Wonderful Day on the Fannichs – Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich (954m Munro 209) Sgurr Mor (1110m Munro 43) Meall na  Chrasgaidh(934m Munro 243

Yesterday I had a great day in the Fannichs that wonderful Range of 9 Munros and the weather was perfect, no wind, dry all day and sunshine. I had great company with two friends Anne and Mark who live amongst these great hills and were wanting a day out. The weather has been superb and it was an early start for the one and a half hour drive to their house. It was an incredible drive with the temperature gauge in the car showing it was not far off freezing. I passed several wind-farms on the way  they are all over now.

Lots of Wind farms

Lots of Wind farms

The sunshine even at 0700 was sparkling, the roads quiet and the views outstanding. Ben Wyvis my local Munro had a halo of sun on it and the frosty car park was deserted and then I drove to Anne and Marks house for bacon rolls. This was a meet of the Last Of The Summer Wine Mountaineering Club, we seem to have not been out much lately.

2016-oct-fannichs-munro-day

As soon as I got out the car the Stags were roaring and after a great breakfast we drove to Loch Droma where we left the car and headed along the Hydro road for about 30 minutes crossing the dam, following the hydro track  and the huge pipeline and then broke on to the shoulder of our planned Munro   Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich : ‘big grey hill of Fannaich’ (954m Munro 209)

My friends Anne and Mark at the Dam.

My friends Anne and Mark at the Dam. It was a blue sky day.

I had tried this hill last winter but was still pretty ill after my operations and by the time I reached the track braking on to the hill I was not going well and had to make do with a lovely wee hill on the other side of the track Meal Brac at 532 metres a grand wee hill. Today we were going well and there is a path that we followed onto the main ridge.  We had lots of stops it was warm and the views were wild.

Just before we hit the ridge and hidden lochs come into view.

Just before we hit the ridge and hidden lochs come into view.

It was hard going on the ridge I followed the edge to give it a bit more sport and we took care, taking it carefully but enjoying a unique view and we were on our own.


Anne and Mark were loving it and we had a drink and some food and then pushed on after identifying all the hills we could see, what a day.

Enjoying the ridge on Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

Enjoying the ridge on Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

The ridge was more enjoyable than the path that takes you through the rough ground and we met a few ptarmigan than burst out from the rocks still not in there winter white plumage.

Taking time to sit and stare.

Taking time to sit and stare.

We reached the top of our ridge then its easy going for about half and hour along a plateau to the summit of Beinn Liath Mor Fannich. By now we had great views of the great peaks with the biggest of the Fannich Range Sgurr Mor dominating and An Teallach , Beinn Dearg and many more so clear and prominent.

On the top of Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

On the top of Beinn Liath Mor Fannich,

We had a good stop and met a couple who took our photo, I wanted to go on and climb a few more peaks and Anne and Mark went back down. It was a bit selfish but I was feeling good and the weather was stunning. It was a great walk and we met one of the local Mountain Rescue Team Dundonnell Ian Nesbitt and his lovely dog and had a chat for a while and then I headed of  to Sgurr Mor.

mmmmm

More Great views.

The ridge is easy walking but steep as Sgurr Mor :(1110m Munro 43) ‘big peak’  is the biggest of the Fannichs and has a huge Corrie edge which I followed to the summit, It has some wild winter climbing and I could see the only climb I did many years ago after a huge walk in. It was a climb that I was as always terrified on with limited belays and simple gear in the mid 80’s. There is a great article on an ascent in 2012 by a guide.

Great ridge onto Sgurr Mor

Great ridge onto Sgurr Mor with the Alpine face.

The climb  “Resurrection is a North West Highlands snow and ice classic of alpine proportion. The length and nature of the climbing assures you’ll get your money’s worth and you bag yourself a Munro or two to boot.”

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4348

  • Range: The Fannichs, North West Highlands, Scotland
  • Mountain: Sgurr Mor, 1110m
  • Route: Resurrection, Sgurr Mor, East Face
  • Return: East Ridge and Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich (Munro)
  • Length: 300m of climbing, a long day out!

You can belay around the summit cairn on the last pitch making the line very aesthetic. You will almost certainly have complete solitude. The route is 300m long and very committing.

Great view from Sgurr Mor

Great view from Sgurr Mor.

I met another group on the summit enjoying more views and the Gealla Butress stick out  on another Munro Sgurr nan Clach Geala (1093m Munro 53) but that was not on my agenda today.


Time was moving on and after a quick drink I headed down onto my next Munro Meall na Crasgaidh (934m Munro 243). I was going well but took my time on the steep descent in winter these can be wild hills and care is taken even in summer when travelling on your own.

A closer look at the Gealla Buttress.

A closer look at the Gealla Buttress. A place in winter of some wild climbs though I have never climbed here.

I was on my own when a walker overtook me on the top before the last Munro

Meall a’Chrasgaidh : ‘hill of the crossing’ and I let him go though I was feeling okay and pushed on to the summit. Time was moving and how  I would like to climb the other Munros but it would be dark by 1900  and I texted Anne and Mark for a lift at 1800 about 2 hour walk out.

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I dropped straight off the summit down very steep ground, taking care and I had been up this way many years before in winter, it was interesting, for some reason I was on my own and took in the views and the changing light.  There was some good scrambling from about 800 metres.

Steep descent from the last Munro

Steep descent from the last Munro – Take care,

The view of An Teallach as I descended were magic and the camera picked up the wildness and dominance of this great hill. There was no one about as I picked my way down and was soon at the loch and then a big walk out.

nnn

What views. 

Every view changes.

The ridge down to the Loch.

The ridge down to the Loch.

There is an awful BV track very cut up for about 30 minutes till you hit the hydro track and solid ground, what a lot of damage done. The garron ( stalking  horse) never made this damage  to the ground.

Damage ?

Damage ?

I had to stop to eat and drink, my last jam butty and some tepid team and some nuts gave me the energy after that muddy track and the last half hour along the track was fine. Time was moving on and Mark was waiting at the dam and then home to there house for a brew and then  a drive home. I was offered a bed for the night but have a mate to take to hospital today.

I should have been out with Outfitmoray for a week in the Cairngorms but had to cancel it to help a pal. I had a great day yesterday on some great mountains in stunning weather so I made the best of my time.

Today I am sore after a fun day out but what a day, three great Munros, good company and some solitude and its great to be still out on these wild places.

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Take care when out on the hills the daylight is getting shorter and make sure you carry  a serviceable torch!

Correction taking on the last Munro of my day  Meall a’Chraisgaidh!

Tiredness!

 

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Articles, Avalanche info, Friends, Gear, Hill running and huge days!, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, Rock Climbing, Scottish winter climbing., Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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