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Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn


Postby foggieclimber » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:47 pm

Route description: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn, Loch Arkaig

Corbetts included on this walk: Fraoch Bheinn, Sgurr Mhurlagain

Date walked: 10/03/2010

Time taken: 5 hours

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Hills: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn
Date: Wednesday 10th March 2010
Company: Foggieclimber and Beinn
Dog friendly: Yes
Time: 5Hrs 30Mins


The weather forecast for yesterday looked pretty-good so I booked a day off work to head for the hills. :)

I left home at 17:00 on Tuesday night and arrived at the far end of Loch Arkaig by 21:30. My last trip along this rollercoaster of a road was on 31 October 2008, when I stayed at A'Chuil bothy and ascended Carn Mor.

This time I opted to sleep in the back of my car and intended getting up early enough to see the sunrise.
Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn were my target :D.

Before settling down for the night, I spent some time experimenting with the settings on my camera to take some long exposure photos. I ended up taking quite a few shots - I have posted a couple below.

Orion:
Image

The Plough:
Image

I would be lying if I said I spent a comfortable night in the car. It was -6C outside and the windows inside the car were thick with ice. I took a second sleeping bag with me for Beinn. He seemed to be snug :roll:.

I set my alarm for 90 minutes before sunrise. We were up and off walking about 30 minutes later. I wanted to get onto the ridge of Sgurr Mhurlagain to see the sunrise.

Beinn waiting patiently at parking area at end of Loch Arkaig:
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We set off towards Strathan and then began ascending the track on the left-bank of the Dearg Allt.

Pre-sunrise Glenfinnan hills:
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After approximately 15 minutes of ascent we crossed the Dearg Allt and began the traverse of the ridge of Sgurr Mhurlagain. We abandoned the track in order to get better views looking down to Loch Arkaig.

Streap and Sgurr Thuilm:
Image

The following photo in no way does justice to the incredible view of the sun rising over a partially inversion-covered Loch Arkaig. I was smiling like a Cheshire cat :D.

Sunrise over Loch Arkaig:
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Sunrise over Loch Arkaig:
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Sunlight beginning to light-up the hills:
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The wide ridge of Sgurr Mhurlagain was very straight-forward. I ascended via as much snow as possible as the snow was hard and crisp - perfect for walking on.

Sgurr Mhurlagain:
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I really did not expect the amount of inversion to increase. The whole length of Loch Arkaig was eventually covered :).

Inversion over Loch Arkaig:
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Inversion (zoomed):
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Looking across to Gulvain:
Image

Beinn on Sgurr Mhurlagain:
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I took quite a few photos of Streap today. I am really looking forward to ascending it later this year.

Braigh nan Uamhachan, Streap and Sgurr Thuilm:
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Sgurr Mhurlagain:
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As more and more height was gained, more and more hills came into view. Was nice to look over towards the Glen Quioch hills. Six years since l last visited this area :(.

Sgurr an Fhuarain with Glen Quioch hills in background:
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Fraoch Bheinn and Sgurr Mor:
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Rays of light:
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Sgurr Mor:
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Bidein a Chabair over Fraoch Bheinn and pointy top of Sgurr na Ciche:
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I decided to keep Beinn on a tight lead as I approached the summit. There is quite a serious drop to the North but no difficulties as the ridge is quite wide.

Summit crags of Sgurr Mhurlagain:
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The Ben was possibly the only hill I saw today that had a cap of cloud.

Aonachs, CMD and the Ben from summit:
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Inversion over Loch Arkaig from summit:
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We made quick progress in descent to the wide bealach between Fraoch Bheinn and Sgurr Mhurlagain. From the bealach, I picked out a line of ascent to the left-side of Fraoch Bheinn.

Fraoch Bheinn:
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Braigh nan Uamhachan, Streap and tree growing out of large boulder:
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The ascent of Sgurr Mhurlagain was mainly up grass and snow. The ascent of Fraoch Bheinn was a bit rougher with lots of boulders and ice-covered slabs to avoid.

Looking back to ridge of Sgurr Mhurlagain:
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Loch Arkaig from Fraoch Bheinn:
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Bidein a Chabair is the only Corbett I have left to do from the end of Loch Arkaig. It looks interesting :shock: .

Bidein a Chabair:
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Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh:
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On reaching the ridge of Fraoch Bheinn there was a steep section of snow to ascend. This was the only part of the walk today where I got out my ice axe. My crampons didn't need to come out of their bag.

At the summit cairn, I confirmed on the map and GPS that it was the actual summit as there is another top to the North.

Beinn at summit of Fraoch Bheinn:
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Glen Dessary Munros inc Sgurr na Ciche:
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Sgurr Mor:
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Knoydart hills:
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The views out West were even better from Fraoch Bheinn.

I descended back to the bealach via the same route and then descended to Strathan via the track.

Really glad I took the day off now :D
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby Stretch » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:44 pm

Bravo sir, Bravo! Great shots of the sun peering out over the inversion.
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby foggieclimber » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:48 pm

Stretch wrote:Bravo sir, Bravo! Great shots of the sun peering out over the inversion.


Thanks :)
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby gammy leg walker » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:00 pm

Brill photos foggie,looks like Beinn enjoyed them to,no what you mean about the ice ball"s forming on Beinn"s coat my 2 dogs Breagh and Kerry black cockers love going with me and have done quite a few munro"s,but when the snow is deep they can hardly walk with ice ball"s forming on their legs
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby mountain coward » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:20 am

You needed an alarm clock 'sleeping' in a car in -6 ??!! I find it cold sleeping in mine at about 0 degrees and don't generally get much sleep if it goes down that low!

Some superb photos there, especially the sunrise ones...
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby kevsbald » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:45 am

Foggie,

some fab shots there - you must have been ko'd after that long drive. I don't know, I think your photo of the sunrise was pretty damned special. It's better when they're locked away in the mind though.

Excellent stuff.
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby Wanderlust » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:42 pm

Magnificent photos of the sunrise and inversion
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Re: Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn

Postby Graeme D » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:44 pm

Great stuff indeed! A day off work and walking in the hills with his dog.....what more can a man ask? :D
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