by beanzl on 17/03/11 at 11:32 am
The Highlands of Scotland have by far the most remote areas in western Europe. You can still find the wilds here and walk for days without meeting a human soul.
One of the most overlooked areas of Scotland for hillwalking would be the Letterewe and Fisherfield hills. These hills are located in an area of rough wilderness between Loch Maree and the rugged hill of An Teallach near Dundonnell. The hills consists of six Munros in a horseshoe shaped ridge. There are also some outlaying Corbetts like the magnificent Beinn Dearg Mor.
Just to get to the foot of the first hill could take a 3 hours walk from the road near Dundonnell on a well developed Land Rover track. There are generally believed to be 2 ways of walking these hills. One would be to go to a bothy at the nearby area called Shenevall (please remember to adhere to the bothy code if staying there) and then do the 6 hills in a lightweight marathon. This way you can do all the hills in one day but you will have to start very early in the morning and finish late at night. Also remember that if you stay low down at the bothy you might get swamped by midges. This would usually take 3 days. Walk in on the first day, do the hills on the second day and walk out on the third.
A more novel way would be to do the whole ridge in a oner. You just need to pack your rucksack more carefully and make sure to keep it under 15kg including tent, sleeping bag and food. This can be quite easily achieved with modern outdoor equipment and freeze-dry food, which is available in most outdoor shops. This way you can camp anywhere on the ridge, whenever you feel like it and pitch your tent in the evenings. You would of course walk a bit slower. However, there is nothing wrong with walking slower. You can take the scenery in more and enjoy the walk better than rushing over the hills.
The hills at the west side of the ridge are more of Torridonian sandstone and have fairly steep ascents and a more rugged feel to it. The easterly hills are topped by quartzite and can be a bit loose under your feet. The wildlife in the area can be a bit sparse. Most of the time you can spot herds of deer in the distance and if you are lucky you might even spot one of the local golden eagles.
If walking in the area you should always adhere to the Scottish access code. Contact the SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage) for more information on the code. More information can also be found at tourist information offices and outdoor shops throughout the Scottish Highlands.