Day 2: Beinn Fionnlaidh and friends

Munros: Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Càrn Eige), Càrn Eige, Màm Sodhail, Mullach na Dheiragain

Date walked: 06/05/2023

Time taken: 15 hours

Distance: 29km

After a wonderful cold night and not much sleep, because my body refused to sleep at night and prefers to fall sideways during daytime, we got up early(isch), prepared breakfast and checked the maps again.
Alex and Susan were heading for Aonach Buidhe from the east, while I had still an overdue date with the remaining Affric-Hills. On the map, it looked doable and not too hard – but oh girl, was I wrong.
Weather was supposed to be fine, so quite the opposite to last year, when I started in sunshine and an hour later disappeared in a storm cloud.
Going was easy on this looong path up and down to Loch Mullardoch. The clouds lifted and revealed an great view over the hills to come. First I was a bit worried about the swamp and all the tiny streams crossing my way to Allt a Choilich (its wrong spelled, I know). There were many reports, that it may be impassible in spate. But some handy “bridges” helped with the tiny streams, and a boots-off-brake helped with the bigger river. Just in front of a wee waterfall was best for my liking.
From here I had a first glance of what to expect over the next hours and I have to say – I was a bit worried. A bit over ambitious for a second day probably? Sure. But that’s me…
Instead of heading for the Bealach as recommended, I climbed just as the crow flies for a more direct approach of Beinn Fhionnlaidh.

The views opened up and especially over Loch Mullardoch and the An Socach group, where I struggled last year. Oh, aye, memory lane…
A check with the time revealed, that it took me nearly 3 hours to the top of Beinn Fhionnlaidh! Ups! Time was flying and the prospect of the whole ridge in front of me was beautiful but frightening the same.

Years ago, I walked up from Alltbeithe and did some hills from there. I did remember, I couldn´t be bothered to climb all the way down and up again to Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan; - that I did last year with my last bit of strength and a big pack. From there I picked my way over Mam Sodhail and down into Glen Affric. I couldn’t remember, if I tackle Carn More on the way. I always thought so, but on closer look, it might be not the case. So, when struggling through the boulders I rather climbed up the highest Munro as well. Just to be sure. And it was a great viewpoint anyway.

Over to Mam Sodhail the second time, but it was such a long time ago, I didn’t even remember the closed stone shelter on top.
By now my legs got tired and the prospect of walking over SnC again was not appealing. I had spotted a short cut through the glen, but couldn’t find the right place to leave the steep ridge of Stob Coire na Cloiche. After a bit there and back again, I finally stumbled down into the hanging valley, missing the loch but the going was easy enough. Some rain clouds showed up and were gone, before I could bother with waterproofs.
From the other side the ridge of Mullach na Dheragain looked quite straight forward – but hell no!
Without tired legs it would have been a great ridge walk, but by now I was really struggling. All the time I thought, I had not brought enough food, but it turned out, I still had some bars left, when I got back to Iron Lodge – Grrr.

The sun was already close to sunset, when I left the top of MnD and followed first a path, then pathless trough the Coire Aird. Somehow I missed the shoulder of MnD, but it was okay going.
Down by the river I crossed through the bog again to eventually find the track back to Iron Lodge.
It started to get dark. My head was too tired to think, but my legs just stumbled forward.
At 11 pm I stumbled down the steep and stony path. There was a light moving next to the Lodge, but it was gone, when I reached the tent.
Alex heard me and came to greet me with concern. They had waited for more than 2 hours for me. Susan was having a word with me for not taking a torch. But honestly, I never expected to be back in total darkness. Lesson learned….
My calculation was at 29 km and 15 hours of constant walking without longer brakes.
As a little cream on top, my mattress was coming off at the seam and flat like a sheet of paper. Nice.


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Ascent: 600m
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Activity: Scrambler
Pub: Old Forge Inn
Mountain: Ladhar Beinn
Place: Torridon Knoydart
Gear: My patagonia-pants
Member: none
Ideal day out: First a scary scramble, followed by an epic ridge walk and eventually a idyllic ramble round a loch ... Aonach Eagach, Curved Ridge ...

Munros: 178
Corbetts: 22
Fionas: 9
Donalds: 1
Sub 2000: 3
Islands: 5
Long Distance routes: Great Glen Way    Cape Wrath Trail   

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Trips: 2
Distance: 35 km
Ascent: 600m
Munros: 4
Fionas: 1


Trips: 2
Distance: 758 km

Joined: Feb 04, 2013
Last visited: Jun 21, 2024
Total posts: 42 | Search posts