Log 5 July 2008

Clunie 5th July 2008

The following attended the Club meet to Cluanie on Saturday 5 July 2008: Koon, Iain, Fraser, Allan, Kevin, Bill and Stephanie Parkes and Jim and Shirley MacKenzie.
Fraser decided to climb Mullach Fraoch Coire along with A Chralaig.
These two hills are directly above the Cluanie Inn on the North side of the Glen. Iain, Koon, Jim and Shirley opted to do the South Glen Shiel Ridge.  Bill and Stephanie enjoyed their day on the Forcan Ridge of the Saddle.
Kevin has indicated that he wishes to post his own account of his day but suffice to say that he had an excellent day out completing the entire North Cluanie Ridge, i.e. from Aonach Mheadhoin in the East over the Munros of Sgurr a Bhealach Dearg and Saileag to the three Munros of the Five Sisters of Kintail - Truly a long day, all the more remarkable when done as a solo effort.

Iain, Jim, Shirley and Koon did the South Shiel ridge using two cars (which was hellish on the suspension). Jim and Ian drove down to the Battlefield site and drove back to the Inn to begin the traverse. Jim managed to drive on the track almost to the Cluanie Lodge giving the team a 300 metre start which was most welcome at the start of a strenuous day.   One hour and forty minutes later saw us on the top of Creag a Mhaim.  The first three Munros were scored off in relatively quick time and a stop was made for lunch on Aonach Air Chrith, a good point psychologically as this is almost "half way". Jim led in fine style and we pressed determinedly on aided by superb weather and brilliant vistas near and far (excuse the hyperbole, but it really was that good).


The islands in particular were noticeable and individual peaks of the Cuillin range could easily be identified. Sgurr nan Gilliean was particularly prominent. However it would be true to say that the last two peaks were a bit of a trial on the legs and feet with stops becoming longer on top. Our last peak, Creag nan Damh gave wonderful panoramas into Glen Shiel and Knoydart. We descended via the north coire of this hill, a descent not recommended owing to its lack of a path at a time of the day when legs are tired and concentration is not at its best.
This doesn't merit a description as anyone who has tramped through a highland glen in July with no breeze will be all too familiar with the scenario.
We met Kevin on the way back from the Five sisters and all of us met up with Fraser at the Cluanie Inn for a well deserved drink. Home was finally reached at midnight, an eighteen hour day but worth every minute of it.
 
P.S. Speculation on the way back in the car - Was today a club record for number of Munros completed by club members in a single day? The south Sheil ridge has seven Munros, add to this the six Munros of Kevin's trip plus the two Munros of Fraser's trip and the one of Bill and Stephanie and you have a grand total of .....16 MUNROS IN THE ONE DAY?!!! Comments Welcome.....!!!

Report by Iain Wilson

Footnote:  Kevin's walk from Cluanie over the hills and down to the road took 9 hours 10 minutes.   Fraser contemplated including Ciste Dhubh in his round, but opted to descend by the long NE ridge down towards Glen Affric, and then to make a long diagonal ascent to Bealach a Choinich and to go down An Caoran Beag to avoid any road walking.   The path up from Glen Affric is in as poor a state as ever, and the going up to the bealach quite hard.   Much better to have crossed over and up to the peak by a good clean ridge.   The small glen down to Cluanie was well worth it. 
  Time 8 hours 5 minutes.    
 

ALLAN'S ALTERNATIVE WALK TO MEALL DUBH

Bill Parks dropped me off on the A87 at NH 20377 07715 at an old Loch Loyne dam construction road.

I walked 100m S to a small water diversion dam then S along the W bank of Allt Garbh-Dhoire as the E bank is now a fenced off tree area.
Crossed Allt at NH 20581 07155 and headed to Clach Criche cairn at 674m NH 226 067.
Walked ENE over lochan covered area to Meall Dubh large summit cairn at NH 24528 07868.

There is a grand view of Loch Loyne & Loch Cluanie but the summit area to the E is covered by a few dozen new windmills still in the process of construction.   The nearest is at NH 25651 07740 at the end of a minor ridge.  Walked E along the windmill roads past Mam a' Chroisg 714m to a windmill at NH 27776 07986.   This wind mill had a constructor's van parked outside it, so I climbed inside the wind mill and rapped the steel-work.   A very surprised engineer emerged who I asked "Where do
the wind mill roads go.?  Do you have a new map.?".   Unfortunately the guy was a Bulgarian engineer working for a German wind mill company and his English was nearly as bad as my German.!

I then descended SSE to follow the E bank of Allt Lundie then SE to join a track at NH 30003 04425.  Walked S along track past Loch Lundie (very pretty) and a minor dam then took green road on left to emerge from trees between two cottages NH 29694 01183 opposite fish farm on A87.
Walked 1km E along A87 to Invergarry Hotel at NH 30719 01091.

I enjoyed a cold pint of cider whilst waiting for Bill & Stephanie.

The easiest way up is now via the wind farm access roads starting probably from the A887 to the north at NH 254 116 or possibly at NH 233 110.

Report by Allan Carr