Thursday, 22 August 2013

Ann's last Munro, July'13

Approaching Affric Hostel
Ann's been seriously bagging Munros for a few years and today was her last one - Mullach na Dheiragain. Her round was supposed to be compleated on the Glen Ey hills, but with full-blown winter conditions and gales in May when we were last in Affric, Mullarch na Dheiragain wasn't climbed as planned, so left for another day...this day. And what a wonderful day it was, well worth the wait.

Heading up the path from the hostel
The others stayed at Affric Youth Hostel - as remote as hostels come, I couldn't make the entire weekend, so I drove up to Cluanie on the Saturday morning. Some spectacular inversions on the way, particularly around Loch Garry. From Cluanie, I jogged in to the hostel via the rough track, then mucky path and met the guys n the hostel, hiding from the midges. We blethered with a few of the folk there, then set off up the path to An Socach in glorious conditions, exchanging positions with the other folk on the way. Up to the col, we left sacks and bagged An Socach - for John, Isobel and Neil, this was their first time here, but not Ann, she's been here before on a thwarted attempt at the 3 Munros in the group. A few photos of the views and group shots, then we returned to the col.

Ann on MnD's summit
On to the main event - Mullach na Dheiragain (MnD from now on !). From the col, we dropped into the coire below and crossed the burn in its heart. We could hear voices - one of the groups we'd passed had skipped An Socach and were aiming directly for MnD. At the burn we had a wee break in the sunshine to take in a bit of food before the next uphill slog. Midges started pestering us, so up onto the crest of Carn na Con Dhu we aimed. A path was picked up and followed along the narrow crest, then MnD's wide plateau to its summit where the group of guys were collected just below the cairn. Time to celebrate - champers all round !

Group photie on MnD's summit
It was a glorious day, so we stayed on the summit for a fair while, taking in the views, eating and having a wee laugh. The sun was beaming down - John put on his 'kiss-me-quick' hat to protect his bonce (I notice neither girl took him up on it), I had a baseball hat with flappy bits to protect my tender bits ! Time for another Munro - Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan (easier to say than crysthanthenum in my option).

Cloud pulling in on way up Ceathreamhnan
We returned along the plateau then narrow crest to the col between Carn na Con Dhu and Ceathreamhnan, where one of the group of guys was sitting. He'd developed a blister, so his mates had left him to return to An Socach on his own while they did a bigger detour up Ceathreamhnan. Before you could say 'Mullach na Dheiragain', Ann was into nurse mode and out with the Compeed for the poor bloke !

We left him and continued up Ceathreamhnan. As the ridge narrowed cloud blew in and we prepared for a misty summit. Luckilty it wasn't to be, we arrived at the small summit cairn and the cloud disappeared as quickly as it arrived, leaving superb views for us to enjoy.

Descending Ceathreamhnan
Downhill, we separated - the others continued along Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan's east ridge and back down the path to the hostel for another night, whereas I struck directly south and jogged back to Cluanie for a long drive home where I heading out with friends, knackered but happy !

I asked Ann - 'What's next ?'. The reply was - 'You'll need to get some Corbett bagging trips organised !.

More photos of the day are on the Flickr site.