Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Munro Bagging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Munro Bagging. Show all posts

Sunday, 12 May 2019

TGO Challenge 2019 - Day 2

Date: Saturday 11 May 2019

Route: Loch Etive near Glennoe to Allt Dhoireann, south of Glen Kinglas, NN 159 352, 300 metres, via Beinn Eunaich and other summits on the 11 km ridge

Distance: 15 km (Cum: 41)

Ascent: 1500 metres (Cum: 2000)

Time taken: 9.5 hrs including 2 hrs breaks

Weather: sunny with a few clouds. Cold wind strengthening from the NW

A fine mountain traverse along an 11 km ridge with five summits. Pretty tiring when you are each carrying about 13 kilos, as we were.

I wouldn't say our night was disturbed, but there were interesting noises from the loch after the cuckoos had retired and the shore was silent. Fish were jumping. Sploosh.

William, Peter and Rachel all left well ahead of us on their low level routes, but when we went to visit Richard and Rosie at 8.30 they had only just risen. Like us, they were planning to walk along the long ridge above Glen Noe.

So we left them to enjoy a lazy start to a big day. On our way to the Glen Noe path, we bumped into Ken and Nina. We soon left them to take the low level path to Glen Kinglas. Not many Challengers go high - it is hard work! And we only met one other person - a shy Munro bagger - all day.

It was hard work. We admired the lousewort, milkwort and rock roses that manage to flourish on the steep hillside. Note that forgetmenots (lots) should be added to yesterday's list. We were glad of a break for a brew after a while. Here there were fine views over to Ben Cruachan, looming high above us. We failed to spot Caburn, but the golden eagle that was floating high above us might well have been able to see him. A herd of deer ran off in the distance.

The first summit, at 730 metres, was reached at 12.20, shortly after which we enjoyed lunch on a small plateau sheltered from the wind.

Then it was a slog to reach the Munro summit (980 metres) of Beinn a'Chochuill. There were fine views to Glen Kinglas, and also across to Ben Cruachan. Sue called Dot and having just turned my phone off, I turned it back on for another photo. That produced a 'screen of death'. An exclamation mark in a 'danger' triangle, above an upturned turtle, above the words 'no command'. Nothing I could do would bring it back to life.

There were great views from here on this really clear day. In the west we could see from the Paps of Jura to the Cuillins of Skye. Most of the recent snow had gone from the closer hills, but slabs of white remain on some - such as Ben More above Crianlarich.

Meanwhile, we progressed to the second Munro, Beinn Eunaich, and thence to a summit at 880 metres. Here after a good couple of hours of pressing buttons as per on-line guidance, the phone finally decided to come to life again. Lesson learned - don't try to turn your phone on whilst it's still shutting down from having been turned off.

En route we had seen ptarmigan and a noisy gathering of plovers.

With an increase in the velocity of the cold wind, and a desire to set up camp we hastened over our final summit, Meall Copagach, before descending steeply to Allt Dhoireann, where we soon found a flatish spot on which to camp at 6 pm.

I was really tired and Sue's shoulder was bothering her, so we were glad to find this spot. No sign of Richard and Rosie, who we'd seen on the ridge about an hour behind us. We will find out where they finished up in due course.

Once our camp was established a brew was on (the first effort fell over!) and then Sue cooked another excellent meal.

Now 8.30 and our site by a babbling brook is still in the sunshine.

Today's pictures:
Ascending to the ridge - the view back
Ben Cruachan from Beinn a'Chochuill
Glen Kinglas from Beinn a'Chochuill
Camp by Allt Dhoireann

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Cary’s Final Munro, or two – plus a Corbett

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Friday 21 September 2018

Claire from SWOG arrived on time at 1 pm for her lift up to Callander with me and Sue. Luckily the Skoda’s coolant remained where it should be. We refuelled at Tesco in Carlisle, where two pots of tea and a slice of Victoria sponge cost about the same as a Swiss cup of coffee.

