Our blog - Deepest Affric, Jul'17

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

Deepest Affric

14-16 July 2017
An extended guided weekend, hiking over 5 Munros above Affric and Cluanie in Scotland's West Highlands. David and Steven were leading, here's their tale...

Day 1 - Heading over A'Chralaig to Affric Hostel

We had 6 people for this day, so David was leading solo.

With the group ready to go we set off at a steady pace up the steep slope towards the summit of A' Chraileag. The cloud and showers were coming and going along the summit ridge but we managed to get good views west to the 5 sisters and our peaks for tomorrow on teh north side of Glen Affric. We then headed along the spectacular rocky ridge to our 2nd munro above Alltbeithe YHA, far down in the glen, just the small matter of getting down to it.

With the wood burner going strong we cooked dinner and ourselves and relaxed the evening away in the hostel.

Day 2 - The Ceathreamhnan group

There were 8 people for this and the next day, so as we like to keep a small guide-to-client ratio, Steven joined.

Steven : The hostel had booked up pretty quickly, so to help a couple fo people stay overnight, I gave up my bed space and opted to cycle in from Loch Affric. The forecast wasn't great, but upon arriving at the end of the public road, conditions were fine, pleasantly so, with only a few midgies disturbing the calm conditions. A cycle along the glen westwards begins on a good track, with much work taking place to install a hydro scheme. At the end of Loch Affric, the track gets rougher, much rougher than I remember, but my new full-sus bike coped amazingly well. Meeting up with David and the crew, we then headed up a well defined stalker's path northwards.

David : On Saturday the weather changed and we had full testing of everyone's waterproofs in the strong wind and horizontal rain. We still had good visibility along the way and good rough walking up to the summit of An Socach and then taking an efficient, grassy line around remote Mullach na Dheiragain, keeping out of the wind. Re-tracing our steps and keeping below the ridge on the sheltered side, we got to the bealach before the final pull upto the 3rd munro of the day Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. We were in full exposure to the wind and rain, but luckily for us it wasn't too cold. We then bid a hasty retreat down the east ridge and grassy slopes back the the wood burner and dinner.

Steven : Saying bye to the group as they began to cosy in for the night, I hoped onto my bike for the cycle back. Man, that was mucky and VERY wet ! Water got into everything and took days to dry out.

Day 3 - Hike back out to Cluanie

On Sunday most of the group walked out round the glen to the Clunie inn and home after picking up their bone dry kit, thanks to the stove. But Catherine was still keen to get Ciste Dhudh on the way back. So after a few killometers int eh glen we crossed the stream and worked our way up the steep slopes watching the showers and sun work their way around us. We were quickly at the summit and then making our way around the narrow ridge south and back to the road.

A successful trip with all 5 Munros summited in testing weather and Catherine getting a 6th.

More photos by David and Steven are here on Flickr.

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