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Rising Damph

Rising Damph

Postby BlackPanther » Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:04 pm

Route description: Beinn Dàmh (or Ben Damph)

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Damh

Date walked: 05/12/2021

Time taken: 5.75 hours

Distance: 12.2 km

Ascent: 963m

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Ben Damph is definitely my favourite Torridon Corbett and I have climbed it numerous times including full winter conditions, but it is such a great hill that going up it for the umpteenth time still felt great!

We had this mountain in mind the weekend before but ended up on Carn Chuinneag further north and east. Nothing wrong with that but the lure of Torridon was so strong that we did indeed get tempted on the next occasion...

We have another, more brave route for this Corbett in mind but we're saving it for a long summer day. In winter time, the standard WH route had to suffice:

Track_BEINN DAMH 12.2KM.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

We started early mainly to have enough time to climb at a lazy pace; I wanted to be home for 3pm to watch the ski jumping grand prix (I know we could record it but it's not the same). Days are so short now that walking anything longer is problematic, especially if one's second half spends every other minute fiddling with his precious camera :lol: :lol: I shouldn't complain though, his pictures are 10 times better than mine!
The morning light over Beinn Alligin:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 018.JPG

The path in the forest was wet today (probably melted snow from the previous days):
2021-12-05 beinn damh 005.JPG
Panther in the woods

We noticed other walkers both in front and behind us; Ben Damph was going to be busy today! We didn't really expect to have it all to ourselves, it is a popular mountain and a good one to tackle in winter conditions. With the summit only a few metres short of Munro height, Ben Damph should not be underestimated though. Might not be a technical hill, but in deep snow, still a tough cookie to bite!
Still on the good path:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 025.JPG

First pano of the day, that of the northern Torridons, Liathach and Beinn Alligin:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 022.JPG

The Bald Head sticking out :lol: :lol:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 028.JPG

We discussed an alternative ascent route via Creag na h-Iolaire, an interesting spur leading to the outlying top Creagan Dubh Toll nam Biast. It looks a good ridge for panthers, but we decided to leave it for a summer day as there might be some interesting optional scrambling on that ridge, which would better be investigated in dry conditions:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 186.JPG
Toll Ban Corrie, with the alternative route up the left hand side ridge (photo taken on the way down)

We continued on the main path. Higher up it was partly frozen and more eroded than I could remember, but we kept a decent pace and arrived on the wide col below Meall Gorm after about 1.5hr of walking. The sky was clouding up a bit, the cloud creating "fake sunset" effect, visible especially over the southern horizon. But we concentrated on the winter wonderland around us - we knew we were in for a treat today!
2021-12-05 beinn damh 220.JPG
Time to "winterize"!

Panoramic snap of Creagan Dubh Toll nam Biast and our route up:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 040.JPG

Looking north to Meall Gorm and Liathach:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 041.JPG

Beinn Bhan of Applecross:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 212.JPG

Ten minutes to add some winter layer and off we went up the snow-covered slopes. There is a well worn path but we didn't exactly follow it, just hiked up the steeper section, with superb views opening up as we gained height:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 048.JPG

The "fake sunset" effect over Loch Damh and Kishorn:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 061.JPG

He Who Knows It All Best posing with Beinn Bhan behind:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 231.JPG

More "fake sunset" over Sgurr a'Gharaidh:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 232.JPG

On the way up the middle top, Spidean Toll nam Biast, we couldn't resist going a bit off piste to test the virgin snow:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 235.JPG

On the middle top with the full extent of the views now available for Kevin to photograph!
2021-12-05 beinn damh 245.JPG

Zoom to Maol Chean Dearg past the flanks of Stuc Toll nam Biast:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 077.JPG

This is where we're going, babe!
2021-12-05 beinn damh 247.JPG

I think he took it too literally! :lol: :lol:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 254.JPG
Wait for me!

I decided to overtake him on the final stretch and soon concluded, it was a stupid idea. Would have been so much easier leaving him to break the trail :lol: :lol:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 085.JPG
Ouch! Too much snow!

I even attempted some pathetic winter scrambling moves on the rocks just below the summit, ended up getting my gloves wet :roll: Thankfully, I carried spares (yes, I always carry a second pair of gloves, a hat and a spare pair of socks in winter. You may laugh now!). Of course, He Who Knows It All Best had a good giggle watching me dancing-balancing in deep snow.
2021-12-05 beinn damh 259.JPG
He took the opportunity to pose with the next pile of snow, saying "look, how brave I am!"

