Lurking above Loch Luichart

Sub 2000s: Càrn Faire nan Con

Date walked: 03/01/2022

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 6.7km

Ascent: 400m

When in one or another sort of lockdown, we climbed most of the hills within short driving distance but never got around to visiting Càrn Faire nan Con. Most folks do this Sub from Garve side, taking advantage of the good track up to the height of 250m, but of course Kevin wanted to do "some kinda circular" and he believed that the approach from Loch Luichart was much more interesting.

Track_CARN FAIRE NAN CON 6.7KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Càrn Faire nan Con is much less impressive than its higher neighbour Sgurr Marcasaid (one of my most memorable heather-bashing experiences!) but it is said to be a great viewpoint to Loch Luichart, so we didn't hesitate to tackle it on a short January day. There was no snow on lower ground but the forecast was sunshine and sharp showers. We packed several layers of warm/waterproof clothing just in case. I don't mind getting wet but wet, cold and windy put together? No, thank you.
We started from the local road below Loch Luichard power station - there is room for parking next to a small building with communication dishes:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 129.JPG

A short distance up the tarmac we took the first track right into the forest. The entrance is locked but a small kissing gate is provided for walkers. We followed the forest track due north for about 2km, past another gate; the track gives access to a line of electricity pylons and they do spoil the views from lower parts of this route. On the other hand, the access track makes for an easier walk:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 006.JPG
In the birch forest below Càrn Faire nan Con, the eastern top of Sgurr Marcasaid visible to the left

Kevin ready to face the pylons!
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 137.JPG

We were hoping that the track we took joined with the other one, coming from Garve side, but sadly it doesn't. We located a path behind one of the pylons; it can be followed steeply up the western slopes of Càrn Faire nan Con for about 1km, before it disappears by another pylon.
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 033.JPG
This way!

A bit too steep to go off piste:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 144.JPG

Weather was holding on for the time being and Kevin stopped to take a few snaps of Loch Luichart dam:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 142.JPG

As we plodded on up the path (lots of dead bracken, in summer time this would be tick haven!), more views appeared and I was enchanted by the autumnal colours of the surrounding landscape. I know it sounds ridiculous, "a touch of autumn" in January but it was exactly how it felt!
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 147.JPG
Loch Luichart in "autumn" climate

On higher ground winter was in full bloom (if you can say that about winter :? ) as we could see on the distant tops of the Fannichs:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 152.JPG

Sgurr Marcasaid and the loch from higher up the slope:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 053.JPG

The path long gone, we just clambered up the overgrown slope, trying to pick the least wet-looking line of ascent:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 061.JPG

Just below the summit, we noticed a bird of prey hovering above us. It disappeared before we had the time to get the better camera out, but I managed a snap on the go:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 048.JPG
White tailed eagle?

We were close to the top when we noticed a snow shower charging towards us from the north, across Loch Luichart:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 065.JPG
Armageddon is coming!!!

Kevin run to the summit cairn to take a photo of Little Wyvis before the world ended :lol: :lol:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 162.JPG

On the eastern front it was strangely quiet, blue sky and peaceful landscape:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 069.JPG

...whereas the western side could scare the *** out of you!
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 171.JPG

We dug up our waterproof layers and bodywarmers and descended a few metres down the eastern side of the hill to hide behind a large rock. Here, we waited patiently through the snow shower. Luckily, it only lasted about 10 minutes :D
As soon as the snow stopped, we returned to the summit for more photos.
Loch Luichart after storm:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 086.JPG

We are officially 10% into the Sub'2000 Marylin list. Not that I care much about statistics :lol: :lol:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 093.JPG
Lucy's 27th Sub, No. 59 for us.

The descent from Càrn Faire nan Con can be tricky if not returning the same way, as there are some crags on the southern side above Loch an Dubh-chairn...
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 096.JPG
Which way down?

We found a breach in the fortress and carefully descended the slippery vegetation between the crags. Looking back at it, it would be badly overgrown in summer:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 101.JPG

Loch an Dubh-chairn from above:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 102.JPG

The ground below the lochan is soggy - time to wear gaiters:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 114.JPG

We kept pushing south on the wet ground until we were stopped by a high deer fence. No gate anywhere, so the only choice was to either climb it (and it looked rather wobbly) or follow it west back towards the loch. We opted for the latter. Initially, we enjoyed nice views to Loch Luichart and Sgurr Marcasaid...
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 119.JPG

...but as soon as the track entered the forest, we needed some...ehmmm... acrobatic moves to continue:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 173.JPG

It was worth the effort though, because when we emerged from the forest just above the pylon track, we were rewarded with this fantastic view:
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 127.JPG
Loch Luichart pano

We dropped to the track and stopped for a quick streap-tease bur soon we realized we had been too fast to take waterproofs off: another snow shower was coming!
2022-01-03 carn faire nan con 176.JPG

Thankfully, we were back on the road and only had about 2km to walk back to the car, so no shower could scare us now! :lol:
My next TR will describe another trip up a local Sub, proper winter conditions this time!

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User avatar
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire
Interests: Hillwalking, cycling, jogging, mushroom picking, aircraft investigations and many other outdoor activities, meowing on mountain summits included :P
Activity: Mountain Walker
Mountain: Beinn Eighe
Place: Isle of Skye
Gear: well... my husband ;)))
Camera: FujiFilm Finepix HS10
Ideal day out: Anything - from beach strolls to scrambling up icy slopes. Just bring it on!
Ambition: Tick off all Munros...

Munros: 260
Corbetts: 172
Grahams: 123
Sub 2000: 61
Long Distance routes: Dava Way    Moray Coastal Trail   

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