Fun in the Fannichs

Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich 27-08-2016OMWB

Panorama taken from Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich before the mist closed in. Loch Broom and Ullapool can be made out in the distance.

I could little resist the call of the mountains once again. Just over an hour from home are the Fannichs, easily accessible from the Ullapool road. I started the traverse of the long eastern ridge from Sgùrr Mòr to An Coileachan with a long walk-in from the top of Loch Glascarnoch. The first Munro of the day was Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich (954 Metres) accessed via a top called Creag Liath Fannaich. From there, one drops off the western side of Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich to a convenient saddle linking Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich with Sgùrr Mòr. The summit was reached by climbing up the shoulder of the mountain (in the mist) with due regard to the drop to the right!

Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich OMWB

Sgùrr Mòr is in the background of this image taken from Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich.

Opportunities for photography in these beautiful mountains were hampered by the low cloud and subsequent drizzle. The sheer drop off Sgùrr Mòr (1108 Metres) is no less impressive in not being able to see the bottom…

Sgurr Mor OMWB

Sgùrr Mòr summit cairn and the drop off to the left. Scottish mountains might not be the biggest in the world, but they are still dangerous.

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Looking down into the cloud…

Careful navigation through the low cloud brought me to the top of the third Munro of the day: Meall Gorm (949 Metres), not the most impressive one in the Fannichs. However, it has a lovely shelter stone to the east of the cairn and I am sure the views are spectacular when there’s no cloud.

Meall Gorm shelter stone

Meall Gorm shelter stone – comfortable, especially when a foam sitting pad is used.

Meall Gorm cairn

Meall Gorm in the cloud…and drizzle.

With three down and time to spare, it was decided to go for the most southerly Munro of the range: An Coileachan (923 Metres). There were signs that the low cloud was lifting and sure enough, as the top was reached, it cleared sufficiently for photography.

An Coileachan Panorama 27-08-2106OMWB

An Coileachan summit and the view around the mountain. Loch Fannich can be seen from this summit and the saddle of land on the approach to the mountain from Meall Gorm SE Top

An Coileachan OMWB

An Coileachan cairn.

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Some sun light on An Coileachan. The weather window was not to last as higher cloud with rain on it was moving in from the south west.

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Loch Fannich in the distance.

The walk out was east, down the side of An Coileachan allowing superb views of Loch Gorm. It is a long, boggy and pathless route down to the river path.

Loch Gorm Panorama OMWB

Loch Gorm with Beinn Liath Mhòr Fannaich in the distance.

Loch Gorm OMWB

Loch Gorm with the top of Sgùrr Mòr behind.

It was a long traverse – four Munros covered in nine hours. The long walk out to the car was made much more pleasant by meeting a fellow wanderer, Roy, on the flanks of Meall Gorm.  He was grabbing as much mountain time as he could whilst on holiday from Sherborne in Dorset, although he was originally from Caithness. We had a good old blether!

 

 

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