Aonach Shasuinn

Friday, 19 April 2013

17.9 km/838 m/07:15 hrs

Corbett: Aonach Shasuinn (No. 46)

Driving along the single track road to Loch Affric, I couldn’t believe how nice the weather was, and stopped several times to admire the views.

Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin (photo taken from the car).

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At the car park at the road end I was pleased to see that the toilet block had recently been upgraded.

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View from the bridge across the Garbh-uisge.

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I first walked along the track on the S side of Loch Affric, then followed the signposted path to Cougie.

Fallen tree on the path.

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According to the map, the path crosses a footbridge and continues on the W bank of the Allt Garbh, but as I couldn’t find any sign of that bridge, I just stayed on the E bank. The path on this side is clear enough, but quite boggy in places.

On the right, Carn Glas Iochdarach came into view. I remembered the very rough descent from this ridge after I had climbed Carn a’ Choire Ghairbh via the good stalkers path from the W end of Loch Affric a few years ago. On that occasion, I had neither enough daylight nor energy left to include Aonach Shasuinn in the round.

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After a short steeper section, the track that leads E to Cougie, is reached. In the other direction, it continues to a small shed above Loch an Sgùid.

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Creag Coire nan Each, An Tudair, Màm Sodhail and Sgùrr na Lapaich.

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Aonach Shasuinn.

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Loch an Sgùid.

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I left the track before the bridge across the Allt Garbh and headed towards the foot of Ceann Aonach Shasuinn, Aonach Shasuinn’s NE ridge.

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Trying to avoid as much of the snow fields as possible, I ascended the section slightly right of the centre of the photo.

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Looking back along the glen of the Allt Garbh.

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There were only a few metres across snow patches that I couldn’t avoid, but they turned out to be quite awkward. The snow was soft and I could kick steps easily, but the steep slope underneath was frozen and I couldn’t get any grip with the soles of my boots or my trekking poles. Very slowly and carefully I inched my way up, hoping the snow wouldn’t suddenly give way, making me tumble down the hillside!

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Loch an Sgùid.

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Coire Gorm, with the summit of Aonach Shasuinn in the distance.

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But eventually I made it safely up to the plateau.

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Before I headed over to the summit, I walked to the edge of the plateau and had a good look around.

Sgùrr nan Conbhairean.

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A’ Chràlaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire.

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Large cornice above Coire Gorm.

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Aonach Shasuinn summit cairn.

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Summit shelter.

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Bealach an Amais and An Elric, the continuation of the round if Carn a’ Choire Ghairbh is included.

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Carn a’ Choire Ghairbh.

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The Allt Garbh meandering down the glen.

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For the descent I chose a more direct line to the river, along the W flank of Ceann Aonach Shasuinn which was a bit steeper but completely snow-free.

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Looking up the glen towards Carn a’ Choire Ghairbh.

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Loch an Sgùid.

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I forded the outflow of Loch an Sgùid to have a look at the (locked) shed.

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From there I followed the track along the Allt Garbh.

View back up the glen.

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Allt Garbh from the bridge.

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After a long break by the ford across the Allt a’ Choire-bheithe I started the return route, enjoying the views across to the Loch Affric Munros on the way down.

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