The Fisherfields 5+1 (which makes 6) - July 2019

I wasn't going to blog this, and it may still never appear, but the pictures and views alone are worth the effort.

Davey Knowles - Coming up for Air.
You don't have to play the music ok, but it is intended to be used with the pictures.
AND, they are damned good. 

The Band that is! 

ACTUALLY, just hit play and watch the Band before you go on.
The guitar playing is stunning, the bass so subtle, and the organ solo half way through a killer.
Then worry about the blog OK!

Day 1 - Wed 24th July (The walk in and the Corbett, which is a bloody Munro FFS)

Train to Inverness on the Tue, and then a drive to Dundonnell on the Wed, via dropping off Sally's dog Cluanie , and then a park up in the small lay-by, and away up the track to be attacked by sodding horseflies through the woods.
Ticks appear to hate me, but bloody horseflies appear to love me.
Win some, lose some 😩

Then once out of the woods, a bit of breeze and the drag up and over down to the river crossing.
A bit wet in places and a heed of cows to navigate.
TBH, they don't bother me, and they were off the path, and the bull wasn't about.

Route Outline

More detailed maps

There is a .gpx of the route HERE

No pictures of the river crossing.
It was easily wade-able, but you did have to choose the route, and walk a bit along the stream to keep the water below the knees.

Once over the other side, it was totally trackless, and up all the way to the summit of the Corbett.

We got hit by a lashing of rain on the 1st bit of the ascent, but it soon passed, and after a chat with a frog, we continued up. Trying to keep to the slope of least resistance, nut still going up.
Ain't no route plan here, just find a way up and avoid the steep craggy bits.

Miss P, NOT having the weather LOVE πŸ€”πŸ˜„

Ain't no way but UP

Despite her best efforts, Sally could NOT make this chap turn into a handsome Prince!

Carl will probably not only know specific details about this chap/girl frog, but probably even knows it's name πŸ€”πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

AND, it was still a long way to the top from here.

The final ascent to the top being through rough moving boulders.
Actually, a lot of boulder fields up here.

Then it was boulders and up and steep and then we hit the Summit ridge of

Beinn a Chlaidheimh

It's not a Munro...   It's now officially 2999' (approx 30cm short FFS)


And the views were like 😱😱😱

There are pictures below:
It doesn't show what you see, and what your senses feel.
And it doesn't show the gusty wind either.

A weirdly distorted 180 panorama

It would have been easy to just sit there and stare for longer, but time was now pressing as we needed to drop down to the lochans and find a camp spot on the rather rocky or wet ground.

Camp Spot 1
(And that 2km the next morning up to the next Summit).
It does NOT show the boulders 🀦‍♂️🀦‍♂️πŸ™†‍♂️
So, we arrived at the intended camp spot.
It was either bouldary (is that a word?) and rocky or sodding wet.
Sally of course found a spot straight away, pointed out a suitable spot close by, which I ignored, and wandered around the whole area looking for a perfect spot which of course didn't exist, and came back and used that very spot. 🀦‍♂️
Sometimes you should just listen to others ehh.. 🀷‍♂️πŸ™„πŸ˜‚

And having assembled the inner of my tent that I had forgotten to attach after cleaning it the last trip, I got up the Notch, and collapsed in.
OK, then got out and got water, and wandered around and amidst intermittent dribbles of rain, we had a wander about, and then it was time to sleep, because tomorrow was going to be tough and long.

And, as it turned out, tougher than that!

Not a bad little spot as it turned out 😁

Day 2 - Thu 25th July (5 Munros and a lot of descent at the end)

It was morning, and we were 20 min late, but whatever.
A chap passed by doing the round in a day (with a small pack!).
We watched him head up, but took a route more up the main back to the summit, which as it turns out meant we spotted the little shelter about 1/3 of the way up.

There was no way I was getting in and out with my knees, so that was left to younger folk.

And upwardly and upwardly we trudged, until finally Munro 1 top was achieved.

Well, one down and 4 to go then.
A walk across the plateau top and then steep-ish drop off to the left.
Met a lady coming up.

At the bottom, Sally did a brief toe hot spot fix, and then it was up.
The start is a bit of a mild scramble.
Easy with a day pack, but a bit tougher with full pack on.
I put one pole away, to leave a hand free.
It's only about the 1st quarter of the up, and then it gets easier, and it is back to walking up.
I should have taken more pictures of this, but for some reason, I just charged down, and then charged up again 🀷‍♂️

That was 2 down and a bloody long way to go, and a rather mighty ridge walk.

I did a GoPro time lapse of this.
Well, I thought I had, but I had pressed the wrong button, as I was not wearing glasses, and just took 500 shite photos 🀦‍♂️

Back to the photos then

Well, that was 3 done and 2 to go.
Bit of  a descent and a long way down into the valley for the next one, and across a bog.

Met an old chap.
I say old, older than me, on his way up and back.
He kept talking about the others, but there was nobody else about. 🀷‍♂️πŸ™†‍♂️

And so it was down and around.

It was getting hot.

NO, HOT, and water was scarce.

We dropped down.
Sooooo far it seemed , before starting to ascend up to A Mahaighdean.

We stopped twice on the way up.
Once to grab as much water as possible.
Once just to lie on a rock in the sun and maybe doze.
OK, it was not that sensible given the distance yet to do, and the last hill, but at the time, it was the best thing to do.
It was very tiring in the heat.

All I could see was blue sky and a smear of vapour trail.

Sometimes doing NOTHING is good

BUT, this was NOT getting us to the top.
It looked like only another 250m of ascent, but Jesus that dragged on and on and on and...... πŸ™†‍♂️

But, finally at the top.

