Colin's Munros


The Eastern Fannichs: Sgurr Mor etc., map 20; 27th Mar 2004 & 12th Aug 2009

Route 1: 15.35 miles, 1380m = 4535' ascent, 8hrs 40mins.
Route 2: 15.2 miles, 1455m = 4775' ascent, 9hrs.

Route: The Fannichs are easily divided into two roughly even parts, each of which is a respectable, but not over taxing, day’s walk. The western Fannichs are treated on the next page. Here is a walk over the four Munros and two Tops which form the eastern Fannichs.
Most of the terrain is straight-forward. However, the moor over Meallan Buidhe to the Abhainn a'Ghiuthais Li is slow going, with deep heather and peat hags. There is a path from the col with An Coileachan to the bridge over the Abhainn which follows an almost straight line between the two, but it is easily lost.
A descent eastwards from Sgurr Mor may be tricky in poor conditions, such as in low cloud. If so, descend 150m at 160° (i.e. SSE) to an elevation of 1070m, then 80m at 90° (i.e. due E) down to 1050m, then 100m at 130° (approx SE) down to 1000m, at which point continue due E along the corrie edge down an easier decline to the col, hopefully meeting the path marked on the 1:25k map.
The only other difficulities are the boulderfields of Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich. The path marked on the 1:25k map from Sgurr Mor to its highest point on Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich should be used as it is very easy and halves the amount of ascent over boulders between the bealach and the summit.
There are also boulderfields on the northern slopes of Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich. For route 1, an easier option might therefore be to go via Loch Sgeireach and the Allt a' Choire Ghuirm.
Note two good bridges over the Abhainn a'Ghiuthais Li at NH25237127 (380m) and NH26357216 (330m) on the walk out. There is also a good forestry track invisible from the road, starting at the second of these bridges and finishing at a gate in the deer fence 350yds S of the former weather station on the A835.

Route 1: There are two possible approaches to the first Munro, Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich, represented by the two routes given here. I preferred this first one, although steeper in places (particularly the 200m of ascent above L. Sgeireach). Moreover, the stretch along the A835 might make it only sensible with an early start before the traffic builds up. However, on short days this approach offers easier walking with a head torch. The two routes are otherwise the same. The other route is given below.
Weather 27/03/04: Cloud & drizzle till 12.30, clear & sunny thereafter, thin easy snow over 3000'.

0835 Drive along A835 to W end of Loch Glascarnoch.
Park at NW end of Torrandhu bridge
(by former weather station.)
265   00 milesNH27727424
0905 NW along A835 to Loch Droma dam at Lochdrum 280  151.75 milesNH25397554
0940 Cross dam and take track W to sluice gates 345  903.4 milesNH23157478
1010 Ascend path SSW to bealach beside L. Sgaireach 5502954.05 milesNH22867374
1110 Ridge SW/S to M Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich 9547005.2 milesNH21997241
1130 Head ENE to path at cliff edge, then SW to bealach 840 5.5 milesNH21607220
1140 Ascend rim of corrie SW to bump 9448055.9 milesNH21087179
1150 Continue WSW for 250yds to col 935 6.07 milesNH20877167
1215 W/NW/N round to M Sgurr Mor 11109856.5 milesNH20327182
1235 Descend due S to col 945 7.0 milesNH20547109
1240 SSE to T Meall nam Peithirean 97410158.17 milesNH20767090
1250 Take SE branch of ridge passed Creachan Rairigidh
to path branch at col
836 8.0 milesNH21617009
1315 Continue SE to M Meall Gorm 94911358.45 milesNH22166961
  Continue along ridge E/SE to first small col 905 9.0 milesNH22986933
1330 Ascend SE to T Meall Gorm, SE Top 92211609.15 milesNH23236920
1345 SE down ridge to Bealach Ban 775 9.7 milesNH23736861
SE/S up ridge to M An Coileachan 923130710.2 milesNH24156801
1500 Descend due N, aiming for E edge of Loch Gorm to
bealach S of Meallan Buidhe at SE corner of L. Gorm
565 10.95 milesNH24276920
  Contour NNE along slopes of Meallan Buidhe and
descend NE to bridge over Abhainn a'Ghiuthais Li
(hard work over peat bog) & cross to NW bank
390 11.5 milesNH25237127
  Path NE to bridge at end of forestry track 330 13.4 milesNH26357216
  Take forestry track NE (initially up hill) to A835 263137515.14 milesNH27997406
1715 A835 NW to car park by former weather station 265137615.35 milesNH27727424