Arriving at the Trossachs Tryst bunkhouse at 6 pm, we dumped our bags and set out for dinner at the nearby Lode Inn at Kilmahog. Luckily Sue and I were the only people stupid enough to walk to the pub, where an immediate choice of food was needed as they were expecting a group of 30 a bit later and they couldn’t accommodate a further nine at the same time. So Nigel kindly zoomed back down the road and picked us up. But not before we had savoured the delightful evening light in the direction of Ben Ledi.

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The fish and chips were great, and others enjoyed their haggis. (Haggi!)

Meanwhile, back at base, a selection of folk were arriving to celebrate Cary’s final Munro, to be tackled the following day.

Saturday 22 September 2018

It soon became apparent that this was not to be a ‘normal’ (in my experience) final Munro outing. For a start, Cary was starting with another hill, the Corbett – Beinn Each (813 metres) – by way of a warm up for climbing Stuc a’Chroin, a Munro. That was to be Cary’s penultimate Munro. His final Munro was to be Ben Vorlich, a hill that towers above Lochearnhead.

‘Normal’ would comprise everyone accompanying Cary on a fairly easy walk to the top of the final Munro, whence a party involving champagne and cake and lots more would take place. Today just 13 of Cary’s guests saw fit to set out with him, a further 8 taking their own easy route up Ben Vorlich. Others seemed unaware of the etiquette and failed to take part in very much at all, though Sue and Jeff did find a parkrun.

It was a lovely day spiced with occasional rainbow illuminated showers. Had we not been driving in convoy to start the walk at NN 582 136 at around 8.50, we would have been tempted to pause at the head of Loch Lubnaig to admire some magical reflections in the loch.

Eyebright and Tormentil were hanging on with Buttercups and Lady’s Mantle to provide a bit of colour to supplement the various shades of brown adopted by the season’s fungi.

Mark chose a fine position on the summit of Beinn Each from which to savour his customary snooze.

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After the easy path up Beinn Each, the route got rougher. Had Phil continued, the planned rendezvous on Ben Vorlich would have been delayed. So he headed down with Shirley, leaving their boys in Cary’s tender care.

So just 12 of us made our way to the summit of Stuc a’Chroin (975 metres), where Mark enjoyed another brief snooze. Others present were Sue, Helen and Harvey, Graham B, the boys – Jonathan and Michael, and Cary’s friends Andrew, Arthur and Pete. We lazed here for some time as we were ahead of schedule. A large herd of red deer was observed far below, but no ptarmigan were seen today, although a hare or two may have been glimpsed, and there were plenty of crows/ravens in attendance.

With Ben Vorlich lurking in the distance beyond a precipitous drop, there was still some way to go.

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In view of the potentially tricky descent from this summit towards Ben Vorlich, Cary dutifully looked after the boys by following me around an alternative and much less exposed route to the north. Six of the party took the exposed path, which would be easy in ascent, and the six of us who took the alternative longer but quicker path arrived back at the ridge just as the others reached the same point.

The final ascent to Ben Vorlich was straightforward. Nigel, a Munroist himself, had successfully guided his team of eight to the summit well in advance of the 2.45 rendezvous, and everyone was in position with their walking poles raised in honour of Cary as he lumbered into view at around 2.30.

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There was a fine view back to Stuc a’Chroin, from which the precipitous descent is shown just to the left of Sue’s head in the next picture.

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We spent some time in a sheltered spot below the subsidiary summit, but eventually the sound of clinking wine glasses in Callander drew us towards the easy stroll back down to Loch Earn.

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Sue and I had provided shortbread and cake, but apart from that this was a bizarrely teetotal and scantly catered party despite conditions being more suited to a summit party than on many of the ‘final Munro’ bashes I’ve had the honour of attending.

Pleasant woodland accompanied us at the end of the day.

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No worries though. Cary had organised a party at the bunkhouse later, so once we got back we could imbibe to our heart’s content in the warmth of our home for the weekend. Tea, beer, wine, and lots of tasty food and desserts. The cake, sadly not captured on film by me, was a luxurious affair courtesy of Cary’s daughter, Clara, who wasn’t present to receive the accolades attributed to said monstrosity magnificent construction.

