Guiding on Carn Eighe 3 (Glen Affric) via Coire Leachavie

Munros: Beinn Fhionnlaidh (Carn Eige), Carn Eige, Mam Sodhail

Date walked: 07/06/2019

Time taken: 10 hours

Distance: 24km

Ascent: 1611m

Last October 2018 myself Parminder and Fife Flyer (Martin) stayed at Strawberry Cottage, partly as a recce for this adventure in May 2019. We tackled Toll Creagach,Tom a' Choinich, Carn Eige, Beinn Fionnalaidh and Mam Sodhail with a walk off back to Strawberry Cottage. The weather had closed in and we were losing light after a very long tiring day, 5 was probably a bit to much for our fitness at that time and fading light in October. I was sure there was a route down to the Cottage but we followed the route Martin new and went off the bealach at Socach.

So this trip that the report is about is me doing the 3 again 29th May using the route up Coire Leachavie, I was guiding M4rtin, John, Alistair, Kev and Ali as these hills were new to them and the ascent route was new to me.
We left the cottage at 8:30 with the sun shining on our trip. Parminder and Martin had left at 7:30 for their trip up MFC and A'Chralaig, which Martin has written a trip report for doing these from the North, which looked good.
So after 3.5km from the cottage on the Affric Lodge track which is north of the Loch we arrived at the start of the Hydro path and took this up all the way past the dam and then the deer stalkers path in to the Coire. Then up onto the ridge and amazingly you could see Mam Sodhail’s cairn just a short ascent away. What a great route this was and would definitely be our return route, so much better than the path up Mam Sodhail and Socach.

This route took 10hrs for us as we did plenty of sitting around in the sun enjoying the views, it could easily have been about 8hrs.

So for some photos and commentary...

The start of the path to the Affric Lodge behind Strawberry Cottage.

The Alt Coire Leachavie ahead which is about 3.5km into the walk.

The start of the path towards the hydro track in Coire Leachavie.

Looking back to Loch Affric

The good hydro path which takes you upto the small dam at 500m.

The view from the path then the deer stalker path to the Coire.

At the Dam now looking at the path ahead into the Coire with the Mam Sodhail south ridge almost showing.

Fairly steep stalkers path but a good path with great views in all directions.

Then the Coire opens out, the way up is a zig zag path round the snow field directly in front.

Starting the ascent out of the Coire looking back.

Now on the ridge looking back to Loch Affric with the Coire flanked by the 2 peaks of An Tudair 1037m on the right and Sgurr na Lapaich 1036m on the left.

The cairn on Mam Sodhail, an interesting shelter with no way in other than over the top.

Ali doing a survey of the cairn.

A view back to Sodhail's cairn from Carn Eige.

The view from Carn Eige to Fionnalaidh, yip a fair bit of lost height to go.

A view from Fionnalaidh of the Mullardochs and the Loch.

The view for the route back missing the summits, so a direct route for the lower snow patched on Mam Sodhail. Not great if you dont have one leg longer than the other as it is a bit of a steep slope, some folks opted for the higher ridge walk with a fair bit of re ascent. I dont like going up more than I have to.

The group resting after part of the traverse on the steep slope.

Now back at Sodhail's south ridge looking down into the Coire and our exit path.

It is worth noting that you can do this route from the Glen Affric car park too by taking the North Loch road past the Affric Lodge. It is about 6km from the car park to the start of the Alt Coire Leachavie Hydro track.

A tremendous day with great weather and company, well worth the repeat and back to the Cottage for a lovely home made pasta dish with italian horses dovers :wink: :lol: :clap:

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Comments: 3

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Date walked: 04/05/2019
Distance: 23km
Ascent: 1951m
Comments: 7
Views: 539

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Date walked: 06/04/2019
Distance: 19km
Ascent: 1120m
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Location: Dunfermline
Occupation: Retired from Technology career
Interests: Walking and Marine life
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: The Arch Inn Ullapool
Mountain: Sgurr Nan Gillean
Place: Torridon
Gear: Anything Keela
Member: Small group
Camera: Canon sx730 HS
Ideal day out: Sun, dry and a cool breeze with a bit of rock scramble
Ambition: Master fear of cliff edge

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