Strathfarrar take 2, in reverse

Route: Glen Strathfarrar Munros circuit

Munros: Carn nan Gobhar (Strathfarrar), Sgurr a'Choire Ghlais, Sgurr Fhuar-thuill, Sgurr na Ruaidhe

Date walked: 17/06/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 17km

Ascent: 1600m

This was an outing suggested by Martin h, who was up north yet again for one of his many Scottish holidays. I volunteered to join him and Andy (who is also up from the deepest SW of England on one of his many Munro forays) fancied the opportunity to get 4 blue balloons. Also joining in the fun were my usual walking chums George & Parminder as well as a newbie to us all Stan (sunshine65).
As everyone knows Strathfarrar is unique in that these Munro's are guarded by a dragon who is in charge of the keys to the locked gate. The dragon needs her beauty sleep so the gate does not open before 9am and to make sure she gets an early night is locked at 8pm.
Our plan was to meet at the dreaded gate at about 9am, so those of us travelling from Edinburgh and Fife had arranged to meet at the Park & Ride in Inverkeithing. Parminder and Stan had volunteered to drive and after a small hiccup which meant Stan went to one of the 3 railway station car parks rather than the P&R, but that was soon sorted out and we were on our way north. We arrived at the gate at about 9.30 and were met by Martin and Andy in their respective vehicles. As I was in the leading vehicle and only a co-pilot I leapt out and rang the dreaded bell. I was met by the dragon who questioned why we were here at 9.30 and not 9 o'clock, I explained that we had travelled from Fife, but she wasn't interested in that as an excuse and started dishing out her little greens tickets, she then opened the gate with it's umpteen padlocks on and we wre on our way. Parts of the road have been resurfaced but the latter part is a matter of avoiding the bigger of the potholes.
Our plan was to tackle the route in reverse to the suggested WH route, the logic being that descending the final hill through the bog would be easier and that decision turned out to be a good one. It also gave George and myself who had tackled the hills about 4 years ago a chance to assess which way is best and we were all unanimous that the reverse route is best.
As we had 4 cars between us, we parked 2 at either end of the route to save walking the 7km back along the road.
The start from the western end is very obvious a good track took us uphill at a nice steady gradient, the burn on our right hardly had any water in it.

A photo taken on my phone from the car on our way along the long single track road to the start, one of the 2 lochs

Looking back along the single track road

Normally a burn, spot the water - there isn't any

Looking back at low level

Looking back from slightly higher up

The way ahead

Water feature, but not alot of water

Above photo zoomed a bit

Team photo, left to right - Stan, Denise, Martin,George, Parminder & Andy

Easy burn crossing

What are they all looking at?

This, Loch Toll a' Mhuic

The path up to the bealach at about 990m is excellent, no wet feet for me. We could see looking ahead that it wouldn't be too long before we entered the cloud. There was a fairly steady breeze, so we were hoping that it would do it's job and moved the cloud to the east. As we entered the cloud we made sure that we stayed together, even though the path was obvious and from the bealach it was only a few minutes before the first summit of the day was reached.

Another water feature with hardly any water

Loch Toll a' Mhuic from a bit higher up and before we entered the cloud

Final photo of the lochan

George taking a final pre cloud photo, whilst Martin squeezes past

A nice cloudy photo looking back

Same 3 stragglers a bit nearer

All standing around the first summit cairn admiring it

Parminder demonstrating that he is a real man, the rest of us were putting fleeces and gloves on

A couple of small lochans appearing through the clag, but it is clearing - trust me

Andy amiring the improving view

Views improving, Andy has his phone out

Same 2 lochans from earlier, told you it was improving

Nice procession descending

Looking back

The way ahead

Looking north

Looking back

Our 2nd summit

We had a bit of a minor panic on the 2nd and highest summit of the day. We were using my 20 year old map that I had highlighted the 4 Munro's, the problem was that the actual Munro's had been rearranged and I had highlighted a demoted one. The matter was resolved on the 3rd summit after getting in a huddle with map GPS's etc, etc.

The way ahead 3rd summit on the left after the usual descent/ascent

Cloud swirling round - getting in the way

Looking back, Andy demonstrating his usual descending posture - arms flapping

Looking ahead

Looking back again, last summit in cloud again

Arty shot

3rd summit cairn

Looking back

One for the little flower lovers

Looking back whilst on the final ascent slog

Final summit cairn on Sgurr na Ruaidhe

Looking back

Looking east, view ruined by the inevitable wind farm

Same shot zoomed, oil rigs near Invergordon can just about be made out

Final descent

One of the benefits of doing the round clockwise was it is easier to pick your way through the boggy areas and plan your route from on high. We were fortunate in that most of the bogginess had dried up, it was very noticeable that an ATV had been on or near the path. The ATV had really churned up the soft ground and in slight dips the ground was a real mess.

Some sort of concrete contraption for the numerous hydro schemes in the area

Not far back to the cars now

Sorry George, it has to be posted - googling the banks on a Sunday!

George posing

There was one midge and George had to get the serious stuff out of his rucksack whilst we were waiting for the cars to return, Andy wasn't concerned about the single midge and opted to put a short sleeved t shirt on.
This little outing turned out to be a great day, like most trips past Inverness it was also a very long day, I arrived home just before 10pm. Huge thanks to our drivers Parminder and Stan, was good to catch up with Martin, Denise and Andy again.
Next for me will be a Marilyn or two next Saturday on my way home from Englandshire.

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Comments: 3

Western Fannichs, take 2

Attachment(s) Munros: A' Chailleach, Sgurr Breac
Date walked: 10/06/2018
Distance: 17.1km
Ascent: 1115m
Comments: 4
Views: 205

7 hours in the car, 5 hours on 4 hills

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Bengray, Cairnharrow, Pibble Hill, White Top of Culreoch
Date walked: 02/06/2018
Distance: 17km
Ascent: 980m
Comments: 2
Views: 216

Monroe to Marilyn

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Larriston Fell
Date walked: 26/05/2018
Distance: 11.5km
Ascent: 385m
Views: 14

West was best

Munros: Beinn a'Chochuill, Beinn Eunaich
Date walked: 13/05/2018
Distance: 13.6km
Ascent: 1225m
Comments: 3
Views: 364

Low cloud was the winner

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Broughton Heights, Penvalla, Trahenna Hill
Date walked: 05/05/2018
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1320m
Comments: 4
Views: 308

3 Marilyns = 7.5km

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Belling Hill, Rubers Law, White Meldon
Date walked: 29/04/2018
Distance: 7.5km
Ascent: 530m
Comments: 8
Views: 395

Boots not required

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Minch Moor
Date walked: 24/04/2018
Distance: 7.2km
Ascent: 410m
Comments: 1
Views: 274

Couple of Borders hills in the sun

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Calkin Rig, Scaw'd Fell
Date walked: 21/04/2018
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 930m
Comments: 1
Views: 240

Head torches required and used for the 1st time

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Munros: Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Sgor an Lochain Uaine, The Devil's Point
Date walked: 14/04/2018
Distance: 43km
Ascent: 1760m
Views: 15

Fife Flyer

User avatar
Location: Guess?
Occupation: Retired
Interests: Driving, cycling & music
Activity: Munro compleatist
Pub: None in particular
Mountain: The last one
Gear: Walking poles
Camera: Fujifilm
Ideal day out: Anywhere as long as the weather is half decent
Ambition: To stay safe

Munros: 85
Corbetts: 44
Grahams: 35
Donalds: 89
Hewitts: 2
Sub 2000: 66

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Joined: May 15, 2013
Last visited: Jun 19, 2018
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