Poolewe Wild Camping Weekend – 29 April to 1 May 2017
Our weekend started on the Friday evening as we gathered in the Gairloch Sands Youth Hostel, Chris, Ali, Ruth and myself. On Saturday morning we were joined by Shona and her daughter Amy. The weather forecast looked dry for most of the weekend, but a bit breezy, so we set off for Poolewe to start our adventure.
We started out on a good track from Poolewe past Inveran to Kernsary, our first short cut was just after passing Loch an Doire Ghairbh we took the path marked by a small cairn, which linked up with the Kernsary to Ardlair track. As we continued along the track towards Loch Maree our next turning point was an old stone sheep fold, the path wynd its way up to the col between Spidean nan Clach and Meall Chniamhean, we had wonderful views down to Loch Maree and all the islands as we walked to the summit of Beinn Airigh Charr.
Our second short cut of the day was by dropped off the north east side of Beinn Airigh Charr to pick up the track, rather than following the book route, which takes you back to re-join the track. Our track took us to Port Fraochan, were we found a flat dry patch of grass to set-up base camp for the next two nights.
Day two took us across the causeway between Fionn Loch and Dubh Loch, it was interesting timing running across the causeway before the wind caused the waves to splash up and hit you, think we all timed it well and remained dry.
We carried on the track which was a steep traverse below the cliffs of Sgurr an Laocainn once we left the track, it was over 2 km up an open hillside with no features expect for a tiny lochan halfway up the Corbett to reach the summit of Beinn a Chaisgein Mor. But we were rewarded with amazing views of the Fisherfield mountains.
We returned by the same route, stopping to visit the barn at Cammore, the barn is very basic with an earth floor and plants growing round the side, it’s described as providing Spartan shelter.
There was a guy staying in the barn and he advised it had been full the night before. We all through our camping spot at Port Fraochan was a nicer location. The rest of the group heading for the second Corbett of the day Beinn Lair, I’d already done Beinn Lair with the kayaking club as a paddle across Loch Maree, so I sat by on the bank of Fionn loch having lunch and an afternoon siesta.
We were all up early on Monday morning after a night of not much sleep with the tents getting blown about in the wind. Our walk out route was 15 km which took us to Kernsary then we joined the track on the north side of Loch Kernsary and reached Poolewe by lunchtime.