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Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ridge

Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ridge


Postby dogplodder » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:42 pm

Route description: The Loch Mullardoch Munros

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr na Lapaich

Date walked: 24/10/2012

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Anthony is climbing all the hills over 1000 metres and hadn't done Sgurr na Lapaich. We had thought of approaching from the Strathfarrar side but on the day we wanted to go the gate didn't open until 1.30 so the Mullardoch side it had to be. Since I'd done Carn nan Gobhar I wasn't too bothered about going over it again so the plan was to go up the side of the Allt Taige and then down by the south ridge. MWIS had been showing 70% but the night before it dropped to 20% so we weren't expecting all that much but decided to go anyway. We didn't start all that early and if I'd known how slow I would be on the boggy approach I would have pushed for earlier.

Glen Cannich was filled with mist and black cows standing on the road who were in no hurry to move out of the way. I think they thought we'd come to feed them. Once past them we parked in the space just before the dam and started up the short section of tarmac to the gate.

Inversion in Glen Cannich
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Wisps of low cloud around the dam wall
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My mother Mary Chisholm (who is 89 and still going strong) would have wanted me to see the Chisholm Stone but shame on me at the beginning of the walk I forgot to look for it and by the time we got back it was dark. :?

Loch Mullardoch and Sgurr na Lapaich's south ridge ahead in the sunshine
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The Chisholms lived in this glen and worked the land long before the 1950s dam changed the landscape and before they were cleared out in the 1800s to make room for sheep. Some of them did very well in Nova Scotia but it doesn't make what happened to them right. :(

My mother's namesake, Mary Chisholm, became a local heroine during those troubled times. When her father, Alexander, died in 1793, he left his widow Elizabeth the rental of a number of crofting settlements - ‘townships’ as they were called. She and her only child, Mary, kept the tenantry intact for 33 years, never turning anyone off their land. Soon after Alexander’s death, the new chief had come over to see Elizabeth, to arrange a deal for the best parts of the glen to be turned over to sheep. Mary, a teenager, objected, and was sent to bed in disgrace. She crept down to the kitchen and told the servants what was happening. By early next morning about a thousand men had gathered outside the house and the southerners avoided trouble by slipping out the back way. In time the inevitable happened but Mary's actions had won the crofters another 30 years in the glen. :clap:

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Did my ancestors once live in this house? Maybe not so idyllic in the long dark nights of winter.
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The lochside path was wet - in places ankle deep - and it took longer to reach the Allt Taige than it should. We cut off diagonally to the right and picked up another (wet) path alongside it and walked up its east side.

Pretty waterfalls on Allt Taige
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Top of Sgurr na Lapaich coming into view
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We stayed on the east side until we reached a bridge. We crossed it although for the line we were taking up to Bealach na Cloiche Dhubh we probably should have stayed on the east side. There's a bit of pressure when you come to a bridge to cross it incase you regret it later. 8)

Bridge over Allt Taige
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We followed the wheel marks of a vehicle track for a while but it faded out and the ground became rough and boggy. For me the next part of the route going up and down, over and round peat hags was energy-sapping in the extreme. Anthony had recently walked the Pembroke Way and is nimbler than me anyway so he steamed ahead while I floundered about in the Slough of Despond (or that's how it felt). I started to ask myself why I was doing this and thought about cutting my losses and going back to the car to wait for him there. Every so often he waited for me to catch up and I'd apologise for being so slow. I said I wondered if I should turn back but he said no I should keep going to the ridge. He knew once I got there I'd want to keep going! 8)

We passed Loch Tuill Bhearnach and all of a sudden we were on the ridge. Immediately my mood changed. What a difference solid ground makes! But MWIS was right with its 20% prediction and cloud had blown in from the north. I reckoned that was the end of any views for us that day.

Path disappearing into cloud on Sgurr na Lapaich
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I enjoyed the climb up. In places the path crossed boulders and at one point we were on the wrong side of a land slip and could see the path on the other side but continued up through the rocks. Despite the cloud we did get some hazy views east down Glen Strathfarrar towards the Beauly Firth.

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Loch Tuill Bhearnach (which we had passed on our way up) from the summit
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Stone shelter just below the summit
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We had decided if the cloud was down we should turn round and retrace our steps but I was really hoping we wouldn't have to do that. Once of that way had been enough! We could see the first part of the south ridge stretching away so that was it decided - we would descend that way.

