Tom a Chòinnich and Toll Creagach, Glen Affric

Heading off on our travels we’d not intended on doing these hills. However, my driver was enthusing about the amazing weather and the potential for some stunning hills aside from our immediate plan (Gairich) and we debated whether to head for Glen Affric, somewhere I’d not yet been. We hummed and hawed, finally deciding to toss a coin; we stopped to do this as I can’t spin the coin (and therefore am ineligible to carry out this action). It landed tails (for Gairich), and as with all the best coin tosses, we went with our hearts (or heads?) instead and headed off towards Glen Affric.

Gleann nam Fiadh: lush and green

What a beautiful place Glen Affric is! The glen that we headed up was so beautiful, lush and green with lots of trees and undergrowth, through a couple of gates fenced off to keep the deer out; this is where the true beauty lay.

We had two very easy stream crossings – the route guide suggests these could be challenging in spate and it is easy to see how they could swell with the hills draining. But no such issues for us.

Our first hill of the day involved a gradual pull up from the main path, initially continuing to follow another clear path. As we progressed there was an option to follow the stream or head up the Creag na h-Inghinn ridge. There was no contest, the ridge path looking very appealing.

A Beautiful Summer’s Day: Tom a’ Chòinnich

Although rocky higher up, there was a clear route and we were not challenged. Instead, we relished in the views afforded to us and the sheer delight of being out on such a stunning day!

Although a steady climb, the ridge had enough interest to pull us up without feeling like it was too much effort, even in the heat!

We enjoyed a break at the summit and a good blether with another walker who turned out to live close to our home! Typically small world!

‘Easy’ Walk to Toll Creagach

The next step on the route looked easy, gentle walking after an initial descent. Maybe it was the distance we’d covered in the growing heat, but it felt tougher than it should have done!

The initial descent was short and steep with a zig-zagging path. This led down to a flatter plateau and from here there was another short, easy ascent that again felt harder as it was hot; that and the fact that it seemed to go on forever.

Finally we reached the summit of Toll Creagach that had both trig point and cairn, stopping for a short break.

Leaving this behind, we then headed down the grassy slope, the goal being to pick up the track beyond the streams again which we successfully did.

It was a great feeling to be back on the good track again. What a stunning day and a brilliant start to the holiday! A very good decision.

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