The evening concluded with bizarre party ‘games?’ suited to infantile children. This bemused a minority who looked on in puzzlement.

Today’s walk turned out to be about 16 km in length, with around 1300 metres ascent, taking about 8 hours. A fine route. Well done, Cary.

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Sunday 23 September 2018

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Ground mist soon cleared. There would have been great early morning inversions from higher up. It was a lovely day for a walk, so something of a puzzle that so far as I’m aware only nine of the thirty of us actually went for a proper walk. Graham and Anne headed up a Corbett, and seven of us, me, Sue, Helen, Claire, Harvey, Arthur and Pete parked up at Lochearnhead and headed up Glen Kendrum towards the two Corbetts – Meall an t-Seallaidh and Creag MacRanaich. The plan had been to go up both of them, but I’d underestimated the time that would take. By the time we reached the col between the two hills, all on a good track, we had already covered 8 km.

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Another 2 km took us over rough ground with a vague path, to the summit of Meall an t-Seallaidh (852 metres). The summit is at the far end of a broad ridge.

A leisurely stop for lunch in the lee of the cool breeze, with fine views towards the previous day’s route, was savoured by all of us. Had Mark been there he might even have admired the view from his position of slumber.

The trig point formed a good ‘tripod’ from which to record everyone in today’s team.

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Cloud formations enhanced the view to Loch Earn, where sailing boats were enjoying the breeze.

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By the time we got going again and regained the col between the two hills, after meeting the only two people we encountered all day, a lone greybeard and a young lady in yellow, it was 2 pm. Arthur and Pete had to be down by 5 pm in order to get their lift to Glasgow Airport. Going up Creag MacRanaich and getting back to Lochearnhead by 5 was possible, but may be excessively energetic, and Sue, Claire and I would get home late. So we all took the sensible decision to leave the second hill for another time and descend at a leisurely pace. The views would have been similar, and our approach meant that we could enjoy a half hour break a couple of kilometres down the track, which we retraced all the way back to the car park.

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There were superb views across the Glen to yesterday’s three hills, seen here lined up on the horizon.

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Harvey, Claire and Helen also stopped to collect fruit from a tree laden with sloes.

We were back in Lochearnhead, absorbing the aroma of freshly cut grass on a fine late summer’s day, at about 4.30, where Arthur and Pete’s lift was waiting for them. We had walked over 19 km, with 800 metres ascent, in about 6.5 hours, rather further than the previous day. There were no recriminations about missing out the second hill.

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Helen and Harvey were reunited with their bicycles at the bunkhouse, from where they were to move to a B&B before cycling back to Glasgow the following day to get the train home. Then Sue, Claire and I admired the harvest moon as it rose whilst we travelled south in the gathering gloom, stopping at Annandale services for a McDonalds supper whilst watching the local swans, ducks and heron prepare for a cool night outside.

We were home soon after 10 pm after taking the Warburton Bridge (no toll at this time of night) route as the M60 was shut.

Altogether, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Thanks go to Cary, and his able assistants – Penny and Rowena – for organising it so efficiently.

There’s a slideshow, 85 images, here. It’s the first time I’ve used Flickr for this purpose and I can’t work out how to display captions. Maybe I will have done so by the time you read this…(I can’t currently get this to work at all.)
[Some guidance on how to display a full screen, with captions, would be appreciated. Or even how to produce a slideshow of any sort now Picasa is defunct.]

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Sunday 2 October 2016 - Geal-Charn and A' Mharconaich

Fog over Pitlochry. But it soon cleared. After bidding our farewells to numerous TGO Challengers, and thanking them for taking a fair quantity of incorrectly printed Pyrenees books off my hands, Sue and I pottered off to Balsporran Cottages, near Dalwhinnie, to climb two easy hills that Sue may not have been up before.

