse, temperature at night was still below zero :lol:


Wouldn't have thought a cold dip would trouble a Panther 😄

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Smashing report :clap: :clap: - we were there 3 weeks before you similar weather but very few cleggs. Your photos really capture the beauty of Affric thanks for sharing them. We had to faff about a bit but did find the cairn to do the by-pass first and follow Hannah's line onto the next ridge. Loved the hostel!


Thanks, HnP. Yeh, was strange I never got clegs on way in, but got mauled on the way out.

Coop wrote:Great comprehensive report and pics and timing , as im up there in a couple of weeks.
Does the hostel sell boil in the bags- as I dont want to carry in more than necessary?
Cheers


Hi Coop, thank you. Yes, I think they do. I saw posters to sell what I presumed was that sort of thing, tho I took my own stuff in. Perhaps, you could phone the SYHA to double check?

Big Jesper wrote:Great report and pictures Jimbo. Disappointed to have missed another trip away but hopefully one day :D


Well, Jasper, what can I say. Miss the company and expertise badly and feel your pain. Hope you get sorted soon, buddy!
User avatar
JimboJim
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 598
Munros:219   Corbetts:36
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:49 pm

Great report and wonderful pics!

Unfortunately great summer weather seems invariably to be a clarion call to clegs.

I had similar wonderful weather in Fisherfield last year, and managed - using the same technique as you - to slay over 100 clegs in a day!
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 2820
Munros:167   Corbetts:29
Hewitts:209
Wainwrights:78   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby dogplodder » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:57 pm

Great photos and fabulous report - enjoyed all the more having been there two days before you. :D
User avatar
dogplodder
 
Posts: 3560
Munros:227   Corbetts:53
Grahams:16   
Sub 2000:25   Hewitts:5
Wainwrights:9   Islands:21
Joined: Jul 16, 2011

Re: First taste of Glen Affric, with Fries & Flies! Alltbeit

Postby JimboJim » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:33 pm

dogplodder wrote:Great photos and fabulous report - enjoyed all the more having been there two days before you. :D


Thanks, plodding one! Yes, didn't know whether to curse you for stirring the clegs up, or thank you for tiring them out on yourself =D I saw your photo's and thought you would think I had stolen yours! So beautiful

Alteknacker wrote:Great report and wonderful pics!

Unfortunately great summer weather seems invariably to be a clarion call to clegs.

I had similar wonderful weather in Fisherfield last year, and managed - using the same technique as you - to slay over 100 clegs in a day!


Thanks, Alteknacker. Good man! 100 not bad. We should have a cleg killing competition some day =D That was certainly worst I've seen for a while!
User avatar
JimboJim
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 598
Munros:219   Corbetts:36
Grahams:7   
Sub 2000:20   
Joined: Mar 9, 2012
Location: Lochgilphead

12 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).



Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

We need help to keep the site online.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by setting up a monthly donation by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ageing rocker, Kinshusrst Kid, martin.h, Petr Dakota, Ranger, skenesir and 37 guests