Colin's Munros


Sgurr na Ciche, Garbh Chioch Mhor, Sgurr nan Coireachan & Sgurr Mor
Map 33 or 40; 25th April 2006 & 24th May 2010

Route A: 2420m = 7935' ascent; 19.5 miles (4.6 miles track + 4.6 miles valley path + 11.4 miles on hill); 13 hrs
Route B (without Sgurr Mor but with Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh): 1760m = 5780' ascent; 14.6 miles
Route C (without Sgurr Mor): 1495m = 4900' ascent; 15.0; miles
Route D (Sgurr Mor with Sgurr an Fhuarain): 1500m = 4900' ascent; 13.0; miles

Access: From Spean Bridge take the A86 north for 1 mile to the Comando memorial, then left (west) onto the B8004. Take right onto B8005 at Gairlochy after crossing the Caledonian Canal. Go sharp left at Clunes; then 1.8 miles to start of L. Arkaig. Then a further 12.4 miles along N side of loch. Drive as far as possible towards Glendessary, parking by gate at end of public road NM98769158.
Route: This is a very long walk, but there are several ways to shorten it. In particular, as in Route C, the part of the ridge consisting of the Corbett tops An Eag and Sgurr Beag, the Munro Sgurr Mor and the Corbett Sgurr an Fhuarain might well be done separately, saving 925m of ascent and 5 miles distance on the day, leaving just a reasonable 15 miles and 1500m ascent. With that saving, one could instead go from An Eag over to the Corbett Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh, 835m, as in Route B. This yields a slightly shorter walk of 14.6 miles with 1760m ascent. Sgurr Mor with its neighbouring Corbett is given in route D above. For those with an eye to a Corbett completion, adding in the Corbetts in this way saves a lot of ascent in the future.
Note that there are other sensible starting points for Sgurr na Ciche such as Camusrory.
The paths in the valleys (as opposed to the tracks) are often so poor as to be harder than going cross country. It may be better to follow the track on the opposite side of Glen Dessary, by taking the (poorish) left path at Upper Glendessary House, as described below for 24/5/10. (See the SMC Munro guide book.) Or one may instead take the whole track on the south side of the valley all the way from Strachan to the bridge at NM93049338 or beyond. (See Route C.)
Conditions 25/04/06: Strong gusty winds all day (gales), frequent heavy showers of hail. 10°C at car, cloud base 900m in am, then 1000m in pm. Deep, soft wet snow above 800m. Very hard going underfoot at all levels as well as hard weather conditions.
Conditions 24/05/10: Some light drizzle early morning for an hour, else long sunny periods, especially pm. Cloud above tops. 11°C. Stiff cool breeze.

25/4/0624/5/10 Description Ht.Asc.DistanceGrid Ref.Mob.
05300450 Park at gate just short of Strathan Barracks   60   00.0 milesNM98779160No Orange
05500500 Track W to split above Strathan   65 0.45 milesNM98059150 
06100520 Track NW to Glendessary Lodge entrance   90  451.7 milesNM96629264 
06350540 Track WNW to Upper Glendessary House. 105  652.7 milesNM95189312 
0650 — EITHER Take right path above house NW to
start of forest (not the left one towards river.)
1501103.2 milesNM943933 
0725 — Bridge over Allt Coire nan Uth
(This is down at the forest edge.)
1751504.1 milesNM93109373 
0745 — Continue to path join at end of forest 2602354.87 milesNM92309448 
 —0555 Or (preferred) Left on boggy path to river ftbr
(100m upstream of vehicle ford)
95 3.25 milesNM94349293 
 —0600 Cross bridge to track, then
right on track to forest edge
(Very boggy in places)
100703.4 milesNM94229216 
 —0610 W to highest point on track 1351054.04 milesNM93169297 
Excellent track W in forest to bridge
(Good for cycling)
1301154.35 milesNM93049339 
 —0630 Cross bridge & take path by river to path split 1401254.7 milesNM92679328 
 —0645 Follow R branch NW to path join after forest 2602455.3 milesNM92309448 
08150710 Then WNW to path split near watershed 3002755.5 milesNM91439488 
09000750 Track NW to shoulder of Garbh Chioch Mhor 6256006.35 milesNM90439547 
 0805 Path N under Garbh Chioch Mhor
to Allt Coire na Ciche
7006756.7 milesNM90309623 
Path NE up stream (gorge) to bealach
(Feadan na Ciche)
8458306.96 milesNM90629647 
 0855 Follow gulleys to left of wall, first W then N
up screes to cairn where path attains ridge
10009757.15 milesNM90439670 
Ridge WNW to M Sgurr na Ciche
(No trig post; only the plinth remains.)
104010157.25 milesNM90209668Orange
10500925 E then S back to bealach Feadan na Ciche 845 7.55 milesNM90629647 
 0930 Follow stone wall S to lochan 89510657.25 milesNM90679628 
1110  Follow wall SE to Garbh Chioch Mhor, W top. 100511857.8 milesNM90829611 
E to M Garbh Chioch Mhor 101311957.9 milesNM90959606Orange
1130  300m E to minor top 97512058.07 milesNM91239611 
   200m E to col 940 8.15 milesNM91379611 
11451015 SE/E to T Garbh Chioch Bheag 96812308.45 milesNM91809590 
   ESE to minor col 805 8.9 milesNM92439563 
1215  100m E to minor top (Garbh Chioch Bheag on map) 82512558.95 milesNM92529561 
250m E down to Bealach Coire nan Gall 733 9.15 milesNM92779560 
12551130 NE to M Sgurr nan Coireachan
(Option to descend ridge due S & return,
giving a total walk of 1500m ascent; 10 miles.)
95314759.5 milesNM93299583Orange
   440m NE along summit ridge 920 9.7 milesNM93549611 
 1200 Descend ESE to col Feadan na h-Urchaireach 785 9.95 milesNM93989596 
13351210 400m ESE to An Eag 873156010.25 milesNM94349587Orange
14051230 NE to bealach (at path traversal) 662 10.9 milesNM95179642 
14301300 NE to Sgurr Beag 890179511.5 milesNM95919709 
NE to col 745 11.8 milesNM96239744 
NE to M Sgurr Mor 1003205512.2 milesNM96529804Orange
1545 — Either: SW back to col.
(Also possible to go on to next col to descend.)
745 12.65 milesNM96239744 
1630 — Descend SE to R. Kingie just below double bend
(heading directly for pass at NM975950.)
252 13.45 milesNM969963 
 —  Or: E to E top 980 12.4 milesNM96839803 
 —1425 SE to col 715 12.95 milesNM97539757 
Optionally ENE to C Sgurr an Fhuarain (trig pt)
(Good well built cairn and trig post still complete.)
901224013.75 milesNM98739798Orange
 —  Return WSW almost to col      
S down slope to River Kingie 200 15.3 milesNM97869630 
17001655 Then: Ford R. Kingie (hard to keep dry feet
when in spate) then SSE to watershed.
365241016.4 milesNM97479578 
17451735 Join path by Allt na Feithe (stay on W bank),
then S to road by Glendessary House
  90 17.9 milesNM96829259 
18101800 Road SE to split above Strathan   70241019.0 milesNM98059150 
18201810 Track E to parking at gate over road.   60242019.45 milesNM98779160No Orange

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