It was a perfect day for walking. Clear blue skies, crystal clear visibility, warm sunshine with a cool breeze to blow away any sweat. Ptarmigan and red grouse had grouped themselves into flocks. No deer were in evidence. The last flowers of the heather had a frosty sheen to them as we climbed, passing a couple on the first summit, and meeting an early morning runner - the only people encountered on our three and three quarter hour excursion that clocked up 12 kilometres and about 750 metres of ascent.

There were fine views across Loch Ericht to the Ben Alder range, and further afield to summits too numerous to mention.

We would have liked to have extended the walk (and the trip), but we had no food with us and Sue has to be at work tomorrow, so it was back to the car and down to the House of Bruar for a bite to eat, before an easy drive back to Timperley for around 8pm.

Today's pictures should be fairly self explanatory, but an annotated slideshow should follow if I can work out how to compose one - Google seem to have made some changes and my time honoured method of producing a slideshow no longer works. Ho hum (and thanks to Mike Parsons for his suggestions).

I'll also do some track maps.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Friday 30 September 2016 - Beinn A' Ghlo






A short drive from our base in Scotland's Hotel, Pitlochry, saw us disembarking beside Loch Moraig for this classic mountain circuit that includes three Munro summits.

The weather forecast was encouraging and we made it to the first summit, Carn Liath, in our fleeces. The breeze was light but cool, and it was good to have the roaring of stags instead of the whoosh of yesterday's turbines. 

A couple who set off just behind us nearly caught us up here. We thought they had succeeded when two people overhauled us during a long lunch stop at Bealach an Fhiodha, but they were two gents from Glasgow. The first couple were finally encountered as we retraced our steps from the 'there and back' summit of our third Munro, Carn nan Gabhar. A particularly tedious exercise conducted over a slippery boulder field. Anyway, we finally got to chat to this couple, who had decamped from Braemar to Pitlochry's excellent backpackers hostel where they are fortunate to have a room in a turret. Somehow, between us, Sue and I managed to bring my forthcoming marathon into the conversation. We left a card on their windscreen, so it will be interesting to see whether the combined effects of a random encounter and social media trigger a donation. Regardless of that, it was nice to meet you if you are reading this, and we trust you got down more easily than the other two gents. They passed us on the south west slopes of Airgiod Bheinn (a Munro 'Top') as we took a break to empty our flask, then they proceeded to leave the steep path, finishing up over a kilometre behind us.

During the day we saw lots of deer and grouse, presumably trying to avoid stalkers and shooters, and many more stags were heard roaring in the glens. But we didn't have the pleasure of observing a family of stoats - that was yesterday - I forgot to mention it.

Once down at the base of the hill, and well away from the persistent shower that seemed to have accompanied us most of the way from Carn nan Gabhar, I could take off my waterproofs and enjoy the 7 km walk back to the car along a newish path that presumably replaces a rather squelchy one.

The evening was spent with TGO Challengers, Ali, Marian, Mike and many more, on account of it being a reunion weekend.

Today's pictures:
Looking back to Loch Moraig
The view through mist to Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain from the descent of Carn Liath 
Lunchtime at Bealach an Fhiodha 
The view north from Carn nan Gabhar 
Walking out along the new path

Sunday, 1 May 2016

2 to 6 May – A Loch Mullardoch Circuit

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A Walk on the Wild Side

Thursday

M and D leave from Manchester city centre 5.15 pm. Pick up J at Carlisle.

Stop at Black Bull, Moffatt, for a meal.

Lovely evening and fine views - reach Pitlochry 10.30. Faskally campsite.

Friday (entry by Dave)

Up at 6, away by 6.30, arrive Loch Mullardoch 9 am. Wait for Nick, who arrives at 9.55.

Set off 10.15, heading for Carn nan Gobhar (CnG) (992m). Follow the loch for a while and then head up a stream (Allt Mullardoch). M appears to have too much in sack. Nick is disturbingly un-style conscious with an 11 year old sack. Only two straps! John has a new Karrimor Condor sack that is even more complicated than Dave and Martin's.

