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Sunshine in Ardnamurchan

Sunshine in Ardnamurchan

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:02 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn na h-Uamha, Creach Bheinn (Morvern), Fuar Bheinn

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Gaire, Beinn Mheadhoin (Morvern), Croit Bheinn, Glas-charn, Sgùrr a' Chaorainn

Date walked: 05/06/2022

Distance: 88 km

Ascent: 5048m

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It's been an odd time recently. May is normally a great month for getting hills done - long days and before the midges are out. This May I managed one Graham and one Sub (a repeat). That's it. Of course we were away on the Cape Wrath Trail for more than half of the month, then my son arranged to take me and his mother away to a fancy self-catering apartment in Bonawe last weekend, as a belated birthday present for me - it was very enjoyable, but no hills were done. Then this weekend, Allison was going to see her brother and sister-in-law who were holidaying in Kingairloch on the Thursday/Friday, meaning that we'd have an interruption to our usual routine. Of course the weather was going to be fantastic - Queen's Jubilee weekend and all that.

I'd been experiencing my fitness from the CWT draining away over the past two weekends with no exercise (coming home on the bus from Durness the weekend before last). That seemed a shame, as I'd been feeling really good bedywise after the long walk. Would I even manage to get up a hill? I decided I'd head away on Thursday morning and do something that afternoon, then try and get Fuar Bheinn and Creach Bheinn done before I rendezvoused with Allison on Friday afternoon. Beinn na h-Uamha in Glen Our had been left out when we were recently there, so it seemed a reasonable choice for the Thursday - I quite liked the look of the WH route up it from Glen Gour. So I left home around 8am. The roads were busy with holidaymakers and Jubilee seekers and there was a bit of a wait at the Corran Ferry due to demand. Got over eventually and drove the few miles to Sallachan, where there's parking for a few cars on the north side of the bridge. Pulled on my day-pack, which seemed so light after what I'd gotten used to carrying on the Trail, and set off along the shore of Loch nan Gobhar. Some clouds about, but looking a good day. I remembered the boggy path well from a few weekends ago and paused for some lunch before crossing the river. A couple of girls came by - they were off to do some climbing on the slabs further up the glen. I crossed the river where WH suggests and managed over with dry feet - the level of the river was pretty low given the recent dry spell. A bit of tussocky ground to cross before the initial slopes of the mountain are reached.

ImageC471F470-D094-4BE2-8EAB-D6B2AC605423_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA4A92805-6254-4E48-988B-6C7767E26254_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

I managed to be a bit off beam in terms of following the WH route, but the going is easy enough as long as you don't get stuck in a ravine. I was really enjoying the day, and reckoned this was a pretty good hill when approached from here. As I neared the top I was passed by a party of eight walkers on their way down - presumably a club outing or something like that. I reached the summit at 2.30, enjoying views across to the mighty Garbh Bheinn. It was too early just to turn and head back down - I decided I might as well continue on to Sgurr a'Chaorainn even though we've done this Graham twice. Maybe I will get round to a third trot round the Grahams...mind you I need to get the second one done first. It's a pretty straightforward crossing to the second hill, going from one of the smallest Corbetts to one of the biggest Grahams - there's a mere 6m difference between the two hills. From the top of Chaorainn I returned to the bealach and decended into Coire Laire, picking out a line that wasn't unpleasantly steep before joining with the ATV track that runs along the glen and ultimately rejoins the outward path. I was back at the car at around 6pm and set off to find somewhere closely to pitch the tent. Found a nice little spot bordering Loch Linnhe and sat eating my dinner listening to the sounds to the waves lapping on the shingle and nearby lambs bleating.

