Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Wednesday 2 May - Beinn Fhada, Meall an Fhuarain Mhoir, Sgurr a' Dubh Doire

It was a beautiful May morning and a cool breeze and cuckoo kept us company as we made our way up Glean Choinneachain, the finest in Kintail in W H Murray's view. I could find no reason to disagree with the great man. The path makes for easy going all the way to the Bealach an Sgairne, although today we weren't passing through 'The Gates of Affric' but taking the stalker's path into Coire an Sgairne and onto the Plaide Mhor.

A check of records shows 30 May 1983 for Beinn Fhada but unlike today the two Tops were not part of the plan, Meall an Fhuarain Mhor (954m) and Sgurr a' Dubh Doire (962m) being inconveniently situated west and east of the Munro. 'Always leave something to come back for' a friend once said. How wise.

The crags of Sgurr a' Choire Ghairbh held our eyes as we climbed out of Coire an Sgairne (winter climbs here surely, and if not there should be) onto the summit plateau and over the gently rising, grassy slopes to the cairn on Meall an Fhuarain Mhor. The view from here was breathtaking: Skye, the Applecross hills, Torridon, the Five Sisters, distant Ben Nevis and the Cairngorms.

It was time for a break and some food and tea - and lots of photography. Before heading for our second objective of the day we had a look at an alternative route to this summit by Beinn Bhuidhe and Sgurr a' Choire Ghairbh which involves a rocky sramble into and out of The Hunter's Pass, clearly seen from our vantage point. Another time no doubt.

Sgurr a' Dubh Doire gave fine views of the Affric Hills and of Loch a' Bhealaich in Glean Gaorsaic. In fact if we'd thought about it earlier and visited Bheinn Fhada on our way to this Top, we could have descended to Glean Gniomhaidh and returned to Morvich via 'The Gates'. A backpacking trip for the future perhaps. As it was, our way home lay back over the Munro and by the time we arrived at the trig point the few other walkers we'd seen from afar had gone.

After the ritual photography we descended to Coire an Sgairne and so to the path in Gleann Choinneachain. It was unmistakably May in the Highlands with a freshness not found later in summer.

Tom Weir once wrote that you couldn't have too many months of May in a lifetime. Let's hope this is one to remember.

Distance: 27km
Ascent: 1420m

Andrew W - have arranged for good weather to last for The Challenge. Send cash.

Mark - hope your miserable weather has improved, but don't send any of it up here please.

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  1. Excellent, Gibson. And you aren't fit enough to backpack?!

  2. Gibson miserable weather continues raining heavily again. I hope your trip continues to go well. I have a few issues with my back at present. I hope it goes away before I go backingpacking next.