Gairich - if the formula works, dinnae mess wi' it!

Munros: Gairich

Date walked: 19/07/2017

Time taken: 4.9 hours

Distance: 15.4km

Ascent: 1000m

After the little 55 minute warm up on the Glen Roy Sub2K, it was time to knuckle down to some serious business. Time to make a decision and nail my colours to the mast in other words. As I said, I wanted to nail some red balloons in Kintail and possibly get to Skye at some point over the coming four days, and I definitely wanted to collect my first blue balloons in Glen Affric. But Gairich and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich were also calling my name.

I set off for Invergarry, still not knowing which road I would follow once I arrived there. Continue on the A82 along Loch Ness heading for Glen Affric, or onto the A87 towards Loch Quoich or Kintail? I had considered the parallels with the day back in April last year when I had stopped off on my drive north west to do the Graham Creag Dubh, and to buy some time while I studied what the weather was going to do. That day my patience and faith had been rewarded with a stunning afternoon on Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach. Perhaps a similar formula might be equally rewarded today? A little aperitif on a smaller Glen Roy hill just across the glen from that Graham, then some bigger hill action on the shores of Loch Quoich later in the day. Gairich and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich it was then!

I can think of a number of long drives in along bumpy, single track roads that are an absolute nightmare, but I really like the drive in along the Kinloch Hourn road, and not just for the superb view as Gairich first comes into view ahead.

Gairich from the Kinloch Hourn road

There was one car already parked in the gravelled parking area just beyond the dam wall, and I pulled in alongside and did a bit of loitering around the shoreline and the dam buildings, camera in hand, before heading across the dam wall to pick up the path.

Gairich from the corner of the dam

Low water levels and exposed, bleached tree stumps

Stork's leg

In contrast to the dry, exposed shoreline, the path around the head of the loch was distinctly wet and spongy in the early stages but gradually firmed up as it approached the forestry and made the turn onto the long ascent ridge of Druim na Geid Salaich.

Skirting the head of the loch

I have looked forward to Gairich ever since that wonderful spring day last year across the other side of the water, and as I started along the ridge of Druim na Geid Salaich, I knew I was not about to be disappointed!

Spidean Mialach

Light and shade - Gleouraich and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

Gleouraich and Spidean Mialach

As is often the case, pictures can tell a thousand words so I will limit the words and include a fair few pictures. Several thousand words worth in fact!

Gairich summit cone

Along Glen Kingie to the Arkaig/Dessarry hills

Gleouraich and Mialach again

Glen Kingie and Gairich

At the foot of the final push and scramble to the summit, I met a guy and a little girl descending, presumably the owners of the vehicle parked next to mine, and they informed me that it was seriously blowy at the summit and not the sort of place to be hanging about for too long!

Glorious Gairich

The splendid isolation of Glen Kingie

Back down to the dam and east along Glen Garry, Ben Tee prominent in the distance

It's Gleouraich and Mialach again!

Gairich summit

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and the South Glen Shiel Ridge

The guy and the girl had been right enough about the wind at the summit! I had tears in my eyes and was almost being lifted off the hill without the assistance of a helicopter winch! I took what photos I wanted and headed back down a bit to find a sheltered spot for lunch.

Towards the Rough Bounds

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and Gleouraich with the South Glen Shiel Ridge behind

Starting the descent

After lunch I made a snap decision to head down through Coire Thollaidh to pick up the shore of Loch Quoich for the walk back to the dam rather that retrace my steps back past Bac nam Foid and along the Druim na Geid Salaich.

Spidean Mialach from the south shore of Loch Quoich

Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and Gleouraich

Mialach once more

Goodbye Gairich

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Comments: 1

Beinn a'Mhonicag - a Glen Roy amuse-bouche

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Beinn a'Mhonicag
Date walked: 19/07/2017
Distance: 1.1km
Ascent: 315m
Comments: 1
Views: 174

Sgurr an Airgid - messin' wi' the formula

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Sgurr an Airgid
Date walked: 19/07/2017
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 1025m
Comments: 1
Views: 180

This Fiddler knocks out a very Fyne tune indeed!

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Binnein an Fhidhleir
Date walked: 30/06/2017
Distance: 8.7km
Ascent: 840m
Views: 181

Donich downpour but it's still good medicine!

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Ben Donich
Date walked: 29/06/2017
Distance: 6.4km
Ascent: 620m
Comments: 1
Views: 150

Fleeing trouble at mill (Part 2) - Feshie/Tromie Corbetts

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Carn Dearg Mor, Meallach Mhor
Date walked: 04/06/2017
Distance: 22km
Ascent: 1000m
Comments: 1
Views: 294

Fleeing trouble at mill (Part 1) - Geldie Munros

Attachment(s) Munros: An Sgarsoch, Carn an Fhidhleir (Carn Ealar)
Date walked: 03/06/2017
Distance: 11km
Ascent: 810m
Comments: 2
Views: 436

Beinn an Lochain - Corbetts are like buses!

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Beinn an Lochain
Date walked: 30/04/2017
Distance: 5.3km
Ascent: 710m
Comments: 2
Views: 355

Sail Mhor - in deep and racing the clock in the hinterland

Attachment(s) Corbetts: Sail Mhor
Date walked: 14/04/2017
Distance: 19.8km
Ascent: 1080m
Comments: 2
Views: 324

1, 2

Grinding out a historic victory in the Winter of Discontent

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgor na h-Ulaidh
Date walked: 04/02/2017
Distance: 12.6km
Ascent: 1220m
Comments: 27
Views: 1496

Graeme D

User avatar
Location: Perth
Occupation: Teacher
Pub: Moulin Inn
Mountain: Too tough to answer
Gear: Paramo gilet/Scarpa boots
Member: MCofS
Ideal day out: No such thing as a bad day out on or amongst the hills - only degrees of goodness.
Ambition: 2b sent home on full pay!

Munros: 204
Corbetts: 91
Grahams: 57
Donalds: 21
Wainwrights: 6
Hewitts: 22
Sub 2000: 49
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way   

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Trips: 10
Distance: 112.3 km
Ascent: 8620m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 7
Sub2000s: 1


Trips: 26
Distance: 352.85 km
Ascent: 25760m
Munros: 18
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 7
Donalds: 4
Sub2000s: 2
Hewitts: 15
Wainwrights 6


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Distance: 451.7 km
Ascent: 24468m
Munros: 18
Corbetts: 6
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 9
Sub2000s: 3


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Distance: 450.3 km
Ascent: 24390m
Munros: 16
Corbetts: 10
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 8


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Distance: 355.5 km
Ascent: 24877m
Munros: 12
Corbetts: 14
Grahams: 8
Sub2000s: 6


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Distance: 393.5 km
Ascent: 23469m
Munros: 20
Corbetts: 8
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 5
Sub2000s: 5


Trips: 37
Distance: 478.9 km
Ascent: 28081m
Munros: 25
Corbetts: 9
Grahams: 7
Donalds: 1
Sub2000s: 16


Trips: 48
Distance: 569.5 km
Ascent: 24365m
Munros: 30
Corbetts: 21
Grahams: 11
Sub2000s: 7
Hewitts: 6


Trips: 19
Distance: 271.4 km
Ascent: 15243m
Munros: 27
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 2


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Distance: 60.1 km
Ascent: 3488m
Munros: 4

Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Last visited: Aug 18, 2017
Total posts: 3096 | Search posts

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