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An Ruadh-mheallan: in the land of cloud and deer

An Ruadh-mheallan: in the land of cloud and deer


Postby BlackPanther » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:24 pm

Grahams included on this walk: An Ruadh-mheallan

Date walked: 11/10/2020

Time taken: 3.75 hours

Distance: 7.2 km

Ascent: 495m

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In the last days of September, Kevin somehow managed to injure his back. I deduced it must have happened when we were painting the bathroom, stretching to reach every corner of the room. He is no contortionist after all... At some point the pain was so bad he couldn't sleep so he took time off work and was prescribed strong painkillers. For a few days, it was like having a man-flu patient at home (or a zombie Kevin), but thankfully, the injury healed rather quickly. As soon as he was off the pills and ready to go back to work, he was also eager to return to the hills. I didn't want to curb his enthusiasm too much, but I was worried he'd simply make his back worse again, so I suggested him an easy half-day Graham, An Ruadh-mheallan. We had done it before, but since I invented "the second round of Torridons", it was a good excuse to revisit.

Because Kevin was not up to any scrambling or long-distance walking on tough ground, we had only one route available, the shortest approach from the top of Bealach na Gaoithe:

Track_AN RUADH MHEALLAN 7,2KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Weather was far from friendly today, with frequent showers passing over western Scotland and low cloud over the summits. We didn't see much from the small parking area on Bealach na Gaoithe, apart from Loch Diabaigas Airde:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 001.JPG

There is a path to start with, but very soon it peters out in the bumpy ground full of lochs, lochans and rocky outcrops. Perfect terrain to practice navigating in misty weather :lol: :lol:
The walk starts here:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 004.JPG

We had our old GPS route so could simply follow our own footsteps. The area just above the pass is rather wet:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 012.JPG

Loch nan Tri-Eileanan:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 021.JPG

We walked through the first of many showers, but on a positive note, Kevin captured a rainbow:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 023.JPG

Our target Graham was still covered in cloud and we didn't really expect it to clear. It was more a walk to assess Kevin's back and burn off some extra calories...
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 026.JPG

As we came closer to the steeper section, we heard a stag roar... Soon, several deer voices answered from different directions. We noticed one young, single male on the hillside above us...
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 032.JPG

...and another one, on the flatter, grassy ground to the right of us...
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 050.JPG

...but only later, when we gained height, we spotted the monarch of the glen (and a few females) grazing close to the summit of An Ruadh-mheallan. Sadly as soon as they sniffed us, they took off and we didn't manage any decent close-ups.
Monarch in the mist:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 042.JPG

Back to our personal experience with the Graham... as the ground steepened, it became waterlogged and very slippery so care is needed here, especially in rainy conditions we had:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 092.JPG

There was a glimmer of hope for the views when between the showers the cloud lifted slightly to reveal the northern end of Skye:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 095.JPG

...but soon we realized that it wasn't meant to be today. Looking down with clag "glued" to the tops of Beinn Damph and Beinn Shieldag:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 048.JPG

View back to the lumpy-bumpy area around the Windy Pass:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 044.JPG

The climb proper is only 300m so it didn't take us long to reach the rocky summit of An Ruadh-mheallan:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 101.JPG

The summit area is surprisingly flat and on a good day, it would be a great viewpoint, sadly today the views were limited...
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 057.JPG

Beinn Alligin (or what we could see of it):
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 065.JPG

Loch na h-Uamhaig:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 058.JPG

Lucy on the summit:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 107.JPG

As it stopped raining, we spent some time sitting by the cairn hoping maybe the clag might lift a bit more, but we lost the patience eventually and headed down the wet slopes, carefully placing our feet on steeper sections. Lower down, we took a slightly different line, thinking maybe it would be less squelchy, but this whole area is like a sponge, no dry line one could follow...
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 112.JPG

I stopped to admire a strangely positioned rock. How does it not tumble down?
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 115.JPG

Looking back to the bulky shape of An Ruadh-mheallan:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 071.JPG

Back to Loch nan Tri-Eileanan:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 120.JPG

Kevin on a rocky hillock above Loch nan Tri-Eileanan. He enjoyed the outing despite wet conditions and was very optimistic about his recovery:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 129.JPG

Looking west from the viewpoint above Bealach na Gaoithe:
2020-10-11 an ruadh mheallan 084.JPG

It was a relief to see Kevin able to move without pain (and moaning) but this was as much as I could allow him to do today. We drove home in good mood despite the grey, depressing conditions outside. Hopefully, we thought, the following weekend brings more decent weather!

The following weekend was not as good as we had hoped, but it was good enough for a long-awaited return trip to Bennachie, where we investigated two plane crash sites, not without silly mishaps! TR in progress :D

For more views from An Ruadh-mheallan, here is my old report with better pictures:
https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=79405
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BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3533
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:49   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: An Ruadh-mheallan: in the land of cloud and deer

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:50 pm

At least you got a tiny bit of clear sky on the summit!

Looks like yet another nice hill I'd never heard of!

Glad to hear that Kevin's on the mend :thumbup:
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Alteknacker
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Re: An Ruadh-mheallan: in the land of cloud and deer

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:43 pm

Alteknacker wrote:At least you got a tiny bit of clear sky on the summit!

Looks like yet another nice hill I'd never heard of!

Glad to hear that Kevin's on the mend


Fortunately, the injury was short lived if very painful! Such a shame weather is not cooperating this autumn. We have a week of hols next week (we were supposed to go to Poland, but not in the current climate, they are on the verge of collapsing with 20 thousand cases a day now). I don't know what we will do if the rain continues...
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3533
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:49   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

Re: An Ruadh-mheallan: in the land of cloud and deer

Postby jmarkb » Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:14 pm

Nice report! It's a good wee hill for a short day and/or when the big ones are clagged in. There are some nice waterfalls at about
NG839604 which are worth taking in.

BlackPanther wrote:I don't know what we will do if the rain continues...


Hang in there! - long range forecast currently looking much better for the second half of next week.
jmarkb
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Posts: 4399
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Joined: Oct 28, 2011
Location: Edinburgh

Re: An Ruadh-mheallan: in the land of cloud and deer

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Oct 29, 2020 5:17 pm

jmarkb wrote:Nice report! It's a good wee hill for a short day and/or when the big ones are clagged in. There are some nice waterfalls at about
NG839604 which are worth taking in.


Kevin said he wants to return to this hill in early spring when snow is still on higher ground. Would be interesting to see the falls then, usually rivers are full this time of the year. Hopefully we are not heading for another spring lockdown!

The forecast from next Wednesday on looks cautiously optimistic... Fingers crossed...
User avatar
BlackPanther
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3533
Munros:260   Corbetts:165
Grahams:114   
Sub 2000:49   
Joined: Nov 2, 2010
Location: Beauly, Inverness-shire

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