The day after the Grey Corries was forecast to be miserable in Lochaber, but up north looked promising. Ally and I settled on these two outliers of the Fannichs. It meant a long drive up to the campsite at Ullapool but the reward was another fine day in the hills!
We parked up at the layby on the A832 that begins at the right of way to Loch Fannich. The day was fair – at least the clouds were not covering the summits and it was staying dry, which is much to be thankful for this poor summer. We began by following the track down to Loch a’Bhraoin. We saw a couple of runners here and a guy backpacking.
A new path directed us through a plantation to meet up with the stalkers path west of the Allt Breabaig burn. Further on, a cairn marked where the path crossed the burn to continue on the other side. The path was good, although still boggy in parts but made the climb up to the col relatively easy.
At the col we stopped for a quick break at a stone shelter and watched two tiny stick figures descend the long grassy slopes of Sgurr nan Each opposite. We then began to make the climb up the SE spur of Sgurr Breac. This looked awful steep so I was relieved to find an excellent path to aid us which zigzagged all the way up and along to the summit.
There were good views to Loch Fannich and the eastern Fannichs range, to the mountains of Torridon, and on the other side down to Loch Toll an Lochan and over to An Teallach and the Beinn Dearg hills.
Soon we were at the summit. We then climbed from here to the top of Toman Coinnich where we had a look at our descent options. The shoulder of Sron na Goibhre looked like a rough and steep descent with a long and boggy trudge across the lower ground. Descending via Druim Reidh looked preferable, although that also had a steep drop at the end, but we settled on this way.
We clambered down to the bealach and then up the ridge to A’Chailleach. Torridon was looking particularly fine from here and there were great views again to Letterewe, An Teallach, the northern Corbetts and the Beinn Dearg range.
Having decided on the descent from Drum Reidh, we wandered back over to Toman Coinnich to start walking down via the broad ridge. This turned out to be a very pleasant, long and easy descent on gentle grassy slopes, with a great view to An Teallach.
It got boggier and haggier towards the end but we had picked up a path that guided us through the worst of it. Once we got to the drop at the end, we found the path continued, winding its way tightly round the crags. It seemed a long way down and it was incredibly steep, so we were relieved when finally we reached the boggy floor of the glen. Looking back up it looked impenetrable – I wonder how the path formed! From there we picked up the initial stalkers path from the way in.
These were my first hills of the Fannichs range and I’m looking forward to the others at some point. Ally and I had plans to backpack them all this summer, but with the forecasts being so poor and changeable, we’ve held it off because we really want to appreciate these ones.