Hills: Mullach na Dheiragain, Carn na Con Dhu, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan (Summit and West Top) and Stuc Bheag
Date: 14th - 16th September 2023
Company: Myself and Ann-Marie
Distance: 49.8km, Ascent: 1970m
Time: 15Hrs 25Mins

I ascended my first Munro with my school hillwalking club in 1982 and went on to complete my first round of Munros in 2005.

At the summit of my final first round Munro (Bidean nam Bian, October 2005):

I have subsequently completed the Corbetts (2011), the Furth (2015), the Grahams (2018) and the Donalds and Donald Tops (2022). I have also concurrently been chipping-away at the Munro Tops, to potentially complete a 'Full House', and the Munros to potentially complete a second round.

Following a trip to Knoydart in July 2023, I had only two Munros remaining, Mullach na Dheiragain and Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. My final Munros would therefore be a bit of an epic .

On pondering over the map, I considered going in from the Cluanie Inn, from Morvich and from Glen Affric. After some deliberation, I opted to go in from Glen Affric.

On checking the weather forecast for this weekend, it looked ideal. Not too hot, no rain and not too windy but with enough of a breeze to keep the midge at bay. I therefore checked the Glen Affric Hostel website and was surprised to find there were beds available. I therefore made a last-minute booking at the hostel, packed my rucksack, and set off in the company of my hillwalking friend.

On arrival in Glen Affric, we parked in the River Affric car park, choosing to ignore the 'No Overnight Parking' signs, deciding this was really meant to deter motorhomes, and once suited and booted and laden with heavy packs, set off along the track to the south of Loch Affric.

Day One - The Walk In


Having walked the south side of Loch Affric twice previously in recent years, the route was familiar. It was nice to again see Sgurr na Lapaich, a superb demoted Munro which in my view should not have been demoted.

Looking across Loch Affric towards Mam Sodhail and Sgurr na Lapaich:

As we progressed along the track, I could hear numerous long-tailed tits in the nearby trees. We also passed numerous bumble bees on devil's bit scabious. The scenery in Loch Affric is arguably at its best in autumn but we were still a few weeks too early to see the leaves in their array of autumnal colours.

Small beach at west end of Loch Affric:

On reaching the track junction, beyond the west end of the loch, we continued along the main Glen Affric Way track.

Glen Affric Way signposts:

We then passed Strawberry Cottage and continued on to the bridge and waterfall in West Affric. Until now, the track was familiar as we had walked as far as this point in 2020, to ascend An Socach.

At Strawberry Cottage:

West Affric bridge:

Allt Coire Ghaidheil waterfall:

The final few kilometres of track leading to the hostel was new territory for me. This section of track is a bit rougher but is still cycleable and in our case walkable.

On arriving at the hostel, we checked-in and got settled-in chatting with the warden and other residents. I last stayed in this hostel way back in 2002.

Glen Affric Hostel at Alltbeithe:

After a fairly good night's sleep for a hostel, we got up nice and early and were walking by 6.30.

Day Two - The Hills


The track to our intended hills starts directly behind the hostel. We followed the good stalker's path, running alongside the Allt na Faing, up into Coire na Cloiche.

Looking back to hostel:

Glen Affric:

The weather and views at the outset of the walk were terrific. While there was no wind, there was a chill in the air, so no midge .

Ascending the stalker's path towards Coire na Cloiche:

During the ascent we passed through two gates.

Hillside gate:

Once above 600m, the quality of the path deteriorates becoming wetter underfoot. It didn't take long to reach the ridge between Stob Coire na Cloiche and An Socach.

Having ascended An Socach in 2020, we now had to decide whether to ascend Mullach na Dheiragain or Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan first. As this was to be my final Munro, I opted to ascend the remotest hill first i.e. Mullach na Dheiragain, completing on the finer of the two hills, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan.

Carn na Con Dhu and Mullach na Dheiragain from the ridge:

After walking c.200 metres distance towards Stob Coire na Cloiche, I looked for and located the diagonal line leading down into Coire nan Dearcaig. The initial descent was steep and wet underfoot so care was taken not to slip.

