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Skinty Fia

Skinty Fia

Postby weaselmaster » Mon Nov 21, 2022 12:16 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Bhuidhe

Corbetts included on this walk: Ben Donich

Fionas included on this walk: Beinn Damhain

Date walked: 21/11/2022

Distance: 45 km

Ascent: 2475m

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Oh well, it was another weekend, this one bookended by gigs in Glasgow. Thursday night - thanks for asking - we were away to see Fontaines DC at Glasgow's O2, back home then a morning start on Friday. Had it been summertime I dare say we might have headed off to camp after the gig, but in rainy winter that wasn't a smart idea. So we needed somewhere fairly close to home. Allison needed Beinn Bhuidhe for her Munro count, I quite fancied tacking on Beinn Damhain from the Glen Fine side while we were up there. Oh, and a couple of Simms too - they've been grievously overlooked this year. So we could do a walk in to Bhuidhe Friday, camp somewhere up the glen and do Damhain on Saturday, walk out and have a pint at Fine Ales Brewery then do one of the many Corbetts or Grahams in that neck of the wood on Sunday. Sorted.

Got home just before midnight on Thursday and, after a modicum of sleep, picked Allison up and headed for the hills. The skies were not welcoming, heavy rain was forecast for much of the day. We arrived at Cairndow sometime after nine - I do like these shorter drives when we're doing more local hills, got the rucksacks sorted out and set off. We've not done a big pack weekend for some weeks and I wasn't really sure how that would go.

Beginning of route is missing since I forgot to start the device :roll:

2022-11-18_1114 Raw.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

I'd decided - after reading Half Man Half Titanium's excellent report - we'd head in up the hydro track, which would be something new. Fair amount of work going on in the quarry near the start of the walk. Then the rain started, just drizzle initially, but it was clearly going to get heavier. We reached the start of the hydro track - which is currently closed for forestry operations. An empty stick lorry thundered past us up the track, so the warning was clearly not an idle one. Continuing on, I noticed a further track that starts just after the forest plantation and meets the other track at Newton Hill. This would do for us. The early section of this track, past a small hydro building, is particularly steep, then it levels out a bit. We joined the intended track, rain pouring down, and noted that the Hydro people have stolen water from many of the tributaries that feed the Allt na Faing, diverting the water down the side of the track. Maybe a recipe for future landslip? It was fairly gushing as we walked up and joined with the standard WH route for Beinn Bhuidhe. Oh joy - sopping wet ground and squelch. We soldiered on, dropping our packs at the cairn, heading out and back to the summit, getting plastered with wet snow for our troubles.

Image78DC75B9-78CC-4F68-AB6E-2E9ECE3D2681_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image8EB4DF2D-1A9C-41E1-B701-EC75E6E48D4B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image9F3E1FD3-123F-477E-88C2-D07C8D2A21BF_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image939B0354-BDC6-4257-A796-FEDC9C147477_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Diverted water
ImageD9933C2C-ECE4-49E4-9F71-145FD352E90B_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageD9600691-64E9-4B0C-A7A4-315215264F08_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Descent was tortuous - it's quite steep coming off here towards the sheep fanks and today everything was super-slippy with the amount of rain. Having the big packs on meant unbalancing was easier too, so our descent took a fair bit of time. Light was beginning to fade as we hit the track, time to start thinking about where to pitch for the night. Last time we'd camped here, we'd chosen a grassy spot in front of the ruined building...however that was not going to be happening today, as there were three van loads of workers busy restoring it. We stopped and chatted to one of the men, who said it was being renovated by the estate owners as a weekend retreat. Apparently it used to be a school house. Anyway, the grassy spot that used to be in front is long gone and there was a pile of debris instead. We continued along the river for a short way and found an acceptable spot beside the water. It wasn't forecast to rain overnight, so we reckoned we should be safe from being swept away...

Image6F53E710-74E2-487F-8B07-F533730DFC48_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageAB4C4B95-607F-4B6C-9D1F-539CB0A95A81_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Not a bad night, a dry morning right enough with some sunshine even! We packed up our wet gear and headed south to the bridge down by Ballure. There's a track passing a large Hydro building and a wee ruined cottage, then a track that leads up to the reservoir. We started off up here. filling water bottles with the clear water off this side of the mountain. I decided to do the Simms first, finish up of Beinn Damhain and have the joy of track on the way back. We set off up the steep tussocky hillside (note that we discovered an overgrown track less only about 30 metres further on on the way back down :roll: which would have made for an easier ascent) and met with this track which seemed to come out of nowhere - we followed it til it ran out and continued slowly uphill. Meall Meadhonach was our first objective (Allison complained we had too many "objectives' for this day). Then it was a slow up and down trek round peat hags and swamps to reach Maol Breac. From here, another 3k or so to top out on Beinn Damhain. I had - wrongly - thought I'd done this Graham twice and was now adding it to my "third round" list, but closer inspection of my reports showed that no, this was only the second time round. So I'll have the joy of climbing it again in the nearish future...

