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The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.


Postby GillC » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:37 am

Munros included on this walk: A' Chailleach, Meall a'Chrasgaidh, Sgurr Breac, Sgurr nan Clach Geala, Sgurr nan Each

Date walked: 26/10/2013

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 25 km

Ascent: 2100m

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Im getting really adventurous in my old age. Second trip to the North in 2 weeks and now starting that mind boggling thing of heading off in the middle of the night :shock:

Having set the alarm for 2am and going to bed before 9, I was more or less awake before midnight. Drove up to Falkirk to meet Quoman then on the road North by 3:30am. With a straight run, we reached the start point at around 6:55am. A quick call to Tomsie, who was sleeping in a layby a bit further down the road and we all met up, booted up and headed off under cover of darkness.

Todays forecast had changed by the day, earlier in the week, thunder storms were forecast, by last night/early this morning, that had changed to sun in the morning, rain by 12 with strong winds. But ever the optimist, we kept everything crossed.

Starting at 7:30am on the last day before the clocks changed, reckoned we had 11-12 hrs walking time. The initial walk in on the track is easy going, keeping the trees on your left, on reaching a gate with stone pillars, take the path on the left up into the trees. This curves round to the right to approach Loch a'Bhraoin (The other route at the gateposts also comes to the loch but to the private boathouse etc) Crossing the bridge over the burn out of the Loch, the track gets pretty boggy. Much lighter now with high cloud, we were hopeful of at least a few hours of decent weather. Shortly after we headed right off the path and straight up the steep sides to the shoulder of Druim Reidh with Toll an Lochain below us and on up to Toman Coinnich, the bealach between our first 2 Munros.

1 On the up.JPG
On the up

2 Looking back down to the path and road.JPG
Looking back down the path to the road/cars


Tomsie left his bag here for the ascent up to A'Challeach (997mtrs) The views here were great, with cloud moving quickly and the sun bursting through at intervals, we had some smashing colours, from Torridon to the West, Fisherfield and An Teallach further round to the NW/N. Lovely.
3 Sun shining on the hills to the North.JPG
Sun shining on the hills to the North


Its only a short distance to the first Munro, arriving at about 10:30am, time for a quick picture then back off to the bealach before heading up to Sgurr Breac. (999mtrs) About an hour between summits, all happy with the progress we were making. Im a bit of a plodder on the ups but felt I was doing well today. Wullie had advised that the link between hills 2 & 3 would be the toughest part. Now, at the top of Breac, we could see it before us. Off to the East, as low cloud shrouded the sun, we had glimpses of the sunlight on Loch Fannich, verrrry atmospheric.
Sun on Loch Fannich.JPG
Sun on Loch Fannich



From Breac, we could see a sweeping bealach, between our next target to the right and the highest of todays hills on the left. We were still on a great path that we could see winding its way down but had no sign of a path on the other side to climb up. Part way down, we found a sheltered corner to stop for the first of todays fuel stops. Flapjacks kindly supplied by John, full of energy giving nuts and seeds, and topped with CHOCOLATE , fantastic (think I had one at every stop today lol)

The wind had been quite gusty but nothing really heavy but on our way down the East face of Breac it really whipped up. Poles became useless, blowing sideways as soon as you lifted them off the ground, we were all getting blown about, off the path, tricky as we had some rocky bits to clamber over. Wullie spotted some people on the up, John and I hadn't seen them and after a while thought Wullie had been hallucinating lol but, we met up with them, a party of 4, who had come up the path between the peaks and were heading up to Sgurr Breac and possibly down the route of our ascent. Quick chat, basking in their adoration of our early start antics lol and we were off down again.

4 ....wait for meeeee!.JPG
....wait for meeeee!

5 John looking all serious (waiting for me, quite possibly).JPG
John looking all serious (waiting for me, quite possibly)


You lose a lot of height between peaks 2 & 3 here, some 500mtrs plus, which you then have to regain. The face up to the bealach had no path (or at least none that we could find. So, with the next summit now high off to the right, we decided to head up to the obvious horizontal crag then over to the hill. We thought there was possibly a cairn at the Northern end of the crag so used that to aim at (turned out it was just a pointy rock but it served its purpose) We all took slightly different routes here, John more straight up and over, Wullie, over and up and me, a bit in between, keeping the diagonal to make gradual progress. Eventually meeting up under the pointy rock, then straight up and over to the flat bealach. The summit of Sgurr nan Each, off to our right now, is the lowest of the day but a great wee summit, dark, rocky and characterful. Leaving our bags under rain covers beside a rock, we nipped off to nan Each. Again, I'm a bit slower so by the time I arrived, Wullie was having a snooze (well he had done a 4 hr drive before all this!! :crazy: ) Munro 3, in the bag
7 Wullie having a lie down.JPG
Wullie having a lie down

8 3rd Munro of the day.JPG
3rd Munro of the day

6 A wee selfie with nan Each, peak 3.JPG
A wee selfie with nan Each, peak 3



The weather had really picked up by now, and we sat for a while enjoying amazing, ever changing views, picking out MCD from our walk in Torridon 2 weeks ago, Liathach remained hidden.

