Our blog - Quoich, 4-5 Nov'17

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

Munros above Loch Quoich

4-5 November 2017
Weekend of Munro-bagging on the hills surrounding Loch Quoich in the western highlands. Richard was leading....

Day 1

The forecast had promise as I met up with Katie, Jenny, Raymond, Orion, Johnston and Bill along the Kinloch Hourn road at the foot of the wonderful stalkers path up Gleouraich. It was raining fairly heavily as we started walking though soon eased off as we climbed up the hill with bright spells of sunshine and dramatic light.

We were treated to a wonderful soaring eagle that followed us along the path for a short time before jetting off into the distance. As we gained height the showers became much more wintery and we were soon walking in the cloud up the summit ridge to our first summit. However as we reached the cairn the cloud parted to treat us to some lovely views of the surrounding hills all with snowy summits.

We had great fun breaking our wee trail through the shallow snow traversing the ridge before the next band of weather caught us on our descent down to the beallach between the mountains. Here the snow got very heavy and the wind gave the effect of being in a snow globe for a while.

After a spot of lunch in the relative shelter of some large boulders we began the steep pull up onto Spidean Mialach again in the sunshine making us surprisingly warm given the cold winds. Unfortunately we were in the cloud along the snowy ridge to the second summit though we enjoyed a quick rest there as the weather was coming in again and now we would be walking into it as we descended so hopefully the hail squalls wouldn’t reappear. It didn’t take us too long to get down despite the slippery going on wet snow and wet boggy grass a perfect combination… By the time we reached the road it was heavy rain and most likely heavy snow on the summits something to look forward to for tomorrow when we would head for Gairich.

Day 2

The forecast had promise as I met up with Katie, Jenny, Raymond, Orion, Johnston and Bill along the Kinloch Hourn road at the foot of the wonderful stalkers path up Gleouraich. It was raining fairly heavily as we started walking though soon eased off as we climbed up the hill with bright spells of sunshine and dramatic light. I couldn’t believe the glorious colours and bright morning sunshine as we drove up to the dam at the start of the route up Gairich with dazzling fresh snow on the mountains above 600m.

We made good time as we walked through the famously boggy approach and the group did well to “keep the faith” with the remains of the submerged stalkers path that is surprisingly firm underneath the bog and water if you dare! The cameras were all out as we enjoyed the warmth of the sun climbing up the steady path towards Gairich. There was a lot of fresh snow lying up high and as we had approached the snowlike was rising in the bright sunshine.

After a rest in some sheltered rocks we began weaving our way up the steep eastern ridge through the beautiful fresh snow and even found ourselves on the sunny side of the ridge avoiding the biting cold winds swirling around the mountainside. The summit was pristine and quite deep snow drifts in places with the only signs of life being some mountain hare tracks and a pursuing fox. We lingered on the summit for a while enjoying the views in every direction including a Ben Nevis in the distance. All the summits having a crown of snow.

It was soon time to work our way back down the steep descent on the melting and slippery in places descent before people cooled down too much. It was a glorious walk back over the lower slopes of Gairich and we made it back to the cars through the bog largely unscathed to complete a perfect day!

More photos by Richard and Katie are here on Flickr.

More photos by Johnston are here on Flickr.



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