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Ridiculous week part 2

Ridiculous week part 2


Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:39 pm

Route description: Sgurr a' Mhaoraich, Loch Quoich

Munros included on this walk: Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

Date walked: 14/03/2016

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Eight great Munros and and one equally fine Corbett in a ridiculously good week at the excellent Saddle Mountain Hostel in Invergarry....

Never before have I had a WHOLE WEEK in Scotland of bright blue skies, windless calm and crystal clear views. (and probably won't ever have one again in my lifetime!). So we made the most of it!

As usual, my lack of organisational prowess means that this first report is actually of Day 2. Oh well who cares. We drove towards Loch Quoich and soon had an appetite-whetting view westwards along Loch Garry towards Gairich and the hills behind it.

ImageIMG_6781 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Close up of the enticing hills...

ImageIMG_6789 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

As a boy I noticed Sgurr a'Mhaoraich in an old Atlas and thought "I bet that mountain has a good view". Many years later, I bought the SMC's Munros book which says "The road westwards along Loch Quoich runs below three fine mountains which are among the easiest ascents in the Western Highlands."

So the oddly-named Shellfish Mountain was very much in my mind as the hill we should do on a fine-weather day of our week at Invergarry. But for the moment, I was just enjoying the views across the loch to Gairich.

ImageIMG_6806 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Nearing our parking spot, we encountered some pedestrians crossing...

ImageIMG_6822 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The parking spot overlooked blue waters sparkling in the sunshine.

ImageIMG_6827 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Off we go.

ImageIMG_6858 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The path to Sgurr a'Mhaoraich is a true delight - well-graded and effortless to walk up. We could concentrate on admiring the views (and mentally blotting out the pylons).

ImageIMG_6938 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The scenery all around was just about as good as scenery could be -

ImageIMG_6874 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

But paradoxically, with almost every step, it kept getting better - more hills popping into view.

ImageIMG_6941 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

ImageIMG_6907 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And more...

ImageIMG_6954 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

and Loch Quoich looking bigger and bluer all the time.

ImageIMG_6922 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

We reached a bank of snow. After our floundering about in a deep snowdrift the previous day, we
approached this with caution - but it was no problem at all.

ImageIMG_6962 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

We were soon at the high point on the curve of the ridge. The map gives this the very grand name of Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach but apparently it has no status as a Top, a Corbett or anything. However it is a fantastic viewpoint. I took the opportunity to model my workplace's charity t-shirt.

ImageIMG_7003 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Beyond this point, the ridge dips, then rises grandly towards the summit of Sgurr a'Mhaoraich.

ImageIMG_7033 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

At this point we were passed by a more speedy and nimble couple. We watched ahead, because we could see that, much like the previous day on Sgurr nan Conbhairean, our good path suddenly disappeared into a large bank of snow before the final rise to the summit. How would the two walkers deal with it? We saw one of them try to make his way across - then turn back amid waist-deep snow. He then scrambled up the rocks above the snowdrifts and on towards the summit. Aha, so that was the way to do it!

As we approached the snow-bank, the ridge became increasingly interesting, with little pinnacles and drops to peer down.

ImageIMG_7055 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

At this point two of our party decided to wait on the top of a little peak while the other two (including me) went on to the summit. Looking back to their eyrie...

ImageIMG_7070 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

After clambering along the crest of the ridge (assisted at times by remains of old fenceposts bolted into the rocks) we reached a short steep slope of firm snow, with a great view back along our ridge.

ImageIMG_7087 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And there ahead of us was the summit!

ImageIMG_7183 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

As I guessed from that old Atlas long ago, the Shellfish Mountain has an amazing view. Undoubtedly
one of my favourite mountain-tops: I will always remember it.

ImageIMG_7110 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Looking back to Loch Quoich

ImageIMG_7125 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The cairn...

ImageIMG_7105 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

North west towards Kintail

ImageIMG_7127 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Ben Nevis and friends

ImageIMG_7165 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Lenticular clouds to the south

ImageIMG_7176 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

And above Sgurr na Ciche

ImageIMG_7172 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Beinn Sgritheall and Skye

ImageIMG_7182 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Ladhar Bheinn and Loch Hourn

ImageIMG_7094 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

As Nelly Furtado reminds up, all good things have to come to an end... and our two friends were waiting for us below. Ice-axes in hand we descended, and spotted that our friends had moved on down to a point on the stalker's path high above Loch Quoich. Views ahead were still glorious.

ImageIMG_7185 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The last little bit of scrambling lay ahead -

ImageIMG_7194 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Descending a bank of snow, very slushy now!

ImageIMG_7215 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Everything was still looking beautiful: a late afternoon golden glow.

ImageIMG_7223 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Last bits of the descent: feeling mellow after a brilliant day on the hill. A day I'll never forget.

ImageIMG_7245 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Loch Quoich still and mirror-like below us.

ImageIMG_7330 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

Even the pylons brought a certain je ne sais quoi to the scene.

ImageIMG_7362 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

On the drive back we saw some more of the Deer that this road is famous for.

ImageIMG_7391 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr

The Monarch of the Glen is alive and well at Loch Quoich. Until someone shoots him.

ImageIMG_7388 by Half Man Half Titanium, on Flickr
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HalfManHalfTitanium
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby Fife Flyer » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:51 pm

Enjoyed that, lots of fantastic photo's :clap: :clap:
Funny how the weather when it is decent makes a huge difference :lol:
The hills in that area are all fantastic :wink:
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby Hillbeback » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:26 pm

Superb photos. Has to be one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland especially when the weather is so perfect. Looking forward to your other reports. Can l ask what camera do you use?
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:17 am

Thanks FifeFlyer and Hilbeback!

Yes - a brilliant area. My first visit there although I have been looking at maps an WH posts about it for years.

I've got a Canon G15 instant camera. I always just use Auto Mode on it (not very technically minded!!!)

HMHT
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:55 pm

Great report, brilliant pics in a wonderful place on a perfect day! :clap: :clap: :clap:

And wasn't it just a perfect day??? I was out on the West side of Glen Etive on the same day, and had the same perfect weather. I must have taken hundreds of pics. At some stage when I was snapping the Ben from the South, you must have been snapping it from the North!
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby Jaxter » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:20 am

Very very envious - looks like an amazing viewpoint and such stunning weather for your photos! :clap: that last ridge and scramble looks exciting, can't wait to do this one! :D
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:33 am

Thanks Alteknacker and Jaxter! Yes, Loch Quoich is a fabulous area, it was my first visit there - the first of many I think...

Such a week of brilliant weather. Never again, I'm sure , will I get a whole week of seeing Ben Nevis regularly on the horizon and clear of cloud.

Cheers both!
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby Beery Hiker » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:13 am

More great photos - I wish I'd joined the summit party!
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby HalfManHalfTitanium » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:38 pm

Beery Hiker wrote:More great photos - I wish I'd joined the summit party!


There'll always be a next time!...

Hope you got some good walks in last weekend at the walking meet.
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Re: Ridiculous week part 2

Postby IdahoGirl » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:25 am

wow, this is the real Scotland!
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