10 Looking back at nan Each from the ascent to Sgurr nan Clach Geala.JPG
Looking back at nan Each from the ascent to Sgurr nan Clach Geala


Really couldn't believe our luck with the weather. There was some dark cloud rolling up from the South as we headed off the top. Wullie and I did our best to convince John that it was moving too far to the East to worry us. (It was actually,but we still had our fingers crossed lol ) The rise up to the top of Clach Geala slopes off gently to the West , while the East face is a rocky drop as you climb over Creag an Fhuarain and on up to the top (1093mtrs) the second highest of the Fannaich range.
9b Striking a pose.jpg
Striking a pose

9 Wonderful view of An Tealach and the pinnacles.JPG
Wonderful view of An Tealach and the pinnacles


It was pretty windy here so again, couple of pics, a discussion about the surrounding hills and our route so far, and off we went. 4 Munros under our belt and a nice walk down and over to the 5th. Think John was keen to skip down over the rocky ground but Wullie was off down a path which arcs round to the NNE before turning left and down to Am Burach, a broad flattish area around 820mtrs, I was already following Wullie on that route so we all just carried on. Looking back, we could now see heavy dark clouds coming over Sgurr Breac and realised our luck with the weather was about to break. Just before the climb started up to Meall a' Chrasgaidh, the first spots of rain were felt. We stopped long enough to put our raincovers on our packs as we all already had water/shower proof tops on, didn't see the need for w/proof trousers. The wind and rain combined but at least it was at our backs so no struggling into it to get to the top. Arriving at the 5th Munro, a' Chrasgaidh at about 4:20pm (934mtrs). The rain was fitful, no big deal and we were now on the home stretch and didn't really care how wet we got.
11 Wullie and John on a now wet and windy nan Clach Geala.JPG
Wullie and John on a now wet and windy nan Clach Geala


Coming off the hill, we could see the boathouse and the forested area of our ascent and a 2 wheeled track which we made our aim. (Having checked maps since,,, heading further West would have brought us down to a fording point on the river) The downward trek here was pretty steep but not bad underfoot,,so we all picked our way down, John and Wullie stopping to let me catch up,,particularly when they were about to disappear out of view. Very thoughtful and much appreciated, :wink:

The 'track' may be used for stalkers etc but for walkers,,,TOTAL PANTS! This was the boggiest, worst section of the whole day. Very deep muck, peat, water etc and we spent a lot of time trying to stay on our feet,,couple of close calls there but we more or less kept our dignity intact lol.

Approaching the river, we started to look for an area to cross. The track veered off to the right, away from the river so we made our way across rough ground for about 50 yards to a bend in the river, pretty deep in places and fast flowing. Wullie and I spotted an area a bit further down, by a tree,,that looked shallower and more rocky. Wullie headed off as I looked and saw John just wade in on the bend and get across, hey,,in for penny,, Im up for a bit of that lol Stepped in, and another couple of steps, water at mid shin. Looking to my right, Wullie had just nipped across and had made it without getting wet. Half way over, it got a bit deeper but stayed below knee level and it wasn't as cold as I thought it would have been. On reaching the other side, quick hand from John and up on to the bank. Refreshing!!!

The track continues here,,Im assuming when the water is lower, its passable on a 4 wheel drive.

Pretty soon, we were back at the wooden bridge over the burn and off up to the trees. Time would have been about 5:40pm, light fading but on a good track out to the cars.

Reaching the cars at 6:10pm, quick change of footwear (cept for me, thought id left my sandals by the car and couldn't find them, had they been nicked???? no,,found them later in the boot lol)

We had booked in at the Aultguish bunkhouse saying we would be there at 6, so a little later than that,,we were keen to get down there, order dinner, have a shower and have a couple of pints. It all went a little 'wrong' here. Firstly the bar man looked confused when we said we were booked in, "are you?" he quizzed. Then he found a slip of paper on the wall that confirmed it lol Then we asked if we could order our dinner for after our shower. "kitchens closed" no food at the inn. Heck,,surely they should have told us. So with plans to pull our combined food, pringles, dips, rolls, ham etc we decanted to the room, boots and wet gear in the drying room.
Room was fine, en suite,,just the 3 of us in a 4 bed room, telly etc,,,all fine.

