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Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:03 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Creach Bheinn (Loch Creran), Dùn da Ghaoithe

Fionas included on this walk: Sgùrr Dearg

Date walked: 30/11/2014

Time taken: 12 hours

Distance: 41 km

Ascent: 3092m

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With Allison having spent the week in Glencoe the options for the weekend had to be something west coast so that I could rendezvous with her somewhere in the vicinity. I had a couple of Glen Etive Corbetts left, but there was also the possibility of nipping over to Mull to climb Dun da Ghaoithe. I reckoned the Saturday would be best, given more ferry sailings and cast around for a nearby campsite that would allow us to get the 0800 ferry. At this time of year campsites are a bit of a scarcity, but Roseview just through Oban was available - conveniently placed. An email enquiry asked us to be there for 6pm on the Friday night - something that was a bit of a push unless I managed to leave work early enough on the Friday afternoon, which fortunately I did. Made it to the site, passing through the hell that is Oban Town Centre in the process and got pitched in the dark. Campsite facilities were mostly shut down, and I resented paying full tariff. But there you go - not any other options down this coast. Had to get up at 6.30 on Saturday morning to ensure we got the ferry on time - as it was almost missed it by the time we drove around downtown Oban looking for a parking place - ended up having to cough up £5 for a car park near the Police Station as there was no roadside parking outwith the Controlled Zone available. £5 - do they think it's the centre of Glasgow or something :-x

The ferry crossing was quick and smooth however and my irritation slowly ebbed. We disembarked to a dry Craignure just as the light was brightening. It takes maybe 40 minutes to walk along the main road south from the jetty to the beginning of the walk, pleasant enough. The track then pulls up a hillside and we could see the lower section of our hill, with cloud firmly in place around the 400m mark with the first pair of masts just visible in the clag. I hoped it might clear as the day wore on - a forlorn hope as it turned out :cry: Anyway, there were some nice views up the Sound of Mull over to Morvern before the clag enveloped us. After you come to the second mast installation the track ends and it's a case of picking your way up the hillside in a more or less westernly direction until you reach the trig point and huge cairn at Mainnir nam Fiadh - which is not the summit :roll: Another kilometre or so in a NW direction with minimal undulation reaches that point. I had the feeling that this would be a rather nice hill on a clear day - seemed to have some nice ridges and presumably a good vista too...ach well.

Planned route

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

Arriving at Craignure
ImageP1040832 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040833 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Track up the hillside
ImageP1040835 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040837 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View across the Sound
ImageP1040840 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040841 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Near Mainnir nam Fiadh
ImageP1040844 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Onwards up to the summit
ImageP1040846 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040848 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Great view up here!
ImageP1040849 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit reached we about turned and sat down at the big cairn to have our lunch. It was cold when not walking and the clag was making us damp. After refueling the next task was to head southish to reach the bealach of Mam Lirien then up to the Graham Sgurr Dearg. The descent from Mainnir nam Fiadh was mostly scree then levels out. The remains of a stone wall leads in roughly the right direction towards Beinn Bheag, then you head SW up the sharp nose of Sgurr Dearg. There's a narrow ridge that terminates in a short scrambly section of 10-15m. This would be no problem on dry rock, but today the rock was greasy and wet and care was needed, especially as there appeared to be a significant drop off to our right. From the top of this section it's but a hop, skip and jump to the summit cairn. I had planned going onwards to Beinn Bhearnach along what seemed to be a fine little ridge onthe map, but zero visibility reduced the point somewhat. We turned around and retraced our steps back to Mainnir nam Fiadh. By this time the rain had come on and we had to put waterproofs on over our damp clothes. Glasses constantly misting up didn't help much either and it was something of a miserable slog back to the track. I was surprised that it had taken us as long as it had to get back to the main road - I had anticipated getting back to Craignure not much after 2pm and having to while away the hours before the next ferry, but as it was we got to the Craignure Inn at 4pm, just nice time for a pint and a warm by the fire before heading back to the ferry. Forgot to switch off my GPS until we left the pub, which lengthened our walking day even further. But I did get a surprise at the ascent figure which was just short of 2000m - for one of the smallest Corbetts of only 766m :lol:

Descent toward the bealach
ImageP1040850 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The wee scrambly bit before Sgurr Dearg summit
ImageP1040852 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040853 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit Sgurr Dearg
ImageP1040855 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040857 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040858 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Once back in Oban we decided to forego the delights of the metropolis and headed back to the campsite, the heated car seats bringing some short-lived comfort back before another wet night. The hours of darkness were punctuated by a very loud cow in the nearby farm - man it knew how to bellow!

