Mullardochs January 2007


Helen Rose  Hill Diary


Boat on Loch MullardochThe hills known as the Mullardochs lie to the south of Glen Strathfarrar and to the north of Loch Mullardoch. There are four Munros in this range and it has taken me four attempts to bag all four Munros.

The first attempt was several years ago for Ian to finish the Munros and involved the boat trip along Loch Mullardoch to Benula Lodge but at that time I only intended to bag the furthermost two as we made a late start for a variety of reasons. We walked out to An Socach and did a horseshoe to An Riabhachan coming back to where we started on the loch. Some did go on and did the linear walk back to the dam at Loch Mullardoch taking in the other two Munros but Stuart, Stephen and I walked back along the loch side. It is a long hard walk as the path goes up and down to the various burn outlets on the loch side. We arrived at the dam at the same time as the two who had climbed the other two Munros. Remember, I am a slow walker!

An SocachThe second attempt was to climb the first two Munros from the dam and we managed the Carn nan Gobhar but had to abandon Sgurr na Lapaich as the wind was too high to attempt to walk the narrow ridge. I later discovered how dangerous it would have been to bag the second Munro in poor weather.

The third attempt was last year in late May when it would normally have been good for bagging but due to late snow and poor weather all we managed was a walk along the loch side and up by the Allt Taige to the col between Sgurr na Lapaich and Carn nan Gobhar. We surveyed the summit ridge of Sgurr na Lapaich which was packed with snow and decided against it as we did not have ice axes. This was a wise decision and the right one at that time so we climbed up to Carn nan Gobhar and returned to the lochside by Creag Mor to avoid the Allt Mullardoch as the burn was in full spate. My companions were very disappointed that they had not helped me to bag Sgurr na Lapaich that day but such is the vagaries of the Scottish weather that bagging Munros is never a sure thing no matter how well planned.

Sgurr na LapaichHowever, I was rewarded by a superb day out in July when David was over from Northern Ireland and assisted us in bagging the elusive Sgurr na Lapaich in good weather. Once again we walked along the loch shore to the Allt Taige and walked towards the col but David spotted a lovely ridge taking in Sgurr nan Clachan Geala and suggested this as an alternative route to Sgurr na Lapaich. It was bagged at last on the fourth visit to the Mullardochs! The ridge walk was one of the most memorable I have been on in the Highlands

We descended back to the col over a boulder field with large rocks and drops between them. This would have been very dangerous in soft snow and we realised how we had made the right decision not to make the ascent in the previous May. Back at the col, two of us walked out by the Allt Taige as we had already climbed Carn nan Gobhar but the others went over it to the dam. They were still back before us! We encountered the worst midges ever swarming around us and had to jump in the car with boots on to escape them.

From Sgurr na Lapaich to StrathfarrarWe were the only walkers on the hills that day and enjoyed spectacular views over Glen Strathfarrar and also towards Beinn Fhionnlaidh over Loch Mullardoch.


Coming attractions; Xmas in Perthshire and Isle of Gigha weekend


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Thanks to David Alexander and Frances Rickus for the photos