Our blog - Deepest Affric, 20-22 Sep'18

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

Deepest Affric

20-22 September 2108
Hiking over Munros and Corbetts while based in remote Affric Hostel.. John Walker was leading....

After some time abroad, I was really looking forward to getting back out on the Scottish hills, so our trip into deepest Glen Affric fitted the bill well. After what seemed like an interminable hot, dry summer, things had gotten back to normal on the Monday with 15c in the valley, cooler on the summits, but at least dry all day. There was only light wind, and with cloud just above summits we had great views.

Day 1

Our group of Andy, Orion, Rachel and Vicki had packed food and a sleeping back, and set off from the Cluanie Inn, initially steeply up and over A'Chralaig with its huge impressive cairn, then along the undulating ridge to the pinnacles of Mullach Fraoch-choire. I was in Norway this spring, and we commented how the pinnacles resembled to trolls of Nordic folklore. We then descended down to the splendid remote SYHA hostel of Alltbeithe. We took the spur above the Allt Dubh to avoid the deer fence, but it is probably better to go NNW and head for the W end of the enclosure, where there is a good stile now as part of the new deer exclusion re-wilding work.

Day 2

Tuesday promised a more challenging day, and was more like 8c on the summits, possibly lower, with a brisk SW, cloud often as low at 700m and showers in the morning turning to heavy rain later. We were the group as above, but had been joined by Sue (with her fabulous encyclopaedic botanical knowledge, which we enjoyed immensely) and Evelyn (with her permanent smile). We elected to do Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan first due to forecast, including its West top, then back along the ridge to Mullach na Dheiragain, one of the most far-flung munros. We were even treated to a fleeting view from the summit.

The return was a Steven suggestion, dropping off at 880m and skirting Carn na Con Dhu by easy grassy terraces around into the coire, and it worked well, getting us out of the wind and amongst the many groups of deer. Then we picked our way up to the 'path' to bealach, (it is feint in the extreme), and did An Socach in grim weather before a triumphant descent. A good old 'proper' Scottish day out. We had a nice shower, got into dry spare clothes, ate and had a dram with Hannah the warden at the SYHA, with a good chat to round off the day.

Day 3

The walk out had been forecast as better, and it was, with 15c on the summit, drizzly initially, but cloud lifting, a light NW, and even sunny spells by late morning. I was with Orion, Vicki and Rachel, as Andy, Eve and Sue had gone their separate ways from the hostel. We chose to come back over Am Bathach, which didn't disappoint. True it was a toil up into Bealach a'Choinich, but once on the ridge was a pure delight. We chose an off-piste descent around some clear-felling which worked well, and apart from the pesky deer keds which were out in force, enjoyed the rapid progress back to the car park.

Three remote Munros, a classic ridge walk with two more and finally a very shapely Corbett. Not a bad haul in great company.

More photos by John Walker are here on Flickr.

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