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Regions - Trip reports, destination advice, recommended routes, etc. => Scotland => Topic started by: troy on 11:50:04, 20/11/11

Title: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: troy on 11:50:04, 20/11/11
The Fannaichs, 13 miles, 1600m ascent lord knows how often I;d driven past these mountains on my way north or to An Teallach, always saying one day. Well that day had finally come and wasnt even planned, I only ended up doing this walk because of some O/T being dashed the night before. I had looked up routes into this huddle of mountains whose spiraling peaks hide a glen within their circle (like the cullians) but that route involved a 30km walk and a total ascent of over 2000m, a distance I was unlikely to cover in the 9 hours of daylight. see panoramic of cloouds over torridon and an teallach here (http://www.mtn-m.co.uk/web%20components/Fiannaichs/panoramic%20from%20fannaichs)




So I made up this route starting/ending at NH162761 (OS 20, on the A832 between corrieshalloch gorge and parking for An teallach) a small lay following a track passed the dark loch (well would be in twilight of sunrise) of Loch a bhuaion through a very quiet pine wood following a route for awhile that is sign posted from the road to Loch Fannaichs over a sturdy bridge below the woods then head upto the outcrops of rocks of Laiti fhearnie. These outcrops are literally straight above you and the path takes you up around and amongst them. I had started up using some tracks left by quad bikes (obviously left over from the recent stalking) but I think that the real path should be joined right after the bridge to your left.


The walk upto tomain coinich (first peak along route) looks worse than it was on the ground, but I guess the views that opened up as I climbed towards An Teallach. (seen most of the day) were fantastic enough to take my mind off the trudge up as its dark mass looked fantastic around the swirling masses of dark cloud and clear sky that roamed above it all day.



As I walked wets from tomain, most views went out the window as cloud dropped, thin and swirling it might have been, but it cloaked most surrounding Munros in dense haze. This did allow for some snippets of views especially of the torridon hills but all I saw all day was their dark mass under the west coast storm clouds although they did get about 20 seconds of sunshine probably a real treat to anybody that was on them that day, cause later in the day it looked like they were being pounded by heavy rain.



From tomain headed to sgurr breae which was the last top of this finger of hills from the main fannaichs circular peaks from where I descended down to a high pass which separated the two. Down a massive 500m which I had to climb up again to reach sgurr a chadha. There is no path upto this peak (or not that I found) so I just headed straight up for awhile until Id reached the start of a small stream marked on the map then headed diagonally towards the peak. Despite walking over rough ground, it was quite easy as for some reason most of the slopes I walked along this route, there was no thick coverings of heather, just short grass and moss.



From this peak I was looking straight towards the sun (that was within cloud, never saw it physically all day) whose rays of light that broke through the cloud bathed the hills and mountains towards the south in a glase on spot lights. As mesmerizing as it was it did allude detail of the peaks in that direction as the dark cloud did else where.



From there turned north and went down and up, down and up to sgurr nan clach geala (the only other peak that was in the cloud until Id walked down from it!) this in gealic translate as peak of the white stones and there are places along this route covered by white stone, the crystal type which from a distance looked like a lite covering of snow. On the map this part of the walk did not seem to exciting and being that the only vertical cliffs were on the hidden glen side, the ridge was fairly easy but these three peaks (including the one I was on) were like huge pyramid shaped points thrusting above and over into the hidden glen (which most of these peaks were around the glen looking like jagged teeth) and the views I got from all of them were fantastic of the torridon and an teallach whose masses were constantly in view. Apart from when I asended the 300m upto geala but this time on a well marked path, the best I encountered along the entire route.



The walk down from geala is again more interesting then what is shown on the maps down a sharp ^ shaped ridge past rugged outcrops, stones and boulders where you occasionally get great views into the hidden glen through deep steep corries. I could still see the sun rays plummeting onto the far hills in the south but also their was one lighting up a small part of this glen revealing sharp colours that looked great amidst the drab grays added to by the river whose surface reflected the bright sky.



From below geala I walked onto a chrasgaidh, then made my way down its north slope to the river, crossing it by stepping stones near to where I found the waterfalls.



Despite the high winds I encountered during the day, which for some reason would blow like a tornado then disappear leaving eerie silence (which frizzled my hair up good and proper making it look like Id put my finger in a plug hole) and the constant threat of the dark clouds to the west of me, it did not rain the entire day which is always a good thing. I even enjoyed the usual soaking of my feet thinking that it could be worse as it was on a walk I did the same time last year into the cairngorms in knee deep snow. Today it was +15 at 07.00 in the morning and even the bog was dryer then normal sometimes climate change is a good thing.
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: ramblingpete on 15:00:58, 20/11/11
Thanks for that Troy, a really enjoyable read. Very atmospheric pictures on a dark day O0

Plenty of up and down there :o
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: Frogwell on 23:43:30, 22/11/11
Excellent pics troy!  Perfect capture of the moody atmosphere  O0

You're dog looks glum though :)
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: yorksgal on 23:48:20, 22/11/11
Nice photos however a little gloomy looking  ;D
I like the ones of the sun shining through the clouds and that of the waterfall, very nice. O0
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: jonathan on 07:38:58, 23/11/11
what a dark and brooding day; sure I saw some blue sky on one of your photos though!
we did the first two this summer on a dreich day got down to the bealach to the next three and thought....no, save it for another time looked like blooming hard work  ???
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: Peakbagger on 10:12:24, 23/11/11
Excellent report and photo's! O0 I did the exact same route as you did there on the first weekend in October. My day started off well with excellent views across to An Teallach as I walked along Druim Reidh but sadly the cloud level dropped before I reached the summit of A' Chailleach and thus I spent the rest of the day in the clag. :( So it's nice to see from your photo's the views that I missed. O0 It's a tough day out, especially as I had done the other more westerly Munro's only the day before, but it's a fantastic area. Although I did return home with half a dozen deer ticks attached to me which wasn't good... :(
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: dittzzy on 19:04:00, 23/11/11
I love your pics.  All broody n foreboding.  Class!   O0 O0
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: Catbells on 09:36:30, 24/11/11
I like the last photo best  O0  Oh and the one with the dog peeping over the hill  O0
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: ken on 21:43:52, 24/11/11
great trip report and pics I still have these to do so am looking forward to getting there sum day soon  O0 O0 O0
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: troy on 14:58:19, 25/11/11
ye it was a gloomy day as far as light went, but I kind of like these sorts of days when the dark clouds hoover all around threatening to soak you to the skin or worse! hide the darn top and those of others around. But not today unlike my last trip where their was only one cloud nicly resting on the top I was on! today the forcast was 60 % munros free with most cloud sticking over the western coast hills like glue - and that they did especially torridon - the wind was nicly busty and the temperature mild enough to please and not freeze leaving me with plenty of time to stand and just look out  from the ridges and peaks to the far heavens of highland paradise as my hair was blow dried and the dog ears flew around like space saucer things - sometimes, just sometimes, not very often thankfully, but sometimes life can feel just great!
And now I see snow falling out my window - do I hear a great shout of joy as the winter season of walking fun starts, Oh just as my dog finds its hiding place once more.
Title: Re: Fannichs - circle of ragged jaws
Post by: letmeoutofhere on 20:10:54, 25/11/11
I think that's one of the most beautiful reports/ set of photos I've seen, I like it a bit bleak and brooding! thanks  O0