1976 – Day 8. May 16 – The Strathfarrar Four

I had to have a rest day we were a group of 3 on a big walk North – South across Scotland. I had caught a bug and rested at Strathconnon for a day. We were heading for some big hills it was make or break time for me.

The Strathfarrar hills!

Sgurr Fuar-thuill (1049m, Munro 82)
Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais (1083m, Munro 60)
Carn nan Gobhar (992m, Munro 153)
Sgurr na Ruaidhe (993m, Munro 150)

It was going to be a hard day for me as there was a long walk in to the mountains that we had planned to do they were the four Munros of the Strathfarrar Hills. Normally they are climbed from Glen Strathfarrar where access is limited by a locked Hydro gate but this is another wonderful Glen  and to climb these mountains from StrathConnon would not be easy, especially feeling not 100%  the plan was to climb  all 4. You normally have to seek permission to drive along a private road through a beautiful secluded glen with abundant wildlife, lots of deer leads to the foot of the Strathfarrar Munros. There are 4 Munros in the range – Sgurr Fuar-thuill, Sgurr a’Choire Ghlais, Carn nan Gobhar and Sgurr na Ruaidhe – and combined with neighbouring minor summits, form a continuous chain making for a fine day’s mountain hiking.

Nearby are other fine hills worth climbing, including the rugged Corbett peaks of Sgorr na Diollaid and Beinn a’Bha’ach Ard. We had big bags that we had restocked with  4 days food but I just took it easy and followed the stalking  paths for nearly three hours up and down this remote area meeting lots deer in the hills, what a wild area this is.  The usual wild river crossings were interesting but we were getting good at them by now, boots off and get in there. There is some incredible winter climbing here and over the years we found a few gems.

1976 RIVER CROSSING N – S Boots Off.

I was still very weak still I kept going and it was a long day and once on the ridge the wind came up. Paul and Jim waited on each summit and I just kept going, it is a great area but limited shelter and eventually we were on the last Munro. We walked into a bitter wind Paul and Jim were way ahead and the wind took any energy left out of me. It was a bitter cold on the top and I could see the road below Paul and Jim headed down and I took it easy on the way down. I was running on empty when I got into the old bothy near Broulin Lodge and had an early night really exhausted after a huge day. Tomorrow would be more of the same we were now in the “Great Glens”  all the mountain Summits are hard work, big hills and big days. I felt that I could cope again.  I was amazed looking back at the basic gear we had, the famous Curlies boots, breeches, canvas gaiters what happened to them and the tartan shirt, ventile jacket and polar fleece the new secret weapon.  Wet gear most days but we thought we were so well equipped for the mountains.  I still feel the pain of putting on the wet gear every day!  It would be another big day tomorrow would I cope?

1976 walk big bags Struggling.

A hard day for me distance 17 miles and 5547 feet. 4 Munros and a grand total of 20 Munros

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 and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Hill running and huge days!, medical, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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