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Last updated: 26/03/16


Jacobite Hut Weekend Meet
11-13 March, 2016

The Club went to the Jacobite Hut near Achnasheen for the March 16 Weekend Meet.


Jim’s “persistent light rain throughout Saturday with clag on the summits” rather underplays it: it was certainly wet, wet, wet that day, and I doubt if anyone’s gear stood up fully to the conditions. But some of us got to (some) summits just beneath the clag. I was all set to do the round of the nearest corrie direct from Inver by first ascending Carns Liath and Gorm (grey and blue-green, respectively) and then Moruisg (“big water”; seems odd, since no large lochs, but …), but two cars going down the road offered both transport and a more social day, so I joined up. But first of all we had to get from the hut to the road ...




Having braved the floods, we went down the road a few miles, and then, starting at 081521, we crossed over the River Carron (prob. Pictish: rough or rocky), ducked under the railway line and found ourselves almost immediately in a newish tree enclosure, on Glencarron Estate (owner: Kathryn VC Kennard or Douglas, of London; she of Younique cosmetics? – not that I would know!). The entry gate had a notice advising us to stick to existing paths, but since these (rather like the trees) were mostly invisible, we ploughed up over bog in a vain attempt to find the path going up the Alltan na Feola (“meat or flesh burn”).




Through a gate, we found ourselves in a gap before another – and slightly more adult – plantation whose fence we followed up to meet the path at last, about a mile up from the River Carron (which it might have been better to follow from the start).




Anyway, now serious uphill work into Coire Toll nam Bian (“hollow corrie of the hills”) over grassy slopes and runnels until a welcome coffee break as we met the snows below the ridge leading up to Sgurr nan Ceannaichean (“peak of the merchants or pedlars”).




As expected, breezy up on the ridge but impressive if not distant views of snowy hills to the south and east, and then up over flattish ground – absolutely sodden underfoot (and increasingly internally too) -  to Moruisg itself, with its undistinguished cairn. Unfortunately, we were just into cloud here, and no view.



At this point, I decided to do the rest of the ridge, 2-3 miles east to the joint summits of Carn Gorm and Carn Liath, and then due N direct back to Inver. Unaccountably, only Debbie jumped at the chance; the rest hightailing it straight down the slopes of Moruisg to the cars. Debbie and I set off across the snows, with a compass check after 100 yards since this was featureless country. The going over several mounds was OK, but still running with water when not covered with wet snow. A glance over a lip revealed the two lochs of Coireag Mang (“fawn”) and Coire Mointeich (“moor”) – very reassuring. This corrie all belongs to Ledgowan Estate (owner Rainheath Ltd., of Thirsk, an animal feed company, owned by Andrew Simpson, who also has a game shooting estate in the Ochils); to the east lies Scardroy Estate (owner now Kjell Kirk Kristiansen, of the Lego family).



A bit of a respite out of the wind for lunch on a northerly slope near the rocky Toll a’Ghobhain (“goat hollow”) spur, we reached the small plateau with the twin summits of Carns Gorm (875m) and Liath (857m), with an old trig point in between: rather odd!



Then the NNE start beside fence posts down towards Inver, first on easy snow/grass slopes, then a steep section with deer visible, to the view above Coire a Bhuic (“buck”) and the subsidiary top Cnoc an t-Sidhein (“fairies”) (and even a bit of sunshine on Carn Mhartuin – “Martin’s Cairn” - ahead!).



Worried about being cut off by the swollen Allt Mhartuin and its tributaries, we opted to go over the Cnoc despite the final heave, and so came at last down to the railway bridge near Inver.



Great to dry out (a bit) by the fire, and eventually to enjoy a splendid meal of soup, steak pie and veg(s) and pud(s) supplied and/or served by practically everyone except myself.



Sunday morning a good deal better, and Sue, Debbie and I determined on Slioch (from the Gaelic “sleagh”, meaning the spear), starting from Incheril (KInlochewe) at about 08:45, with a nice (apart from a dead deer) hour-long walk along to Glen Bianasdail.



Then up a path past several old sheiling sites and a very stony and steep section up past Meall Each (“horse mound”) for a view of the main E-facing corrie (Coire na Sleaghaich), with some deer but no goats.



Curving left over heathery ground and awkward snow, Debbie and I headed up the slopes to the N of Sgurr Dubh (black peak), while Sue more sensibly headed for its col with Slioch, though in doing so she missed a couple of eagles overhead.



Then up steep slopes of stone, grass and snow, past the two lochs, and at last onto the final plateau (though the summit itself looked much higher until the cloud cleared), with a lone ptarmigan. Views of sorts from both summit cairns, and much less wind than expected, so a nice rest until we started down the long snow slopes to the east.



These got steeper but still a nice and quick way down to the flat ground of the corrie.





Then back down the path all the way to Loch Maree, and the (strangely longer) hike back to the cars (frogs, even a tick!), very happy that Debbie was going to have to do the drive home!


Author - Ken Thomson
Photos - Ken Thomson