ImageA51B88E4-0C22-4296-8F61-B95AC1F6D30F_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image8723757F-4F8A-4AAB-9BC4-730F71A992E8_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image8292BFCF-88C8-4E29-A394-78E5F10CB365_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

This was the sort of going
Image71810DFE-4855-4D5D-ACD4-50EB2158CD42_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image6226A3CF-E6EA-4000-A2C6-F07B3334E514_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Very mossy trig on Meadhonach
Image37E2AA50-279A-4C15-905C-27541AAFBE37_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Bhuidhe
Image8396C7A7-27CA-467E-AC48-0DC426770FCD_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageD686B6AD-F333-489B-A97F-3F2BEF00E189_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image3A834A0C-63DD-4BEA-8A2F-6E650BED2035_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image769E8EC3-8968-421E-B540-A4F15E737CFC_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

The descent towards the reservoir was probably another 4k once all the diversions round deep stream channels and the like were taken into account. So much for heading out of th glen today and enjoying a pint of Fine Ale as we did so...it was gone 4.15pm by the time we got to the dam. At least we'd scoped out a suitable camp spot, in case we needed it earlier in the day - there was a flat grassy patch beside the ruined cottage by the Hydro building. So we wandered back down the track, reaching the cottage as dark fell. Cows liked this spot - judging.by their residues - so we had to take care to pitch around the poop. The cottage has no roof, just the remains of upper level flooring, but is clearly used ?during stalking season as there's some rudimentary benches and a gas hob with a big gas cylinder inside. We snuck inside to make our meal and decided to leave the rucksacks there overnight. Rain was forecast from 8pm, though it actually began at 7. And for most of the night.

Image2F8BB8B1-C89C-4F69-80D8-1772B3E4C025_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Meall an Fhudair (R) and Beinn Damhain (L)
ImageEBA92DC1-A216-4098-8A1C-1DDA17A75311_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

I was pleased that my recent re-proofing of the bathtub floor in the tent had been successful as otherwise we might have been floating by the time morning came. Breakfast, tent packed away and a walk out, passing a hungry herd of Highland cattle who roared their disapproval when we walked by without feeding them.

ImageD8A18F10-5251-4036-83EE-D72A126433C5_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageA27EB95A-EEB4-4581-96AD-F3E77FBD5D72_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Tiny fungi
ImageDA1ED932-C4F4-4924-BE1D-0BD6E83A2977_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Incomplete data as I forgot to hit "start" til about 4k in
Image6E8BE17E-62A2-44F8-993D-82982657C2B5_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Back at the car we considered where to go now. Allison's back was playing up a bit and she wasn't keen on pathless hills - like the various steep Grahams nearby. We settled on Ben Donich, which was close by, short and pathed. Parked in the small parking area at the foot of the hill and set off, meeting a couple coming down with their small dog. "Very muddy" was the judgement given - after all this rain I suspect most places are just now. We headed up the steep track, which is getting quite badly eroded in places, stopped for some lunch then continued up the hill. Snow started to fall heavily, big wet flakes, making the rocky parts slippy underfoot. Up to the summit and surprise, the snow went off and there was even a suggestion of a view. I do rather like this hill - it's one of those that are downgraded in my head by being close to home.

Image7A7F59B9-4119-4C16-9A37-FAA3AD171C14_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Never-ending work on the road up to the Rest & Be Thankful
Image8D5D7ABA-E073-4064-8749-8110702FBA92_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

ImageE52E8B8B-15E7-4BDB-96C3-DDAC7470412E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image81603803-6E0E-4002-B393-5D6B20441501_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image53DD644A-817B-42BE-B18F-884EB416D176_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Image4734E7A3-7C9E-4BCF-96F1-6F6CC212A6E4_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

We got back to the car by around 3.30, leant of time to change our gear, drive back down to Glasgow, have something to eat and see our second gig of the weekend - Ezra Furman at QMU (who was excellent as it happens)

Image64770DB6-F4BA-4BAD-8259-BCA48A4B1A3E_1_201_a by Al, on Flickr

Hill Bagger
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