But on the summit, it was Lucy who had the last word! She had been to this Corbett before but she is always eager to sit on top of the cairn (even if her bum is freezing :lol: ).
2021-12-05 beinn damh 093.JPG
I'm the winter lamb!!!

Kevin on the summit of Ben Damph, his 5th time up this one if I counted correctly!
2021-12-05 beinn damh 276.JPG

There was hardly any wind on the top so we could enjoy the views and the winter wonderland - in perspective now, it was our last "wintry" walk before Christmas. With temperatures in double digits now, no chance for the white stuff to last till the festive period.
2021-12-05 beinn damh 108.JPG
X-mas come early for Black Panther

So to make this forum a bit more "Christmassy"... let's look at the white, white world of Torridon!
2021-12-05 beinn damh 262.JPG
Liathach, Beinn Alligin, Beinn Dearg...

An Ruadh-stac and the more distant tops of Strathcarron:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 103.JPG

The mountains of Achnashellach with Maol Chean Dearg in the foreground:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 101.JPG

The Cullin hills of Skye on the western horizon, from Blaven to The Infamous In Pinn :D
2021-12-05 beinn damh 114.JPG

I was reluctant to leave the top but we couldn't stay there forever! Weather started to improve as we descended, the high cloud pushed away to the sout, leaving blue sky for the final hours of our walk :D
We met several other groups of walkers on the summit and just below; people and dogs, all happy and grinning (or barking happily in some cases!). No surprise here - I was in the mood to meow myself!
2021-12-05 beinn damh 126.JPG

Looking down into Toll nam Biast from the ridge about 50m below the summit:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 297.JPG

Back on the middle top, it was time for another pano...
2021-12-05 beinn damh 135.JPG

...before we started our walk back down. The "fake sunset" effect was now even more prominent, even if it was still hours before dusk...
2021-12-05 beinn damh 140.JPG

Descending towards Meall Gorm:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 318.JPG

Walkers on the approach to the top of Sgurr na Bana-Mhoraire:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 169.JPG

We technically had enough daylight to include the northern tops but since we intend to return to this hill to try an alternative ascent route, we might just as well include them into a bigger round of tops.
We took a short break on the col, to finish our tea and enjoy the afternoon Torridon views. Kevin was already planning the next visit to Ben Damph:
2021-12-05 beinn damh 332.JPG
I'll be back!!!

Not sure we'll have time to nip up to the mountains before Christmas let alone post anything before the festive days, so I would like to wish you all Merry Christmas (against the COVID odds) and a Happy New Year - may 2022 be better than the two previous :D :D :D
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Re: Rising Damph

Postby Graeme D » Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:41 pm

One of the coolest titles for a TR on here! :lol: And some stunning photos to boot. That first one of the full length and splendour of Alligin in the morning light is superb. Let him fiddle I say! :lol:
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Re: Rising Damph

Postby jmarkb » Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:03 am

Lovely! I share your enthusiasm for this fine hill (I've also done it 5 times). I don't think you will find a great deal of scrambling on the Creag na h-Iolaire ridge, but it is a worthwhile alternative in either direction. There's more adventure to be had on the NW ridge of Sgurr na Bana-Mhoraire - this looks quite tricky from the road, but there are ways through or around all the steepest crags. You can get there by following the track through the woods from the hotel to West Lodge, rather than walking along the road.
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Re: Rising Damph

Postby denfinella » Fri Dec 17, 2021 1:05 am

Deserves a Like for the walk report title alone :lol:

Still haven't been to Torridon. One day... though it's quite nice to leave it as something to look forward to!
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Re: Rising Damph

Postby Mal Grey » Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:31 am

Totally agree, a contender for Trip Report title of the Year.

Its such a lovely hill, with outstanding views.

BP, I've done the ridge up the other side of Toll Ban to the 868m top above Creagan Dubh Toll nam Biast. There's only very mild scrambling and I'd say its a superior approach than up to the bealach. In winter, its even better, though once took us so long to wade up in deep snow, that we only reached that top before turning back, due to lack of daylight.
As for your planned more exciting route, if I'm guessing the right alternative approach, that does look good, but maybe not a winter one for me as I'd probably get Stuc ;)!
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Re: Rising Damph

Postby malky_c » Fri Dec 17, 2021 10:58 am

Excellent - always a good hill, especially in these conditions 8)
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