Anthony on south ridge heading for Sgurr nan Clachan Geala (1095m)
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After the long weary squelch up the Allt Taige the south ridge was a joy to walk with views on every side and was the best part of the day. :D

Loch Tuill Bhearnach and cliffs of Sgurr na Clachan Geala
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Loch Beannacharan and Beauly Firth from Lapaich's south ridge
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An Riabhachan - "The Brindled One" because of streaky effect from steps of rock on grassy slopes
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Zoomed shot of An Riabhachan
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Rounded lump of Carn nan Gobhar from south ridge
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Cuillin ridge on skyline so I'm guessing that's Beinn Fhada and A Ghlas-bheinn
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Carn Eighe and Beinn Fhionnlaidh with cloud on top
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View north to Loch Monar and Sgurr a'Chaorachain
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Couldn't get enough of that view which was impressive for 20% from MWIS
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Loch a'Choire Bhig, Loch Mullardoch and Toll Creagach
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We walked most of the south ridge coming down by An Glas-tholl
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Mullach a Ghlas-thuill against the backdrop of still Loch Mullardoch
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By the time we reached the lochside path we were losing light and when we got to the Allt Mullardoch the path seemed to lead to a point with precipitous sides that wouldn't be easy to cross. I remembered there was a bridge so we walked upstream towards what looked like a grouse butt and then thankfully we saw the bridge. Shortly after that there was a choice of path or vehicle track so we took the track as it would be easier to follow in the dark. I had a head torch in my bag but didn't stop to get it out as my eyes adjusted pretty well. I've obviously been eating my carrots. :lol:
Last edited by dogplodder on Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dogplodder » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:28 am

Anthony at summit
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby BlackPanther » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:13 pm

Fantastic stuff, even with the cloud hanging over summits :D :D :D
I'm saving the Mullardoch circuit for a long summer day - hopefully next year...
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby monty » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:27 pm

Nice report Dogplodder and a small history lesson to boot. The Northern Mullardoc hills have caused me pain and suffering 2 years running :lol: :lol: . Looks like you enjoyed your day. :D
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby gammy leg walker » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:16 pm

Lovely set of pictures,& thanks for the history lesson.
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby soulminer » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:36 pm

A big Hoorah for you, and an even bigger one for Mary :lol: A great area to wander in DP, plenty to view even with some clag hanging about :)
Loved the walk when we did it, great weather- both of us had a touch of sun stroke walking the Mullardoch 'path' sun on our backs all the way and suffering a multitude of cleg bites :lol: can laugh now but......... :crazy:
Cheers.
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby Lenore » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:14 pm

Such colors!! Great pictures :clap: :clap: Loce that second one of An Riabhachan and also the one with the streaks of sunlight. Glad you pushed on I bet.
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dogplodder » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:31 pm

BlackPanther wrote:Fantastic stuff, even with the cloud hanging over summits :D :D :D
I'm saving the Mullardoch circuit for a long summer day - hopefully next year...


I'm going to sweet talk my pal with a boat to save doing the long lochside path on the way back from the western two! :D
Last edited by dogplodder on Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dooterbang » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:34 pm

Great photos and a superb read, pure quality :D
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dogplodder » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:16 am

monty wrote:The Northern Mullardoc hills have caused me pain and suffering 2 years running :lol: :lol: . Looks like you enjoyed your day. :D


I was mindful of that as I struggled through the bogs but the south ridge made up for it! :lol:
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:24 am

An tir a 'Siosalach gu dearbh ... Of people in the world entitled to use the prefix "The" before their name tis only three The Pope The Queen and..... The Chisholm

She was quite a lady Mary of Strathglass ................ grand report :clap: :clap:
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dogplodder » Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:09 pm

gammy leg walker wrote:Lovely set of pictures,& thanks for the history lesson.


Sorry about that - couldn't resist! :lol:

soulminer wrote:A big Hoorah for you, and an even bigger one for Mary :lol: A great area to wander in DP, plenty to view even with some clag hanging about :)
Loved the walk when we did it, great weather- both of us had a touch of sun stroke walking the Mullardoch 'path' sun on our backs all the way and suffering a multitude of cleg bites :lol: can laugh now but......... :crazy:
Cheers.


That was a plus of the day we went - all the beasties had read the forecast and gone to ground. :clap:
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dogplodder » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:00 pm

Lenore wrote:Such colors!! Great pictures :clap: :clap: Loce that second one of An Riabhachan and also the one with the streaks of sunlight. Glad you pushed on I bet.


Thank you - and yes I was glad I pushed on! :D
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby kath098 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:57 pm

Another great report and lovely photographs. :clap: Keep me a place in that boat if you manage to persuade your friend to take you! :D
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Re: Squelch up Sgurr na Lapaich but what a glorious south ri

Postby dogplodder » Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:41 am

dooterbang wrote:Great photos and a superb read, pure quality :D


Thanks for the encouragement. :D

Collaciotach wrote:An tir a 'Siosalach gu dearbh ... Of people in the world entitled to use the prefix "The" before their name tis only three The Pope The Queen and..... The Chisholm

She was quite a lady Mary of Strathglass ................ grand report :clap: :clap:


I'm proud my mother was given her name. :thumbup:
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