Carn Mor Dearg from Fersit - part 3

Munros: Aonach Beag (Nevis Range), Aonach Mòr, Càrn Mòr Dearg

Date walked: 06/06/2022

Distance: 14km

Ascent: 1100m

This is the final day of a 3 and a bit expedition from Fersit to CMD. Link to day 2 is here https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=112993
view from the kitchen at suppertime last night. some Mamores in the background

We woke up in our little tent at the broad bealach between Sgurr Choinnich Beag and Stob Coire Bhealaich with our first thought being how to get up the steep cliff to reach our first Munro of the day, Aonach Beag.
This was one of the reasons why we had waited for good weather to complete this traverse as we really wanted to see our route in advance.
Steven Fallon describes a route up a grassy rake reaching the ridge at about 1000metres. Looking at this gully, there was snow at the top and it looked like rocks. We decided instead to go for a different grassy rake further to the left which appeared to be grass all the way up to the low point between Stob Coire Bhealaich and Sgurr a' Bhuic.
Setting off. We are heading for the grassy gully on the left, leading up to the low point of the ridge, which starts just after the patch of dark coloured rock towards the left of the picture

Setting off about 7.45, early for us, it didn't take us very long to reach the bottom of our chosen grass scramble.
we can't see our actual grass gully any more but we can see where to go.

Looking back the way we came, from just at the bottom of the steep upward climb

up there. perfectly doable

It was indeed steep and we were slow, popping up onto the ridge at about 9am.
it gets steeper the further up we go, but is fine

hurrah, that's the first obstacle out the way! Binneins in the background

After a short stop to get our breath back, (my breath back) it was much easier going up the grassy slope where we passed the top of the other possible ascent route and were mightily grateful not to have chosen it - it looked horrid, with loose steep rock and a large chunk of rock overhanging the top of the gully which looked like it might drop off at any minute.
Sgurr a' Bhuic

Looking straight down Steven Fallon's gully, give me ours any day!

Another hour of steady climbing brought us to the top of Stob Coire Bhealaich where we stopped for a brew - or "ten o'clocks" as they call it in our part of Yorkshire. I'd been feeling a bit sickly up until that point but a drink of peach and rhubarb herbal tea was really good. I suspect the rest helped as well, and it was gorgeous sitting in the sun at nearly 1100metres identifying all the Munros we could see to the south and knowing we had climbed them all!
Ring of Steall

Happy mugs, with a view to the northeast

A brew is always a good plan.

Eventually we set off again and it was a straightforward matter and another hour to reach the top of Aonach Beag.
And as we were standing on the summit suddenly a Eurofighter appeared between us and Ben Nevis, circled round below us in Glen Nevis, and then turned south and twizzled around upside down, coming right over the bealach where we had camped. Before we could get a decent photo it was away off up the Great Glen and away out of sight.
Rudolph had my camera and by the time we realised a photo might be in order the plane had gone. We did get a couple of pics but the plane doesnt really show up.
Rudolph on top of Aonach Beag, with the view to the Grey Corries and beyond

And me. Although it was a little hazier than yesterday, we still had tremendous views all the way round the Southern Highlands from Scheihallion right round to Ben More on Mull and even to the Paps of Jura in the distance

CMD and ben nevis from Aonach Beag

Today was another really gorgeous day. The sun was shining and there was enough high cloud and breeze to stop us getting far too hot. Most of the day we were in shirtsleeves and just occasionally needed to put on light windproofs.
There are multiple eroded paths down to the bealach from Aonach Beag with Aonach Mor, then the path up the other side is a lovely gentle slope on sandy grass. On the way up we met 3 lads from Hampshire Fire Services who were on a sponsored trip to climb the 20 highest hills in Scotland in 20 days. They were going like a train!
Aonach Mor from Beag. Onward!

Ben Nevis and CMD

zoomed a bit to Carn Mor Dearg showing the ridge we are going to ascend later

We reached the top of Aonach Mor around a quarter past noon and stopped here for a long lunch break and a brew. I got a midge bite on my wrist, and the offending midge was squashed with no mercy. We watched the Hampshire lads go up Aonach Beag and met them again as they retraced their steps, in almost exactly the same place!
Rudolph on Aonach Mor

and me

From here we headed for the top of the very steep path going down to the bealach at the head of Coire Giubhsachan. My goodness this was steep! It's about 300 metres of steep descent that gets steeper, although the path is easy to follow all the way down. Even when it starts to level off, it's still very steep and requires lots of concentration!
Looking back to aonach Beag. We veer right here

the top of the path is hereabouts. There is a cairn, which is not in the photo

ah yes, like this! You can see the small section of wall which marks the start of the path up the other side

looking back up, it's quite hard to see where the path went

There is a reliable water supply at the bealach if needed. We didn't need it as we had brought plenty of water.
We didn't stop very long here, just enough to have a quick fig roll.
The climb back up the Watershed Ridge is not hard to follow. You go up to the right of a wall and then continue from there, with easy scrambling at times on grippy rock with good hand and foot holds. It climbs for 400 metres and takes you right to the top of CMD.
There were moments on that climb that I thought my legs were not going to get me to the top, but a short stop and another fig roll sorted that out.
nearly at the top of the Watershed Ridge, a nice view of the CMD arete

