Western Fannichs

06 June 2011

17.2 km/1232 m/07:00 hrs

Munros: Sgùrr Breac, A’ Chailleach (Nos. 164 + 165)

I was looking forward to my first hillwalk after the TGO Challenge, but the weather didn’t look very promising. According to the MWIS forecast, there was a good chance of the clouds lifting later in the day, which gave me a good excuse for a lie-in on my first day off after four work days!

I parked in a lay-by off the A 832, around 6 km from Braemore Junction, and started my walk just before 14:00. A new path leads walkers through the forest instead of past the old boat house by Loch a’ Bhraoin.

New footbridge across the outflow of the loch.

The path up Sròn na Leitir Fhearna is very boggy to start with, but improves higher up.

View across the loch, the boat house in the centre.

Higher up, the path becomes steeper and even a bit scrambly in places, but poses no problems.

At the top of the rocky “nose”, the terrain flattens out and becomes boggy again.

The worst of the bog can be avoided on the right hand side of the broad ridge, and the walk along the Druim Rèidh ridge is very pleasant on dry, short grass.

Loch Toll an Lochain.

Although the views had been improving all the time, suddenly the clouds came down again and it started to rain, just as I approached Toman Còinnich.

Visibility was down to a few metres, so I took a compass bearing and descended to the Bealach a’ Choire Bhric. From there it was an easy climb to the summit of Sgùrr Breac. Pity about the (non-existent) views!

On my way back down to the bealach, all of a sudden the wind picked up, the rain stopped and within a few minutes the clouds began to disperse.

Toman Còinnich, with A’ Chailleach in the background.

Re-ascending Toman Còinnich, I got the first glimpse of Loch Fannich…

… and the first view of Sgùrr Breac, the Munro I had just climbed.

The summit of Toman Còinnich, with the Druim Rèidh ridge behind.

The ascent to A’ Chailleach.

Dark clouds over the Torridon hills.

And the sun shining over Fionn Bheinn.

Loch Fannich again.

Looking down to Loch Toll an Lochain.

Approaching the summit of A’ Chailleach.

Dramatic clouds over An Teallach.

The Fisherfield Munros, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Sgùrr Bàn and Beinn a’ Chlaidheimh.

The Corbett Creag Rainich above Loch a’ Bhraoin.

Lochivraon Bothy, zoomed.

On the summit of A’ Chailleach, looking back to Toman Còinnich and Sgùrr Breac.

Descent route along the Sròn na Goibhre ridge.

From the ridge I descended in an easterly direction towards the outflow of Loch Toll an Lochain.

From there, I followed the Allt na Goibhre, bypassing a gorge with a waterfall on the right hand side.

An Teallach, “The Forge”, living up to its name…

After a short break by a sheepfold, I tried to follow a rather boggy path back along Loch a’ Bhraoin.

The path entered an enclosure through a gate, but at the other end I couldn’t see a gate or stile to get out again, so I climbed over the high fence which was a bit more difficult than I had expected.

View back to Loch a’ Bhraoin.

At this time of day (20:30), the colours were much more brilliant than at the beginning of my walk… another bonus of a late start!

Sròn na Leitir Fhearna.

Sgùrr nan Clach Geala and Sgùrr Breac.

Looking back at today’s Munros.

Meall a’ Bhainne.

And a very last look back, just before 21:00 in the light of the low sun.

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2 thoughts on “Western Fannichs

  1. What a great day. Clicking on the pictures really brings them alive. It must be fantastic to do them all without a backpack…

    I must try to get up there to walk without carrying that house on my back…

    • Yes, it really was fantastic – my first hillwalks after the Challenge seemed almost effortless, and walking with a tiny daypack felt like carrying nothing at all 🙂

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