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The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Brocken Spectre

The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Brocken Spectre


Postby Beaner001 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:44 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Liath Mhor, Sgorr Ruadh

Date walked: 29/11/2014

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 18.78 km

Ascent: 1407m

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I had been following the weather closely all week as I had Saturday or Sunday free for a hill walk and my verdict was the West Coast would be the best. I chose the Saturday as I wanted to spend the day on Sunday chilling before a busy week at work.
Torridon was my choice and I wanted to make the long drive count by getting a couple of hills done. Therefore Beinn Liath Mhor & Sgorr Ruadh with the option to add on the Corbett Fuar Tholl was chosen whether they liked it or not.
I was close to giving the hills a miss as I was just not feeling it when my alarm went off at 4.45am but the thought of seeing other peoples reports and me wittering a weekend away when I had a pass for both days made me get my ar*e in gear.
The usual rammy took place downstairs when the Spaniels realised they were getting the hills too; I swiftly loaded gear into the car and hit the road. Again the weather was horrendous from Aberdeen all the way past Achnasheen but things looked up for my hills on arrival at the small layby on the South of the single track A890.

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I got booted up and took the rough track up past the red phone box to Achnashellach Station.
photo 1.JPG
Coming to the Railway crossing

We crossed the tracks and took the right uphill and them you come to a choice of roads, the sign indicate you take a left to Coire Lair through some forestry. Soon the fine Corbett of Fuar Tholl comes into view, wow it looked great, I hoped I would get time for it.
photo 2.JPG
First sight of Fuar Tholl from Forestry track

photo 3.JPG
Turn left here for Coire Lair

Follow the forestry track to another wee cairn and take a left indicated by a small sign and head through a gate. The path runs along the side of the Allt an Leth-chreig for a while before branching right away from the steep ravine below Fuar Tholl. The path is good all the way up to a reasonable sized cairn where we branched right again to begin the climb up to the 800m Cairn and the beginning of the ridge along to Beinn Liath Mhor. The walk up into the Coire Liath would be a lovely walk in itself but I had a Munro to get to.
photo 4.JPG
Beinn Liath Mhor Ridge

photo 6.JPG
Take a right at this cairn to the start of steep ascent to 800m Cairn

photo 7.JPG
Sun shining on us on ascent

photo 8.JPG
Sgorr Ruadh with mist

photo 9.JPG
800m cairn

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The route ahead, curving right to left

photo 11.JPG
The route ahead, Broken Spectre conditions

The walk along the ridge was brilliant, the North side of the ridge was full of mist and the sun was shining from the south, would I get my first brocken Spectre?? The answer was yes and it was awesome, it is a strange feeling, I had kind of forgotten about looking for one and out of the corner of my eye I saw this dark figure. I stopped and took a number of photos.
photo 12.JPG
First Brocken Spectre

photo 13.JPG
Looking ahead to Summit Beinn Liath Mhor

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Another Brocken Spectre

photo 15.JPG
Looking back it looked like the North side of the ridge is on fire

Ahead I saw someone standing on the summit cairn of Beinn Liath Mhor so I knew it was not far away. On reaching it they were gone and I would spend the whole day just one step behind. Summit views over to the Corbett Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine were excellent, on a summer’s day this could be included in your day with a nice walk over the rocky causeway between the twin lochs. Unfortunately Liathach and Beinn Eighe were shrouded in mist.
photo 16.JPG
The Corbett Sgorr nan Lochan Uaine with the natural causeway between the twin lochs

photo 17.JPG
Summit dogs

photo 18.JPG
Route over to Sgorr Ruadh

I met a guy from Inverness on the drop down from Beinn Liath Mhor whom had come up the Coire Lair to do just the one Munro, had a wee chat about the Black Friday mayhem that we’d seen on the TV then we were both on our way.
We walked over some slabs of rock before you drop down quite steeply to a nice wee loch where the dogs had a wee swim before you curve round a hump then drop down to another wee loch where they had a few more lengths. This section may be tricky in mist but luckily the mist was above 800m today. However the weather looked to be closing in and I wondered if I’d get views from Sgurr Ruadh that I had from the previous summit.
photo 19.JPG
View from between two Munros back down the Coire Lair

We started the up climb to the final Munro, the ground was really rocky and I was hoping the dog’s pads would be ok, this is one of the longest walks they have done on constant rock.
photo 20.JPG
Hurry up!!

photo 21.JPG
An Ruadh-Stac (left) Maol Chean-dearg (Right)

photo 22.JPG
Taster of the rocky terrain

On reaching the summit the clag had worsened and no views. Luckily I got views over to Maol Chean-dearg and An Ruadh-Stac on the way up before the mist; I cannot wait to do these two mountains, maybe in a springtime trip.
photo 23.JPG
Dogs beating me to the summit (again)

photo 24.JPG
Summit Dogs

The terrain off Sgorr Mhor was my idea of hell, rocky/grassy terrain which was reasonably steep; I really need to ask Santa for some walking poles. I had struggled with the down climbs all day and this dramatically added to my time, meaning the Corbett Fuar Tholl was ruled out as I did not want to run out of light. It would make a nice walk on its own someday. The ground between the feet of the two mountains was full of wee lochs and a range of sizes of boulders which we had to pick our way through before reaching the path below Fuar Tholl, which would lead us back to the Coire Lair.
photo 25.JPG
Fuar Tholl from Allt a'Bhealaich Mhoir