Looking down Coire Giubhsachan across Glen Nevis to the Mamores from the same spot

And here at last is Rudolph on top of CMD, with the Aonachs behind and the Grey Corries beyond

and me! Ben Nevis behind

What with that steep descent and climb, it was pushing four o'clock by the time we reached CMD. We had originally thought we might continue on to Ben Nevis, but the thought of lots of people put us off, as well as that 300m climb through boulders. Our next thought was that we could cross the arete then turn round and come back again. That did look like an attractive idea, but we decided we were too cream crackered and we would leave that for another day. It will be something to look forward to once we have Compleated (only 8 to go now!!)
save this beauty for another day when we can enjoy it properly. but what a view!

Looking back the way we came

1220 metres down to 50m is a lot of descent, and it got hotter and hotter as we descended. There is a good path which takes a very sensible line down CMD to meet the Coire Leis path at about the 340m contour. By the time we got back to the car it was nearly 7.30pm and we were pleased to see it exactly as we had left it!
image0 - Copy.jpeg
the North Face of the ben really draws the eye.

Looking over Fort William and up Locheil

The mighty north face of ben Nevis, not as much snow as there should be I think

afternoon sunlight on lochan Meall an t' - Suidhe shows we are still above 560metres!

and at last we reach the edge of the woodland and look back to where we have been

It being Monday, there were no fish and chip shops open, but of course McDonalds in Fort William is always reliable and quick. From there we had a lovely drive up Glen Spean to Speyside then across the Lecht to Aboyne.
Here is a map of our route

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Comments: 2

Carn Mor Dearg from Fersit - Part 2

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgùrr Chòinnich Mòr, Stob Bàn (Grey Corries), Stob Choire Claurigh, Stob Coire an Laoigh
Date walked: 05/06/2022
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 930m
Comments: 4
Views: 482

Carn Mor Dearg from Fersit - part 1

Attachment(s) Munros: Stob a' Choire Mheadhoin, Stob Coire Easain
Date walked: 04/06/2022
Distance: 18.4km
Ascent: 1800m
Comments: 5
Views: 545

Water, water everywhere! four north of Culra.

Attachment(s) Munros: Aonach Beag (Alder), Beinn Èibhinn, Càrn Dearg (Loch Pattack), Geal-chàrn (Alder)
Date walked: 11/08/2021
Distance: 21km
Ascent: 1330m
Comments: 9
Views: 1233

Excellent Alder and Bheoil and how not to cycle in.

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Bheoil, Ben Alder
Date walked: 10/08/2021
Distance: 16.5km
Ascent: 1000m
Comments: 9
Views: 1529

South Kintail ridge with summit camp

Attachment(s) Munros: Aonach Air Chrith, Creag a'Mhàim, Creag nan Dàmh, Druim Shionnach, Maol chinn-dearg, Sgùrr an Doire Leathain, Sgùrr an Lochain
Date walked: 07/06/2021
Distance: 26km
Ascent: 2000m
Comments: 7
Views: 1270

Bheinn Bhuidhe walk and cycle, beautiful

Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Bhuidhe
Date walked: 13/10/2020
Comments: 5
Views: 2836

Day 4 - Moruisg and cycle out

Attachment(s) Munros: Moruisg
Date walked: 29/08/2020
Distance: 17.5km
Ascent: 770m
Comments: 3
Views: 997

Maoile Lunndaidh - day 3

Attachment(s) Munros: Maoile Lunndaidh
Date walked: 28/08/2020
Distance: 15.5km
Ascent: 850m
Comments: 4
Views: 1051

thick mist, Lurg Mhor and Bidean a'Choire Sheasgaich

Attachment(s) Munros: Bidein a' Choire Sheasgaich, Lurg Mhòr
Corbetts: Beinn Tharsuinn
Date walked: 27/08/2020
Distance: 14.8km
Ascent: 1200m
Comments: 4
Views: 1217


User avatar
Location: north yorkshire moors
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: just gimme a cup of tea
Place: Everywhere
Gear: the Map
Ideal day out: waking up in a tent in the middle of nowhere and then doing 2 or 3 munros followed by a hot bath
Ambition: Lots more hills

Munros: 274
Corbetts: 11
Grahams: 3
Wainwrights: 40
Hewitts: 43
Sub 2000: 9
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