Log 12 May 2012

SHENAVALL  11 & 12 MAY 2012
 
Koon Stephen and Stuart left Bishopbriggs on the Friday at 06:00 - driving via Inverness for a quick breakfast and onto the Fannaichs.
 
Stuart and Koon ascended from the road side to MEALL A' CHRASGAIDH, while I settled for a low level walk and a sleep in the car in anticipation of a 3 hour walk into the bothy at Shenavall later that day with a lot of kit.
 
Leaving the Corrie Hallie car park at 16:30 the trek into the bothy began - starting in sunshine.  
It wasn't to last and we had snow sleet and some good winds on the way in, arriving at about 7pm.  
Fire and a cup of tea were on the agenda and a little brandy kindly donated by Allan Carr.
First night in the bothy was fairly quiet with Allan, Fraser, Stephen, Stuart, Koon and Stephen.
 
After a few hours sleep Koon, Stuart and I left the bothy at approx 08:00 to attempt the round of 6 Munros.   
The first hill, a demoted Munro BEINN A'CHLAIDHEIMH, now a Corbett, was approached via the river at its narrowest point where it proved to be fairly shallow.
The hill itself was a long haul up but we were rewarded with stunning views from the top.  
The first Munro, SGURR BAN, was enjoyed on a stony approach to the flat summit were we were met by heavy fog and rain then snow, so we quickly began the descent and climbed in snow and howling wind to the second of the day MULLACH COIRE MHIC FHEARCHAIR, which  was fairly scrambly in places and was a fantastic ascent to the top where we didn't hang about.  
With some very bad weather coming in we descended to the bealach to climb number four hill of the day, BEINN TARSUINN.    This Munro was enjoyed with some nice clear sun on the summit.  
After some debate and being slowed by the weather, we decided that we had a 3 hour walk back to the bothy so we would leave the other two Munros for another day.
After a very steep descent into the corrie we followed the burn back to the bothy, arriving back at 20:00, to enjoy a great fire, food and a great night's sleep.
 
After a night of howling wind and rain it was agreed to leave early on the Sunday morning and get back to the Corrie Hallie car park early.  
The walk  back was long and the weather was some of the wettest I have experienced in my days on the hills. The car was a welcome sign with a change of clothes. 
Fish and chips were eagerly awaited in Aviemore.   We arrived  home about 16:00.  
Many thanks to Stuart for doing the driving and all for their company.   
Safely say that for me these were the most remote hills I have climbed and I had a fantastic weekend.
Report by Stephen Flynn


 
REPORT FOR FRIDAY 11 MAY

 
A report on the weather suggested that by 13:00 that afternoon there would be a break and opportunity for sunshine and views.   
On arriving at car park point for the West Fannaich hills at 12:10, the weather was awful with harsh rain and wind, so we sat in the car anticipating the weather report to kick in and at 12:45 the winds died down and the sun started to come out with blue sky!

Stuart and Koon set off for the Munro - MEALL A'CHRASGAIDH at this time.
From the car we followed the track to the edge of the lochan with a bridge crossing and into the glen following the river south up the glen.  
We had unfortunately missed a 2nd bridge and had a river to cross.   Koon was able to cross as she had poles helping cross the large slippery stones. 
I took off my boots and socks and waded through as the weather once again started to hail and sleet.

We crossed a boggy, wet plateau before starting a grassy semi steep ascent directly to the summit, and had views across to the Fisherfield hills with snow above 800m.
About 150m - 200m from the summit the snow appeared and gradually got deeper all the way to top, possibly 6 - 8 inches deep in places, not bad for a walk in MAY!!!
Almost an ideal winter walk.

On the summit we had time for a couple of photos and had just got out lunch when we experienced a complete whiteout.  
We had no idea how long this would last so started to descend following our snow prints down the same way.  
Once out of snow and with clear views we took a slightly different route back to a bridge, picking up the track back to the car.
All in, our walk took about 3 1/2 hours.
Report by Stuart Wallis



BEINN DEARG MOR and BEINN DEARG BHEAG Saturday 12 May.

I started from Shenavall bothy at 9:15 crossing the river and only getting one boot slightly wet.!
I crossed the boggy area to Larachantivore to find a bridge or ford across the Abhainn Gleann na Muice river but none was apparent.     Eventually I waded across near Larachantivore, wetting both feet slightly.  
I followed the land rover track to the south shore of Loch na Sealga then 1km NW along the shore, then towards Loch Toll an Lochain skirting the crags under Beinn Dearg Mor.    On gaining the rim of the loch I walked around the north side to climb a rift going up the ridge to Beinn Dearg Bheag.

I returned down to the col at 600m and climbed the ridge to Beinn Dearg Mor at 17:00.    This is a very imposing hill only 4 m short of a Munro but as you are starting from 600m it is not as bad as it looks. 
The descent back down the ridge is steep and care is needed but there is a path through the scree.
Return was via roughly the same route except I tried to cross the river, as suggested in the Corbett book, where it enters the loch.  It was too deep, so I walked up river until I found a shallower shingle bank which was calf deep.  Wading across was OK with only wet feet.  Finally a soggy wet tussock jumping trip across the field (bog) back to the bothy at 21:45.
Report by Allan Carr
 
Fraser set off at 07:40 on the Saturday, crossing over to Larachantivore and following the path up the glen a short distance, then cut a corner to link up with the path leading over to Carnmore.   From the loch side at NH004776, a contouring route around Beinn a' Chaisgein Mor gave spectacular views down into the country to the NE of that hill, then the ridge over to Frith Mheallan and on to climb BEINN A'CHAISGEIN BEAG which has a summit cairn a few metres from the unusual stone built trig point.  
Return was made by the path to Carnmore and then over the pass, following the path all the way to Larachantivore.  
It was longer than the outward route, but easier going. 
Conditions were near perfect, fairly cool but clear, with views out to Lewis and Harris. 
Not a soul in sight until hailed by Stevie at the river crossing before the bog trot back to the bothy, arriving at around 20:30.
 
On Sunday, with bad weather kicking in over night and scheduled to persist, Stuart, Koon and Stevie set off early to take the path via Achneigie in preference to the very muddy route over the moor from Shenavall.   They did well to go when they did.   Allan and Fraser tried the same route four hours later to find the side streams too full and fierce to reach the upward road, and had to cut up over the moor to it.   By then even the estate road was deep in water, and the side wind made balance difficult.   They got out to Corrie Hallie, and then were lucky to get a lift up the hill to where the car had been left on the Friday.
Report by Fraser Gold