Meall a’ Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala & Sgurr nan Each
Ally and I had booked a weekend at the campsite at Poolewe. It is a great campsite and a brilliant location – something we had booked a while ago to do something else that we ended up eventually not doing, but we decided to still go for the weekend anyway. We realised we were not too far from some of our unclimbed Fannichs so set off from the campsite on the Saturday to walk the middle three Munros of Meall a’ Chrasgaidh, Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr nan Each. We had walked up the Western pair a few weeks previously, and had planned to backpack the seven eastern Munros on another weekend. Ah the best laid plans…this summer has been a wash-out and not enticing enough most weekends to make us want to get out and backpack. The whole summer has been woefully absent of camping and backpacking – I’ve really missed it. However, Ally was also two Munros away from halfway so he thought these hills would be a fitting way to reach it.
The weather was looking decidedly grey as we set off from the layby on the A832 near Loch a’Bhraoin and we could only hope it would clear. The forecast had been relatively positive.
We set off on the track that heads along the Allt Breabaig, crossed the burn and then began to make our way up the steep, pathless slopes of Meall a’ Chrasgaidh.
I actually enjoyed this part – I quite like just getting my head down and grinding out an ascent. A hillrunner skipped past us, seemingly on air as we plodded on, quite making me feel like a hippo. Eventually the ground evened out a little and we reached the summit and shelter cairn. It was freezing and the wind was blowing a hoolie so we only stopped briefly before carrying on. There was a good path and pleasant descent to the wee lochan on the bealach between Meall a’ Chrasgaidh and Sgurr nan Clach Geala but the cloud was getting thicker and we were not getting the views we had hoped for, despite the forecast.
The ridge up to Sgurr nan Clach Geala was great, despite being mostly in the clag. There was a steep drop to the left, and we could only see bits swirling out the mist.
Sadly, when we got to the summit, Ally’s halfway Munro, we were in full cloud. I felt a bit sorry for him, especially as I made such a song and dance about my halfway point. He wasn’t fussed though, far less fussed than I would have been, and stoically carried on.
Miraculously, as we descended down to the next bealach, the clouds thinned and we got some dramatic views towards the final summit of Sgurr nan Each and Loch Fannich beyond. This would be beautiful on a fine day – I did feel sad we were not doing it too much justice today. But that is the nature of our hills.
We reached the summit of Sgurr nan Clach Geala, which I think must have been in the clouds again because I did not take any photos. We carried back down to the bealach where we met two guys who had just come up and had climbed the Western two also – they were knackered from the climb.
We didn’t meet many people on this walk, but they were all doing the round of five from the opposite direction. I remember looking up at this bealach just a few weeks previously and thinking it looked affa steep, and here I was, about to descend from it.
It wasn’t too steep but it was a boggy mess. We did find a path here and there but then they got lost in the quagmire. It was a relief to reach the fine stalker’s path that led back down along the Allt Breabaig to intersect the way we took in. Despite the cloud, it was a fine day out on some great hills.