On a cold and frosty morning - Strathfarrar & Loch Monar

Grahams: Beinn na Muice

Date walked: 09/01/2020

Time taken: 3.05 hours

Distance: 5.48km

Ascent: 493m

A nice looking day with no wind – a choice between walking and cycling….so we decided to avoid any decisions and do both! We went for a plan that we’d come up with back in the summer but never got around to – Glen Strathfarrar 8) We had a rubbishly late start and it was nearly 11 before we got started.

We cycled through the gate and then had to wait for Malky to dive into the bushes with some bog roll….fortunately the views were pretty good despite it being properly freezing :shock:
ImageBeinn a' Bha'ach Ard

The road was pretty slippery but the bike tyres seem to be sticking to the road – hopefully we would be ok :shock:
ImageIcy road

It was a really lovely cycle down the road – and there wasn’t even that much up and down (although there was more than Malky had told me :lol: ) As we got further down the glen the views started to open out 8)
ImageSgurr na Lapaich

Is it forwards or backwards? :lol:
ImageMalky trying to work out the route

Despite being after midday it was still really cold :shock:
ImageLooking down the loch to Sgurr na Lapaich

ImageSgurr na Diollaid & Sgurr na Lapaich in Loch Beannacharan

I’d been thinking of going up Sgurr na Diollaid from this side by bike – looking at how steep it is I’m glad I went for the easier option :lol:
ImageSgurr na Diollaid

As we came over another wee rise we could see the Monar hills peeking through – we had a big discussion about what this was and in the end it turned out we were talking about the same thing :lol:
ImageMonar hills peeking through

As we got down towards the end of the road the sun started to come out and everything looked amazing 8)
ImageApproaching the end of the road

This hill just looked amazing from all angles – definitely one I need to get up at some point 8)
ImageSgurr na Lapaich again

Our potential second hill – the Marilyn Meall Innis an Loichel poking out
ImageMeall Innis an Loichel

Beinn na Muice – our hill 8)
ImageBeinn na Muice

I had this shot perfectly lined up until Malky moved and scared the deer away. I was properly raging :crazy:
ImageSgurr na Lapaich and some deer

ImageLooking back - beautiful sunny Strathfarrar

The final climb
ImageSgurr Innis an Loichel

ImageSgurr na Lapaich

We had thought to climb up from the dam but when we saw a wee track leading into the corrie we thought that might be a better option and save us a bit of distance. We dumped the bikes and switched my trainers for boots (to his credit Malky had carried them all the way down the glen in his pannier – what a gent 8) )

Heading up the corrie the ground wasn’t too bad; a bit slippery underfoot but nothing like as bad as I’d thought it might be. We were heading for the ridge – there were a few scrambly sections just before we hit the ridgeline but when we did it was certainly worth the effort 8)
ImageClimbing up gave us an amazing view down Loch Monar

ImageLoch Monar and Sgurr na L & pals

Now on the ridgeline some of the walking was easier but there were a lot of slabs to scramble up or around. I was a bit blown away by the views to be honest – I’d seen Loch Monar from the other end when I did my mega adventure a few years ago, but a combination of seeing the dramatic stuff from this end and a bit of snow made it so impressive 8)
ImageLoch Monar and the Monar hills

ImageCrags on Beinn na Muice

ImageThe end of the Strathfarrar munro ridge

ImageSgurr na L & pals

ImageMalky climbing crags

We were well into the snowline now – it was all soft powder but it made it feel a bit more adventurous 8)
ImageLooking back down the ridge

There was a wee bit of cloud rolling in adding to the atmosphere 8) Having both read at least part of the book "Isolation Shepherd" we were trying to work out which bits feature in the book, and agreed that it deserved a re-read!
ImageCloud rolling in over the loch

Skye 8)

Although the most part of the climb was done, there was a long relatively flat walk along the ridge – some of the puddles were hidden by snow which made for some interesting noises and care was required :lol:
ImageCarn na Gabhar & Sgurr na Lapaich

But then we were at the summit and the views were even better. And it was definitely time for lunch 8)
ImageThe Strathfarrar munros

ImageSummit of Beinn na Muice

ImageSummit selfie

The wind speed was so low that we didn’t realise we were getting cold until we were cold :roll: So it was time to get going – we had quite a long way back too :lol:
ImageLooking back

It was getting even clearer 8)
ImageSkye getting even clearer now!

ImageThe Monar dam

We followed the ridge all the way back to the top of the craggy section – views still good 8)
ImageLoch Monar

ImageViews down the loch

ImageMalky waiting patiently for me to pee

Once we reached the crags we kept to the right hand side – less steep and less scrambling always easier on the way down!
ImageBit of red light hitting Lurg Mor

ImageRed on Sgurr na L

Now out of the crags it was a bit slippery and squishy underfoot again – but looking up was impressive 8)
ImageLooking up - impressive

ImageBack on the slippery bog

Back at the bikes I had another footwear change and we decided to cycle up to the dam for a wee nosey – it was definitely too late for the Marilyn :lol:
ImageMonar dam

ImageLooking down the loch

ImageMonar Dam & Beinn na Muice

The light was already going and we were keen to get at least part of the way back down the road before it got any darker and before the track started icing up again…
ImageLooking back

We both were loving how remote the glen feels – although it is accessible by car, especially in the winter it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere 8)
ImageGlen Strathfarrar

Although there was still a little bit of light in the sky, we were struggling to see so the lights had to go on.
ImageLooking back down the loch - lovely light

There were bits of frost on the road and the side of the verge so we went a little bit easy and made it back to the car without incident – even the frosty cattlegrid, although I did get off and push across that one :lol:

A wonderful day out – and definitely one to do again :D

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44.5km, 443m ascent, 2 hours 55mins cycling

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User avatar
Location: Glasgow
Occupation: Musician, outdoors enthusiast & baker
Interests: Walking, running, cycling, skiing, playing good music with good people, baking cakes and snuggling.
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Lochinver Pie Shop
Place: Anywhere with a fab view
Gear: Rab jacket

Munros: 199
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Grahams: 53
Donalds: 45
Wainwrights: 55
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Trips: 4
Distance: 38.29 km
Ascent: 1650m
Corbetts: 1
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Sub2000s: 2


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Distance: 1065.83 km
Ascent: 59977m
Munros: 13
Corbetts: 20
Grahams: 15
Sub2000s: 39
Hewitts: 13
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Distance: 1617.76 km
Ascent: 95123m
Munros: 47
Corbetts: 57
Grahams: 14
Donalds: 8
Sub2000s: 13


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Distance: 1339.1 km
Ascent: 87423m
Munros: 48
Corbetts: 49
Grahams: 25
Donalds: 40
Sub2000s: 11
Hewitts: 9
Wainwrights 12


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Distance: 821 km
Ascent: 56818m
Munros: 100
Corbetts: 5
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Ascent: 13086m
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Munros: 2


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Ascent: 2600m
Munros: 3


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Munros: 2


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Ascent: 4050m
Munros: 4
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