Image37CDCB0A-3EA6-4CC6-8F0C-DC284974582A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageF53524B7-123F-444D-808A-73A1E58F348F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image7214C235-CB7F-472F-BEB6-2673FE9FFB4C_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image4ACB3EE2-C41D-4DED-A36B-D2CE467C958A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageEAD7BABE-ACBF-47A7-8AC8-8BA9FA4F83EC_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

I expected to sleep well, but firstly I had to deal with midges and then with a heavy rain shower I had watched coming from Glencoe towards me. When we were in Durness, I'd replenished our coffee supply with strong, non-decaf instant and I'd forgotten to change that back when we got home. Maybe it was the unexpected caffeine, but I had one of those nights when your body's tired but your mind keeps chuntering on at 16 to the dozen. So frustrating. It really doesn't get dark now either, so I lay and tried to rest, but ended getting up about 4.30, pottering about and heading away around 5.20. Needless to say, the roads were quiet, and I noted that quite a few sheep and their lambs were walking on the empty roads.

Image8B9F7098-1E8A-45E5-B9B1-11C6836A4070_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

2022-06-03_0557 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

My target for today - at least the first part of today - were the twin Corbetts of Creach and Fuar Bheinn. I'd done these from teh south, variations on the Glen Galmadale Horseshoe, on two occasions - now I wanted to try them from the north. It looked to be a bit shorter from here too, which would help as I didn't want to be chasing my tail trying to get finished in time to meet up with Allison. I saw that Collaciotach had used one of the hydro tracks to ascend this way so thought I'd give it a try. I picked the wrong hydro track initially, and had to retrace my steps, but I managed to get the right one att second calling. There's parking in a lay-by with big rocks behind it and you head through a gate onto a grassy cattle track, cross some boggy ground and come out onto a wet track that leads you to the river, which again was easily crossed today just beside a telegraph pole thing. Then onto proper hydro track that zigzags quite effortlessly up hill and continues a bit further than shown on the map, ending at a small dam intake. It's a simple matter of following the Allt an Fhaing from here - there is a choice of deer track by the stream or ATV track a little away from it, but both lead you to a deer fence which has an unfenced opening. A bit of bog to cross then you are at the bealach between the two Corbetts. I decided to make for Fear Bheinn first and was at the summit before 8.30. I was feeling hungry and decided to have lunch a little (!) early. Well - I had been up for 4 hours! I returned to the bealach, taking a bit of a bouldery route, and set my sights on Creach Bheinn. I found something of a path, with footprints and everything, and was at the summit by 10am. A cracking morning - blue skies, warm sun, a haze over the sea, just lovely. I took my time heading off Creach Bheinn, knowing that I had plenty of time before I needed to meet Allison. I met up with the outward track at the bealach and enjoyed the walk down, stopping to fill up my water supplies as it was turning into a hot day. Back at the car at just gone 12.

Image069EF531-7421-4817-B89F-15F11B1DE262_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image277F9FA5-423B-4C67-BDA4-89345EB7CC71_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Creach Bheinn
ImageA02B0D2D-319F-4F0F-95F9-FF0CF2C40681_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image02A8DB69-E2F6-4C57-9891-B267ABD411FC_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image37E0CD98-91C7-4171-9E5B-D698439424A4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image860E5DC5-22DD-49F1-9A10-5A149E4F4470_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Fuar Bheinn
ImageE64174B3-4401-46C6-A44D-4A10695DA465_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageCF1D7529-5962-4817-B0CB-1A1E443F8463_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageB56A595F-DDD0-4CA1-AD4C-0C4997408A86 by Al, on Flickr

