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Sgurr Breac, A' Chailleach

Sgurr Breac, A' Chailleach


Postby seamus0 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:07 pm

Route description: Sgurr Breac and A'Chailleach, near Braemore

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach, Sgurr Breac

Date walked: 24/08/2019

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 24 km

Ascent: 1159m

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I booked myself a flight on Thurs evening up to Scotland to have 3 solid days of munro bagging. I hadnt been up since the snow flurries on Creag Megaidh in May so was keen to get up a few over the 3 days. In August the weather can be a bit changeable and this was certainly the case. The forecast was for a heatwave...we'll see! After sleeping in Inverness YHA thurs evening, I headed up the road to the Fannichs. Probably 5 years or more since I was last here. My plan was to do An Coileachan and Meall Gorm on Friday. Passing Aultguish Inn and Loch Glascarnoch, I found the small car park at 277742 just at the end of the road. The weather was terrible, strong winds and torrential rain....hmmmm... what happened to this great weather forecast for the weekend. I walked through the track through the woods which was more wet cement than track...great for the boots. The track cut across a small brook which in normal day wouldnt be much to mention...however today it was over knee deep with nowhere to jump across....1/2 hr into the walk and boots were coming off....great..wet feet for the day! As I carried along the track the wind was against me and walking was difficult and this was 300m....hmmmm.....my mind was still thinking of this heat wave and the change in weather might happen by the time i get to the peaks....anyway I slogged on from the wood on the heath heading towards Drochaid a' Ghiubhais Li up and down peat bog wind and driving raining...change please change! I got to another stream whihc was a bog...resoaking my wet feet :-) At this stream I managed to get some respite from the wind for 5 mins. The worst bit of this walk was the section around Meallan Buidhe....more peat bog more like a quaigmire. By the time I got to Loch Gorm near Bealach Ban I couldnt see what i was meant to be climbing and was getting blown off my feet and knackered! I decided today was not the day and turned back!!!!

Afer basing myself at the fantastic Aultguish, I woke up on the Sat to a far better day. Looking at my maps I didnt want to retrace my steps from yesterday's failed attempt and horrible route through bog but instead chose Sgurr Breac and A' Chailleach. It looked a good route with a track for 1/2 of the way....no more bog please! I parked at 162760 and followed the signpost laong a good track towards Loch a' Bhraoin. It was good to actually see the route for the day and optimism was high.
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Start of walk at road

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Route for the day

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Route turn left

At the end of the track at a large metal gate its splits into 3, go left across the footbridge to follow the track through the wood leading out to another larger bridge. From here follow the track on the Western side of the Allt Breabaig.
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Footbridge

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Boathouse

I was too busy looking at the cliffs of Sgurr Breac ahead that I totally missed the ford crossing over the river. Anyway there was a good track on the western side which I followed up the glen. The walk along the river was very pleasant, with small picturesque waterfalls. Sun was shining and the day was good!
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Walk along river

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more waterfalls

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Route up glen

I carried on along this route until I reached a ruined cottage after about 2 hrs. At this point I could see the track across the river so decided to join the track on the eastern side of river. No problems crossing, and got to the bealach between Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr Breac after about 2.5 hrs. There was a small stone shelter here next to a large boulder. Obviously a place to rest in bad weather.
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Ruin

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Sgurr Breac

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SE ridge of Sgurr Breac (route up)

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Shelter at bealach

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Looking back from bealach

The rough track headed direct NW up Sgurr Breac. This was easy to follow. There were a couple of bits where you needed to climb over boulders but wouldnt have called it scrambling.
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Route up Sgurr Breac

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Views from ridge

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Climb gets easier eventually

I found it easy going and not exposed with fantastic views (better than yesterday anyway!) I got to the top around 3.5 hrs from start. It was quite breasy, so I didnt hang about.
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Top of Sgurr Breac

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Route looking back

I followed the track down to the Bealach a' Choire Bhric and had a spot of lunch there where the wind wasnt so strong. I met a couple of guys who passed me and discussed our route back...I hadnt decided yet, neither had they. Option 1) climb the 2nd Munro (A' Chailleach) and retrace steps to come off Toman Coinnach Spurr Sruim Reidh. Option 2) clime 2nd Munro and continue N off Sron na Goibhre, down to the loch Toll an Lochain and follow river down to Loch a' Bhraoin. Both routes looked ok, maybe Option 1) would be better in less visibility,but I was aware of the steep section at the end (Sron na Leitir Fhearna), didnt fancy going down that as couldnt see a path. So I chose option 2.
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Route ahead with 2nd Munro in distance

They raced on to the 2nd Munro and I plodded along supping in all the views. Coming off Toman Coinnich, the track disappeared and I ended up coming down a steep bouldery section which could be confusing in no visibility. However as I could see the Bealach Toll an Lochain below, it wasnt a problem. The climb up A' Chailleach offered no issues. I said my cheerios to the other guys on their return for Option 1) which was probably the quicker way down. But I fancied the circuit. I got to the top and got great Views of An Teallach and the surrounding fannichs and beyond. 4.5 hrs from start.
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Top of A' Chailleach

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An teallach in distance

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North Ridge off munro

The only difficulty I could see on the descent was getting off the Sron na Goibhre safely to the lochain. Towards the north end of the spur the eastern slopes are less steep. So with good visibility I carefully picked my route down the steep slopes to reach the northen end of the lochain. After a snack and enjoying the peace I continued my descent. There were guys fishing up there at the time. Wasnt sure how they were getting back as didnt see any tents.
Anyway, I crossed the river and started my descent down. Looking at the map I was aware of another steep section about 800m further north. What I wasnt expecting was a 100ft waterfall unmarked on map! Again, negotiating my way though the steep sections and crags I kept well to the east of the Allt na Goibhre river (about 100m). there are crags here you can bypass, but just be aware of them. The large waterfall was an unexpected treat.
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Unexpected large waterfall coming down


Also following eh river down I reached an impressive circular sheepfold which looked like it hadnt been used in years...another unexpected treat. When I got to the shores of Loch a' Bhraoin, I reached a small track which headed E around its edge and back to the start again to the large footbridge and boathouse.
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Sheepfold

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Loch near finish

By the time I reached here the heavens opened, but I didnt really care. I had a great day out with fantastic views and 2 more Munros...a good walk!
seamus0
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 134
Munros:130   Corbetts:2
Joined: Oct 3, 2009

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