Hill: Sgurr Gaorsaic
Date: Wednesday 20th April 2011
Company: Just myself
Time: 6 Hrs
Dog friendly: Yes

After work yesterday, I drove to just beyond Morvich where I slept in the back of my car. This allowed me to start walking at dawn this morning without having to set off from home around 3.00am .

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

After passing the Kintail Activity Centre, I passed a couple of newly-built houses and then followed the path towards the Falls of Glomach (shown in the next photo).

Start of path towards Falls of Glomach and Bealach an Sgairne:

The narrow path leading towards the Falls of Glomach is pretty good.

Narrow path:

As I walked along the path, I heard several cuckoos. I also saw several Wheatears.


The last time I walked along Gleann Choinneachain was in 2004, when I ascended Ben Fhada (Ben Attow). In 2004, it was impossible to cross the Allt Coire an Sgairne as it was in spate. As I walked along the glen today, I was hoping the crossing would be easier.

Gleann Choinneachain:

Tops of Beinn Fhada (Ben Attow):

Gleann Choinneachain:

Was nice to see wild primroses still in bloom. This got me thinking that it won't be long before the Marsh Lousewort, Sea thrift, Butterwort, Bog Ashpodel, etc. are in bloom.

Wild primroses:

The Allt Coire an Sgairne waterfall was quite tranquil today; easy to cross using stepping stones .

Allt Coire an Sgairne waterfall:

After crossing the Allt Coire an Sgairne, I made my way up to the Bealach an Sgairne. This was now new territory for me. As I ascended, I was reminded of the complexity of Beinn Fhada; a cracking Munro!

Ben Fhada (Ben Attow):

Ascending towards Bealach an Sgairne:

As I made my way towards the bealach, I was confronted by a mountain goat. It stood and stared me out for 15-20 seconds before taking-off up the mountain.

Mountain goat:

On reaching the really large cairn at the bealach, I made my way down towards Loch Bhealaich. It is always annoying to lose height.
At last I got my first view of Sgurr Gaorsaic.

Large cairn at Bealach an Sgairne:

Sgurr Gaorsaic and Loch Bhealaich:

On reaching the loch, I skirted round it and then continued along the path until reaching the line of fence posts running up the hill. I followed the fence posts to the summit.

Following the fenceposts up Sgurr Gaorsaic:

Looking back to Bealach an Sgairne (zoomed):

Ben Fhada, Bealach an Sgairne and A'Ghlas Bheinn:

Summit of Sgurr Gaorsaic with Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan in background:

From the summit, I also followed the fenceposts in descent.

On walking back round the loch, I spotted an unusual bird. It was quite a distance off but I'm fairly sure it was a Black-throated Diver. My 16x zoom wasn't quite good enough to get a good clear photo .

Black-throated diver on Loch Bhealaich:

From the loch, I ascended back to the Bealach na Sgairne and then descended back to the Allt Coire an Sgairne waterfall.

954m top of Beinn Fhada:

Gleann Choinneachain waterfall:

I stopped to photograph a caterpillar, just as a walker passed-by. She exclaimed, "It's a hairy granny!" I just about pmsl.

Drinker Moth Caterpillar?:

Today was a great day for wildlife. I also saw at least 10 small voles on the hill but they were all too quick to photograph.

View towards Morvich and A87:

A really nice day out .