Hills: Carn nam Fiaclan and Maoile Lunndaidh
Date: Friday 1st March 2019
Company: Just myself
Distance: 29.4km, Ascent: 1320m
Time: 8Hrs 50Mins
On Thursday evening, I drove as far as Achnasheen
where I parked-up for the evening. Early on Friday morning, I drove a
further ten miles along the A890 to Craig for an ascent of Maoile Lunndaidh.
I last ascended Maoile Lunndaidh in October 2005 just a couple of
weeks before ascending my final Munro. In 2005, I used a mountain bike to
cycle in as far as Gleuaig Lodge and have not used a bike since. Ascending
Maoile Lunndaidh on foot would leave me only two Munros to re-ascend on foot
to be able to say I have ascended all Munros, Corbetts, Grahams, Donalds and
Furth without use of a bike.
I set off walking circa thirty minutes
After crossing the level crossing, I walked 9.5km along the wide track
to reach Glenuaig Lodge and Shelter. The conditions were not ideal for
Pre-sunrise views from beyond the level crossing:
As I made my way along the track, I spotted numerous dark spots atop the
grasses at the side of the track. As suspected, the dark spots were ticks. I
counted at least twelve ticks on one tussock! I really hope we get a late
winter to kill-off some of these ticks otherwise it might be a horrendous
year for them.
Adult Female Deer Tick:
Approaching Sgurr nan Ceannaichean:
As I skirted round Sgurr nan Ceannaichean, I spotted a solitary stag who
did not seem overly concerned by my presence.
A solitary stag:
Soon thereafter I passed the double wire bridge, which I have used
several times previously en-route to the Achnashellach Munros. I also passed
a nice pool which looked ideal for a skinny-dip had it not been so cold.
From Pollan Buidhe, I still had three kilometres to walk to reach the
At Pollan Buidhe:
Prior to setting off, I had failed to read the Munros book to remind
myself of the standard route. The SMC Munros book suggests I should have
left the track before Glenuaig Lodge. I was however happy to have continued
further along the track to allow me to visit the Shelter.
On reaching the shelter I had a quick look inside. It is basically just
a strapped-down garden shed but it does have an electric light and an
electric heater inside. I didn't check to see if the electricity was
operational. It was my intention to spend some more time at the shelter
during the walk out.
From the shelter, I made my way across trackless ground towards the SSW
ridge of Fuar-tholl Beag. Had I checked the SMC Munro book, I would have
known that this is not the standard route up the hill. The SMC book suggests
ascending Carn nam Fiaclan more directly.
Looking back towards
Glenuaig Lodge and Shelter:
Heading for the SSW ridge of Fuar-tholl Beag:
Once on the ridge I suspected I was not on the standard route due to a
complete lack of path or footprints. I checked the map and thought the ridge
looked easy enough on paper, so I continued on.
Approaching the SSW
ridge of Fuar-tholl Beag
The ridge was certainly steep in places and my leg muscles were
screaming by the time I reached the top.
Ascending the wide ridge:
Looking back during steep ascent:
It was a relief to reach much flatter ground as I then made my way round
towards the summit of Carn Fiaclan, a Munro Top.
At the summit of
From Carn Fiaclan, I continued on towards the two tops of Maoile
Lunndaidh. I believe the furthest out top, the one with the largest cairn,
is the summit.
At the twin-top of Maoile Lunndaidh:
According to the Database of British Hills, the actual summit is a rock
located 20m from the large summit cairn. I did also visit the summit rock.
Summit cairn of Maoile Lunndaidh (20m from summit rock):
As there were no views whatsoever from the summit, I decided to continue
walking instead of stopping for a break. The initial descent was via lots of
small stones and then a via a mix of small stones and grass. I tried to pick
out grassy lines to avoid much of the stones.
Although the descent
was reasonably steep it was nowhere near as steep as the ascent.
Looking back towards the summit of Maoile Lunndaidh in descent:
During the descent I passed a nice waterfall and also a deep gully.
Allt an Fhuar-thuill Mhor waterfall:
Once onto easier ground the weather began to improve with the first blue
skies of the day. Just my luck for the tops to clear once down!
Looking back towards Maoile Lunndaidh in improving weather:
Once onto level ground I initially followed a deer track and then an ATV
track back in the general direction of the lodge.
Back onto level
ground and heading towards Glenuaig Lodge and Shelter:
It was welcome relief to have a seat inside the Glenuaig Shelter where I
drank a litre of water and had some food. I currently have a kidney stone so
I need to start drinking more on the hill. An incredibly painful thing!
I was now dreading the final 9.5km walk out but once going it was just a
case of repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other.
inside Glenuaig Shelter:
The light and conditions were now so much better than earlier in the
day. Sgurr nan Ceannaichean is a rocky hill.
Sgurr nan Ceannaichean:
On setting off, I had estimated being back at the van by 16:00. I reached
the van at 15:55 so I was not too far out.