Our blog - Loch Quoich Munros, 30 Jun'18

A blog of our mountain adventures in Scotland, hiking, biking, rock-scrambling and more !

Munros above Loch Quoich

30 June - 1 July 2018
Two days of guided hikng to gain the Munro summits of Gleouraich, Spidean Mialach and Sgurr a'Mhaoraich above Loch Quoich. John King was leading....

Day 1 - Gleaouraich and Spidean Mialach

Given the ongoing heatwave, it was a refreshingly cool morning by the shores of Loch Quoich on Saturday morning with a thick mist pegging the temperatures back to the low teens. I met Shona, Lesley, Margaret, David & Chris and we set off a little after 9am, heading up the great stalkers path that leads towards Gleouraich. We hadn't been climbing long when the mist started to clear and we were out into the full glare of the sun. The heat started to build accordingly and we were glad of the path cutting a nice zig-zag line up the hill, never getting too steep. Despite the heat, the humidity was low and the air was very clear. As we climbed the views opening up around us were spectacular, particularly west along Loch Quoich to the peaks of Knoydart.

We kept a moderate pace, not wanting to wear ourselves down in the heat, taking a good few stops for water and photo opportunities. We reached the summit just before midday and took a good early lunch break, admiring the views which stretched as far as Ben Nevis & Glen Coe. The views into the northern corries of these hills are always a highlight, being very rugged and remote. Today it was surprising to still see some sizeable patches of snow hanging in them in some sheltered locations despite the heat!

Wandering onwards, the descent to the bealach between the two Munros was very dusty, highlighting how dry the weather has been of late. The climb out the other side to SpideanMialach was hard going in the baking afternoon sun but on reaching the top we took a good long break, allowing for a bit of sunbathing and a second lunch. The descent back to the cars from there was pretty quick, first on grassy slopes, then picking up another good stalkers path lower down and there was even some time for David to have a quick dip in the river. Back at the layby just before 5pm, it was 29C according to the car. From the intense heat through the rhododendrons at the finish I could well believe it. It was time to head off for a refreshing cold drink and a swim in a loch!

Day 2 - Sgurr a'Mhaoraich

The original plan for day 2 had been to do Sgurr a'Mhaoraich and Gairich in the same day, but after our experience of the heat on Saturday and an identical forecast for Sunday, we decided that one hill was plenty! Shona and David decided to give the day a miss. We started slightly earlier than yesterday at 0830 but there was no mist today and it was already easily about 20 degrees. The horse flies were out so we didn't hang around. Heading up from near the end of Loch Quoich, we followed an old track to begin with,then took to the open slopes. After heading up the steep lower section of the hill, Chris also decided he'd seen enough. Margaret, Lesley and I carried on up, taking a break by a prominent perched boulder about half way and then heading onto the summit, reaching the cairn around 11am.

Once again the views were outstanding, Ben Nevis being prominent in the distance. There was a bit more cloud building out to the west and the hills of Knoydart eventually disappeared into the mist, but as we took a walk out to Sgurr a' Mhaoraich Beag, the views down Loch Hourn to Ladhar Bheinn were very atmospheric. From this little visited Munro Top it was nice to get an aerial view of the small hamlet at Kinlochhourn.

After returning to the summit, we descended east down the ridge over Sgurr Coire nan Eiricheallach. It was a lovely afternoon to stay high and we took a good break on this outlying top admiring the views of the South Glen Shiel Ridge. Heading on down from here we used another very well made stalkers path to get back to the road. As with our uphill route, there were great displays of bog cotton all the way. We reached the road around 3pm and made the short walk back to the cars to complete the circuit. It was only 23C this time!

More photos by John King are here on Flickr.



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