Out on the hills again Aonach Shasuinn Affric .

The hill of the height of the Englishman (Sassanach ) what a great name for me it was a hard day.

You are supposed to climb its neighbour as well in the same day Carn a Coire Gharb. Yesterday my pal Babs had this Corbett on her list and asked me to come. I had done this hill in winter about 10 years on my own in deep snow it was a hard day. That day I lost my phone .

A big hill.

Babs wanted to do the whole ridge all the tops so it would be a longer day than usual. We left at 0700 for the 2 hour drive to Glen Affric.

The wee car park with a toilet was busy at 0900 with lots of folk including the midges out. The drive down the narrow Glen is wonderful with the loch and trees. It’s a place of great beauty. The view from the car park of the Munro top Sgurr na Lapaich is classic.

The midges were out so we paid the £2 car parking fee and headed over the bridge and along the forestry road.

Glen Affric Lodge comes into view along the road it is a place I used well with the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams. Access is restricted now with signs telling you this is private ground. We pass the old White Cottage where we used to stay with the team now a Estate house. It was then on to the path before the bridge and the clegs were out.

We follow the path the ferns huge in places and the path boggy and wet. Keeping walking we need to get into the wind and keep the flies away. This is sheep tick ground so we are covered up. It’s hot and humid Bab’s is going well I am feeling a lack of hill fitness.

On the track that leads to the new hydro up the Glen.

On the track leading up to the new Hydro dam in the Glen.

The track is part of the new Hydro scheme and there is lots of ground where I suppose the work was done dig up all the way down the Glen. Bab’s wants to climb all the tops but getting on to the ridge is pathless and deep Heather. It was head down and suffer time. Eventually we reached our first top Cnap na Stri At 724 metres from here it’s a wonderful ridge walk for 3 ks to the top.

Getting there.

This ridge walk gives great views all the Kintail giants and Affric hills are in view. There are some big Cairns on these tops.

Great views .

I love views like this we stop often and enjoy it. We are in no rush no Guide book time or chasing other plans. The hills all familiar the remote Corrie’s huge peaty Corrie’s and big Cairns where the Estates have used over the years on the stalk of deer. It’s remote and incredible space and so worth all the suffering to get up here.

The wild flowers are out the Orchids a bit battered now. The Tormentil and so many others all on the this artic plateau. When you go slower you see so much. The ridge was superb as Bab’s had said and I did enjoy it.

This video doesn’t exist

It was then wander round more tops lots of big Cairns in the distance and at last the summit. No flies or clegs just warm and great views. We sat for a while. I had cut up melon that was magical we enjoyed every bit.

The summit stop was magical I could see the great hidden Corrie of Tigh Mor na Slighe and the famous fabled Prince Charlie’s Cave.

I spent time here looking for it amongst the boulders many years ago.

It was then off to the Western top and down the steep ground to the river. I was feeling better and this was hard ground with deep heather and many holes no paths here. The sun was beating down and it was hard even for Bab’s .

Rough ground.

We were soon back on the track and past the wee hydro station with its camera out on the wilds.

Camera out in the wilds .

This is from –


“Green Highland Renewables is about to start work on two run-of-river hydro schemes in Glen Affric on land managed by  Forest Enterprise Scotland, SSE and part of Wester Guisachan Estate.

The two projects, comprising a 2MW scheme on the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh and 1.5MW on the Allt Garbh, received full consent from The Highland Council in 2013 and work is due to begin next week [March 29].

The projects are scheduled to finish in spring 2017 and together the two schemes will produce enough power to supply approximately 2,750 homes. The two developments are among a number being progressed by energy companies as part of an on-going renewables programme being promoted across land managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland.

Commenting on the project, Green Highland Renewables Chief Executive Officer Mark Mathieson said:
“Glen Affric is a site of international importance for its landscape and nature conservation value and we have worked very closely with Forest Enterprise Scotland, the Highland Council and the local community in the design and implementation of these schemes.

“Naturally the construction of any hydro project will require a fair amount of civil engineering work.

However, to minimise the scheme’s impact, we have used existing electricity infrastructure put in place for the 1950s hydro developments at Loch Mullardoch and Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin. We’ve also put in place robust access management measures to ensure the public can continue to enjoy uninterrupted use of the glen.

“Throughout the construction phase we will keep all car parks clear, and there will be no path closures. As part of the Abhainn Gleann nam Fiadh project we will provide a new path at Chisholm Bridge, tying into a new FES car park, which will provide a new low level circular walk,” Mathieson says.

“The Cannich Community has been consulted throughout the development and has been very supportive.  In line with the community benefits associated with our developments on the National Forest Estate, the community will receive £5,000 per annum per MW, plus a five per cent royalty payment.

“To help keep the public abreast of how the project is progressing we have posted information notes at Dog Falls car park, Allt na h-Imrich car park, River Affric car park and at the foot of each scheme. In addition, we will be providing monthly updates to the local and wider community and up-to-date information via the Forest Enterprise Scotland web site and a dedicated Twitter feed.

“Once the site is complete and fully remediated, there will be very little visual impact,”

Mathieson concludes.

It was still hot we had lots to drink in the burns and headed home. The path was fine after the road and rough ground.

We met a few cycling back on the forestry track after a great day and were soon at the car park.

The midges were out and then the long drive home in the sun. I felt like the “tin man” when o got out the car but enjoyed it. After a bath it was an early night. Bab’s got her new Hill I asked her would she do it again ………..

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Corbetts, Corbetts and other hills, Enviroment, Flora, Friends, Health, Mountaineering, Munros, Other hills Grahams & Donalds, Plants, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Out on the hills again Aonach Shasuinn Affric .

  1. Great post! Thanks for all the detail; midges, clegs etc something to be aware of.

    Liked by 1 person

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