Date: 22nd SEPTEMBER 2016.
Munro’s Completed: Sgurr Choinnich, Sgurr a’ Chaorachain and Maoile Lunndaidh.
Distance walked: 31.6kms (ascent 2160mts).
An epic and excellent day. We’d spent the night before checking over the weather forecast for the next few days. MWIS as usual predicted an atrocious day of heavy and persistent rain. BBC weather predicted a cloudy day with light winds but little or no rain until 7.00pm. The days following were expected to get worse so we decided to head to CRAIGS on the A890 and walk the first two hills and if the weather held out then we’d possibly also head towards Maoile Lunndaidh. We drove the hour to CRAIGS and set off at 8.15am. The first 5kms was along a stalkers track which led to the wire bridge across the Allt a’Chonais. We considered the wire bridge but decided to just wade across the low waters (the bridge didn’t look safe). We then started off uphill gently at first towards the BEALACH BHEARNAIS. The path once again was good and only the occasional stretch of bog to navigate across. Once we reached the bealach we had a quick break for water and a bit to eat. The weather was as the BBC had stated overcast with cloud but no rain and light winds. Karen had done the first two of these Munro’s previously in Winter conditions and said she wasn’t bothered whether or not we managed to grab the third. I felt a bit guilty and decided that unless the weather really took a turn for the worse we were going for it. We reached the first summit (999mts) about 11.00am and got lucky as the sun decided to come out briefly.
We could see Sgurr a’Chaorachain and it looks so close and easy to reach. We set off downhill to the bealach at 840mts and then the fairly gentle approach up onto the summit. There were no issues and we reached the second summit (1053mts) within an hour of leaving the first. We had more to eat and drink and I had one of Karen’s sandwiches. I looked across towards Bidean an Eoin Deirg and for a brief moment thought it might have been the third Munro. I knew from the map that it should have been about 5 kms away and this seemed to be too close. I checked the map and when I looked out further I could just make out the summit of Maoile Lunndaidh in the distance, it seemed a long way off. We left Sgurr a’Chaorachain about 12.10pm and turned North then East towards the small Lochan Gaineamhash, The ground was dry and it was only when we reached the area around Drochaid Mhuilich that it got a little boggier.
The climb up to Carn nam Fiaclan was steep and going was slow but we eventually got to the top and the next 2kms to the summit of Maoile Lunndaidh was easy going. We especially enjoyed the view of the three small lochans in the corrie Fuar-Tholl-Mor and decided it would be difficult to see these from any where else. We reached the summit (1005mts) about 3.15pm and didn’t hang about as the summit itself was fairly ordinary. We turned to head down the North-West shoulder and were heading for Glenuaig Lodge which we could see all the way down and aided our navigation. We’d heard that this area could be fairly boggy but again we managed to get across without to many problems. We reached the Lodge about 5.00pm and only the 9kms along the track left to do. We noticed there was a truck parked at the lodge and had a discussion as to whether accepting a lift back to the road would be cheating. We’d have a further encounter with this vehicle a little later.
We set off along the track in the knowledge that it was going to be a long way back. I had my earphones and music which are usually pretty useful in these circumstances but decided that it would be bad manners to use these when in company. We made good progress and reached the area near to Creag an Ardaich when we saw the truck approaching. Just by coincidence there was a locked gate across the track and we stopped to open the gate for the truck. We glanced at each other half expecting the driver to offer us a lift, not on your nelly, the driver just drove off with a dead deer in the back of his vehicle. I swore under my breath and then carried on as before. We reached the end of the track about 6.30pm (10hrs 15mins) after we had set off. After we got changed we were heading back to Annat when it began to rain for the first time that day. Well done BBC weather.