Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan, Mullach na Dheiragain and An Socach (Glen Affric)

At last, I managed to climb these three remote mountains on a three day outing last week. I had intended to bag all eight Munros on this side of Loch Mullardoch but it was not to be. This was also an opportunity to check my backpacking gear before the TGO Challenge next month.

Starting from the forestry car park, it was a long plod to Altbeaithe YH, but the weather was fine, and did this in three hours. Then up the path behind the hostel to the col between Caethramhnan and An Socach. This is a good path, but my back was playing up, and it took over two hours to reach the col. Because of this, and the fact I was a bit late in getting to the col, all thoughts of the first three Munros that day were out. This col is a good camp site, fairly sheltered  with a good water supply nearby, and pretty good views as well – far better to camp here than the bleak glen down at the hostel. To be honest, I can’t see the attraction of this place.

The next day was a bit cloudy, but the first target was Mullach na Dheiragain . I set off on the bypass path (fairly easy to find) to  near the outlet of Loch Coire nan Dearcag then up to the col before Carn na Con Dhu. It’s a long haul to the Munro with the rough intermediate top to cross (then climb back over again afterwards). However the final slopes to the Munro are rather gentle and the summit was reached in cloud. Then the long slog back to the col before the long ridge to Sgurr nan Ceathramhnan.  The ridge takes ages to climb but is straightforward, with only a few snow patches to avoid. Again, the views were poor, with cloud rolling in again. Then back to the tent for some lunch.

campsite on col going up an socach looking back to tent

On reaching the tent I decided that I would not tackle the rest of the ridge (apart from An Socach) to preserve my back for the TGO Challenge in a week or so. Still, with An Socach, that would be the three most remote Munros climbed, leaving just six to do.

So, I dumped the pack and set off up An Socach. What an easy walk compared to earlier in the day. I reached the summit in forty five minutes, took some pictures and headed back to the tent to relax. Mind you the camp site is at a height of about 820m and An Socach (921m) does seem such an insignificant blip on the ridge compared to the thousand metre plus monsters on either side of it.

IMG_0064The previous night was still and starry. This evening was a bit wilder. Rain started at 8pm, which turned to snow and gusty winds, but the Akto tent held up well as usual.

The next morning, I waited until about 8am when the wind had died down a bit, and then headed down the path to the glen, then back along the long path to the car park, amid snow squalls and sunshine. Hopefully I can climb the remaining five munros in the group in June/July , after the TGO Challenge and then head to Skye for my final Munro, Sgurr nan Gillean.

See some more photographs from this trip on my Flikr pages

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