5 Munros, 1 Corbett & 13 Rebels
We were all waiting for the jackpot weather forecast that promised 23 degrees and constant sunshine over the whole weekend. That’s when we knew this was going to be an epic adventure. Bags were getting packed and convoys were being arranged to the Fisherfield 6. Let’s do this!
It was a weekend of firsts…
A few people bivvying for the first time. Bjoern’s first time ever hiking a Munro. A first time using a jet boiler (they boil water faster then your kettle!). And probably the first time anyone has ever got cramp on their left eye lid.
We met at Corrie Hallie car park and 9 of us began the adventure. It was just under a 2 hour hike to our wild camping spot and as we followed the undulating track we got a cracking sunset followed by the most beautiful starry sky.
After about an hour of hiking we spotted the welcome glow of Jonny & Lindseys fire which encouraged us on. The trick to the tent set up was to avoid the cow pat which was harder than expected. After hot chocs and swigs of whiskey it was time for an early night.
The Fisherfield Hike
As the sun rose the shuffling of sleeping bags and rustling of porridge packages started to wake everyone up. We were aiming to leave camp at 7am. Legends Leesa & Neil had only arrived to camp at 1am after leaving straight from work so it had been a late night for them. 9 Rebels had become 13 and we were now ready to take on the Fisherfield 6!
After only 15 minutes of walking across a boggy field it was ‘shoes off’ cross a river type adventure and we had to say so long to a rebellious flip flop as it flowed down the river towards Canada.
After the river crossing the ascent was to begin. The cool and challenging thing about Fisherfield 6 is there are no paths, or very little anyway. It’s quite easy to feel a little lost. We were heading up this grassy mountain side with an aim just to get to the top, any which way you can. It’s worth mentioning that the first mountain top we were to reach was ‘only a Corbett’.
Only a Corbett, this should be easy!
A corbett is the next level down from a Munro. That meant that surely it was going to be the easiest mountain of all 6 but unfortunately no. Up until 2012 Beinn a’Chlaidheimh had been a munro however it then got demoted as it is half a metre short (half a flipping metre, jeez just give it to us!). It was a tough scramble to the top but the views didnt disappoint. We were well on our way now. The only disappointing part was how close our camp was looking after 2 and a half hours of tough hiking!
Once you’re up, you’re up..
Sometimes, when you do a Munro circuit, once you’re up, you’re up! The first climb is usually the hardest and then it’s just a wee trundle across the peaks to tick off the others. However, this was not the case. Sgurr Ban did not come as thick and fast as I was expecting. It was another tough hike to the top where we all picked our own path. It was still early on in the day though and spirits were still high! We bumped into our Rebel friend Kev who gave us some motivating words, we had a quick snack, team pic and off we were heading onto peak number 3 (Mullach Coire Mhic Fhearchair, we will give you a tenner if you can pronounce it ;)).
Despite the challenging downhill towards MCMF, it was all very technical, the up hill of munro 2 was extremely exciting. It was practically vertical and had mini boulders that you just had navigate yourself around and over, zigzagging towards the top. You didn’t want to look down for too long so up was the only way to go! It was peak 3 out of 6, we had been hiking for about 5 hours and the sun hadn’t stopped shining. Luckily there was a great breeze. I don’t think we could have had better weather conditions.
Anyhoo onwards and upwards it was time to hit the next half of the peaks. At the top of Beinn Tarsuinn you could spot a really cool looking flat peak often referred to as a tennis court. The ridge towards it looked pretty scary looking, but it wasn’t long until we were navigating ourselves along it. If the top of peak 3 felt like a boost this was even better. We were over half way through the munros and only 2 peaks to go how hard could this be? We were about to find out…
We’d been walking for nearly 7 hours, it was time for a break as the tiredness was starting to set in. Body parts were beginning to ache so we carbed up with sandwiches, sweeties and cereal bars and refilled our water bottles from the passing streams. We had a quick regroup and discussed how long we had if we wanted to make the full circuit. It definitely looked possible but we needed to get our heads down and plod on.
A’Mhaighdean wasn’t’t easy and some of the group were starting to struggle. Luckily the views were extremely rewarding and made it all worth while. Probably up there with the best views a lot of us have ever seen in Scotland. It was then that we decided to split as a group. 4 of us bypassing the last munro and taking the 3km detour around it and the other 9 heading up the scree slope to the final summit of Ruadh Stach Mor.
Just Keep Plodding!
The buzz of our last climb wore off pretty quickly and the arduous task of getting back to camp was starting to set in. Before we knew it we were getting out head torches and throwing on layers. Tough down hills and a winding path all the way down to the river level. At one point we could see the head torches of the 9 Rebels ahead of us which gave a great boost. Just keep plodding, just keep plodding.
“You’ve been bogged”
How much further? Ohh about 3k. This was the quote of the walk back that kept us going. Each thinking “ooh I can run 5k in about half an hour so 3k shouldn’t be too bad..”
7 hours I tell you, a 7 hour walk out to our wild camping spot. Not just 7 hours.. we had bog, not just bog, bog that sometimes went up to your waist. By this point we were absolutely shattered and a sudden sluuurrrrrp sucking you into the ground would be followed by someones quiet murmur… “you’ve been bogged.” It wasn’t just bog we tackled in the dark, we also crossed 2 rivers which made for very exciting adventuring. At the second river crossing the groups were reunited and it took a lot of motivation to not fall asleep on the side of the river bed. Up we got with really only 3k to go this time.
We were looking out for trees.. that was going to be the light at the end of the tunnel, a group of trees. We saw some to our right and prematurely started celebrating.. “not our trees” mumbled someone. It was still a boost though as our camp must’ve been close! Before we knew it (lol not really, what felt like hours later), we finally stumbled across a tent. Hallelujah. The groups spirits were lifted as we collapsed into bivvy bags and tents while some brave souls managed to get some food down them or have a swig of whiskey. We were all in for a good night sleep that’s for sure! Fisherfield 6 over & out.
After a wee lie in we started to get up, slip on soggy boots and pack up tents. The midges did not make that easy but nothing could dampen our spirits, we felt like champions albeit broken champions! A quick pack up and time to walk back to the car. “How far away is the car?”
“Ohh about 3k”
Go For It!
We thoroughly recommend this Munro Circuit but do not underestimate it! Check out the Walk Highlands walk description and be sure to check the weather conditions to make sure the river crossings are possible. We couldn’t have done it without the fantastic navigation skills from Robyn, Darragh & Jonny. A huge thank you to Robyn for organising this too. She is our resident hiking & Munro expert and you can read more about her here.