The Vault Regulars

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gairloch - Wednesday.

 A new day with new hopes of a brighter dry day. Looked out the window and yes! It was raining. But it was brighter. Bright rain i suppose. We had no need to rush around we leisurely had breakfast and packed the rucksack with the waterproofs and set off to the car park at the pier.

 It stopped raining, but i kept my overtrousers on and discarded the gaiters. We were off into the hills. Not high ones mind, we couldn't see them. But hills anyway.

 The path went up past the waterfalls in Flowerdale and beyond to the watershed which i think is also the estate boundary. A good stile got us up and over the deer fence without any problems and a thin track led us up to an old sheepfold underneath the crags of An Groban (383Metres).  Taking a thin overgrown track that roughly goes North following the outflow from Loch Airigh a Phuill, then East and then South we gained height to a small bealach before reaching the top of An Groban. On the way up the lower hill tops had been clear but as would have it by the time we got to the top it had clagged in. Typical i thought, all the effort for nothing. No view. I was hoping that we would see Loch Maree from here but i wasn't going to find out.

 We stayed around the summit trig point for 5 minutes in the hope that it would clear but it wasn't to be and so we moved off back down to the bealach and took a slightly different descent down to the outflow. Finding a suitable place to cross we picked out a route which would take us east up to the twin summited top of Meall Fuaraidh.

 It was a really interesting route, we stopped numerous times to look at eratics. An awful lot of red granite seems to have been deposited up here, some huge boulders perched precariously as well as the small stones which seem to have been collected and used as cairns.

 We crossed to get the views from both tops and the mist started to clear from the east giving some interrupted views of the higher peaks of Beinn Airigh Charr and Meall Mheinnidh and more.
 This area although not high in mountain terms is absolutely stunning. The tops surrounding loch Airigh a Phuill, Loch na Feithe Mugaig and Loch Airigh Mhic Criadh are simply wonderful. In some ways it reminded us of our recent visit to the Galloway hills and lochs.

 We stopped for a coffee and was immediately inundated with the dreaded you know what. Little biting beasties. The midge nets came out and waterproofs were donned until we set off again. There was no breeze to keep them at bay and i'm sure that because they never got fed yesterday they were ravenous today.

 It is definitely worth putting on your list if you have never done this area before, like ourselves.  Without a shadow of a doubt you would enjoy a short backpacking trip to cover all these relatively low tops in a weekend. We never saw a soul the whole day until we returned via the waterfall path.
In fact the waterfall higher up towards the loch is actually better than the one that all the tourists set out to see below. And if you manage to get here on a lovely crisp day when the views of the higher mountains are clear it would be wonderful.

 It's been a delightful walk and one we would extend if we ever get to come here again.


afootinthehills said...

In interesting day again Alan. I find low hills just as rewarding as their higher cousins and there's nothing dull where you are I don't think. All the same I hope things brighten up a bit for you; after all, you have come an awful long way!

AlanR said...

Thanks for your comment Gibson. The posts can be a bit boring without pics but they just will not load. Its been a very rewarding day.We have enjoyed these hills tremendously.
Although the weather could have been better, its absolutely hammering down right now btw, and i think the wind is trying to remove the windows. We don't mind, we came expecting poor weather and if we got better than poor it would be a bonus. We are loving every minute.

afootinthehills said...

I'm not bored by the posts and I'm sure we'll all look forward to seeing your photos when you get back Alan.

AlanR said...

Very kind. Thanks.
Yes we have quite a few photo's now. If only i was a decent photographer. The light here in the early morning and evening is fantastic as you will be aware.

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