Special days – Glen Strathfarrar. “In the Highlands it is mountain after mountain after mountain, for ever and ever.” Thomas Wilkinson

End of the day !

I was digitalising a few slides and found this. It was taken in the late 90’s after a climb. Myself and my pal Dougie Crawford were climbing in Glen Strathfarrar a wonderful Glen in a unique location. Its a haven for those who love the outdoors. There are Four enjoyable Munro’s in the Glen and though the Glen has controlled access it make this another special place to be.

You rarely see anyone climbing here and as this photo was early on the 90’s we had climbed here a few times in the past. We had access to the gate and often stayed in the Glen for the weekend climbed the Munro’s with team members. The 4 Munro’s are in a wonderful setting the views of the “Great Glens” are incredible. I spent so many days doing these Glens especially on my Big Walks. I was often hit by high winds suddenly on these hills but what a place .

From Steve Fallon website Nowadays “ you have took seek permission to drive along a private road through a beautiful secluded glen with abundant wildlife, 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. “ https://www.stevenfallon.co.uk/strathfarrar.html

My mate in the photo Dougie wrote “I remember those shiny high altitude Asolo boots these things nipping hell out of my feet…and the running commentary as we climbed from the 202 chopper…..but hey look Dave Yates…North Face and badge less.. 😂😂😂😂😂😂….pigmy gully…..can’t think why the name…us being giants and all…great times wee man.”’From my mate Dougie height 5 ft 5 !

Strathfarrar Munro’s

That day we took that photo it was bitter cold I knew there would be ice there and we had a wonderful day on lots of water ice. From the road the path leads by the stream of Loch Toll a’ Mhuic a Corrie set round with crags. There was something about going into a big cliff and picking the easiest line but always unsure of success. That day the turf was frozen and it took “drive in warthogs ice screws”that were bomb proof. It was lovely climbing great ice turf and so much fun. We never put the climb in the guide book it was just magical to enjoy the whole experience. We left the line for others to claim. At the end as we were walking off the Sea King helicopter from Lossiemouth picked us up and dropped us at our wagon. We were spoiled in these days.

We stayed in the old Broulin Lodge now repaired and looking great. Access is now by permission if you want to take transport but I have often cycled up here. The deer are often about and this Glen is part of the start of many adventures. I even climbed Lurg Mhor and it’s other lonely Munro Bidien A’ Choire Sheasgaich from here one winter. As always on a good day the views of mountains after mountains and the lonely Loch Monar dominate.

The old Lodge.

At Kinloss we did a night evacuation from Strathfarra that was an early evacuation by the Sea King using Nigh Vision Googles. It was interesting incident and we all learned a lot working our way out of the Corrie as the weather changed. I was called by the crew to help get our bearings out of the Corrie. Lucky I had climbed here in the past and new the best line out, scary days. These hills in the summer were a superb run along the ridge you keep a lot of height and how I miss these days.

1991 Night evacuation in Strathfarra

Vehicle access to Strathfarrar – https://www.mountaineering.scot/access/special-arrangements/strathfarrar

Mountaineering Scotland members wishing to explore the hills around Strathfarrar can gain vehicular access to the 17-mile private road which leads up the glen under arrangements negotiated by Mountaineering Scotland with the estates. Responsible non-motorised access to the glen on foot, bicycle or horse is available at all times.

Vehicle access suspended

Summer access arrangements for the glen have now finished for the 2020 season.

Winter access: We are currently in negotiation with the estates re winter access, which has been complicated by the COVID situation. Currently no vehicle access is permitted, however you can still bike, walk or run up the glen.

Any updates will be posted on this page, so please check back here before contacting us.

(Updated 4.11.2020)

Summer access

During the summer season (1 April 2020 to end of October) vehicle access is available to everyone, though controlled by a gate-keeper and subject to a number of conditions (see above). You do not need to advise Mountaineering Scotland if you wish to visit the glen during the summer access period.

Overnight in the Glen

It is within your access rights to access the glen using non-motorised (disabled transport excepted) at all times of day or night, including wild camping (away from road and buildings). Please camp responsibly under the guidance in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.  

Your access rights do not, however, extend to your car, and, overnight parking is not permitted in Strathfarrar. If you wish to stay in the glen overnight you should either walk in, bike in, or arrange for someone to drop you off in the glen and then drive the vehicle out of the glen. Abuse of this arrangement could result in access to the glen for vehicles being revoked by the estate.

Deer Stalking

Deer management takes place on the Strathfarrar estates and may have implications for your walking or climbing plans.

  • The glen is closed to vehicles all day Tuesday, and closed Wednesday until 1.30pm

  • Daily opening times are:

    April               9am – 6pm
    May                9am – 7pm
    June                9am – 8pm
    July                  9am – 8pm
    August            9am – 8pm
    September     9am – 7pm
    October          9am – 6pm

  • Last vehicle access is one hour before closing time. 

