walkhighlands

A braw high camp in the Fisherfield Forest

Munros: A' Mhaighdean, Ruadh Stac Mor
Corbetts: Beinn Lair

Date walked: 25/05/2017

Time taken: 22 hours

Distance: 60km

Ascent: 2273m

First TR in a while, my first visit to the Fisherfield Forest & one I was looking foward to. Robin had been there 3 years previous doing the Fisherfield 6 & was keen on a return via Poolewe taking in a few Corbetts with a high camp.

We left Edinburgh Thursday morning on our way to Forest Way Bunkhouse near Ullapool. Robin's good friend Ian is the proprietor there & we had a few beers with him watching the UEFA Europa League final. The original plan was to incorporate an initial summit camp on the Corbett Beinn Lair, but pouring over the map on the dining room table, Iain convinced us that we'd be better getting distance under our belts by walking to Carnmore and camping on A'Mhaighdean first. The thought of carrying heavy packs over 3 hills in hot weather was another deciding factor so we altered our plan with Iain's suggestion in mind.

The next day we made the short trip around to Poolewe and found a space to park in the lay-by opposite the campsite. We set off just after 10 o'clock and followed the excellent path around the north side of Loch Kernsary and to the farm at Kernsary. The dogs in the kennels barked away at us as we passed by. Not wanting to end up at Bad Bog, we ensured we took the right-hand fork into the woods.

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 5 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr


Distant causeway:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 11 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Heading over the Causeway:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 17A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Heading into wild Fisherfield country:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 18A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Not a bad day:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 19A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

We stopped at the old barn at Canmore. The heat was pretty intense & it provided some relief. I wasn't feeling 100% due to lack of food & the heat. We had lunch before we made our way on the path above Dubh Loch.

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 25A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Looking back to the Causeway:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 28A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

We considered doing the Corbett Beinn a'Chaisgein Mor however time was marching on. At Lochan Feith Mhic'-illean we took the path branching off to the south east towards Fuar Loch Mor.

Lochan Feith Mhic' - illean:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 30A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Heading to the distant bealach:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 35 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Again on the approach up to the bealach the heat was sapping my energy with no shade. At one point I even stuck my jacket in the lochan & then put it on to keep me cool. This made a change from the usual dunking ma buff in the river & slapping oan ma heed to keep cool. :lol: Further up there was a lack of water but we both managed to find a little lochan to fill up, making sure we had enough for dinner & breakfast. At the bealach we had some food & I managed to find a sheltered rock. Then we ditched the packs for the ascent up the boulder field of Ruadh Stac Mor which felt great to be rid of the heavy camping gear.

The other Fisherfield hills from Ruadh Stac Mor summit
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 59 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Admiring the view to An Teallach:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 50 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Fuar Loch Mor:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 40 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

From Ruadh Stac Mor Robin zoomed in & saw tent not far from A'Mhaighdean's summit. We descended to the bealach to pick up our bags before the final climb to A'Mhaighdean which was in the shade as the sun was dipping.

Some shade at last:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 66 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

An Teallach zoomed:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 67 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

The final approach:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 68 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

The epic view:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 79 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

We arrived at the summit but didn't see the owner of the tent we'd seen from Ruadh Stac Mor. We admired the views briefly before getting the tents up. After dinner we explored around the summit. A'Mhaighdean's West face drops away before you and there's lots of rocky outcrops to walk out to for photographs.

Our camp spot:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 86 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Panorama:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 105A by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

The chap who owned the other tent appeared at the summit cairn & was up to take in the sunset. We didn't catch his name but he was a friendly lad. We got chatting and the three of us loitered around the summit watching the sunset and taking photos.

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 93 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Robin & his Trailstar:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 114 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 124 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 121 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Enjoying the view:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 130 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Cheeky wee cloud:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 135 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

My tent:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 136 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 140 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped 142 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

The sun eventually disappeared below a bank of cloud on the horizon. Robin cracked open the hip flask and poured us a dram before calling it a day. It was a pretty restless night with both of us having no sleep. The wind had picked up abit so my tent rattled. I got up around 4 as did Robin. He was pitched over a slight ditch so his tarp wasn't as tight as normal. The other guy had reappeared shortly after too & like the sunset last night, we loitered around waiting in anticipation for sunrise which luckily enough was impressive. The sun appeared by An Teallach & we could spy a distant hill that the sun was lighting up. Robin's Peak Finder Earth app identified the hill as Ben Klibreck.

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 1 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 5 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 6 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 10 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 18 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Headed back to the tent & managed to get some shut eye for an hour & abit. We got breakfast sorted and broke camp shortly after. Our plan was to traverse the 3 hills in Letterewe starting with Beinn Lair and finishing with a second summit camp on Beinn Airigh Charr. Not wanting to return the way we came, we decided to descend south east off A'Mhaighdean then south towards the minor top, Meallan nan Gobhar, before veering off to pick up the ridge of Beinn Tharsuinn Chaol.

Beinn Tharsuinn Chaol ridge:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 30 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Once we got to the ridge we enjoyed heading over & around the humps & bumps. You could tell this ridge is undisturbed & isn't frequented by humans. Sure enough along the ridge we disturbed a herd of deer. Then further along Robin startled a Golden Eagle which flew up & over to the crags on Beinn Lair.

Deer:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 36 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Robin's pic of the Golden Eagle:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 40B by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Beinn Lair:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 43 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

The ridge of Beinn Tharsuinn Chaol is in a fantastic remote position. To the south you have around 4 kilometres of crags plunging hundreds of metres from the plateau of Beinn lair down to Lochan Fada and Allt Gleann Tulacha below and to the north , the craggy side of A'Mhaighdean towers above you and Gorm Loch Mor. We plodded on, over the many ups and downs before reaching the summit at 652 metres. Although this top is high enough to be a Graham, it falls short of around 20 metres of the requisite 152m prominence needed.

