Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Didn't see a soul all day.....

Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby PeteR » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:14 am

Route description: Beinn Fhada (or Ben Attow)

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhada

Date walked: 18/03/2012

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

....But I did see some mountain hare, Heelan Coos, sheep and a family of mountain goats though!!!!!!

I hadn’t planned to do this hill this weekend. Originally I had expected to be back in the Cairngorms, but the need to get a bit of variety decided me to head to the northwest highlands. My plan had been to head along Glen Carron and pick a couple of hills off in an area I’d never walked before (it’s a place that evokes many memories of the “old man” though, having driven around these parts with him many times as a boy :D).

I’d toyed with the idea of driving up the A9 and then heading across country east to west. Instead though I’d taken the, perhaps, slower route up the A82, as I hadn’t been that way for weeks. First mistake. I discovered the road up over Stromeferry was closed and the diversion was via Drumnadrochit :wtf: Pity I’d been in a world of my own driving up and missed all the signs bringing this fact to my attention :lol: I could have changed my route sooner. But I was where I was and couldn’t be a***d with turning round at that point, so decided to revert to a fall back option – Beinn Fhada, tucked in behind the Five Sisters of Kintail.

At this point I should perhaps apologise to all the walkhighlanders heading up to Kintail soon for the spring meet. I hope you don’t mind me posting my report of this hill so close to your trip to this area. I hope though that it acts as a taster of the delights you all have to come your way :D :D :D I just hope you have the best of weather to appreciate this amazing area :D :D :thumbup:

Second mistake. I discovered I had left the lithium battery to my usual camera in its charger at home. Fortunately I did have a fall back camera in my pack that runs of AA batteries. It doesn’t deliver the greatest of photos, but at least it would give me some evidence of my trip for the record :D And as I was soon to discover this was the wrong day to be without my usual camera (even if it is only a simple point-and-click device)

And of course I’d have spare AAs. Oh, no..........I don’t :evil: I wasn’t sure what juice, if any was left in the batteries I did have, so it was a slightly irritated “me” that headed off having parked up at the MRT buildings in Morvich :( I did have the i-phone as back up, but power seems to drain from that device simply by just looking at it :lol:

A short walk along the private road and then I was following the signpost for the Falls of Glomach, although they will be left for another day when I return to pick off A’ Glas-bheinn :D

From this point onward it was an excellent stalkers path all the way, pretty much to the top :D :D I’d say it was one of the best paths I’ve been on. Never too steep and when it was steep(ish) it was never for too long :D It just enabled good progress to be made, without sweating like a pig or too much huffing and puffing on my part :D :lol:

And to top it all the weather was way better than I had expected, based on the MWIS forecast :D When I’d parked up it was predominantly clear skies and while the cloud had increased there was still blue sky a-plenty and lots of warm spring sunshine. When the cloud did hide the sun it was then @!&$ cold :lol:

The path heads up into Gleann Choinneachain, but before then at a wooden post for the Falls of Glomach I headed off on the right fork and up toward the saddle Bealach an Sgairne. Still easy walking and after a short time I was stopping for a brief rest at a crossing of the Allt a Choire Chaoil, admiring the impressive waterfall there :D
View toward Coire an Sgairne from Gleann Choinneachain

A little further on and I arrived at another fork in the path. Straight ahead went over the saddle toward Glen Affric (this would be my return route), while to my right headed up into Coire an Sgairne and eventually to the final push to the summit of Beinn Fhada :D :D

By now I was getting excited. I’d had the Faradh Nighean Fhearchair on my right hand side all the way, and then Creag Coire an Sgairne had come into view. Now I could see the craggy Meall an Fhuarain Mhoir poking out between the two :D :D I couldn’t wait to see the back view of the brothers and sisters :D :D So long as the cloud didn’t obliterate them from view before I could get to the top that is :shock:
Meall an Fhuarain Mhoir

View of the route I'd taken

Before then though I had the amphitheatre of Coire an Sgairne to admire :D :D Looked even better with the sprinkling of snow on it too :thumbup:
Into Coire an Sgairne

The excellent path continued to wind its way up to the left handside of the Coire, zigging and zagging to gain height. There were a few patches where the path was iced up with water running down in the freeze/thaw cycles, but I was able to by-pass them no bother. And eventually I was on the final push to the summit. Ahead of me I could see the summit trig pointing up, while behind me I could see the bit of the ridge I hadn’t done coming along from Meall an Fhuarain Mhoir. All looking good so far :thumbup:
Sgurr Gaorsaic and Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan

