A Long overdue day on the Fannichs. Loch Droma Meall a Ghrasgaidh , Sgurr Mor and Beinn Liath Mor Fannich

Loch Droma early morning light.

Though still being driven mad by my cough I decided to go to the Fannichs and see what would happen. I have lost most of the summer due to a hacking cough that I am awaiting seeing a consultant for. The body is working at about 50% but I had to get out for my mental health. I am better on my own as If I feel unwell I can go slower or come back.

My hills

I decided to go from Loch Droma and follow the pipeline track and onto the first Munro as the track gives you easy walking to the dam. I passed the we bothy by the track.

The wee howf

I had forgotten how bad the 4 by 4 track is eroded and very boggy taking you past Loch Mheagaidh and onto the steep crags of Meal A Chradaidh. What a mess and I fell in a bog on route it was awful.

The eroded track what a mess done by Estate 4 by 4 tracked vechiles. What a mess !

I met a father and daughter going fishing in the Loch. The fish were rising so I hope they had some success. I wanted to get the track walk out of the way. There was a breeze keeping the midges and flies away. I passed so many wild flowers bog Asphel, orchids and the Heather in bloom it was perfect weather for walking.

Some interesting ground .

I picked a scramble up to the summit taking care even more so as I was on my own. I passed on my route to two friends and would Text them each summit.

In the steep ground .

I was slow it had taken me 3 and a half hours to get to the summit but what views today. I could see An Teallach and all the Torridon hills and far North Stac Pollaidh and the Beinn Dearg hills. How I longed to be here.

An Teallach and Destitution road.

. It was a bit colder now and I put on long trousers and a jacket and could see all the great hills of the Fannichs.

The Geala buttress a place I climbed many years ago from a long gone bothy the Nest of Fannichs. What wild cliffs very neglected nowadays see the tiny spot of snow still there?

I spoke to my old pal now gone Blyth Wright about climbing in this Coire. He climbed here with some of his pals Phil Tranter and Ian Rowe who climbed Gamma gully in 1965 a big undertaking at the time.

The cliffs of Sgurr Nan Clach Geala from Cold climbs .

From here the bulk of Sgurr Mor dominates what a mountain. It is the highest of the 10 Munro’s of the Fannichs at 1100 metres it can be seen for miles. It has a few winter climbs on it one I did many years ago scared me as the belays were terrible made worse by an epic walk of in a white out.

Once your on the main ridge it’s superb walking you keep height but it’s still a pull up to Sgurr Mor. I had wanted to add Edin na Clach Geala but not today I was going slowly but enjoying the day. I met two runners enjoying the ridge they were looking good. Oh to be young again!

A wee rest what views!

I love the views from Sgurr Mor and it’s great to have time to enjoy them. How I missed being on these hills. Every hill means so much to me. As you get older you appreciate them more and more.

After I drank and ate I met this man running the hills we had a great chat nice to meet you Rob. We shared some great stories about these hills.

I followed the ridge looking at the cliffs on Sgurr Mor and on to my last Munro Beinn Liath Mor Fannich. The weather was still good but I could see rain coming. I was feeling okay coughing on the pull ups but it was worth the effort. Another stop at the summit more food and drink then text I was on my way off.

On last hill

The descent was hard work not much of a path dropping down to the track and then the rain came . I kept going felt the odd cleg but the wind came back and I was soon back at my wee van. Trainers off dry shoes on and rehydrate. A few texts to say I was off the hill. The trout were jumping in Loch Droma as I walked off.

The hydro pipeline.

I have pals nearby and stopped to see them at Black Bridge. I had some wonderful lentil soup and tea and headed home. I had a bath put muddy kit in washing machine and had an early night. Thanks Anne and Mark your soup was 5 star can I have the recipe please?

The body was knackered but what do yo expect at my age. Sorry for not asking pals to come with me but it’s better to be on my own just now. It poured all the way home but I was happy I had my fix of the mountains. The Fannichs are grand hills so many great memories of taking new young troops on the 10 Munro’s in the past. Some epic climbs in summer and winter and crossing these hills on my Big Walks. In winter they can be Alpine and a winter traverse was a lifetime dream and I found it so hard when I was fit. My dog Teallach loved these hills the views are exceptional. We are lucky that to me they are only a short journey from home.

Grand views all day.

Top tip – you could take a mountain bike up the track to the dam it would save a bit of time .

If walking alone let folk know of your intentions and what to do if you don’t return!!

I will retire my running shoes now soles getting worn. It was breezy on top make sure you have gear for the day. Rehydrate on way home and we’ll worth changing footwear !

Comments welcome.

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, Bothies, Enviroment, Family, Friends, Gear, Hill running and huge days!, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, People, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being, Wildlife. Bookmark the permalink.

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