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Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc


Postby Mountainlove » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:57 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhionnlaidh

Date walked: 16/02/2013

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 13.6 km

Ascent: 1144m

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A rather urgent case of… I need to go hillwalking- now!!!, made me made pack my camping and hillwalking kit during Saturday afternoon. Packing my car is usually done in less than an hour, but this time I also needed to pack all my gear for an upcoming business trip on Sunday evening :shock: . My brain was working overtime and I was hoping, that between thoughts of 'need to pack…tent, suit, ice axe, blouses, walking socks, perfume, laptop, work badge and sleeping bag', I would not forget vital things. It was certainly the strangest mix of clothes I had packed in a single outing in ages. 8) :lol:

By 5pm I was finally ready and with a bag full of fridge leftovers, to be used for diner and lunch, I made my way towards Glen Etive for the first time this year. I was happy and officially started my own camping season of 2013. :D :D :D

I arrived by 8pm and even though a drizzle made the night a bit less welcoming, I was as happy as anyone could be…back to my beloved Glen Etive. I quickly put up my tent and even thought I had thought about a pint in the Clachaig, I felt rather unsocial. On the other hand the sound of River Etive was far more appealing than any band and so I enjoyed a pint in the tent while listening to the noises of the night.

When I woke up the next morning I realized, that the light drizzle which persisted through out the night had stopped and my tent was dry. At least I would be able to leave dry gear in the car, as I would not be able to return home to unpack after my climb.

While I put my kit away and searched for the walking gear, I realized that I forgotten to pack my map and Munro book argh! I did however had my GPS and I vaguely remembered, that there was supposed to take a track trough the forest at the bottom of Glen Etive.
On my way down the glen I passed a group of deer which lay right beside the road…I had seen sheep do that, but it was my first encounter with deer so close. I stopped and even with my radio blaring, the ‘dears’ :D did not shifted an inch and I was able to take some photos, while making cooing noises to attract their attention.
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Using my GPS to guide me, I found a parking space, which was nearly empty-only only one other car had parked there. Guessing that this would be the starting point, I looked at my map, but was confused with all the different paths leading into the forest. Could there be another way? I got back into my car and drove along the road, but within a couple of miles it became clear, that I must have found the right place first time round.

I returned and got kitted up. There were 2 ways, one which lead into the forest straight from the car park and one leading towards the left. The left one was the right one and after a short time I got to the path I had seen on my map. I eyed up the path suspiciously, it seemed rather overgrown and within a few yards, I was in a thick overgrown rhododendron plantation with a barely there path. Checking my GPS, it said I was on a path…but from what I saw it was an old discontinued path.

Mmm I actually walked back again, but that seemed wrong as well, so at the end I just thought ‘hey it is a path’ and made my way up the forest. The sun was warm and soon I was walking around in my jumper. It was lovely and the smell of the forest with the crisp air an ideal combination. The path lead higher and before I new it, Dubh Chnoc came into view on my left hand side. Looking at my GPS the most logical way was to climb it, as it would lead me directly to Beinn Fhionnlaidh. Needless to say I realized at this point, that this was not the ‘official’ path, but I enjoyed the solitude of knowing I was alone.
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The strange looking path

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Close to Dubh Chnoc

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On top of Dubh Chnoc towards Beinn Fhionnlaidh

By the time I reached the top of Dubh Chnoc, Beinn Fhionnlaidh lay in front of my eyes and a trip across open moorland separated me from the mountain. There was even a rather faint path at times, which made me guess, that once in a while people use this way.
Looking up the mountain I hoped to find a path, but from the angle I had approached the mountain, there was none. My GPS had no reception either at this point, so I made up the path as I went and enjoyed the warm sun first time since begin of winter.

When I had climbed a good bit up the mountain, I had build up a good sweat and was wondering when I would finally see the top. It was a rather long approach and looking down towards my left, I suddenly saw 3 other walkers, who were on their return. I could not see the path they followed, but guess that the ‘official’ path must be down there and decided to use it for my return. I carried on and soon the snow covered top came into view. By that time I was crossing field of deep snow, which made the last bit pretty hard going. Climbing on I was soon in knee deep snow and got to the first real obstacle of the day, a small rock face covered in snow with a drop to the right. It looked rather dodgy and even though a pair of footprints showed me, that the previous walkers had climbed it, I decided that it was too narrow and opted for a bit towards my left which was equally steep, but missed the drop to the side.
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Crossing the burn

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Looking back


I got up ok and further along, was another scrambly bit, but that was all the excitement of the day. Close to the summit was a pretty big cornice and a steep drop right behind it. I saw footprint right along it and could only shake my head…no wonder accidents happen when some people are so careless and don’t realize that that they can be dangerous, but luckily no one had fallen. When I finally reached the top, 3h had passed since I left my car and not wanting to loose previous time…(after all I had a flight to catch), I only stayed to take photos and made my way down the hill soon after. This time I followed the footprints of the 3 walkers I had seen and soon found the path. OMG it was so much easier and I half hoped to have found it before, as it would have saved me time. I made my way down quicker than I thought and even had time for a late lunch…my grumbling stomach thanked me for it :D . Looking towards Glen Etive, the beauty of the landscape was breathtaking. It wasn’t the lush green countryside of early summer, but the colours of beige, brown and grey after a long winter, were equally pretty. I was reluctant to leave, but I was short on time, so I packed my bags and made my way down towards the forest plantation. From the top I had seen a gap in the trees, which made me realize that there was a completely different way through the forest. Checking the GPS, I realized the path would make a big circle, but would finish at my car. Happy with the wide forest track, I followed it and was soon reunited with my car.
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The dodgy bridge


