walkhighlands

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

Munros: Sgùrr a' Mhaoraich

Date walked: 23/10/2023

Time taken: 5 hours

We left Newburgh just before 7am, and had a pretty decent drive through, although the car hardly registered any temperature above 3deg C all the way to past Inverness. Heading West from Invergarry on the minor road we were slightly delayed by a single Highland cow which was slowly ambling along in the middle of the road. With high vegetation at the side of the road we trailed it for 5 minutes before we managed to scoot round it at a track junction. However a few minutes later we came across it's mates, and as there were around 20 of them all we could do was follow slowly for the next 30 minutes.
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Highland traffic jam!

They slowly ambled over the bridge and settled into what would normally be the start point of the walk. However as the road surface on the bridge is being renewed, this parking area was full of road maintenance vans, so we drove a little beyond them, and parked right by where the path heads up the hill from the road side. By now it was 11:30, so a later start than I had planned.
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Parking right at the start of the walk

There was hardly any cloud, and very little wind, so it felt more like a Spring morning than late Autumn. We headed up the clear stalkers path,
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Clear path

and apart from some stony ground between 550m and 600m (where folk have built some little cairns to guide you) there is a clear path all the way.
Gaining height, the view towards the South Shiel Ridge began to open out, and while Gleouraich was snow free,
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Gleouraich and the South Shiel Ridge

as was the hill we were heading up, there looked to be a very slight dusting of snow on the hills to the North.

While there was a bit more ascent and descent than expected from Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach, we were making good time as we came to the final uphill pull that would get us to the summit.
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I thad been warm (with extra layers on) and sunny to the point, but now we began to feel the wind. The path up alongside some high slabs had been in the shade, so the ground was still frozen with a bit of frost and ice, so care was needed with a steep slope to one side and the rock on the other.
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This though brought us up to a plateau and immediately you could see the large summit cairn not far away,
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which we reached at 13:45. Looking South it looked like Ben Nevis had very little snow on it, but the hills to the North of the South Shiel Ridge appeared to have a decent coating fo snow. Identifying hills in the distance isn't my forte, but they were in the right position to be the Three Brothers in Kintail.
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The 3 brothers (?) beyond the South Shiel Ridge

We took in the views,
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The way we came

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Summit selfie

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and some refreshments, before heading over to the subsidiary top of Sgurr a'Mhaoriach Beag (there was actually a clear path to this top from just below the summit of the Munro) and we were there in 15 minutes.
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View from the Top back to the Munro

Not lingering long, we headed back to the Munro summit, and were back in under 20 minutes.
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The Top from the Munro


We spent a little more time soaking in the views, but as it was now after 14:30 I wanted to get back out of the wind, and past the shaded frosty area, with a view of stopping for more refreshments in the shelter of a drystone wall we had crossed on the way up.

As always, the way back was quicker than the way up, but out of the wind and with the weak sun, it felt warm. So the puffer jacket could be taken off once below 500m and the walk back to the car was enjoyable, getting back to the car at 16:25, so it had taken the 5 hours I had expected.

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Comments: 3



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Andy Milne


Activity: Hill Bagger
Member: Ellon Hillwalking Club

Munros: 244
Tops: 164
Corbetts: 46
Fionas: 18
Donalds: 4
Wainwrights: 4
Hewitts: 1
Sub 2000: 26
Long Distance routes: Formartine & Buchan Way    Great Glen Way    Speyside Way   



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Statistics

2023

Trips: 3
Distance: 47 km
Ascent: 820m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 1

2022

Trips: 3
Munros: 1
Sub2000s: 2

2021

Trips: 4
Fionas: 1
Sub2000s: 2

2020

Trips: 1
Corbetts: 1


Joined: Jul 31, 2017
Last visited: May 20, 2024
Total posts: 93 | Search posts