MUNRO ADVENTURE 2015
DAY 81 ( 20th JULY )
The Mullardoch 4
Carn nan Gobhar : (993m, Munro 151) ‘cairn of the goats’
Sgurr na Lapaich : (1150m, Munro 24)‘rocky peak of the bog’
An Riabhachan : (1129m, Munro 29)‘the streaked one’
An Socach : (1069m, Munro 68)‘the snout’
Left home this morning at 5.45 to drive to Glen Cannich , the weather forecast was for rain moving north during the day so a early start was required to avoid another wet day out. Parked at the Mullardoch Dam at end of the public road, the clag was well down when I set off at 7.50 but it was dry, headed out on the track by the loch side as far as the Allt Mullardoch crossed the bridge and took a small path up the SE ridge to Mullach na Maoil and continued onto the very misty summit of Carn nan Gobhar which has two cairns a couple of hundred metres apart a bit confusing for a while in the poor visibility.
A steep descent to the bealach and I was out of the mist and could see down into the valleys below and a Lochan at either side of me , a steep ascent followed and even a short section on snow to reach the summit of Sgurr na Lapaich unfortunately in the clag. Another steep descent and a long undulating ridge for about 3 miles with some narrow sections to reach An Riabhachan again in the thick mist. On the next descent there was signs of it clearing up and I was getting brief views of my final hill of the day An Socach, I could see over onto the summits of the lower Affric hills and most of the northern coastal hills were also clear.
I arrived on the summit in light mist so another day with no views from the tops. I was by now a fair distance from where I started this morning and a long grassy descent following the Coire edge led onto a track down to the loch side, I’ve done this route a few times before and it’s a long 5.5 miles on a narrow up and down path to get back to the dam and finally the van. The rain never arrived so I got round dry today, in fact the sun came out and it’s now quite warm.
What happened to all the wildlife recently I don’t see much these days, all I seen today of any note was a Ptarmigan with her 7 almost full size chicks in flight.
Today’s totals:19.35mls, 2036m ascent,7hrs 19min
239 Munros to date.
Heavy Notes – Another great day by this incredible pair this great hill day runs East – West and was always hard work on our big Walks. These are isolated Munros especially An Socath in the remote hinterland of East Ross Shire. This was where it was toil day after day big hills and epic days. We were carrying all our gear plus 3/4 days food with long walks connecting the hills and few paths in places. These two make these hills seem easy. I loved them and they produced some of my best hill days over, navigation can be interesting and in winter big hills and big days. We even did a few winter climbs that others are now looking at. Nowadays you can get the use of a boat for a price and sneak in saving a big walk out, it is also handy for some of the Affric remote like hills Beinn Fhionaladh !
We had other great days with the RAF teams and many will remember these great hills with so much affection! The hardest was on my walk in 1976 after being ill at Scardroy Lodge and looked after by the wonderful Keeper and his wife way back , John and Blanche Meldrum, how were there in 1976. I did these and the Strathfarrar hills in a real state, they and John and Blanche are etched in my memory for ever. (See my blog November 16 2014 Scardroy )
This photo sums it up for me an early start at an attempt of the Cannich and Strathfarrar hills in a day with my dog Teallach.
Great days magic hills – enjoy Penny and Graeme what a trip you are having.