Strathfarrar, 4 August 2019

There was a queue at the Strathfarrar gate as we rolled up for the appointed opening time of 9am. Admittedly, the queue was only two vehicles, both of which set off on the stroke of nine. Our party had a more leisured approach in deciding what hills were to be climbed, where to park and what cars to take before setting off up the glen. In the event we all started from the parking area for the Allt Toll a’ Mhuic path leading to Sgurr na Fearstaig, having judiciously left a car at the Allt Coire Mhuillidh parking area for those who just might intend to complete all four Munros.

Peter, Marion and Ewen made a leisurely ascent of Beinn na Muice from the north in reasonably good weather, bearing in mind the appalling forecast. All they had to suffer was a few drops of rain and a bit of mist on the top which soon cleared.  The joy of doing Grahams!  There were great views up Loch Monar on the descent; the loch was very low in view of all the rain we’ve had recently.  Arthur followed a similar route but in less leisured fashion, keen to have a short day.

Dan heading into the clag

Michael ended up going via Loch Toll a Mhuic – top photo – to Sgurr na Fearstaig, Sgurr Fhuar-thuill, navigating off Creag Ghorm a’ Bhealaich to return in very poor visibility.  Dan and Dougie headed off on the same route intending to add in only Sgurr a Choire Ghlais, mindful of a forecast for thunder at 3pm.  However, good progress and a keenness to acquire all four Munros took them onto the remaining Munros of Carn nan Gobhar and Sgurr na Ruaidhe. The prospects of that incoming thunder saw them keeping a watchful eye on the lightningmap app with its detailed recording of storm activity. The pairs’ compasses which were already being used extensively for navigation purposes in zero visibity, also provided very effective back-up lightning indicators.  The sporadic whirring of the compass needle was quite enough to unsettle an already spooked frame of mind! It did, however, make for a fairly rapid traverse of the range.

Dougie on a summit in typical visibility

The party adjourned to the Cnoc for well earned cakes and coffee. Participants: Michael, Dougie, Dan, Peter, Marion, Ewen and Arthur