A Glas-bheinn

Looking toward the summit

Arriving at the summit (well, on the way to it as well) the views were just opening up before me. Standing at the trig point I had brothers :D :D I had sisters :D :D I had the rest of Kintail to the east :D :D I had glen Affric :D :D And in between the cloud I had glimpses of south Glen Shiel too :D :D
Summit view with trig cairn

The Fhada ridge route down

Toward Glen Affric



Glen Shiel

Sisters again

I couldn’t believe what a great vantage point this was :D I don’t think there was a single bad view, and had it been completely cloud free then my guess is it would be even better :D :D If I could build me a house on a hill top then I think I’d want to build it on this hill top :D :D

And I had all this to myself :D :D Not another soul about :D :D

And there ahead of me to the east was my descent route, following the Fhada ridge to Sgurr a Dubh Doire and then down toward the Allt Gleann Gniomhaidh, Loch a Bhealaich and back over the Bealach an Sgairne into Gleann Choinneachain :D :D :D My impression is that this ridge isn’t much rated and while I do appreciate that it avoids any scrambling on the return route via Meall an Fhuarain Mhoir it was right up my street :D There is a good path along the full length – sometimes hugging the cliff edge and at others moving away on to the top of the ridge. As far as I was concerned the path was just there to give an idea of the direction of travel. I was enjoying myself traipsing all over the place :D :D I walked as slowly as I could, soaking up the ever expanding and improving views. I was particularly impressed with the view of Ciste Dhubh, A’ Chralaig and Mullach Fraoch-choire directly ahead :D :D The view into Glen Affric and the hills to the north wasn’t too shabby either :D :D
View back to the Fhada summit

East Glen Shiel Munros

Glen Affric Munros

Enjoyed a brief snow shower as I arrived at the foot of the gentle climb up to Sgurr a’Dubh Doire, but that didn’t matter.
Snow shower

View to Loch a’Bhealaich

The Brothers again

The cloud cleared by the time I had arrived at the cairned top and I could see the impressive, steep, descent down to where the ridge divided. This section was great fun, with the remainder of the snow blotting out any sign of a path down. I chose my own route down, picking my way through boulders and rock :D As with the main ridge though it was over all too soon :( :D 8)
View back to Sgurr a Dubh Doire having just come down off it

At this point my camera, which had held out magnificently, decided I had sucked all the juice out of the batteries and so gave up the ghost. From now on it was down to my i-phone to capture the images :-|

At the divide in the ridge I took the left hand arm, which doubled back toward Loch a’Bhealaich. Any trace of a path was lost on me, but I enjoyed picking my way down. The ground was soft, so any knee crunching was avoided :lol: :lol:
Loch a’Bhealaich and A Glas-bheinn

As I forded the Allt Gleann Gniomhaidh I could feel a few drops of rain. Given that cloud had come and gone all day I fully expected this to be no more than a 5 minute shower, so didn’t stop to don my waterproof troosers. Wrong :lol: :lol: It tipped it down and the wind blew it straight in my face :lol: So I got a soaking :lol:

Eventually it stopped and I was able to admire the Loch a’Bhealaich :D
Loch a’Bhealaich

I could have happily stayed longer, but thought it best to keep going. Looking at the path up onto the Bealach an Sgairne I thought it looked steep, but as had been the case all day so far it was a doddle – picking it’s way nicely up to the high point.
View down from the Bealach an Sgairne

Great views back and front and then I was heading across the saddle to pick up the path from earlier in the day and get back to the car. I was no less impressed with the path on the way down. About 15 minutes from the car another shower passed over and again I made the mistake of thinking it would be a quick shower. Stair rods :lol: With pulses of really, really heavy rain too :lol: Having just started to dry out from earlier my legs were soaked again (I don’t know why I carry my waterproof troosers, as I rarely use them).

Back at the car I was able to reflect on another great day out :D :D :D Not the hill I had originally chosen, but it had more than delivered on my expectations :D I’d felt a little unprepared for it, but with excellent paths it was an easy one to tick off the list :D :D

I just couldn’t believe that on such a good day there hadn’t been another single person out on this hill :? They clearly didn’t know what they were missing :lol: I just hope the walkhighlands spring meet has at least the kind of weather I had enjoyed on my day out (but hopefully even better than I had enjoyed) :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

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

Last edited by PeteR on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2078
Munros:282   Corbetts:159
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:3
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby ChrisW » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:01 am

A great read as always Pete and some lovely shots with your back up camera, I feel I should point out something though - its the waterproof trooos that control the rain, if you faff about getting them out of the bag and putting them on the rain stops, if you don't it doesn't :lol: Spectacular views all the way through here, really enjoyable :D
User avatar
Posts: 4940
Munros:18   Corbetts:5
Sub 2000:6   
Joined: Jan 25, 2011
Location: Cochrane- Alberta - Canada