  • A maximum of 25 vehicles are permitted in the glen on a given day. 

  • Vehicles can be parked at Mhullie Greens, just past Deanie power station at NH283386.

Parking:

Winter vehicle access is conditional upon members parking in the following designated locations to walk or climb the following routes or crags:

Park at Mhullie Greens / Allt Coire Mhuillidh (grid ref: NH 283386) for:

  • Strathfarrar Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a’ Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill

Park at start of the Allt Toll a’Mhuic (grid ref: NH 223392) for:

  • Strathfarrar Munros: Sgurr na Ruaidhe, Carn nan Gobhar, Sgurr a’ Choire Ghlais and Sgurr Fhuar-thuill
  • Sgurr na Muice: GR: NH228416 (covers SE, E and NE faces)
  • South top of Sgurr na Fearstaig: GR: NH225426 (covers E and NE faces)
  • Sgurr Fhuar-thuill NE face GR: NH236438
  • Creag Ghorm a’ Bhealaich N and NE faces GR: NH245434

Park at the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel (grid ref: NH 183381) for:

  • Sgurr na Lapaich: GR: NH 162342 E and NE faces above the Garbh-choire GR:NH161349 E face
  • Sgurr nan Clachan Geala (the south top of Sgurr na Lapaich) GR:NH162343
  • Creagan Toll an Lochain N Face: GR NH143 -150347

Park below the dam at Grid Ref NH 203394 for:

  • Maoile Lunndaidh and An Sithean

Winter vehicle access

23/10/2020

We are awaiting confirmation of winter access for the 2020/21 season and hope to have this in place by mid-November. Please check this page for further updates.

The Land Reform Scotland (2003) Act and Scottish Outdoor Access Code do not confer a right of vehicle access to the private road through Glen Strathfarrar. Mountaineering Scotland has negotiated an arrangement with the Glen Strathfarrar estates for vehicle access over the winter period (1 November 2019 to 31 March 2020 inclusive) which applies only to Mountaineering Scotland members. 

The winter vehicle access arrangements include conditions which apply to hillwalkers and climbers, and it should be obvious to members from what follows that there are significant sensitivities around ongoing provision, due in the main to the behaviour of some individuals who have previously ignored conditions. The arrangement will therefore be subject to a review for continuity in 2020 following this winter season.

It is important to strictly observe all the conditions below, otherwise the arrangement is jeopardised for other members of Mountaineering Scotland.

There are key points to observe, to maintain the vehicular access in winter:

  • The membership benefit of vehicular access is only for access to the hills and crags, not low-level walks in the glen.
  • All members of your party must have current membership of Mountaineering Scotland.
  • Please provide the requested details to the Mountaineering Scotland office in good time.
  • It is essential to keep to the agreed details, or if needing to change them do so well in advance of arrival.
  • Remember the padlock code, and scramble it after use.
  • Take de-icer with you as the padlock can get frozen.
  • It is in everyone’s interest to take care and not drag the chain of padlocks on the ground as they can get damaged.
  • Please park only at the designated locations and do not park overnight in the glen.
  • Please do not enter the glen by vehicle before 8am.
  • PLEASE DO NOT contact the gatehouse during your visit, nor telephone glen residents for any reason, unless in an emergency of life and limb.  A padlock that is stuck is not regarded as an emergency.

Members are asked to recognise that estate staff undertake extensive stalking during the winter vehicle access period. Hill walks taking in the four Munros on the north side of the glen, and climbs on the crags accessible from the parking location at the Power Station at Gleann Innis an Loichel are unlikely to disrupt stalks, but members should be prepared to take advice from estate staff, in accordance with the requirements of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, and note that that may be asked to change their plans.

Strathfarra – Before you go:

Mountaineering Scotland members should email us at info@mountaineering.scot or call us on 01738 493942.  

To avoid inconvenience or disappointment, contact our office between 10.00am and 3pm, Monday to Thursday. If you contact us on a Friday or on the day of your intended visit, we may not be able to inform estate staff in time for your visit and vehicle access will not be allowed.

When you contact us, please provide the following details:

  • Your name, Mountaineering Scotland membership number and telephone number
  • Specific date of your intended visit and hillwalking or climbing objective for the day – note that a date “week commencing … “ is not acceptable to the estate
  • Vehicle registration number, or state ‘hire car’ if taking a rented vehicle
  • Names and number of other occupants of your vehicle, their Mountaineering Scotland membership numbers and telephone numbers

We will pass this information to estate staff. 

If you have to change the date of your visit, you must advise us of the change before you go, in order that we can inform estate staff. Similarly, if you change your vehicle or the members of your party change, please let us know.

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!, Mountaineering, People, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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