Sat 1 May – Sun 2 May 2021
Decision Time… Change of plans Thurs/Fri meant i could head to the NW for the long weekend, and having not been able to commit to join the proposed Fisherfield trip, thought it was nonetheless a good option – West is Best – with cold easterly winds, and no midges yet! Always good to have a plan B, C etc and if in doubt, follow the sun. The Fannichs were draped in fresh snow, Lochivroan looked uninviting and likely to see repeated hail / sleet / snow showers over the next couple of days. MWIS as ever proved unnerringly accurate and closer to the coast I experienced one overnight shower… Wow was it cold at night, prepared for ‘3 season’ conditions, it was still season “4”….
Somehow I had conspired to bring an MTB with panniers but not a big rucksack (the jury is out on whether a Vango 2-3 person tent is realistic anyway for solo back-packing…). So to Gruinard and cycle the track to the end of Loch na Sealga, neatly avoiding any potential Shenavall crowds. In fact it would be 36 hrs until I saw anyone else, when heading out again on Sunday. A great camping spot at the waters edge, solitary tree, beach, firewood, silence….
Saturday I headed west to Beinn Chasgein Bheag, then Chasgein Mhor, heading further into the wilderness, with a grandstand view over the Fisherfield Munros, cross country then a soul-destroying descent to around 330m before the steep climb up onto Beinn’s Dearg Mhor and Dearg Bheag. It pays to research Walkhighland – I noted the difficulties of the SE ridge and climbed to the NW col instead. Both these hills are fantastic steep sided peaks of Torridonian Sandstone, less travelled than nearby An Teallach but no less impressive. The descent of the N ridge of Beinn Bhearg Bheag was a late afternoon test of route-finding on tired and dehydrated legs. Forget what Garmin/Strava say about ‘moving time’ – this was a full on 9h plus memorable day in the wilderness.
- Report by Ian