Stop for break at top of stream. Tea all round. Cags on as v windy and drops of rain. Head off up CnG, which we get to after frequent stops. Visibility in cloud not so good. Overtrousers on for N,D and J (M's were already on - to the amusement of all as they look as complicated as J's sack).

The next target is Sgurr na Lapaich (1150m) which is supposed to be a narrow ridge. Not the way we went - steep slope and a climb through snow were enjoyed by D and M. Nick not so happy (used his axe). J definitely not happy with our route. But J is a purist. Reach summit trig point around 4pm.

See note 1

Some were feeling tired, so we decide to camp at nearby lochan. Set off on compass bearing. But instead of going down to Loch Mor we go over the other side (to the south) just a brief way to pitch. This means we won't have to ascend as much in the morning.

Tents soon up after a false start. Meals and plenty of sleep etc etc.

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M was declared by N to be a 'style victim' - a reference to his cag. Dave tries to get in on the act by putting on his waistcoat and tea-cosy, but he's a poor second. (See top photo – Ed)

Saturday (entry by Nick)

This is Nick's return after a long absence - he hasn't really featured since Vol 1 of these diaries - this is Vol 19. After said 10 year absence some of Nick's gear is the subject of ridicule from his fellow walkers. His only new item is a stove, his last one having relaxed into a few unrelated rusty pieces.

The day started clear and cold - it's impossible to button a shirt with frozen fingers!

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Left campsite at 8.30 having packed wet frozen tents.

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Regained the col in warm sunshine.

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Then a long hot climb with good views of Loch Beag and Loch Mor, to reach the An Riabhachan ridge.

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M burst through from the back to reach the summit first.

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Part way up the cloud came down and cags were donned fearing yesterday's weather. Fortunately it cleared in gaps along the ridge. Luckily at least as we descended at right angles…

See note 2

… to a small bump (1040m) and then down to a col where we stopped for a brew (Bealach Bholla). As we rested, two people who had set off from the car park at 5.45 am passed us. They beat us up An Socach before returning to their car. 'A good day's walk.'

We set off some time later to climb An Socach. The sun was out again and the views were excellent. Eventually reached the summit, where our two new friends with very small bags were relaxing in the sunshine. We sat and took in the awesome vistas - by now as far as the horizon in all directions. There were guesses at naming some of the Torridon tops in the distance.

Descent was initially easy, over grassy slopes above Coire Lungard, but turning down steeply towards Loch Mhoicean the going became more difficult.

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See note 3

Dave raced into the distance. J asked what was Dave's secret breakfast menu? I (Nick) went more slowly, my toe joints painful as my boots didn't expand in the right places. At Loch Mhoicean we stopped to sunbathe for a while before more descent down a reasonable track towards Iron Lodge. An excellent view, part way down, of a classic glacial valley.

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'Iron Lodge' appeared to have stone walls and a partially constructed felt roof - we couldn't see any old iron anywhere!

See note 4

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Further down the path to Carnach, M having persuaded us to avoid Mullach na Dheiragain, we passed sheep with fluffy white lambs for M to photograph, then a large herd of red deer and a herd of Highland cattle with calves.

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Crossing the Allt na Doire Garbhe by the bridge at Carnach (uninhabited but in good repair) we sat and pondered the climb ahead, managing to talk it down to 'only 850 feet'.

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We could see the stalkers path climbing steeply up by the Allt Coire Easaich (it wasn't easy) and its waterfalls.

The path was good if steep until it disappeared, necessitating a vertical climb (really! - Ed) up a stony, grassy, gravelly gully. By this time I was far behind and was glad I'd managed to 'sell' my small spare gas cylinder to Dave earlier in the day. My feet were sore and my legs ached. J hung back a little to point the way and we landed up on the shore of Loch Lon Mhurchaidh at about 5 pm. It was a slightly damp and heathery site, but with good views across the loch towards A Ghlas Bheinn, Sgurr Gaorsaic and Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan 'that most celebrated of West Highland peaks'. 'A superb and complex mountain of many ridges, peaks and corries' ... 'in a very remote and wild situation'. We'll see about that tomorrow.

