Date: Saturday – Monday 25th-27th September 2010
Distance: Day 1: 14.2km Day 2: 14km Day 3: 10km
Ascent: Day 1: 1700m Day 2: 920m Day 3: 390m
Much interest in the forecasts – a real prospect of a high pressure ridge spilling across the country and a Public Holiday Monday. A week spent considering the 2-night camping options.
West looked best so we plumped for a Kintail 2-nighter with a mix of old and new, an extension of a 1-night Munro/Corbett/Graham loop I had planned.
Parked up at the Kintail Countryside Centre at Morvich – a bit overcast but not a midge to be found. 🙂 The walk from here is on decent tracks – follow the “Falls of Glomach” signs past the housing. From there it’s simple map following to Bealach a Sgairne.
Headed out on the Bealach a Sgairne track – a pleasant walk ascending over a long distance to an eventual height of 500m. This is the most common access route for Beinn Fada.
The track drops down to Gleann Gniomhaidh and Loch a Bhealaich – new ground for us. Passed by a runner on his way up Gaorsaic. We were plodding in his wake.
From there we simply climbed Sgurr Gaorsaic. Bit of a biting wind at the top but a good spot for some lunch. Not a bad tent pitch either. A few ptarmigan were flying around the summit.
A slog of 500m took us to the 1141m top of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan – some distant views developing to the south.
Recrossed the summit – didn’t see a comfy looking pitch on the 1141m top so we dropped north to Stuc Bheag and found a nice patch to settle down for the evening.
A solitary Golden Eagle was soaring over Abhainn Glomach – the only one I saw all weekend.
Cooked tea and watched the changing conditions through to sunset. Reward time for carrying the tent up a hill is getting to sit around and watch things change – busy going nowhere!
Tent started frosting up before sunset. Expected a parky night.
Adjourned to the sleeping bags. Nattered and ate the usual camping bizarre tapas of sweets /jerky/olives/nuts etc. Gourmet it isn’t but it fills a gap. Got up at about 2200 for some night shots – crispy.
We woke at about midnight as the easterly wind got a lot brisker – a lot of gusting had us disturbed most of the night. Snug as bugs in the tent though.
Breakfasted and struck pitch with cold fingers and toes. Decided on a cold breakfast and a faster start.
From there an uncomplicated descent down to the Abhainn Glomach. Crossing this was easy given low water levels – didn’t even take off my boots. This would obstruct this route if in spate.
The glen was a bit peaty so slow progress to the Falls of Glomach – just a dribble compared to 2008.
Just looked around the top of the falls this time – for the full bhuna check:
Cruithneachd looks fairly imposing but there are multiple lines of easy access to the summit. We tracked on to NG 991 256 for an easy ramp to the summit. Dropped our packs for the ascent.
I’d been looking forward to this peak – the views didn’t disappoint – cracking views both ways along Glen Elchaig. Our first visit to this glen was only 3 weeks ago so peering down at it was even more fun.
Warmer than the night before, retired for a snooze after sundown.
Got up at 0300 – beautiful nightscape and cloud inversion creeping in through the passes from the east. Never quite got far enough to surround us unfortunately.
More messing around with nightshots.
Dropped the heavy gear at the bealach and took the 20min jaunt to the summit.
The path down from Sgurr an Airgid actually drops down to the car park at the Graveyard NG 946 212 rather than the redundant path to Lienassie (not sure that exists anymore).
Back to reality again and a long drizzly drive home – lots of memories though.
The Gaorsaic/Ceathreamhnan/Cruithneachd loop is feasible as a big day walk. I’d strongly recommend the combination of Sgurr an Airgid and Carnan Cruitheachd as a day walk – both cracking peaks.
Roll on the next one!