The initial 1.5km walking was pleasant, following an excellent track
across the bridge over the River Helmsdale, across the North Highland line,
and to and beyond Borrobol Lodge.
North Highland line at Borrobol:
Looking back to Borrobol Lodge and estate houses:
To ascend Creag nam Fiadh I would however need to skirt round either the
east or west end of Loch Ascaig. I weighed-up the options and decided on the
shorter option skirting Loch Ascaig to the east.
Heading for Creag
nam Fiadh via Windy Hill:
The ground off-track was typical Sutherland terrain - wet and not
particularly pleasant. Beyond the loch I could see what looked like a track
ascending the hill, so I decided to make my way towards it.
Hill beyond Loch Ascaig:
While I was relieved to find a bridge over the Loch Ascaig outflow, I
was not sure if I could trust it to bear my weight. I decided to give it a
go and on standing on it the plank started to rise as it was not secure at
the other end. It did however bear my weight as I slowly made my way across.
Bridge across the outflow of Loch Ascaig:
Beyond the bridge I started my ascent of Windy Hill. Alas, what looked
like a track from a distance was not a track. It is a water channel. I
therefore just had to make my way up through the grass and heather.
It didn't take long to reach the top of Windy Hill and from there I made my
way across to Creag nam Fiadh.
Creag nam Fiadh from top of Windy
As I approached the top a bank of cloud shrouded the summit thus
providing zero summit views.
Looking towards the summit of Creag nam
Fiadh from a cairn:
I waited at the summit for around ten minutes but the cloud did not
At the summit of Creag nam Fiadh:
I returned to the car via roughly the same route again making use of the
rickety bridge to get across the loch outflow.