Our blog - Mullardoch Munros, Jun'17

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

Mullardoch Munros

24-25 June 2017
A guided weekend, hiking over many 5 Munros surrounding Loch Mullardoch near Glen Affric. Emma and Kevin were leading, here's Emma's tale...

Day 1 - North Mullardoch Munros

The strong winds overnight on Friday had really picked up by Saturday morning!

We always try to get out on the hill, as often the weather on the day isn't as bad as the forecasters predict. Today's winds saw us scratching our heads and changing plans - we were intending to take the boat along the loch and walk back along the Munros, but this would be too committing. So, Kevin, myself and the groups made the sensible decision to start walking from the eastern end of Loch Mullardoch on this occasion.

Although standing up at loch level was challenging at times, as soon as we turned to the north and into glen surrounding the Allt Mullardoch, we were sheltered from the worst of the winds and enjoyed a pleasant walk up the easy southern slopes of Carn nan Gobhar. A new hydro road replaces the old stalkers path lower down and higher up a faint path was followed which eventually peters out to a series of marshy bogs and heather patches. Shielded from the worst of the winds we made it to within about 20metres of the summit before being blown off our feet.

The wind was ferocious!

A group discussion followed, we considered battling on to the saddle below Sgurr na Lapaich, but realistically this second Munro at 1150m was out of the question as we were struggling to stand at 990m. The decision to return the same way was a wise one, by the time we reached the loch the wind had increased dramatically and the vehicles were visibly rocking in the wind back at the dam. A relaxed afternoon followed for everyone in Glen Affric recharging our batteries for tomorrow's adventure.

Day 2 - South Mullardoch Munros

The second day began with Kevin taking his half of our group along the loch in Angus's boat. We were on the second sailing and fortunately the gale force winds of the previous day were lessening, and Angus was able to swop to his larger boat for the second run up the loch. The burns were all running high after heavy overnight rain and we were dropped off right at the foot of Beinn Fionnaidh's steep north east ridge.

Happy to be out on the hill we sailed up our first Munro Beinn Fhionnlaidh, the winds were still a tad blustery on the summit though with some thick mist. It didn't take long before we dropped out of the cloud and were rewarded with some impressive views up the glen towards Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. We contoured round the steep slopes of Carn Eighe to the saddle below Mam Sodhail for a well earned snack break. Leaving our rucksacks out of the wind we headed up to the gigantic summit cairn just before a heavy downpour blew in obscuring views. This stayed with us over Carn Eighe, but broke as we enjoyed some delightful and scrambling across the fractured pinnacles on the mountain's ridge.

The first group were just ahead of us but we opted for a second food stop at the saddle below our 4th Munro, Tom Choinnich rather than trying to catch them up. After refuelling the climb up to this mountain felt relatively easy and it afforded the best views of the day. The north Mullardoch Munros cleared up too and we could see all the summits from An Socach to Carn nan Gobhar with the pronounced height difference between yesterday's summit and Sgurr na Lapaich.

A straightforward walk took us across to Toll Creagach, but we didn't linger for long as another heavy blustery shower chased us on our way. The descent took us into the corrie which is over quite rough ground in places, but leads right down to the dam - we caught up with Kevin and his group when we were nearly back at the dam. Luckily we had left some cars here in the morning and saved ourselves the last mile back to the starting point. 5 Munros is always an achievement, and the 5 Munros south of Loch Mullardoch is one of the great classic hill days out in Scotland.

More photos by Emma are here on Flickr.

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