The second part of Loch Arkaig wanders took us up the steep slopes of two rather obscure Corbetts: Fraoch Bheinn and Sgurr Mhurlagain. We followed the WH route today, no silly detours as I was still suffering from strong headache. I don't like stuffing myself with pills but sometimes one just has no choice. Panther needs her dose of hillwalking (and meowing on the summits!) so Kevin had to put up with me today, stopping every 15 min to moan - ouch my head, ouch ouch
We went up Sgurr Mhurlagain first as it looked less steep in ascent, then returned to the Feith a' Bhrolaich col and climbed Fraoch Bheinn by its steep eastern flanks:
We started from the car park at the end of the public road, the very same spot we visited only yesterday.
Here I go again on my own...
After 1km along the main track, another track, eroded and steep, branches to the right. It is marked by a signpost "Tomdoun 18m".
This is the way up!
This track, in one form or another, leads uphill to the Feith a' Bhrolaich. It is annoyingly steep in places and wet on flatter stages, but it's better than pathless slopes!
I felt a bit lost at the moment, not sure what I was doing...
!I don't know where I'm goin'
But I sure know where I've been... "
I was surprised how little bog we encountered (apart from a couple of muddy puddles on the track) as these hills have a reputation of being wet, but considering current weather, even the Rough Bounds turned into dry county!
Looking down the track, cloud slowly lifting off the Glenfinnian peaks:
West end of Loch Arkaig:
From the bealach, the climb to the first summit is pathless but the ground is easy, mostly grassy. We spotted a lizard and a few frogs. Near the summit we met a single walker on his way down. He was the only person we saw all day. Just proves this duo is not very popular and it's a shame, as they offer excellent day of climbing
The way up:
Across the bealach, Fraoch Bheinn presented its steep eastern face. We knew we had to tackle it later...
...but first, it was Sgurr Mhurlagain. Oddly, this one is called "rough peak" although in my opinion, the name would better suit its steeper twin
As we gained height, Sgurr Mor was revealed and we saw what we had yet to tackle this week... My headache immediately turned for worse
Distant Ben Nevis:
Near the summit of Sgurr Mhurlagain, behind me Gulvain, Braigh nan Uamhachan and Streap:
Looking east along Loch Arkaig:
Kevin and Lucy on the summit of Sgurr Mhurlagain. Corbett no. 144 for us, no. 72 for the Mountain Lamb
The mountains of Loch Lochy:
Gairich and other Loch Quoich hills:
Sgurr Mor and Sgurr an Fhuarain:
Loch Arkaig pano:
Picnic time on the summit!
After well deserved lunch, we returned to the bealach and aimed for the steep slopes of the second Corbett. In any other circumstances the bottom of the bealach would be a bogfeast, but not today. Dry county!
The ascent goes up one of the shallow grassy gullies in the middle of the picture. It's steep but rocks and boulders can easily be avoided.
Looking up at Sgurr Mhurlagain from the steep ascent to Fraoch Bheinn:
Ben Nevis now basking in sunshine, but we were too far west to benefit from the sun, the high cloud stayed with us for the most of the day.
View south from higher up the slope:
Weird shapes in the rock:
When we gained the ridge, still about 200m below the summit, we were at last able to see the full extent of the views we missed the day before. Glen Dessarry:
Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh:
The final push, Panther working through pain:
The rough bounds to the west:
Cornett no. 145, we worked hard to get here but we succeeded!
Lucy on the summit of her 73rd Corbett:
Sunny spells over the hills to the north... The grass is always greener...
Despite the high cloud giving the day a "dull" atmosphere, I was still happy with today's achievement. Once again I proved (more to myself than anybody else) that I can work through pains and aches
Feels like flying:
The return route took us along the southern ridge of Fraoch Bheinn, we were still accompanied by tremendous views:
Looking back at the bulky shape of Fraoch Bheinn:
We left the ridge at 550m or so and descended more steeply towards Dearg Allt. Eventually we picked the eroded track again and walked back to the road
I was surprised to find out, we ascended over 1200m, I never thought it was that much, certainly felt like less Am I getting used to big ascents?? Well, after more than a decade of scampering happily over Scottish hills, I should be used to big routes, especially in the summer!
After the Tough Tuesday, we carried on to survive the Weary Wednesday, bagging two remote Munros infamous for being steep, wet and somehow boring. Did we get bored?? Certainly not! Glenlochay circuit gave us fun and games in abundance, including a storm scare... TR in progress
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