The Fannaichs (South)

This hike started at a car park by the A832, 7 km (4.3 miles) from the base of the hill. Reaching the latter required about an hour-long walk along a narrow tarmac road, initially through the woodland, then through the open space. Soon after I’d started walking I took off my jacket, then my winter cap and gloves, finally the fleece too, and began wondering if my outfit was too heavy for the weather. Unfortunately I didn’t have a T-shirt in my backpack, so I expected to boil.

That worry was blown away by the wind when I left the road and started climbing An Eigin, along the north edge of Garbh Choire Mor. Initially the ground was pretty wet; when the slope became steeper, the mud was replaced by rocks and stones. Many of them weren’t stable, and around many of them were holes in the ground hidden under heather and grass. All that, with its steepness, made climbing a bit hard. Eventually I made it to the ridge between An Eigin and my first Munro of the day, An Coileachan, and the views from there were just stunning both west- and eastward! The only downside of the situation was the wind, cold and strong; actually it was so unpleasant that when I reached the summit of An Coileachan I left it almost immediately, looking for some shelter to have my lunch. I managed to do so near the saddle between the two Munros. The situation repeated itself on the top of Meall Gorm, the second and last of that day’s Munros. I spotted in the distance a path running along the ridge, but in order to get there I had to go down quite a steep slope. The ground was pretty forgiving, but the wind coming from Coire Riabhach was very strong, making staying upright a bit of a challenge. Finally I reached the beginning of the path, which turned out to be pretty wet, and in lower parts of the hill resembled a ditch, mostly by its shape and appearance, and by its content too at times.

I got some respite from the wind when I reached a patch of woodland near Fannich Lodge, close to the bank of the loch of the same name. From there I had to walk all the way back to the car park along, some 12 km (7.4 miles) – it was extremely boring and mentally exhausting. Overall the hike was great, but it would have been nicer if I hadn’t had to cover all that tarmac.