I ambled slowly down the narrow road towards Kingairloch, pausing to see whether it would be possible to camp near the start of Glen Galmadale - most of the spots along the coastline were already hosting vans and tents. I drove along to Elastic Cottage, where I was to meet Allison and had a blether with her family, then got started off on our walk to Beinn Mheadhoin. I recalled when we'd done this previously it had been found 16k with over 1000m ascent - hopefully we'd be able to shorten the route a bit for today? As it turned out, not really. The Estate is in new ownership - a Belgian couple who have done quite a bit of work on the cottage so far. Some years ago, one could park down by the jetty but access has been restricted from the main road now. We'd left the car at Elastic Cottage anyway, but were faced with an extra 4-5km as a result. We walked along the waterside towards Kingairloch House, being a bit unsure which path to take as the one we were on seemed to be heading straight for the garden of the main house. And indeed, out came the Estate owners, friendly but with a certain territorial guard enquiring if we were staying in one of the cottages. We said we were going up the hill and we reckoned we'd just cross the river and make a more direct line up. Which we did. I recalled there was a stalkers track up Meall an Doire Dhuibh, which we found our way onto, having to walk across the tidal marshes. Once on the track the going was alright, although hot. The quarry on the south side of th hill has grown enormously since our visit in 2016 and a constant clanging came from the machinery there - no Jubilee holiday for quarrymen evidently. Onwards and up and downwards to Beinn Mheadhoin, the middle of the summits. It was 6.30 by the time we arrived at the trig column and we could see exactly how far we still had to go to get back. Neither of us fancied the ups and downs of retracing our steps, or indeed continuing round to Sgurr Shalachain so we headed straight off Mheadhoin. There's a narrow section down from the top itself, then a clear and well used deer track to the lower regions, where there are some crags to avoid (go to your right) before picking up the track through the glen, well used by cows. The track goes through the estate and eventually joins the road. We could see clouds gathering ahead, and sure enough we were caught in one of those summer downpours. I didn't have a jacket, so was quickly soaked to the bone, as the French would have it. Quite refreshing however after the day's heat.

Mheadhoin-2.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Image9F195613-72D4-4526-AC9E-118730DAA556_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageD73B9BAE-9681-4079-8E2C-10FE92E90220_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Mheadhoin
Image8A8411BD-9B20-4AF6-9902-5B081A7AC4D3_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image448F7FEB-880C-41F8-86B6-FFE41ACD203B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image9F165293-49F0-4719-89E9-83F5008AAF92_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image890F56A8-C5EA-4DC0-AADC-8EBA41D16B6D_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageBF0C271E-55E8-4B88-9043-75C51EE8D604_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image2A4EA645-BE93-4CA9-92F0-D4CE636052FF_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

We returned, a bit drookit still, to the car and drove back to Glen Galmadale's parking place, where a couple of vans were set up for the night, one draped in black and playing some kind of trance/rave music. We got our rucksacks out and headed into Glen Galmadale, where there are some spots to camp after about 1km or maybe not even that far - I was too tired to count by now. The wind had died completely and the rain had soaked the grass, perfect conditions for the flying terrors...Luckily we had eaten tea on the hill and only had to get into the sleeping bag, which we managed without too much in the way of midge intrusion. We could see the sun colour the few clouds above Creach Bheinn - bet it was a glorious glowing sunset if you could see it properly. After a very long day (some 15 hours walking for me) I was pleased to fall into a good deep sleep.

Image650B1FD9-A4E4-473A-ADB4-9A5F54A0C004_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Midges were still there in the morning, as was an eccentric cuckoo. Whilst most birds go "Cuck - Coo" this one went "Cuck - cuck- cuck -wacca - wacca-wacca" Imagine, if you will, the opening bars of Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile (slight return) and you'll get the idea. Was pretty fabby 😂 We were quite late to rise, spoke for a time to a couple who were about to set off on the Glamadale Horseshoe then headed away for Ardmolich where our next two hills - Croit Bheinn and Beinn Gaire - awaited. Noticed Resipole campsite was closed ? for renovations as we went by on busy narrow roads. There's a parking area at the end of the public road up Glen Moidart where we left the car and gathered together our gear. The day was scorching, blazing blue sky with only the littlest white puffy clouds. I had originally drawn up an ambitious route for today's hills, going over the Simms of Sgurr Dhomhinuill Mor and Sgurr a'Mheadain, then Rois Bheinn and Sgurr na Ba Glaise before dropping down to the bealach with Croit Bheinn and returning over Beinn Gaire. That was too big a walk for today, after yesterday's exertions, so we made do with a loop over the two Grahams only. Last time we'd taken 7.5 hours for the route...

