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Mam Sodhail & Carn Eighe from Glen Affric

Highland Walk

County/Area - Highland - Central Highland

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 14.4 miles / 23.4 km    Ascent - 4300 feet / 1303 metres

Time - 11 hours 30 minutes    Grade - hard

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Ordnance Survey Explorer 414Sheet Map1:25kBUY
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Mam Sodhail & Carn Eighe
Click image to see photo description.

This demanding walk visits the summits of two Munros, Mam Sodhail and Carn Eighe, which are located on the northern shore of Loch Affric. They are two highest hills north of the Great Glen and the surrounding area is thought by many to offer the finest scenery in the Scottish Highlands. The route initially follows an excellent path which continues into Coire Leachavie. Reaching the head of the corrie, the path zigzags up the steep wall to gain the south ridge of Mam Sodhail. The onward path continues north via a bealach to reach Carn Eighe.

The start is the small pay and display car park at the end of the public road into Glen Affric (grid ref. NH201234). After parking take the path at the western end of the car park to a bridge. Do not cross the bridge and follow the access track leading to Affric Lodge along the north shore of the Loch. As you near the Lodge the path bears right and follows the fence surrounding the grounds. Keep the fence on your left and continue ahead to reach a gate into an area where native Scots Pines are being encouraged to grow. Continue ahead on the clear path to exit the protected area and enter open country.

Continue along the clear track for 800 metres to a junction (grid ref. NH148228). Turn right into Coire Leachavie and follow the clear track into the Corie. The track is clear and easy to follow and gains height steadily towards the head wall. The path zigzags for a short section before following a traverse across the slope to reach the bealach at the foot of Mam Sodhail's south ridge.

The clear path then heads up the ridge to gain the summit of Mam Sodhail (1181 m.). The view is magnificent covering a spectacular array of summits including the next objective Carn Eighe. To continue descend, steeply at first, the north ridge down to a bealach (with Loch Uaine down to the right). Continue ahead up the slope soon bearing northeast to gain the summit of Carn Eighe (1183 m.). The view includes much of that enjoyed from Mam Sodhail but also features the third Munro of the group, Beinn Fhionnlaidh (1005 m.) and Coire Lochan over 500 metres below.

To return, follow the outward route. However, be aware of the steep ground to the left of the path especially on the section back to Mam Sodhail. In poor visibility the junction for the descending path into Coire Leachavie can easily be missed.

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