Route 2: This is the same as the route given at from where a GPX route file can be downloaded. It is marginally less distance but more walking over rough ground and 80m more ascent than the first route above. In my opinion it has a poorer approach to the first Munro, starting with a long boggy stretch and finishing with 2kms of very stoney terrain. It is better to use the more scenic route 1 above which starts with walking along L. Droma, over the dam, along the track by the pipeline & ascending to L. Sgaireach.
Note the unexpected left fork after going through the forestry gate at the beginning of the walk, followed by an uphill stretch before descending on a right fork to a bridge over the Abhainn a'Ghiuthais Li.
Weather 12/08/09: Warmish, showers, some wind, sunny from 1330 or so. Cloud base 1000m; most tops clear.

0635 Drive along A835 to W end L. Glascarnoch
Park by Torrandhu bridge at former weather station
263   00.0 milesNH27727424Orange
0640 100m SE on A835 over bridge to signpost,
then follow forestry track to gate. Take left
at gate to stay on main forestry track which
heads uphill rather than along the river.
270    70.3 milesNH28057402 
0700 Track S uphill to bend to right 337  750.85 milesNH2753973320 
0710 Track SW to highest pt at 394m (1288') 3941301.5 milesNH2688272678 
  Continue track SW to right fork at signpost 378 1.7 milesNH2671572395 
0725 Track/bog W/SW dn to bridge over
Abhainn an Torrain Duibh
330 1.95 milesNH2636072126 
0745 Vehicle tracks W over bog to start of rise 3951952.55 milesNH2547671743 
0840 W/WSW up ridge to Creag Dhubh Fannaich 7575553.85 milesNH23527188 
  W to col 735 4.1 milesNH23147176 
0920-0925 NW/W to M Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich 9547805.0 milesNH21987241Orange
  Head ENE to path at cliff edge, then SW to bealach 845 5.33 milesNH21627221 
0950 Ascend corrie rim SW to bump 9448805.75 milesNH21067178 
  WSW 250m to col 935 5.9 milesNH20877167 
1015-1020 W/NW/N to M Sgurr Mor 111010606.33 milesNH20327182Orange
1035 S to col 943 6.8 milesNH20607110 
1040 SSE to T Meall nam Peithirean 97410957.0 milesNH20747090 
SE branch of ridge to Creachan Rairigidh. (Path
skirts minor bump; times are for cols on either side)
85511057.6 milesNH21517037 
1115-1125 SE/ESE to M Meall Gorm 94912158.25 milesNH22166961Orange
  E/SE to col 905 8.8 milesNH23006932 
1140 SE to T Meall Gorm, SE Top 92212409.0 milesNH23236919 
1153 S/SE down ridge to Bealach Ban 775 9.5 milesNH23726861 
1210-1225 SE/S to M An Coileachan 923138510.0 milesNH24166801Orange
1255-1320 N to col SE of Loch Gorm 565 10.75 milesNH24256920 
1405 Contour N along slopes of Meallan Buidhe and
descend NE to bridge over Abhainn a'Ghiuthais Li
(hard work over peat bog) & cross to NW bank
390 12.3 milesNH2523171275 
1435-1445 Path NE on NW bank to next bridge 330138513.2 milesNH2636072126 
1450 Track E up to signpost 378144013.5 milesNH2671572395 
1455 Left track NE to highest pt 394145513.7 milesNH2688272678 
1525 Forestry track NE to gate near road 270 14.87 milesNH28057402 
1530 100m NW on A835 to former weather station 263145515.2 milesNH27727424Orange

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