Slioch and Beinn Airigh Charr – summit camps

Forum » Walk Reports » Scotland

By rockhopper on 17/11/14 at 10:13pm

Hills walked:
Sgurr an Tuill Bhain (Munro Top, Murdo, High Hill of Britain, Sim, and Tump)
Slioch - Trig Point (deleted Munro Top)
Slioch (Munro, Marilyn, Murdo, HuMP, High Hill of Britain, Yeaman, Sim, and Tump)
Beinn Lair (Corbett, Marilyn, HuMP, High Hill of Britain, Yeaman, Sim, and Tump)
Meall Mheinnidh (Marilyn, Graham, HuMP, Yeaman, Sim, and Tump)
Beinn Airigh Charr (Corbett, Marilyn, HuMP, Yeaman, Sim, and Tump)
Date started:22/07/2014
Distance:54.2 km or 33.7 miles
Ascent:3447m or 11309ft
Descent:3446m or 11306ft
Start OSGB:NH037623
Time taken:49:12

Left Glasgow on the Tuesday morning for the drive northwards arriving at the Incheril car park a little before 11am. Got ready and set off along the path towards Loch Maree - it was already very hot and not yet midday. Met a couple from Lincoln who were up here on holiday and going on to see family. Further on I met three walkers who had been on a multi day camping trip and were suffering terribly from cleg bites.

The bracken was quite high in places by the time I got to the point were the track splits up to Slioch but between there and Letterewe it got a lot worse - frequently as tall as me and overgrown across the track. Around NG998671 I kept to what I thought was the proper track but ended up too high - bit of scrambling needed to get back down when I could go no further.


Some nice waterfalls on the route

Private gates at Letterewe so skirted round to rejoin the track

After Letterewe I followed the track quite steeply up towards Bealach non Sac not far from the Allt Folais. Got to a point near some trees where the track splits and I set off NW across the Allt on the track up Srathan Buidhe.


Looking back to Loch Maree

The top of Beinn Airigh Charr then came into view in the distance

My original thinking was to head up the ridge from about NG941735 but I needed to get water. As a result, I headed up Srathan Buidhe until I reached a decent stream then followed it westwards up the hillside. Filled up with just over 4l of water higher up but while it was still in reasonable flow then went NW towards the summit.

Zoomed shot of Slioch

Panorama back towards Kinlochewe

Ponies grazing as I neared the summit

Dubh Loch and causeway


Towards Torridon

Gruinard Bay in the distance

The top soil was a bit thin just at the summit so erected the tent a wee bit away with a decent view of Slioch, Beinn Lair and Meall Mheinnidh

Had been hoping for a good sunset but it had clouded over - still there was some decent colour as the sun went down

Warm through the night and fairly comfortable on the moss but wakened frequently - for some reason I never seem to sleep soundly probably because I keep slipping off the mat. Up sharp for the sunrise.

Goats silhouetted against the pre dawn sky

Some colour developing as sunrise approached

The sky was a lot clearer than the previous evening and starting to get very warm even this early in the day.

Over Loch Maree


Slioch and Loch Maree

Had breakfast, packed up and headed off fairly steeply down towards Srathan Buidhe. Was in shadow at the bottom.

View up to Meall Mheinnidh

Headed SE toward a burn then followed it up the hillside.

Back towards Beinn Airigh Charr

Some decent views higher up as I got back into the sunlight.

Once past the summit there's a small unnamed lochan

Dropped down to the Bealach Mheinnidh where I was once again in shadow. Then walked up the relatively straightforward slopes towards Beinn Lair. Reached a small cairn on the edge above the cliffs before heading SW on slightly sloping ground to the summit which had a large cairn.

Hazy view out to sea

Impressive cairn

From there I headed SE past Sgurr Dubh and skirted round a 787m point.

Lochan Fada

Had a bit of a problem after this finding a way down through the crags. Ended up going further to the south than I'd intended but eventually got down at the southerly end of a small lochan which is at the bottom of the next photo.

Looking back up I could see what looked like an easier route down further to the north but it hadn't been obvious at the time. I picked up the track and followed it NE towards Lochan Fada before turning off to head SE.

I had wondered about going up between Meall Daimh and Slioch to reduce the walk to the Abhainn an Fhasaigh but decided instead just to walk along beside the lochan. I don't normally suffer from blisters but I think the heat was getting to my feet - left heel blister and blisters under two toe nails indicated that I should probably have worn thinner socks in the hot weather. Stopped part way down the loch to dip my feet in the lochan for a while, stock up with water and let my socks dry off in the sun.

Beinn Tarsuinn

A' Mhaighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor

It was hard going along the side of Lochan Fada - only the odd animal track here and there to help and quite a few ups and downs. I eventually reached the end and found the track which heads down Gleann Bianasdail above the Abhainn an Fhasaigh.

Beinn a' Mhuinidh

Down the glen

Followed the track down past some craggy sections before starting westwards diagonally up the hillside towards Sgurr Dubh. Have to admit that I felt very tired at this point - hadn't had a lot of sleep recently and the heat was really getting to me. Plodded on taking my time - thick heather made the going tougher but eventually got up level with the foot of Sgurr Dubh.

First time I'd ever been in Coire na Sleaghaich and it's impressive with the semi circle of hills. Waved to another walker as he headed back down. Followed a wee burn up until its flow rate diminished significantly at which point I stopped to fill up with water for the overnight camp plus the rest of the day's walking and the start of the next day. Then it was just a case of following the track up past the two lochans and up to a flat section before the final rise to the trig point.

Got to the trig point then headed over to the summit cairn - my final munro to complete the 282. Found a mossy section which easily took the tent pegs only a few metres away from the summit cairn and erected the tent. Cooked up dinner, took some photos and watched the sunset over Loch Maree.

Had a wee Bunnahabhain to celebrate

It had clouded over again and there was a little wind to keep the flies and midges away. However, the sky cleared during the night and I tried a photo at about 0230hrs.

Was up again around 0400hrs when the sky started to lighten.

Then sat and watched the sunrise while making breakfast.

The goats had reappeared over by the trig point

Tent - condensation drying off in the early sun

Towards Fisherfield

Hazy Loch Maree


Eventually and somewhat reluctantly got packed up and set off towards Sgurr an Tuill Bhain

Passed some more goats - one looking inquisitively at me

Further along the ridge

Surrounding hills

Descended down to the corrie - one last look

Then the descent down towards Loch Maree

Very hot as I walked back to the car trying to avoid too many cleg bites

After getting back to the car, drove into Kinlochewe for some early lunch. Then started the drive back to Glasgow. Stopped at the layby beside Loch a' Chroisg just before Achnasheen. Through the gate and along the shore a bit so as to be hidden from the road - walking clothes off and into the loch for a dip which was so welcome in the heat.

Changed and refreshed I then drove back to Glasgow. Although I was feeling a bit more tired than usual mainly due to the heat, I was very glad I had decided on the longer option for Slioch - hoped I had done it justice.

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