On the way,, a member of staff kindly informed me there was a kitchen to cook in. I advised that would have been helpful if we had brought food to cook but had discussed and already decided to eat in the bar HA!. The combined expression on my face and my tone at having spent over 10hrs in the hills, and NOT get a hot meal must have been too much for him to take. He offered to rustle up either gammon steaks or beef and onion pies. Quick discussion and 3 pies ordered, giving us time to have our showers.

Reach the bar, table set, and 3 pies served up. Fantastic, pie, puff pastry, boiled spuds with peas and mushrooms. Just what we needed. (We actually turned down the offer of profiteroles on the house lol)

A few pints, a chat in the bunkhouse kitchen with some fellow walkers, Match of the Day, pringles and dips and off to bed. Night night :clap:

(our plan was to do the 4 Eastern Fannaichs on the Sunday,,but after less than a mile in, at 7:30 the following morning, I decided my gammy hip wouldn't make it, all turned back, despite my protestations for the guys to carry on. Plans to get them another time ,,possibly with An Tealach, springtime I think though)

http://s1048.photobucket.com/user/gfc3004/library/Western%20Fannaichs%205?sort=2&page=3
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Last edited by GillC on Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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GillC
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby quoman » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:35 am

Hi Gill,
Quality report and what a magic weekend we all had canny wait to meet up again sooner rather than later hope the hip is better.




Wullie spotted some people on the up, John and I hadn't seen them and after a while thought Wullie had been hallucinating lol but, we met up with them, a party of 4 ave got eye's like a hawk lol
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby GillC » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:38 am

quoman wrote: Wullie spotted some people on the up, John and I hadn't seen them and after a while thought Wullie had been hallucinating lol but, we met up with them, a party of 4 ave got eye's like a hawk lol


Hips fine,,been ok since Sunday afternoon,,dammit! Aye,,eyes like a hawk, what about yer knees? lol
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby Munchie » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:29 pm

Braw report doll and sounds like yees had a blast :clap:
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby Munchie » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:32 pm

And I now want a beef and onion pie ..... cheers for that :?
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby scottishkennyg » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:25 pm

Well done, good safe trip and 5 in the bag....glad the staff got you all sorted with some hot food too..
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby ceaser » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:02 pm

fine report Gill ,but whats with Wullie and johns new hand on knee poses ? :lol:
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby GillC » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:04 pm

ceaser wrote:fine report Gill ,but whats with Wullie and johns new hand on knee poses ? :lol:



Thanks Davie,,oh your name was mentioned for that pic,,and the one with the three of us,,,im doing it too lol :lol:
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby ceaser » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:08 pm

GillC wrote:
ceaser wrote:fine report Gill ,but whats with Wullie and johns new hand on knee poses ? :lol:



Thanks Davie,,oh your name was mentioned for that pic,,and the one with the three of us,,,im doing it too lol :lol:



lol ,never thought for a minute it was aimed at me :lol:
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby SAVAGEALICE » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:32 pm

Well done guys :clap: thank goodness you got some grub after all that!!
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby Tomsie » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:43 pm

Another good report Gill :clap:

Did you not taste the beans in the flapjacks :D although Wullie might have eaten them all :wink:

Ceaser one of those photo's didnt even realise I had hand on knee :crazy:

Think thats first bunkhouse I've seen a tv in, never mind in the bedroom.
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby Scotjamie » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:15 pm

Great stuff Gill
Very enjoyable report and a happy ending!
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby mrssanta » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:35 am

That was great. Can we have the flapjack recipe?
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby martin.h » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:33 am

Hi Gill, Thankyou for a great report, it was a very enjoyable read describing a brilliant long day out. You've got my old brain working overtime here, this is the kind of day I'd like to have a go at, are there any other multi Munro days in this area you could suggest?. Hope the hip does'nt give you anymore trouble. Stay safe.
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Re: The Western Fannaichs 5, 3 go wandering.

Postby GillC » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Hi Martin.h

Thanks for your reply, defo more multi's in this area,,the 4 we should have got on the Sunday, Beinn Dearg a bit further to the East too. Torridons not far either,,4 ops there to get 2 at a time too. Im new to the far north but loved my recent trips to Torridon and Fannichs,,,fingers crossed,,be back very soon. All the best with your trips.

Check out the Meet up forum, post what youre looking to do or look out for others doing them too. Thats how I got involved in meeting up with others for trips a bit further afield.

Cheers, G
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