Once in the coire, we chose a line leading onto the ridge between Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and Carn na Con Dhu a little higher than the col.

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhan from Coire nan Dearcaig:

Once onto the ridge we opted to leave our rucksacks for the out and back to/from Mullach na Dheiragain.

View from Carn na Con Dhu out to Mullach na Dheiragain:

It was fantastic to reach the summit of this remote Munro. The last time I visited this summit was for a friend's final Munro on a Cairngorm Club weekend meet. On that occasion we also ascended its Munro Top, Mullach Sithidh.

Ann-Marie approaching the summit of remote Mullach na Dheiragain:

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan from Mullach na Dheiragain:

From Mullach na Dheiragain, we returned to Carn na Con Dhu and beyond to collect our rucksacks.

Return from Mullach na Dheiragain to Carn na Con Dhu:

The Database of British Hills suggests the summit of Carn na Con Dhu is a cairn. I am not convinced this is correct. I thought the boulders in the next photograph looked higher.

Summit boulders atop Carn na Con Dhu:

With packs collected, we then made our way up the NE ridge of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan to its summit.

Ascending Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan:

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan Tops:

Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan West Top from Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan summit:

After a few pics at the summit and a quick congratulations, we agreed to head over to the West Top and along the North ridge. I'm not a fan of crowds, or fuss, so it was nice to again complete a round in the company of one friend, as per my Corbett and Graham completions.

Round Two Munros Compleat:

There is a short section of scrambling between the summit and west top which can either be taken directly or there is an easier line round and up on the right.

At the West Top of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan:

View from the West Top of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan:

Looking back to the summit of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan from the West Top:

From the west top we continued on out to Stuc Bheag. We were however increasingly conscious of getting further and further away from the hostel and that if we continued on we would have to return over three of the Munro tops as well as the summit of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan.

Approaching the summit of Stuc Bheag:

From Stuc Bheag we therefore decided to return back to the hostel leaving Stuc Mor and Stuc Fraoch Choire for another visit. I will return to do these Munro Tops on a day walk possibly also including the Marilyn, Meall Sguman.

We reascended the west top and then the summit of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan before then taking the ESE ridge towards the 970m top and on to Stob Coire na Cloiche.

Return via 970m, 941m and Stob Coire na Cloiche tops:

We eventually reached the col that we had ascended to earlier in the day and then followed the stalker's path back to the hostel.

Descent to the col between Stob Coire na Cloiche and An Socach:

Job done, 282/282 .

Day Three: The Walk Out

Having had a fairly good night's sleep in the hostel the night previous, the same could not be said for our second night in the hostel. We now had two seriously loud snorers in the dorm so sleep was next to impossible.

I checked my watch at 3am, 3.30am, 4am and by 4.30am I decided 'f*ck this', so we got up, packed our sleeping bags and were off walking by 5am.


The first hour of our walk from the hostel was as dark as pitch. There was no moon and as well as being dark we were also walking in low cloud (inversion). As we walked along with our headtorches shining brightly, it felt like we were in the Millennium Falcon travelling through hyperspace as the headtorchs were lighting up the specks of water like little stars.

A short distance before reaching Strawberry Cottage we were able to switch off our headtorches. Soon thereafter I had to stop to put Compeed on one of my toes .

As we then progressed along the loch, we were treated to nice sunrise colours as well as wisps of inversion.

Loch Affric sunrise:

Loch Affric:

Playing some random tunes on my iPhone during the walk out helped pass the time and when 'Beautiful' by Christina Aguliera started playing, the title described the walk alongside Loch Affric perfectly.

Loch Affric:

Loch Salach a' Ghuibhais:

It was great to reach the car at which point I decided I had now actually completed the Munros for a second time as the summit is arguably just half-way.

Think I am now going to take a few weeks off walking for my back to recover from carrying the heavy pack and for my toes to recover from the blisters .

Munros done but 29 Munro Tops still to go.