Inverlael Munros, 6-8 April 2019

A blog post from one of our mountain adventures in the Scottish hills and mountains. Three days of guided hiking in the North West of Scotland, bagging some Munros including mighty Beinn Dearg. Richard Kermode was leading.

Inverlael Munros

Day 1 - Eididh nan Clach Geala and Meall nan Ceapraichean

We met up as planned at the Inverlael car park to head out to the Beinn Dearg group of hills. The weather was due to be pretty windy and a chance the summits would clear later on so I set off along the path with Jackie, Jeanette, Arthur and Alex. Spirits were high and the banter was good as we walked up Gleann Squaib on the good stalkers paths, but it was a pretty cold wind and the summits were in cloud. As we struck off into the snow climbing onto the west ridge of Eididh nan Clach Geala the winds were pretty fierce and Baltic! It didn't take us long though as the snow cover was very inconsistent with deep drifts and icier patches and bone at all for good stretches. As we reached the summit we had some food in the relative shelter of a crag just down from the top as well as adding a layer for the pending easterly winds on the summit. The weather suddenly brightened and we had views from the top for a while though the winds never let up as we descended into them down some lovely snow fields in the sunshine! As we began the climb up Meall nan Ceapraichean through some deeper snow we enjoyed the views towards Seana Bhraigh taking in the detail of how much snow was lying on the high ground between us as that was our planned route for the second day. There was a lot.

The cloud was back down as we reached the ridge and the winds were getting stronger and frequent gusts as we made our way to the second summit. It was hard going and we didn't dare linger at the top before fighting the wind all the way down to the beallach and into upper Gleann Squaib where we promptly all fell over in the deep snow as we got out of the wind finally! We were heading down and missing out Beinn Dearg and Cona 'Mheall as it was late afternoon and the winds seemed stronger than before not to mention the cloud was back. It was a fun walk out through a lot of snow and back to the paths down the glen to the car park. As we finished along the forest track we made our labs for Seana Bhraigh and we would rendezvous in Ullapool in the morning to drive round to Okyell Bridge. Then we headed off to Ullapool for food and beer and some good banter!

Day 2 - Seana Bhraigh

We met in Ullapool and set off to Oykell Bridge in a couple of cars which would shorten the walk up Seana Bhraigh, but involve some extra driving. It paid off though as the winds would be strong and it meant avoiding the huge deep thawing snow pack we had observed on day one. We had a lovely walk in along the river Mulzie before striking off up the hill. The forecast had said we should get some chances of summit views in the afternoon so as we worked out way up past some huge cornices and the views came and went we were very hopeful. Sadly it wasn't to be and though we could almost see the sunshine at the top we reached it for after lunch and enjoyed its relative shelter for a while before making our way back down the ridge. There was much less snow on the scoured ridge and it was all soft and thawing so our descent was pretty quick. We were soon strolling a long the track back to the cars and the drive back to Ullapool for some more beer.

Day 3 - Am Faochagach

On our last day and it was only Jeanette and Arthur with me as we headed across the boggy moorland towards Am Faochagach and it's lovely Abhainn a' Gharbhrain river crossing. It was pretty deep in places as we warmed over though not too fast and not in spare thankfully. The forecast promised lighter winds and summit views by midday. As we climbed so the cloud lifted only not quite off our summit while we were enjoying lunch there. We did get some good views to a very atmospheric Beinn Dearg and the Fannichs on our way down the ridge which more than made up for it and the sun was trying to come out and give us some heat as we descended back to the river for round two of the wading. A thoroughly enjoyable day and pleasant walking in the lighter winds after the winds the previous two days.

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