A'Mhaighdean, Gorm Loch Mor & Lochan Fada:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 52 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Suprisingly we spotted another walker coming towards us & stopped for a blether. Unbeknown to us at the time it was Rob Woodall, the first person to bag all 1,556 Marilyns as Robin discovered via mutual friends on Facebook.

We descended via a steep grassy slope towards Bealach a Chuirn. We then picked up the stalkers path to Bealach Mheinndh where we took advantage of some shelter out of the blistering heat to have some lunch.

Our descent:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 62 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Today felt much hotter than yesterday and we were beginning to struggle in the heat. The forecast was for the wind speed to increase therefore we both agreed to leave out our second summit camp and instead settle for a pitch by the causeway. We didn't fancy carrying the camping packs in this heat over another 2 hills & another summit camp in windy conditions.

After lunch we continued on up the path until we veered off to begin the climb up Beinn Lair. We dumped the packs and took only 500ml of water each and our cameras. Headed up to the first cairn admiring the views over to the ridge of Beinn Tharsuinn Chaol & Gleann Tulacha. From here it was only a 10 min walk to the massive summit cairn of Beinn Lair.

The distant Causeway:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 75 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Beinn Tharsuinn Chaol & Gleann Tulacha:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 78 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Beinn Lair Summit:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 82 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Slioch:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 84 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

We sat and relaxed in the sun for a bit, eventually deciding to return to our packs and head to the causeway to pitch up and have a more relaxed camp.

A'Mhaighdean:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 88 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 92 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Fionn Loch:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 94 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Loch Maree & the Torridon hills:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 95 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

We reached the causeway to discover someone had beat us to our pitch so we opted to head back to Carnmore and pitch near the lodge.

Home for the night:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 99 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

After dinner we wandered up Carn na Paite, just south of Carnmore (unnamed on 1:50K maps). Sadly the cloud had rolled over the Atlantic, no sunset tonight, but we can't really complain after last night. We dropped down to the jetty then up to the bothy and back to our pitch for a large dram, before turning in for the night. The wind had dropped and the midges tried to put a dampener on the whisky, but the Monkey's Shoulder went down nicely regardless of the midges' presence.

Dubh Loch:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 105 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Fionn Loch:
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Two 109 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

We got up at 7sh for breakfast & packed up for our 4 hour walk back out to Poolewe. We got an update on the weather the night before, it was meant to be rainy with thunderstorms in the afternoon. The thunder never arrived but by the time we walked back to Poolewe and arrived Gairloch at 2 o'clock, the rain had started and didn't really stop until the next again day. At Gairloch we pitched up at the campsite, got hot showers and headed off to the pub to watch both the Scottish and English cup finals back to back. A cracking weekend in such an amazing area. Looking forward to the return.

A last look back on a beautiful area :
ImageFisherfield Forest Exped Day Three 2 by Kevin Russell, on Flickr

Robin made a great wee video of our trip which you can view here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeUg64Ort04

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Comments: 8



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Attachment(s) Grahams: Dun Rig
Donalds: Birkscairn Hill, Dun Rig
Sub 2000s: Deuchar Law
Date walked: 13/12/2015
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 920m
Comments: 2
Views: 1511


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Corbetts: Beinn Chaorach
Date walked: 01/11/2015
Distance: 19.5km
Ascent: 1333m
Comments: 3
Views: 1528


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Attachment(s) Munros: Stob Dubh (Buachaille Etive Beag)
Date walked: 18/04/2015
Distance: 13km
Ascent: 769m
Comments: 4
Views: 1650


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Distance: 52km
Ascent: 2100m
Comments: 9
Views: 2675


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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Meall an t-Seallaidh
Date walked: 01/02/2015
Distance: 14.5km
Ascent: 852m
Comments: 8
Views: 2255


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Attachment(s) Corbetts: White Coomb
Donalds: Lochcraig Head , Under Saddle Yoke, White Coomb
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Distance: 17km
Ascent: 1264m
Comments: 3
Views: 1688


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Attachment(s) Munros: Driesh, Mayar
Date walked: 12/10/2014
Distance: 16km
Ascent: 980m
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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
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Distance: 16.5km
Ascent: 1288m
Views: 461


Glas Maol Munros

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Munros: Cairn of Claise, Carn an Tuirc, Creag Leacach, Glas Maol
Date walked: 14/09/2013
Distance: 20km
Ascent: 1033m
Views: 470

kev_russ


User avatar
Location: Edinburgh
Interests: The great outdoors!
Activity: Walker
Pub: Too many
Mountain: Ben Alder
Place: all over
Gear: Bits
Member: Mountaineering Council of Scotland
Camera: a wee samsung yin
Ideal day out: oot and aboot

Munros: 136
Corbetts: 38
Grahams: 21
Donalds: 26
Wainwrights: 9
Hewitts: 8
Sub 2000: 13
Long Distance routes: West Highland Way    Great Glen Way   



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Statistics

2017

Trips: 1
Distance: 60 km
Ascent: 2273m
Munros: 2
Corbetts: 1

2015

Trips: 5
Distance: 119 km
Ascent: 5974m
Munros: 6
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 1
Donalds: 2
Sub2000s: 1

2014

Trips: 3
Distance: 49.5 km
Ascent: 3532m
Munros: 5
Corbetts: 1
Donalds: 3

2013

Trips: 8
Distance: 144.3 km
Ascent: 7485m
Munros: 16
Sub2000s: 2

2011

Trips: 3
Distance: 34 km
Ascent: 807m
Munros: 1


Joined: Mar 17, 2009
Last visited: Dec 09, 2018
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