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby 2dalmatians » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:42 am

A cracking report Peter. Looking forward to getting to this part of the country. Loved the East glen shiel pic with the blue sky in the background and dark skies in the fore.
User avatar
Posts: 341
Munros:38   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   Donalds:2
Sub 2000:7   
Joined: Aug 17, 2010
Location: Stirling

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby Steve B » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:46 am

I don't think the pictures have suffered with the back up, I would be happy with them. Good to see what this one looks like too. Good walk. :)
Steve B
Mountain Walker
Posts: 296
Munros:266   Corbetts:13
Wainwrights:34   Islands:9
Joined: Oct 25, 2010
Location: Glasgow

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby soulminer » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:51 am

PeterR wrote :
I don’t think there was a single bad view

A point well made :lol: You certainly ' won a watch' picking Fhada for your walk :thumbup:

DSC00067[1] by BoydBlair, on Flickr

This was my 200th Munro, and my mate Doogzs' 150th, on the same day- between us we must have took 400 odd photos, also, met Astronick on the way down.
User avatar
Posts: 804
Joined: Mar 18, 2010
Location: Johnstone

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby Graeme D » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:36 pm

PeteR wrote:At this point I should perhaps apologise to all the walkhighlanders heading up to Kintail soon for the spring meet. I hope you don’t mind me posting my report of this hill so close to your trip to this area.

Not at all Pete - just whets the appetite even more. I think it'll be the Sisters for me - nice to get a wee sneak preview. :D
User avatar
Graeme D
Posts: 3704
Munros:230   Corbetts:114
Grahams:67   Donalds:22
Sub 2000:57   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:27   Islands:6
Joined: Oct 17, 2008
Location: Perth

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby Johnny Corbett » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:05 pm

Another fine report Pete, you're fairly cracking on and doing some travelling :D . I saw nothing but clag when i was up this one :(
User avatar
Johnny Corbett
Mountain Walker
Posts: 2968
Munros:25   Corbetts:210
Grahams:166   Donalds:74
Sub 2000:293   Hewitts:1
Joined: May 14, 2010
Location: Livingston

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby jonny616 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:13 pm

Stunning Peter & just makes more more excited for the impending meet 8)
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1599
Munros:282   Corbetts:14
Grahams:2   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:17
Wainwrights:8   Islands:8
Joined: Aug 19, 2009

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby SusieThePensioner » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:21 pm

What a wonderful day, despite the showers. Some fantastic photos with the backup camera and iphone. Amazing views :thumbup:
Why don't you just keep the waterproof trousers on and that should keep the rain away :lol:
User avatar
Posts: 1543
Munros:6   Corbetts:3
Grahams:4   Donalds:7
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:107
Joined: Sep 7, 2011
Location: County Durham

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby mrssanta » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:19 pm

could you do us a lovely map of the route you took? Please? :roll:
User avatar
Mountain Walker
Posts: 3089
Munros:265   Corbetts:11
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:43
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby monty » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:24 pm

Excellent PeteR,
Just the report we needed prior to our trip up there a week Friday. Hope we get as clear a day. :D

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby pigeon » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:26 pm

Looks a great walk pete,Chris :lol: :lol: ,myself ,ian ,charlie are up this way in early May,got 3 days to spend there so could well try this one out, :thumbup:
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 1406
Munros:282   Corbetts:102
Grahams:39   Donalds:35
Sub 2000:22   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:1   Islands:2
Joined: Apr 29, 2010
Location: Linlithgow

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby Mal Grey » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:27 pm

User avatar
Mal Grey
Posts: 3881
Munros:112   Corbetts:20
Sub 2000:3   Hewitts:113
Wainwrights:71   Islands:5
Joined: Dec 1, 2011
Location: Surrey, probably in a canoe! www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby quoman » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:33 pm

An Absolute cracker of a report peter and as for the backup camera quality picture's
User avatar
Posts: 960
Munros:282   Corbetts:10
Grahams:1   Donalds:5
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Nov 14, 2011
Location: larbert

Re: Didn't see a soul all day.....

Postby jimandandrea » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:06 pm

Crackin report and pics - what a day. Excellent. :thumbup:
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 339
Munros:264   Corbetts:6
Joined: Mar 6, 2010
Location: Kendal Cumbria

6 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).


Walkhighlands community forum is advert free

Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fedinburgh, HalfManHalfTitanium, Lynseyallan, notthereal AW, The English Alpinist and 104 guests