Next morning, and once again the car park at the top of Glen Affric was alive with midges! Cloud low, but forecast to "burn off" by mid-morning,
Today's target was my sole remaining unclimbed Glen Affric hill - An Socach ("the snout"). A small hill, but a long way in ...
I set off on the bike at 8.50am, following the forest track on the south side of Loch Affric.
|Affric Lodge, across the loch|
|An Tudair, Mam Sodhail (just visible) and Carn Eighe, across Loch Affric|
|An Tudair across Loch Affric - blue sky!|
|looking up the glen to Beinn Fhada|
|Mullach Fraoch Choire above Athnamulloch|
Perversely, the track improved again beyond this point, and another 40 minutes on foot brought me to Alltbeithe (Glen Affric Youth Hostel). As I walked, I met a few youth hostellers heading out of the glen.
|Alltbeithe - Glen Affric Youth Hostel|
I followed the excellent path steeply up alongside the Allt na Faing (another one - see yesterday's blog), and was soon up into Coire na Cloiche ("the coire of the stone"). Not sure if it was named after a specific stone, as there were plenty lying around, or perhaps the crags of the hill behind the coire, Stob Coire na Cloiche.
By now the midday sun was beating down fairly mercilessly, so I was glad to be able to replenish my water supplies so high up. At 600m, I reached the bealach, and looked over to Mullach na Dheireagain.
Decision time: to the right, the direct route up An Socach; to the left, Stob Coire na Cloiche, an outlying top of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan. My legs said "right", but my head said "left"!
Left it was - and so my protesting legs carried me up the short ridge, with a wee scramble through a rock band, to reach the top at 13.15. Apart from the satisfaction of gaining another "top", this wee peak proved to be a fine viewpoint, and an ideal place for lunch!
|Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan from Stob Coire na Cloiche|
|looking east form Stob Coire na Cloiche towards An Socach, with Carn Eighe and Mam Sodhail in the distance|
|looking back to Stob Coire na Cloiche, with Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan behind|
|weary Munroist on An Socach|
|south ridge of An Socach, with Sgurr nan Conbhairean across Glen Affric|
|looking back to An Socach from An Sornach|
1 Munro + 1 Top
11km walk + 22km cycle