Mam Sodhail, Carn Eighe, Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Glen Affric

Start Point: Car park at the end of the public road
Grid Reference: OS sheet 25 - starting point Grid ref 201233
Time: Allow 8 - 11 hours to complete the walk
View Location: Click for multiMap
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at Mapsworldwide


Introduction

The photos just don't do Glen Affric justice - it really is something special. To quote an Italian I met by the shore of Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin "This is the most beautiful place in the world", and I don't think he's far off the mark.

As for the hillwalking, Glen Affric provided 3 hills that made up a serious expedition.... don't expect much change out of 9 hours. Mam Sodhail and Carn Eighe are the highest hills in the glen and the scenery enroute is awesome, from the waterfalls to the huge corries. This offers a real taste of the wilderness. Beinn Fhionnlaidh needs to be included in this walk, as otherwise it leaves a mammoth return journey to pick off this peak. We took on this walk at the end of April and enjoyed some rapid descents courtesy of lingering spring snow.....superb.

Chris Mo keeping an eye on Coire Lochan
   
For the budding munro bagger Glen Affric offers plenty of scope for return visits to complete the peaks ..... this is no bad thing. Good luck to those of you who take on Tom a'Chionich and Toll Creagach (as suggested in Cameron McNeish's "The Munros"), you must have had an extra bowl of cereal.
 

Route

  • The starting point is at the car park at the end of the public road (Click on the Scalable multiMap).
  • From the carpark follow the path west to Affric Lodge. continue west following the path alongside Loch Affric.
  • The path eventually heads NW up Coire Leachavie, which was holding a lot of snow at the time of our trip.
  • Once well up the corrie pick a good line north on to the ridge, and once on the ridge head west to the summit of Mam Sodhail (1181m, GR 120253). On top of this Munro the huge summit cairn was the first triangulation point used by the OS in Scotland in the 1840's.
  • From Mam Sodhail it is a relatively easy stroll north to the summit of the second munro Carn Eighe (1183m, GR 123262).
  • From the summit of Carn Eighe it's over 2km north to the summit of the final munro Beinn Fhionnlaidh (1005m, GR 115282).
  • Unfortunately to make your way back you need to retrace your steps and this means recovering all the height that you have just lost to return to the summit of Mam Sodhail.
  • From the summit of Mam Sodhail there are 2 options. You can either retrace your original steps back, or alternatively you can follow the ridge, then drop down the heather slopes at the end on to the original path. We headed about half way along the ridge then indulged ourselves in a spot of surfing down the remaining snow fields.
  • Believe me the walk back to the car feels 10 times as long as it originally did...... enough to drain any one of their sense of humour.

One massive days walking in what are genuinely remote hills, with fantastic scenery. Views of Torridon and Skye reminded me of why I drag my body up and down hills. It has to be done.

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