Walk submitted by Fraser Smith of Dundee
Beinn a'Chlaidheimh, Sgurr Ban, Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, Beinn
Tarsuinn, A'Mhaighdean, Ruadh Stac Mor
Grading: This is a long and remote, munro
route walk suitable for fit adults and older children.
This is a big days walk - 28km and 2420m climbing. The walk
described here starts from Shenavall Bothy and will take most
of a good summer's day to complete. Added to that must be the
walk in and out from Corrie Hallie and that can take two hours
plus each way so making two overnight stops almost essential.
It is quite possible for very fit walkers to get in, around
and out in a day (we took 17.5 hours on a previous trip) but
that also requires a very early start. The start of this part
is as described in Jackie Carson's description of An
Teallach on this site continuing on to the bothy where she
turned off to ascend Sail Liath.
Also important is to recognise the seriousness of the river
crossings at Shenavall and Larachantivore. These are big rivers
and come up very quickly in times of heavy rain making them
totally impassable. If in any doubt at all don't try and cross.
- The start from Shenavall is immediately punctuated
by the need to cross the Abhainn Strath na Sealga.
If the river is low a crossing can be made almost
straight down from the bothy but if it's up a bit
there is a diagonal riffle about 100m downstream where
the water depth is less.
- From here plough due south across the boggy flats
to reach the first acsent of the day. It's a brutal
pull up to the summit ridge of Beinn a'Chlaidheimh
but the views of An Teallach and Beinn Dearg Mor will
keep you distracted.
- Follow the ridge south then southeast to the col
at 650m where there is a small lochan. From here the
ascent to Sgurr Ban is a long slog up a boulder (small
ones) field of quartzite. The summit cairn sits in
the centre of a fairly level area of these boulders.
- The main ridge is followed SSW to a col at 820m with the
ascent route up MCMF clearly visible in front of you. This
is not the best ascent in Scotland but again it is steep and
over reasonably quickly.
- Leaving the summit first in a SW direction then S leads
you to a col at 750m and if you have been looking you will
see a contour path that runs across the face of Meal Garbh
to save its ascent and that deposits you at the Bealach Odhar.A
WNW route up the grassy and rocky broad ridge will land you
on the top of Beinn Tarsuinn.
- From here the route goes SW, W then NW along a narrow ridge
that gives plenty of opportunity to test your scrambling skills
and resistance to vertigo. There is an avoiding path on the
S side for those of a nervous or tired disposition. Once the
ridge stops becoming so much fun turn W and go down the steep
slopes to the Pollan na Muice. This is a very wet col so plan
your route across it while you can still see down on it.
- From the col there are a series of outcrops that can
be skirted around before the start of the main pull
up the much more gentle grassy slopes of A'Mhaighdean.
Keep to the left of the slope for great views to the
SW to Beinn Lair and Lochan Fada. What greets you on
the summit of A'Mhaighdean is possibly the best view
in Scotland. A look at the map will show the ridges,
lochans and sea that form the view to the W. Twice I've
been there and twice it's rained but at least the second
time we weren't in the clouds and could see something.
- From A'Mhaighdean take a route NE to the col below
Ruadh Stac Mor. There is a howff here beneath a big
boulder that can provide shelter for probably four people.
This is useful if you want to do this trip over just
two days and walk in this far on one day, bivvy the
night and walk out the next.
- Now you have a choice.
- The summit of Ruadh is only 15mins away and you can
leave you rucksac and nip up and back then follow the
stalkers path down by Fuar Loach Mor to where it joins
the path from Carnmore where you turn right and follow
the path all the way to Larachantivore.
- The alternative is to ascend Ruadh Stac Mor and then
go NNW then NE to Lochan a'Bhraghad then NNW to pick up
the path. One way is shorter, the other is easier on tired
legs. Whichever way you choose you will probably imagine
the other way is quicker but I've done the Fuar Loch Mor
path twice now and don't regret the choice.
- The good path ends a bit above Larachantivore where there
used to be a bridge but a reasonable path takes you down to
the buildings where the river is passable in reasonable conditions.
Note that this building is locked so if the river is up you
might just have to sit it out under the trees or else walk
back a long way to find a suitable crossing.
- Once across the river take a line NE across the boggy flats
watching out for the areas of deeper water covered by sphagnum
moss put there to trap the weary walker. The final river crossing
should land you safely back on the north bank of the river
with a short walk to the bothy for food, a drink and a well
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