Achnasheen (Inver Cottage) (Apr 2018)

13 – 15 April 2018

The long weekend

For me and Amy the weekend started on Wednesday with a late night car parking. Early Thursday morning we set off for a 5 day ‘weekend’. Under two months left for Amy to finish her Munros meant no time to waste. The day started in earnest eating lunch in a car park in Glen Carron before cycling up a track in brilliant sunshine with rather heavy bags containing everything we needed for next two days. Dumping bikes and overnight kit at Pollan Bhuide we set off to climb Sgurr Choinnich and Sgurr Chaorachain. After two fine hills and a fantastic day of sun and views, and some questionable descent decisions we were soon pitching the tent for the night.

Sadly overnight the weather didn’t hold and we awoke on Friday to a view of cloud covered tops and a few showers. Being there to climb hills we didn’t hang around too much and still set off aiming for Bidein a’Choir Sheasgain and Lurg Mhor. To get there we first needed to re climb the pass we had done the previous day and traverse over Beinn Tharsuin to reach the foot of the ridge. Sadly the cloud on the hills didn’t lift after cloud and snow combined to give some tricky navigation on Beinn Tharsuin so when we reached the summit the cloud and rain were enough to persuade us to call it a day and leave the two munros for a nicer day. After descending out the cloud we stopped for a late lunch then retrieved our bike for a steep cycle down to the car and short drive to the hut.

A shorter day than planned meant that we arrived well in advance of others even after multiple trips to hut to ferry in group food for the weekend, a slight issue as the later parties were those bringing the fuel for fire. Soon enough the others started arriving and soon we had a full hut with a nice fire going.

Saturday saw Andrew Brook’s last munro so everyone headed to the same hill. Sadly he had left Maolie Lunndaidh till last and a long walk in awaited for those without bikes (Andrew and Berenice naturally had bikes). The prospect of a long walk out on a track made it relatively easy to persuade people that a far better return route was over the two munros me and Amy had climbed on Thursday. Thankfully the cloud of Friday dispersed in the morning sun and it was another fantastic weather day. After a brief lie in for me and Amy we soon overtook the walkers on the path (cycling was much easier with only day bags) and met fellow cyclist Greg for a spot of sunbathing at agreed meet up point. As the group arrived various faff occurred and a proposal to further lengthen the day by including Corbett top Creag Dhudh Mhor was adopted.

The first task however was to cross a few streams and the group was soon spread out across the hillside with different routes and stream crossing techniques were employed. This resulted in me, Amy and Andrew H being separated from the others by a ravine and missing the decision to abandon the Corbett top which looked temptingly close above us. As ever a succession of false tops revealed a rather large distance to the top and gave the rest a rather large head start in reaching the munro summit. Thankfully the increased speed due to reduced faff meant that the party was still on the summit when we arrive and there was still cake and champagne left to celebrate with. It being quite late in the day we had assumed the others might abandon their further two peaks but DMCers are not easily deterred and most of the party set off at a fast march to head back the hard way. The five cyclists were joined by two others for a leisurely descent to the bikes interspersed with more stream crossing fun. On bikes me and Amy made quick work of the journey back to the car and were back in the hut and able to go for a quick dip in the stream before it got to cold and dark.

We decided not to wait for the others before eating so were soon just tucking into our tea in time for the first long party to arrive back asking if the others were back yet having split on the hill and assumed the slower party would abandon their attempt on the final two summits. They had not however and finally returned to the hut around 11pm tired, hungry and slightly foot sore. Some of them even decided to blame me for persuading them to climb the extra peaks (although they loved it really).

Sunday awoke for many tired walkers and brilliant sunshine providing no excuses for people to not head up to the hills again. The group split to do many different things, me, Amy, Berenice and Andrew B went up Beinn Liath Mhor proving completion doesn’t stop some people from heading out to hill again. We split on the summit and me and Amy continued to Sgorr Ruadh a great place for a late afternoon sunbathe before returning to the now empty hut for a night there alone.

Sadly the forecast for Monday was not fantastic and combined with worries about lingering snow we decided to save the planned route on Liathach for another day instead going for a run exploring the Coulin pass and an early drive home to get to Dundee in time for tea. The end of a rather tiring but enjoyable five days on the hills with DMC (for part at least).

  • Dominic


After Saturday’s exertions on Maoile Lunndaidh including a suitably late return by the “let’s do the two other Munro’s, it doesn’t get dark until late…” groups, Iain, Barry, Allan and Fiona embarked on an ascent of Fuar Tholl on Sunday with an eye on the South-East ridge. Another great day, and a fantastic ‘big-little’ hill with some interesting route (path?) finding, easy scrambling, narrow ridge with enough snow to keep things interesting, great scenery and views. One was enough however, a complete round of Coire Lair awaits….

  • Iain Gilbert

See more photos here