UFOs in Oban?
ImageP1040860 by 23weasels, on Flickr

My plan for the Sunday had been to climb Creach Bheinn. I'd looked at Malky_C's route from Gleann Salach which included 3 Grahams but looked ambitious for this time of year. Instead I'd reckoned on heading up from Druimaviuc, taking the same track as you use to climb Sgulaird and heading up along the ridgeback from Creag na Cathaig. If time permitted I'd included a route for Beinn Bhreac and Beinn Molurgainn. As it was, although it appeared to be a fine bright morning, the cozy warmth of the sleeping bag proved more alluring than another early start and we didn't get away from Roseview til nearly 10am, making it 10.30 by the time we arrived at Druimavuic. Sun splitting the trees and no clouds - oh yes this would have been a better day for Mull :lol:

Intended route

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

ImageP1040861 by 23weasels, on Flickr

The track rises steadily up through Coire Buidhe which was aptly named with its autumnal colouring glowing in the sunshine. I always enjoy the view back down towards Loch Creran. At the top of the track there's a cairnand you can simply pick your way SW up the hillside over a succession of tops - first Creag na Cathaig, from which superb views south to Beinn Starav & Cruachan and NE over Sgulaird to the back of Glencoe caught the eye, cloud formations making the mountains look afloat. Approaching Meall Garbh there's a section of hillside scattered with boulders which appears as though a vengeful god has turned his prostrate believers into stone as they wait for the next miracle. A short dip then scramble up a grassy bank achieves the summit of Meall Garbh and from there it's a daunder over miscellaneous bumps and tumps to try and find the summit of Creach Beinn. It did not help that the lovely sunshine had been temporarily replaced by a large patch of clag that sat resolutely over the mountain-top for the next hour. This did bring some optical pleasures - several Brocken Spectres and also some fogbows - first time i can remember encountering those. A double fogbow sat just over the trig pointed summit, although the photos don't really do it justice.

Forestry Operations
ImageP1040864 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Track heading through Coire Buidhe
ImageP1040868 by 23weasels, on Flickr

View back to Loch Creran
ImageP1040869 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040870 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040873 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040874 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040876 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Sgulaird to Glencoe
ImageP1040878 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040879 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Faithless flock turned to stone
ImageP1040880 by 23weasels, on Flickr

First fogbow
ImageP1040897 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Creach Bheinn summit
ImageP1040899 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040901 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Fashionable headwear :lol:
ImageP1040902 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Summit with fogbow
ImageP1040906 by 23weasels, on Flickr

It had become mightily cold as we ate our lunch. Allison was knackered and I wasn't feeling too hot myself, so plans to add to my meager Graham tally were abandoned and we began to head back the way we'd come up. Just as well really as we'd not have had enough daylight to manage even one of the Grahams and get back to the car before darkness fell. More Brocken spectres as we descended Creag na Cathaig then a jaunty walk down the track and back to the car by around 3.30. Some great views of the mountains as we drove down through Glencoe, with a bright half-moon suspended in the sky.

ImageP1040909 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Clearing up
ImageP1040910 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Return along the ridge
ImageP1040911 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040917 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040918 by 23weasels, on Flickr

Loch Creran
ImageP1040921 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040923 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040926 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040928 by 23weasels, on Flickr

ImageP1040929 by 23weasels, on Flickr
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:19 pm

Smashing pic of the summit with fog bow, can't believe you only managed three hills this weekend and no tops, you've changed :lol:
Cheers guys :clap:
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby AnnieMacD » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:03 am

Fogbows and Brocken Spectres all in the same day - fantastic. You two always seem to have great adventures wherever you are. Oban sounds a bit of a lost cause - these places don't do themselves any favours. Great photos.
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:09 am

Great photos of the fogbow and spectres, oh and of the hills and humans too :lol: always enjoy your reports, thanks :D
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby Spade » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:31 pm

Smashing report, read a lot of your reports for ideas and planning. The loud cow in the field! Ah! now this could be mistaken for ehm ehm!! :D :) :lol:
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby rockhopper » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:43 pm

'twas certainly a good weekend for fog bows and brocken spectres :thumbup: - and another productive trip for the two of you - cheers :)
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby Sunset tripper » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:20 am

Hi weaselmaster good pics especially the ptarmigan. I was on Dun da Ghaoithe earlier this year mid July. Went from Oban to Craignure with bike on ferry. I think it was £9.20 return per person and bikes free. took the bikes to just above the 2nd mast pushing mostly but it meant a rapid descent back to the craignure inn to wait for the ferry back. I have been to Mull many times usually by car but also on foot. I parked in the Tesco car park which I don't believe to be a problem. Most of us are Tesco customers to some degree after all. If you plan another visit there is also free parking just to the south of Tesco though this is quite often very busy.

IMG_20141206_072952 (640x640).jpg

Tesco car park to ferry terminal about a 5 min walk
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Re: Mist in Mull, Fogbows up Creran Way

Postby rockhopper » Sat Dec 06, 2014 12:59 pm

Last time I went to Mull on foot, I used the free car park off Longsdale Road - just the other side of the Atlantis Leisure Centre. It's about a mile from there to ferry terminal on foot so doesn't take long and it means not having to drive into Oban centre.
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