2022-06-04_1148 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Image0D5D3F98-1BE8-4098-8045-D0DB079EE3F1_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image83FCEB67-0351-4D03-B0BF-74AED7C75668_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The heat was pretty oppressive, without much of a breeze to cool down. Soon my shirt was almost as wet with sweat as it had been in yesterday's downpour. We tried to find a little shade to have lunch on the way up Beinn Gaire. It felt like a long way to the first summit, then to Croit Bheinn - we were taking it easy and faffing around a bit, trying to identify various surrounding hills. We could make out a building over the other side of the River Aladale - wondered if this was a bothy - Glenaladale Bothy perhaps? It has no apparent track to it, so pretty remote...Steep crags surround the summit of Croit Bheinn, a good vantage point for this area. We ate the last of our Candy Kittens and prepared for a long walk back along the glen. Descent is fine to the SW and there are deer tracks to follow in and out of the tussocks along Glen Gluitanen- you need to keep high enough on the north bank to negotiate the steep gully at Bealach na Lice. I noticed a lot of parallel lines on the mountainside - too regular to be geological - I wondered if they were from cultivation or peat cutting or something? Eventually we reached the soggy ATV track that has wooden planks over some of the wettest sections, reaching the rather rickety footbridge that avoids Glenmoidart House and back to the car. It was now 9.30 and we really needed to find a place to pitch - I didn't have the energy to drive along the coastline to try and find an unoccupied spot along the Sound of Arisaig and noted there was a possible spot amid some rhododendron bushes 100m from the parking area - that'll do! Some evidence of cows having been here, but not very recently, and we got the tent up despite the midges and had a quiet night. Again it didn't get dark at all and a crescent moon sent a sliver of additional light onto proceedings.

ImageBFC91F70-DC3E-427B-A9FC-E1EACCBE10D9_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA8313DFB-0E00-404D-84F0-703B10680DDA_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image69A773B8-9BBB-4195-9E73-FF36300A0699_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageF15DD65B-83AC-4C58-9943-E66CE2CFEA55_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA5B0B0B0-C3D1-43DD-A753-40540DA74C64_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Lines on the hillside
Image79898F01-E2D0-4559-AE98-FE8B18AA51AC_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image58EC79E6-B37A-4F07-A399-BA837DFF7ADC_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageB259BB30-C8A4-4CD1-9865-F862EFE9F7DC by Al, on Flickr

Sunday morning saw us up and away, heading towards Glenfinnan. Lots of camper vans along the road once again, and another lovely sunny morning. I'd swithered between Ben Resipole and Glas-Charn and the latter had won, partly becasue I thought the Corran Ferry would be very busy. I didn't have a route for this hill, but remembered that you went up the track used for Sgurr an Utha then followed a fence line pretty much to the summit. Which is what we did. There are lots of traffic lights for roadworks along the road from Malaig to Glenfinnan, with numerous deep holes dug out of the road, presumably for pipes or cables to be passed through. The lay-by to the west of the track is currently closed, and the openings of tracks on either side of the track at the beginning of the walk have new "No Parking" signs on them. We decided to park responsibly on the one across the road, blocking nothing - and it was a Sunday. The sun continued to beat down and once gain I found the heat enervating, so progress was slow today. We walked up the track and crossed one of the arms of the river, before picking up the fence line and following this a=for a bit. Allison decided to head uphill a bit early to try to find drier ground, but only discovered peat hags that required negotiations. The summit had great views out to Rùm, Skye and the Outer Hebrides and we sat there for a while eating lunch and enjoying the views. Decided to head off to the ESE over Sgurr a'Mhuidhe, which involved a fair bit of ups and downs, then came off E to reach the track again.

2022-06-05_0933 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Image187D68A5-A63E-4530-91A7-58C275D3090A_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image8BC2D2F5-3F6D-401C-956A-6E1E64219506_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageAF33E7D5-E665-455C-BDA6-F100815F1BF0_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image5BADE778-EAA7-4233-A2BF-744C1977D698_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA0FDF6B3-70FF-447D-941F-3C16026C378E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The walk had taken longer than I'd expected - we didn't get back to the car til 3pm, when I'd reckoned we'd be back at 2. I switched on the radio to hear the traffic news - Loch Lomondside was already "very slow moving" not surprising with the great weather and the Jubilee Weekend - I can't stand being immobile for an hour or more and decided we'd go back via the A9, which was probably the wrong call, especially as we were held up by a serious crash at Moy which had involved a call out to the air ambulance. The wreckage was certainly grisly.
Posts: 2455
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Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

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