A good forecast for the West and I had hatched a plan to walk the remaining four Fisherfield Hills with a couple nights wild camping next to a Loch.
Friday morning had arrived and it was just on the turn of the good weather, so everything packed I drove the hundred miles or so to Kinlochewe and parked at the walkers car park at Inchreil which is the normal starting point for walking up landmark Hill Slioch.
After much faffing and repacking, I set off from the car about 2pm and pack loaded with all the essentials- I set off along the track up the Glen towards the heights of Kinlochewe headed for Lochan Fada to where I was to wild camp for two nights.
The track eventually came to an end up Gleann na Muice, but the path has had a lot of work done to it and it was easy walking heading towards Lochan Fada all the way.
As I reached Lochan Fada I met a couple whom were also spending a couple nights camping to walk the hills in the area. I decided on better judgement not to encroach on their secluded spot and walked about ten minutes along the south eastern edge of the Loch to a secluded bay. There I found another Gentleman camping, but this time there was plenty room for both of us and he did not mind me setting up my tent not far away.
I set up camp on a slightly sloping damp grassy area, but with views like these- it was perfect and there was a breeze powerful enough to keep the midges at bay so I could sit outside and soak up the evening views. Trout were jumping and splashing in the Loch and when I settled into my tent for the night I could hear a number of rather vocal Grouse calling, but never saw any on the whole of my entire trip.
Morning came and it started off with some low cloud, but as I had breakfast and planned out out my day, it started to lift and the sun came out to reveal glorious blue skies.
My plan for the day was to walk four different hills, starting with the furthest two outlying ones of A’ Mhaigdean and Rhuadh Stac Mor first getting the pathless walk along the northern shore of Lochan Fada out the way first.
The way along the first part of the Loch shore was a pleasure to walk and there was a vague path for the first kilometre or so. After that I decided to start contouring up heading towards the Bealach between Beinn Tarsuinn and A’ Mhaighdean. I saw one deer high on the ridge looking down on me and met several small frogs jumping out the way of my clumsy feet! There was still a decent breeze at this point which I was glad of, but it was getting warmer and I was soon taking my fleece midlayer off to cool down.
All was going well. I had reached the bealach at the point between to two hills and now the steep climb up my first hill of the day was to start, and that’s when the problems started. Soon as I started to walk up the steep slopes- I was really struggling. I knew there and then that my plan to bag all four of these hills for the day was not going to happen. I simply wasn’t well enough and didnt have the strength to accomplish this. I havent been very well lately and obviously still not in condition to take on anything really phyisical. What would I do- would I try and carry on and just do the one hill and just take my time? Or would I just give up and head back along the Loch to my camp? Since I was now on the hill and it being such a beautiful day, I decided just to do this one hill and head back the way I came, or see how I felt once I had reached the summit- but I knew that one walking up the one hill was going to be more than enough for me.
I made it to the top! Nobody else around on the top of this hill and the views were fantanstic. I was pleased that I had made it and thought this is enough for one day and being sensible to head down after this was the only option.
So fustrating with Rhuadh Stac Mor almost within spitting distance away, but even reaching the summit of this remote Munro of A’ Mhaighdean was an achievement in itself. On the way back down the slopes, I met a couple of Hill Runners doing the Fisherfield six from Shenavall Bothy. Lucky them I thought doing all these hills in this weather!
The return back along the Loch was hard on my body as I thought it was going to be and I returned to my camp at the small bay satisfied but a little fustrated with myself not being able to do what I have intended to do in the first place- another time soon perhaps! Richard, the Gentleman whom was camping there the previous evening was gone and I had the small Bay to myself for the night.
The rest of the afternoon, I took it easy relaxing, drinking coffee and read my book-The Munro’s and Tops by Chris Townsend.
After cooking and eating my food, I spent some time chilling and watching the beautiful sunset and it was still a midge free camp, thanks to the lasting cool breeze which kept them away.
It had been a warm evening and I slept peacefully with only the tent inner zipped up. I awoke bright and early to bright clear blue skies and was soon packed up and ready for the return journey back to Kinlochewe.
Two and a half hours later at 9.45, I was back at the car. On the way back I had met many walkers and mountain bikers heading out for their day on the hills.
I was happy to have been out for a couple of nights and had a great wild camping location. I just hope my health improves soon, so I can get back up these hills. One out of four hills was better than nothing!