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Dave's stove has now completely given up, despite J's engineering skills, so D was resigned to borrowing to cook his evening repast.

The only trouble with this site is there is no stream nearby, so good planning is needed to avoid an early morning hike.

The sun's now disappeared and the wind has dropped. Good job it's too early in the year for midges!

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Sunday (entry by Martin)

6.30 reveille, away by 8 am. Frost overnight, but cosy on the heathery site. Wake to a blue sky and calm Loch Lon Mhurchaidh - ducks waddling gently across, fish catching flies, reflections of Ben Attow, views to Sgurr Gaorsaic and to our target, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhan (SnC).

We continue up the stalkers path, across a stream,

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and eventually the path steepens, pointing us up the NW face of SnC before petering out.

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It was a long hard pull some 2500 feet up this hill, but the views from the summit, reached at about 11.30, made it all worthwhile. Met two people from Halifax on the way up.

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Brew stop on the summit, facing south with the Kintail peaks nearby and others, like Nevis, clear in the distance.

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Realising this was not our only peak for the day, we eventually donned our heavy loads and trudged (with some standing glissades) on. A splendid if undulating ridge, without difficulties, eventually led to An Socach (920m),

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whence we descended to Bealach Coire Ghaidheil for a welcome brew near a stream a few trifling feet beyond the col. J was having a bad day. He had just fallen over at the end of a snow slope and banged his knee painfully on rock.

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After recovering from his prostration he skilfully brewed up and then knocked over his tea, wetting things and burning his sore leg. Whilst he was fetching more water his stove, borrowed by D, succeeded in lighting the grass, and J's anorak came within a hair's breadth of destruction, saved only by D and M's quick thinking, which unfortunately used up the water and meant another trip for J, who found this brew stop somewhat exhausting.

We continued onwards and now saw quite a number of people on the hill - we'd only seen four people on the entire trip up to this point. A well graded path led most of the way to a cairn where we rejoined the ridge before proceeding to our third Munro of the day, Mam Sodhail (1181m), where there's a giant cairn.

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On the slopes up to MS is a ruined house! The ridge here is quite interesting, with bits carved out of it near the cairn before MS.

Here I left the others, being the only one of us intent on going up the outlier, Beinn Fhionnlaidh (BF)(1005m) - lower than than those around it but proving to be a worthwhile peak. I went down to the col overlooking Loch Uaine, then contoured north to the ridge between Carn Eighe and BF. Left rucksack, zoomed down hill, plodded up to join three others on the summit of BF.

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Lingered there as the views were exceptional. Fine view down Loch Mullardoch;

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Skye in all its glory; Torridon. But in particular this summit gives a bird's eye view of the Loch Mullardoch circuit, all the peaks showing clearly.

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I reluctantly headed back towards Carn Eighe (1183m), the highest summit in the area.

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Stopped for chats with three groups of people. Saw the other three on the ridge heading east. Everyone else seems to be heading west. One gent seemed to have had a Vesta meals display cabinet emptied into his rucksack. The ridge to Tom a Choinich (TaC)(1111m) was less undulating than the An Socach ridge, and the four subsidiary summits, thankfully, required little effort. There was a pleasing gendarmed section where the path by-passed some rocky spires (airy drops beside it) and it hugged the ridge less precariously elsewhere. I could see the others ahead on TaC. I think they were deliberately going slowly. By the time they had reached the col beyond that summit I had almost caught up, and I reached them just as the campsite had been decided upon on a flat promontory beside some snow, to the south of the col, above Allt Toll Easa. A selection of meltwater streams and excellent flat, dry pitches.

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Good views south east to snowy mountains (Cairngorms?). Cloud has been developing and after a while a few drops of rain forced Dave indoors. They soon subsided and lots of brews etc are under way. We reached here at 7 pm after one of the best backpacking days available in Scotland - five Munros*, six for Martin, brilliant views, superb high camp at 850 metres**. Rich aroma of onions from D's borrowed stove. Total ascent for the day - 1770 metres.

