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A short trip to Mull

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 10:53 pm
by malky_c
Finally, after months of being office bound, I had another site visit lined up, and another opportunity to use work as an excuse to get out on the hills. I was to head down to Craignure on Mull with a colleague to look at potential routes for a new water main. Yawn etc., but I could see a perfect opportunity to get up Dun Da Ghaoithe, as it was right opposite the hotel we were staying at. The weather down the Great Glen was looking promising, but after we crossed over the Corran Ferry, things were looking rather grey. They didn't improve as we caught the Lochaline ferry, and by the time I set off from the hotel at 6.30pm (leaving my colleague to investigate the swimming pool), the weather was calm,but the cloud was settled at about 450m.

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I hadn't bothered checking a guidebook, but had decided that the easiest thing to do was to take the straightest line for the summit. This involved crossing some deer fences, crashing through tussocky bog, and getting scratched by brambles. That was all before I had even gained any height! Once on the grassy ridge of Maol an Damph, things were easier but I was in the cloud.
Firth of Folorn
I was apparently headed for a steep rocky section, but didn't know what this was actually going to look like. In the event, a bit of steep scree was followed onto some broken rock, with hands only being required for the last 10m. A few more steps and I was at the summit cairn, again minus the view (mirroring my only other visit to Mull to climb Ben More).
Summit cairn
I decided at this point that there was no chance of adding Sgurr Dearg to the round, as it was already 8 o clock and wet.

However, while traversing the grassy ridge towards the trig point on Mainnir nam Fiadh (lovely short grass - would be great on a summers evening...) the cloud appeared to break. It closed in and broke again, and I managed to get a good 15 minutes of scenery. In fact the swirling of the cloud made things rather impressive.
Cloud clears at trig point
Looking back to main summit
South to Loch Spelve

Sadly, it wasn't to last, and I was back in the cloud to find the upper radio mast on the ridge. Luckily I had noticed there were two masts, as my map (a bit out of date) only showed the lower one. I followed the track between the two masts then had a rather stupid urge to take a shortcut back to the hotel. Amazingly this worked out, as I picked up a break in the forestry where a power line passed through. On either side were acres of tangled forest and windblown trees. This break led right back to the hotel. Even though it was after 9pm two guys on diggers were still out at work burying a new power cable.

At the hotel, I skulked through the lounge bar full of blue rinse in my muddy shorts and boots, discovering that I had missed all the food! Damn. At least I just about got down before dark.

Fortunately (or frustratingly), the next day had good weather, so I was able to get some better photos. Unfortunately, as I had a work colleague with me, I couldn't stop on the way back to climb Ben Resipol, which was basking in the sunshine. Definitely want to go back to Mull for a more leisurely exploration at some point.
From Garmony Point to Ben Cruachan
Dun Da Ghaoithe from the Fishnish ferry
Ben Cruachan from ferry
Looking down Lochaline

Re: A short trip to Mull

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 11:15 pm
by mountain coward
I'm jealous as I've been wanting to do Dun Da Gaoithe for ages and have had a few trips to Mull but have either had really bad gales or was doing Ben More & A' Chioch... But when I do it, I'm determined to only do it on a day when I can continue right along the ridge until it becomes insignificant when I then plan to just descend to the road and try to get a bus back to Craignure! :D So thanks for those pics - more cliffy than I expected!

Re: A short trip to Mull

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 6:45 pm
by walk aboot
No yawns about your job at all, malky_c, a four day working week and a trip to Mull 8) . Nice report :) .

Re: A short trip to Mull

PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 7:39 pm
by ianaird
walk aboot wrote:No yawns about your job at all, malky_c, a four day working week and a trip to Mull 8) . Nice report :) .

Four day week, you must work for sws malky :lol:

Re: A short trip to Mull

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 10:58 pm
by malky_c
ianaird wrote:Four day week, you must work for sws malky :lol:

Sadly, one of the consultants who work for them, so only getting paid for 4 days at the moment! Still, if the site visits keep up, I'm happy...