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The easy walk back

It was now time to unpack my car and repack my kit. There weren’t many people around (just as well) as the sight of an open suitcase, clothes, shoes,hill walking and camping gear everywhere on top and the side of my car, would have been a strange sight for anyone. Realizing that I had packed too many clothes for my business trip I had to downsize the gear and even managed to polish my shoes and boots :clap: for good measure (as it saved me taking the shoe polish)
With rosy cheeks and windblown hair, I made my way towards the airport, still smiling when I climbed on board the plane…not caring how I must have smelled to others :D as it had been a great 24h in the mountains.
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Mountainlove
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby The Rodmiester » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:09 pm

Great report and pictures, the 2nd and 3rd ones of the deer, and the very dicey bridge. Sounds like a superb day, well worth the effort and now the batteries re-charged :D
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby ChrisW » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:28 am

wow - great report ML, sounds like you really worked for this one too....damn those elusive paths :lol: There are some really stunning pics in the bunch too, the 'looking back' one is sweet but that second one of the deer is outstanding, it has everything....great shots, great report, love it :clap: :D
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby Mountainlove » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:59 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Great report and pictures, the 2nd and 3rd ones of the deer, and the very dicey bridge. Sounds like a superb day, well worth the effort and now the batteries re-charged :D


Many thanks and yes the batteries are recharged fully...ready for more adventures soon :D :D
ChrisW wrote:wow - great report ML, sounds like you really worked for this one too....damn those elusive paths :lol: There are some really stunning pics in the bunch too, the 'looking back' one is sweet but that second one of the deer is outstanding, it has everything....great shots, great report, love it :clap: :D

Many thanks Chris! The pictures barely touch your great photos from Canada :D But it was a great day out!!
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby rockhopper » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:57 am

Nice one ML - busy time though before heading off on business ! I think I can remember reading a report a while back about forestry work which may have been causing havoc with the paths - cheers :)
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby Mountainlove » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:58 pm

rockhopper wrote:Nice one ML - busy time though before heading off on business ! I think I can remember reading a report a while back about forestry work which may have been causing havoc with the paths - cheers :)


I agree with the forestry work. Towards the end they had started a lot new paths which were not even on the map. But when you approach it is pretty easy to see...although not sure how it will be in a few years when the trees are growing back!
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby KeithS » Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:33 pm

Another great report ML with great pictures :clap:

What are you like, forgetting your map and book :crazy: glad you found your way safely up and down.

Not many people could use the excuse when coming off a mountain: "Sorry, can't stop to chat, I've got a plane to catch"

Glad you can still find time on your busy business trip to write walking reports, you have to get your priorities right don't you?

Be safe on those Bulgarian mountains. Don't forget your map :lol:

Keith
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby Mountainlove » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:12 pm

KeithS wrote:Another great report ML with great pictures :clap:
What are you like, forgetting your map and book :crazy: glad you found your way safely up and down.
Not many people could use the excuse when coming off a mountain: "Sorry, can't stop to chat, I've got a plane to catch"
Glad you can still find time on your busy business trip to write walking reports, you have to get your priorities right don't you?
Be safe on those Bulgarian mountains. Don't forget your map :lol:
Keith


Many thanks Keith!
Have to say that was the first walk report I wrote on a plane :-) My multitasting is getting better :D
Really looking forward to the mountains in Bulgaria...guess this is where I will see real snow :D Buying a map is still on my agenda...ehm what can possible to wrong without one :wink:
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby dogplodder » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:01 pm

Nice to see you back out ML and lovely shots of the deer. :D
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby mr_ash_37 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:25 pm

ML fantastic report and love your pics. The 2nd one with the deer and mountains in background is just awesome. Grt report. Can't wait to get out also.

What camping gear do u have? Tent bag stove etc etc

Cheeeeeers
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby Mountainlove » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:33 pm

dogplodder wrote:Nice to see you back out ML and lovely shots of the deer. :D


Many thanks :D

mr_ash_37 wrote:ML fantastic report and love your pics. The 2nd one with the deer and mountains in background is just awesome. Grt report. Can't wait to get out also.
What camping gear do u have? Tent bag stove etc etc
Cheeeeeers


Many thanks. As for kit I have 3 tents. But my favorite one is my trustful pop up tent, although this only works when I take the car.But it is great for speed and pitching in the dark. Apart from that I have all the gear one needs to have...collected over a few years :-)
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby lomondwalkers » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:46 pm

Cracking stuff ML, love the deer photos, not often you get that close to them 8) This ones on my radar for this year, so good to see a different route to it :clap:
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Re: Beinn Fhionnlaidh from Glen Etive via Dubh Chnoc

Postby RayK » Tue May 05, 2015 12:38 pm

Really good trip report - was going to start from Glen Crenan as had heard that forestery plantings made it difficult from Glen Etive. Thanks for the bit about the paths made me double check before I started out and with all the tree fellings it is now quite open making it an enjoyable walk with good views from summit. Liked your photos. :D
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