Morvich and Glomach, August 2000

In August 2000 I spent a few days in Kintail with my walking companion Graham. On the day we arrived on the west coast the sun was shining (it does appear sometimes, even in Scotland). It was a day we should have spent walking instead of driving - we were running some 18 hours late thanks to those nice people in the IRA who left two bombs at Newcastle railway station, closing the line to Scotland. I remarked to Graham that it was probably going to be the best weather of the week.
We sought some B&B accommodation around the head of Loch Duich and found it here, at Glomach House in the village of Allt a Chruinn. The B&B turned out to be the home of the local member of the Scottish parliament, John Farquhar Munro, and his wife Celia. 
The view of Loch Duich from Glomach House.
Loch Duich with the sun high in the sky.
We decided to go for an evening stroll and set off on the Morvich loop road behind the house.
The Morvich road.
The sun setting over the mud flats at the head of Loch Duich
A Ghlas -Bheinn, seen at the end of the Chonaig glen.
The road rounds a corner, bringing the western shoulder of Beinn Fhada into view. 
The view back towards Allt a Chruinn
The tiny settlement of Carn Gorm.
A right turn at Morvich brings us to the end of the road at the Kintail outdoor centre. Signs provided by the Scottish Rights of Way society indicate footpaths through Gleann Chonaig and Gleann Lichd, both heading across the watershed towards Affric.
A view down Gleann Lichd towards Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg. The Altbeithe youth hostel lies about 8 miles down this glen.
The last rays of the sun light up the slopes of Sgurr a Bhealaich Dheirg.
The river Croe near Morvich.
We're returning along the road to Allt a Chruinn and are rewarded with some excellent light.
Passing Carn Gorm again.
The setting sun over the Morvich coast plain.
Another version of the above scene, with the iris stopped down two points.
Looking back at Beinn Fhada
We're walking into the setting sun as we make our way back to Loch Duich.
A last look back at Morvich.
Arrival back at Allt a Chruinn
From the Port Bhan restaurant half an hour later, the sun slips to the horizon at the far end of Loch Duich
Three minutes later
Another three minutes, and the sun has set leaving just a golden glow in the western sky.
Monday morning, and the good weather was but a dream. Clouds scud just a few hundred feet above the loch shore.
With the promise of dry weather at least, Graham and I decide to realise a twenty year old ambition - to walk to the Falls of Glomach, one of Scotland's scenic gems. The walk is rather tortuous, along a system of glens and side valleys from Morvich. This is a forest path at Dorusduain. 
The forecast was wrong - rain has swept in and conditions are miserable, but we were already most of the way there. The Falls of Glomach are a magnificent sight, perched within the upper reaches of a tortuous rocky chasm through which the Garosaic river plunges to the Elchaig glen below. 
The 370ft falls are among the highest in Britain. Such is the nature of the terrain that there is no clear view of the falls in their entirety. The path down the edge of the gorge is precipitous and great care is needed.
I did the best I could under the dull, wet and windy conditions. Someday I hope to come back here under fine, settled weather but for now I hope these images convey some of the drama of the setting.
This viewpoint is about halfway down the cascade and is about the best available from which to see the whole waterfall. Imagine this image stitched together with the one above and the one below - that will give you an approximate idea of the scale of this place.
A final shot of the falls before we retreated back the way we came, not wishing to risk the unknown hazards of the path down through the gorge. It rained all the way back and Mrs Munro had to dry every last scrap of clothing for us on our return (fortunately, she's used to people arriving bedraggled and wet from the Altbeithe youth hostel).

Images shot later this same week will shortly appear in the Glen Affric section, and also in the End-to-End Walk (Great Glen Way) page.

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This page last updated 30th March 2001