Our blog - Loch Quoich Munros, Jan'17

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

Loch Quoich Munros

14-15 January 2017
Two varied days on the Munros overlooking Loch Quoich. Steven was leading and here's a tale of the days ...

Day 1, Gleouraich

Myself, Mark and Jimmy on Gleouraich What cold conditions ! And with deep snow and frost. I met Mark and Jimmy at Invergarry and we piled into the Land Rover and headed towards the Knoydart road. As we progressed further west, roads became narrower and in deeper snow. By the time we gingerly drove to the Quoich dam, I wimped out and suggested we park here. With the intention of bagging Gleaouraich and Spidean Mialach, we started our day with a 5km walk along the road above Loch Quoich. This gave us the option of a direct descent back down to the car after the final Munro summit.

The walk along the road was icy, with deer bounding across infront of us at several points. We were passed by the local gillie in his truck (not wimping out) and later two other hikers slipped and slided their VW Golf up the snowy road (brave !). Up through dense rhodedehnron, then deep snow, we began out hike uphill. The stalkers path was hard to trace and there were no footprints to help. Higher up, the snow had been blown and progress became easier. Some cracking views ! Onto the summit and time for a break as we took it all in.

It became clear that we were getting pushed for time, but we continued on. Over the minor east summit of Gleaouraich, then down to the col, we met up with the two guys from the VW - they'd been doing our intended route in reverse. After a chat, a group decision was made to descend from here and come back tomorrow for Spidean Mialach. Lovely views ahead with the twilight slowly drifting in. I jogged back to pick up the car, so hopefully everyone would be fresh for the next day.

Day 2, Spidean Mialach

Spidean Mialach Like yesterday, I picked the guys up and we drove to Loch Quoich. After yesterday's deep snow, it was a suprise to see how much had thawed overnight. We began our hike at the point we finished yesterday, up a new track laid in for a small hydro scheme. After hiking up around 150m or so, we were met with one of the burns coming down from Gleaouraich - it was in spate, whereas yesterday we easily stepped over it. Debate and dicussion, we took the safe option and returned downhill, it was just too dangerous to cross with all that snowmelt.

Now on the east bank to the Allt a'Mheil, there were no rivers or burns to cross (woo-hoo !), but also no paths on which to start our hike and get into a stride (och !) After around 100m of ascent, Jimmy decided not to continue - the snow had takin its toll yesterday, so Mark and I upped the pace and quickly got to the foot of Spidean Mialach. It wasn't as good a day as yesterday, but hints of sunshine were peaking through the mist and clouds. Higher up we found the prints of the guys yesterday making for a direct line upto the summit crest and we were on the summit pretty quickly.

A few photos later, we began the descent. We took a different line from the uphill - in more snow, so kinder on the knees ! The sun even came out !

A great couple of days in good company !

More photos by Steven are here on Flickr.

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