Seven Club members enjoyed a return visit to the bunkhouse near Ullapool. A weekend of mixed weather awaited us: some sunshine, heavy showers and occasional low cloud, but certainly nothing to keep us indoors (apart from the dreaded midge!)
Dave travelled to the area on Thursday so that he could climb An Teallach on Friday. It was too windy for him to undertake the full traverse of the peak, but at least he managed to bag both Munros.
On Saturday Jim left early for a solo trip to Ben More Assynt and Conival.
The rest of us opted for the shorter journey to the Fannaich Hills, starting from the car park near Loch a’Bhraoin.
A boggy walk up to the bealach at the head of Allt Breabaig was followed by a steep walk up the wet rocky hillside onto a grassy ridge leading to the summit of Sgurr Breac. We were rewarded with fantastic views in all directions – but the eye was drawn in particular to An Teallach, the Fisherfield peaks and the Torridon hills to the south.
After a descent and reascent to Toman Coinich and a much longer descent to a col, we were soon climbing towards the summit of our second Munro, A’Chailleach, where we took some photos and enjoyed the wonderful views.
We retraced our steps for a short distance and then followed a line of broken fence posts steeply down onto the Sron na Goibhre ridge from which we would descend into the coire below – at this point we were suddenly enveloped in low cloud! This soon cleared and we were able to pick our way down the hillside towards the burn issuing from Loch Toll an Lochain.
The less said about the soggy and steep descent from here to the bridge at the end of Loch a’Bhraoin the better, but in the end despite the midges and the many traps for the unwary we all reached the track and returned to the road feeling satisfied with our day in the hills.
Jim too had mixed weather conditions - the summit of Conival was cloud covered on the way up, but clear on the return. Two more hills in the bag for him.
On Sunday Lynn, Mike and Dave went for a coastal walk beside Little Loch Broom. Jim explored Corrieshalloch Gorge before heading for home having decided not to climb Ben Wyvis on this trip.
Lee, Liz and I went back to Loch a’Bhraoin to climb the three hills forming a ridge to the west of Allt Breabaig. This time we located a bridge over the river – not marked on the map – and followed a boggy ATV track across the moor. Leaving the track, we headed steeply up the slopes of Meall a’Chrasgaidh – the first Munro of the day – which is completely overshadowed by the mighty cone of Sgurr Mor Fannaich beyond and the steep slopes leading onward to Sgurr nan Clach Geala.
Crossing the large flat area between the hills we were surprised to find a tent pitched near the lochan – maybe a bird watcher or deer watcher. Onward and ever upwards we followed a steep and increasingly narrow path round the rim of the coire.
Finally we reached the broken trig point and cairn on the fine peak of Sgurr nan Clach Geala – fitting reward for all the effort expended. The peak is only a few metres lower than the triangular cone of Sgurr Mor Fannaich – they form a commanding pair above the huge Coire Mor.
After a short stop to take in the amazing views we descended a long way to the next bealach before starting the short climb up a curving ridge to the top of Sgurr nan Each – its summit cairn perched precariously on the cliff edge.
Then we headed for the bealach above the Allt Breabaig and followed a fine stalkers’ path back down the glen. There were midges around but back at the car there was enough of a breeze to keep them at bay.
On the way home we stopped to buy delicious fish suppers from the new chip shop at Bruar – highly recommended – and it is open till 10pm.
An enjoyable weekend in great company. We haven’t conquered all the hills in this area yet, so we’ll be back…