Three Glencarron Munros
Area: Kyle of Lochalsh to Garve
Munro’s: Maoile Lunndaidh, Sgurr a’Chaorachain, Sgurr Choinnich
Date walked: 25/08/2012
Time taken: 8 hours
Distance: 32 km
I drove up on the Friday late afternoon and had a few drinks in the Strathcarron Hotel before retiring for the night.
In the morning after a good lie in I drove the 13km to Craig and by 0910 I was crossing the railway walking on the good track into the glen. Another Munro bagger left at the same time as me but riding his bike. He was planning to bag the same three Munro’s. The walk in ascends a fair bit so I didn’t expect him to get too far ahead but he would certainly be flying back out on his return. There were three others ahead of me. Two guys walking in to do the same three Munro’s and one guy loaded up with camping gear to spend the night in the Glen. The weather wasn’t too bad. Not to warm, around 14 degrees and dry but the tops were in the clag for the time being. However, due to the recent rain there was a lot of water around. The Bealach were boggy, the valley was boggy and the hillsides were soaking.
The track continues for 9km to the Bealach Bhearnais in a horseshoe fashion after passing a gate, taking the small track at the fork in the main track and then crossing the small burn using the fixed wire as an aid. I pass the camper near the burn, heavily laden with all his gear, and soon catch up with the biker and the two others before the Bealach. The biker, Eric if I remember correctly, and I continue on our way as the other two stop to take on water and we are soon at the Bealach and heading up the first ascent to Sgurr Choinnich.
The ascent to the Munro is a little bit craggy but the path is quite clear. During the ascent Eric tells me to continue as he is stopping for a rest and remove his top as we are warming up. I am only wearing a tee-shirt on top so I am feeling ok at this point and after a short while I am on the summit. I passed a young lady just below the summit. She was hoping to bag the three Munro’s today but is now opting for the two Munro’s instead as it is taking a little bit longer than she had planned. The summit is in the clag so I quickly move on heading down to the Bealach and then the steep short ascent to Sgurr a’Chaorachain. I stop just below the summit for some grub and to put a fleece on because there is a cold wind blowing. I am soon at the summit and take a few photos.
I then head North for approx. 500m before contouring around East down Sron Na Friannich and dropping to the Bealach below Drochaid Mhuilich, passing the small Lochan Gaineasmhach on the way. I can hear waterfalls dropping into the Coire but they are on the wrong side of the Lochan so I get down to the burn before I replenish my water. I also stop here for another grub stop before the ascent up Drochaid Mhuilich and on to the small cairn on Carn nam Fiaclan. Its now an easy grassy walk to the summit of Maoile Lunndaidh contouring around the impressive Coire of Fuar Tholl Mor. It’s quite a large plateau here in contrast to the other two Munro’s and its now time to head back down to the Glen.
There is no clear path so it’s just a matter of heading North West for 3km approximately crossing the burn just below the ruin marked on the map and joining the track to the bothy/lodge. Care has to be taken during the first 1km to avoid heading onto the crags of Fuar Tholl Mor to the West, but once you have descended past these it’s pretty straight forward walk down to the ruin, Crossing some boggy ground and streams on the way. I did manage to pick up a faint path after 1.5km so if you keep your eyes peeled you may find it too. Another 1km and I am at the bothy.
It’s very small but it has light and heat powered by the lodge. It has two beds and room for three sleeping bags on the floor at a push I guess. I have another rest in the bothy. I had been thinking about walking up over Moruisg but not so sure at the moment. I need a rest to clear my head and think about the options. As I am resting the rain comes on. Well climbing another 650m in the dry was maybe an option but I just can’t be bothered doing it in the rain. So mind made up I leave the bothy. It’s now 10km back to the car. I start just dawdling along but I can see a walker on the winding track up ahead and so I increase my walking pace to catch him up.
He has walked in and bagged Moruisg and the Corbet and is now walking out. The rain comes on heavier now so I increase the pace again and for the next 8km I am alternating running and walking in the heavy rain all the way back to the car. The rain stops for the last 1km or so and I drive to Lochcarron before getting changed out of my wet gear. There are a number of Friends in the Clachaig for Saturday night so I decide to join them and had a great time recounting stories and drinking in great company.
What an excellent weekend.