The views from the other tops had been great, but this one was just plain WOW!

The pictures don't do it justice, you have to go and look and take it all in.

So, ok, mainly my fault, as I wasn't looking at the maps at all, but assuming the way off was across the wide plateau (which it wasn't), we walked out to the end of a rather nice flat bit that terminated with a rather steep drop. So turning back we then went and took the correct path (not that it was visible at the start), and the long drop down before the steep scramble up to the top of the final peak of the day Ruadh Stac Mor.
From a distance, this looked quite daunting, appearing to go straight up a sheer crack.
But actually, once you got there, it was nowhere near as bad, and before long (ok it was a bloody haul up at the end of the day), we were perched on the top of the final Munro.
Apparently, the remotest Munro, although it didn't seem it from the views.

It was still hot, but the forecast was for Thunder and Lightening about midnight.
This meant that our intended camp spot at Lochan a Bhraghad in the middle of a wide open bowl, although normally perfect (and it was when we got there), meant it may be less than ideal in a storm, as it was still up around the 621m mark.
So it was decided to try and crack on to Shenavall Bothy (which was meaning another 9.5km still)

We headed down a rather large boulder field in heat, and desperate need of water.
I was moaning about boulders, and Sally was moaning about me moaning 🀷‍♂️.
Hey... it is what it is.
I was moaning just because I like moaning about irrelevant shit.
Sally appeared to be serious 😨
So I shut up and cracked on down and down and down to the Lochans.
Which were mighty pretty with flowing water and waterfalls.
I drank about 3 litres and filled up bottles.
We rested briefly.
Sally still looked cross.
A wise man would shut up, and I am a wise man despite the facade.

We carried on down and down and down.
I found a route across the wrong stream, and then back, and carried on down.
It was getting boggy.
It was getting late.
We were getting tired.
The fucking midges were waking up as the sun dropped and breeze from up high vanished to nothing.


Amazingly the rock finger was pointing the right way.

The original camp spot.
It would have been perfect, and with hindsight, OK
Original spot by the river between the Lochans
And onwards

I found a crossing point by the river, and was preparing to cross. It was 2km to the bothy, maybe 2½.
It meant another crossing.
Discussion was had, and decided (ok, I agreed), to head a bit further along to a small building to see if there was anywhere to pitch up, as here the ground was just a wet bog.

This was the buildings at Larachantivore.

The first building was a NO.
But just past the trees, the second building (sadly locked), had good flat ground.
The downside was no wind and a rising tide of bloody midges.

So near and yet so far.
And so in a bit of a rush, and being bitten slowly, we put up shelters.
Grabbed water from the stream, and then battened down the hatches against the insects.

There was minimal dialogue apart from discussion between the shelters.
I thought about cooking, but cooking in the porch would have been a nightmare with the midges.
I left the doors open as it was so hot, and just zipped up the inner.

Eating 3 packets of Olly's Olives and a lot of cereal bars and chocolate.
I wasn't going to cook.
I had 3½ litres inside the tent.
It would be gone by morning I was that thirsty still, and I would NOT need to get out for a pee.
TBH, it would have been horrendous.

If you don't believe me look at the video from inside the tent.

I stuck headphones in.
Watched a movie on my phone.
Listened to some downloaded Radio 4 podcasts.
And slept in just my pants on the top of the sleeping bag.
I was still hot.

And I was still eaten by midges in the night.
I don't even know where the FUCKERS got in from.

Listen, if you want proof of NO GOD....

Midges and Clegs!!!

What is their fucking purpose?

Bastard Midges collecting to apply misery
 Day 3 - The walk back out to Shenavall  and the road

Without midges it was perfect.
Really, not much to say today.
On a normal day, it would have been a lovely walk out.
But after the views of the previous 2 days, it was just a long, or seemed long walk back to the car.
We followed the river down to attempt to avoid to crossings.
The loch was pretty, but we had to retrace on the bank about a km to find a bit to cross.
It was actually just luxury wading in the river.
A swim with some extra clothes would be good.
There was a perfect deep bit nearby....

But it was not a thing.

A walk to the bothy for a rest, and then the 8km back up and over to the car.
I could have taken more photos.
I just didn't 🀷‍♂️

Beinn Dearg Mor.
A tough little Corbett with steep ascent, that needs to be done at some future point.
Not too future, I'm not getting any younger. 

Looking to the bothy
Looking back to 
 unfinished business

An Teallach (more unfinished business)
And it was done.

I say done, there were the sodding horseflies to contend with again on the way back down.
And an interesting encounter coming round a bend, to see a chap about 200m away with his bare arse pointing back and in the air, as he was wiping it with something.
I did a quick turn around and loitered for about 4 min.
Snuck back, he was still bare arsed.
Sally arrived.
We waited, went round the corner after about 2 min.
He was at least clothed.
We nodded and scurried past.
Best not to ask IMHO.

OK...And then it was done!

There is still unfinished business here though.
Apart from the mentioned hills, there is also the pretty little Ruadh Stac Beag
There is also Beinn a Chaisgein Mor, Beinn Lair and of course SLIOCH.

And to the right SGURR MOR

Then of course Suilven 

Actually quite a few up here, I'll probably have to come back.

It's just a bleeding long way from Cambridge

To put it into perspective.
It takes me 5 hrs to get to Scotland by car.
Once I get to Scotland, it is another 5 hours to get here.
It's nearly 10 hrs to Inverness by train.

It was a great trip though.
Shame about the weather on Sat though 🀷‍♂️πŸ™„πŸ˜•

AND, if Davey Knowles inspires.
Here's one on a Strat! :-)