* and ** ...NB Whilst calculating this I realised a 'minor error'. we are actually at NH 149 265 on an undulation before Tom a Choinich, camped at 950 metres (not 850) and we have an unexpected extra two miles to do tomorrow.

9 pm - now time for soup and frankfurters before it gets dark! As nobody will fetch any water for me I have to resort to my 'cleansing' water (which refreshed me considerably earlier) to provide some 'body' to the soup.

It stayed light late, despite cloud.

Monday (entry by John)

0600 and the mist is right down. Brew up tea and porridge and pass stove to Dave. Everyone ready by 7.15. Nick admits to blisters on feet. Move off at 7.20 and come to something with a cairn on it at 7.45. Moving on, we realise it isn't Tom a Choinich. After one more cairn, we arrive at TaC at 8.40.

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The route down follows the fence, steeply. Bealach Toll Easa is marked by a stalkers track crossing the ridge. On into the mist to a flattish bump, then slowly upwards towards Toll Creagach. Arrive at 9.40. No view. Attempts at finishing reels of film. Down eastwards to a col, then NE through a wet, boggy glen, finishing up in a wet, boggy, heathery wood. Emerge at Generator House, then head towards the other end of the dam. Arrive at 11.30am.

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(Added by Martin)

All day breakfast at Dalwhinnie.
Carlisle for J.
Nick goes his own way to Dundee.
15 mile jam on M6.
Back at 8.30 (415 miles)
Report writing for work tomorrow.

Note 1: Sue and Martin were here in 2015, heading from the other direction. We descended the easy northern spur of Sgurr na Lapaich. From CnG we would recommend descent into Garbh-choire then ascent via this northern spur, if conditions are dubious.

Note 2: from what Martin can remember of his 2015 visit, this is the crux of the walk, with care needed on the descent from 1086m.

Note 3: When M & S were here in 2015 they ascended easily via Carn na Breabaig and Meall Shuas.

Note 4: In 2015 it was a comfortably inhabitable bothy.

Martin's comments - May 2016

I started this with the intention of typing a summary of the diary entries from our Mullardoch round undertaken in May 1991, almost exactly 25 years ago, but I was compelled to type the whole lot, if only for Dave and Nick's entertainment (sadly we have lost contact with John). Our diary (Volume 19) contains a photocopy of page 55 of Richard Gilbert's '200 Challenging Walks in Britain and Ireland - A Companion Guide to 'The Big Walks', 'Classic Walks' and 'Wild Walks', the Loch Mullardoch Circuit being 'Wild Walk' number 13. Brilliant books, all of them, but perhaps superseded by more recent publications and blogs.

These days Munro baggers may be tempted to vary the route we followed by heading up Mullach na Dheiragain (MnD) en route to Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. The ridge between the two could be tricky in poor weather, in which case it may be wise to follow our 1991 route and perhaps attempt MnD as an outlier. Whilst my visits to the area have been in good weather and uneventful in terms of 'difficulties' it is clear from reading Richard Gilbert's account (and his mountaineering skills far exceed mine), that in poor conditions the route we took could be over dangerous terrain with lots of scope for mishaps. Take care!

Looking at those old photos, I see that I still have (and use) a ‘waistcoat’ like the one sported by Dave, and until two days ago the green Karrimor Jaguar 65 rucksack was my primary backpacking sack, having outlived less durable replacements from Golite and Lowe-Alpine. The Phoenix Callum Hord tent is also still going strong.

I must have had more energy in those days – I wouldn’t nowadays contemplate writing a report of any sort after arriving home late after an early start with a four hour walk and a 400 mile drive. Perhaps that’s how I managed to hold on to my job for so long!

I’ve plotted (roughly) the route we took on Anquet mapping software and that is shown below, with the red triangles representing Munro summits. If you click on the image you may get a slightly larger version, although a magnifying glass could be handy! The route we took was about 60 km, with 5000 metres ascent.

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