The soles of my feet were really starting to get sore now with walking on rock all day and I could not wait to get to the path. Eventually the path was reached and we walked till we met the path we took up before branching right to the foot of the Beinn Liath Mhor ridge. It was then an easy enough saunter back to the car by which time it was starting to get dark. Another wonderful day, I was disappointed I never got the Corbett but I cannot be too greedy, it will still be there for me in the future. In weather terms this really was a day of two halves, Beinn Liath Mhor 1 – 0 Sgorr Ruadh.
The dogs pads held out although Roy’s were a bit tender the day after, as were the soles of my feet, nothing a good day of lazing about could not fix……
Last edited by Beaner001 on Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Sarah86 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:45 pm

Looks a great day out, love the shots of the broken spectre, would love to experience that some day.
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Anne C » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:01 pm

What a beautiful looking ridge! Really want to get up these two.Great photo of the twin lochans - only got up to that spot earlier this year before the wind and fading light drove us back.Very rough country indeed but stunning.Yes, getting over that 'oh, I don't feel like it' moment is the thing, especially, as the years roll on ! :D
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Collaciotach » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:32 pm

Good stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby scottishkennyg » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:02 pm

A1.cracking images of the spectres..
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby AnnieMacD » Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:05 pm

Fabulous account of two great hills. Loved your photos of the Brocken Spectre - it's really special to see one.

I think Fuar Tholl deserves a walk all on its own - it's a great hill too!
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Beaner001 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:28 pm

Sarah86 wrote:Looks a great day out, love the shots of the broken spectre, would love to experience that some day.

I thought I'd never see one Sarah but my luck was in, I hope you get the chance, they are a bit eerie when walking alone as you feel like someone is following you :lol:

Anne C wrote:What a beautiful looking ridge! Really want to get up these <span class="skimlinks-unlinked">two.Great</span> photo of the twin lochans - only got up to that spot earlier this year before the wind and fading light drove us <span class="skimlinks-unlinked">back.Very</span> rough country indeed but <span class="skimlinks-unlinked">stunning.Yes</span>, getting over that 'oh, I don't feel like it' moment is the thing, especially, as the years roll on ! :D

Yeah the two lochs were stunning Anne, really enjoyed this walk. The main reason I find it hard to get up so early is the excitement the night before leading to lack of sleep :shock:
Cheers

Collaciotach wrote:Good stuff :clap: :clap: :clap:

Cheers Colla

scottishkennyg wrote:A1.cracking images of the spectres..

Thanks Kenny, feel really privileged to have seen them :D

AnnieMacD wrote:Fabulous account of two great hills. Loved your photos of the Brocken Spectre - it's really special to see one.

I think Fuar Tholl deserves a walk all on its own - it's a great hill too!

Thanks Annie, I blame you re Fuar Tholl as it was your great recent report which made me want to do it :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:01 pm

Great report with some fabulous photos - especially the broken spectres - the only time I've seen one I didn't have a camera with me :shock: but I can imagine they are eerie walking alone Shame you didn't get the views from Sgorr Ruadh, but then who says you can only do these hills once?

We were up Beinn Laith Mhor the day before you - but didn't have time to attempt more than one hill - I walk slowly! The spaniels looked like they were having a ball - do they ever tire? :lol: :lol:
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:05 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Great report with some fabulous photos - especially the broken spectres - the only time I've seen one I didn't have a camera with me :shock: but I can imagine they are eerie walking alone Shame you didn't get the views from Sgorr Ruadh, but then who says you can only do these hills once?

We were up Beinn Laith Mhor the day before you - but didn't have time to attempt more than one hill - I walk slowly! The spaniels looked like they were having a ball - do they ever tire? :lol: :lol:


The down climbs really caused me problems on these two, the scenery and views totally made up for that though. Yeah get views off Sgorr Ruadh on my second or third round of the Munros eh.... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Cheers
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Broken Spec

Postby Mancunian » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:49 pm

I love the autumn light when the sun is low and colours are yellow and orange and shadows are loooooong. On the downside the days are short. :( And what a great Brocken spectre. I've never seen one and would love to see something like that.
Btw its not a broken but a Brocken spectre which is named after the Brocken, a mountain in Germany famous for that phenomenon. With a height of 1,141 metres (3,743 ft) it would even qualify as a Munro :lol: For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Brocken Spe

Postby Beaner001 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:57 pm

Mancunian wrote:I love the autumn light when the sun is low and colours are yellow and orange and shadows are loooooong. On the downside the days are short. :( And what a great Brocken spectre. I've never seen one and would love to see something like that.
Btw its not a broken but a Brocken spectre which is named after the Brocken, a mountain in Germany famous for that phenomenon. With a height of 1,141 metres (3,743 ft) it would even qualify as a Munro :lol: For more info: [url]<span class="skimlinks-unlinked">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brocken</span>[/url]


Oops, that's a D for Spelling, I did google it before the report as well and saw this. Should really proof read prior to posting :lol:
I had seen a few reports on here with people having got one and I was a bit jealous but well pleased I've seen one now :D
Cheers for pointing that out :clap:
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Brocken Spe

Postby martin.h » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:35 pm

Nice one Matthew, we were on Beinn Liath Mhor in July and when the weather is good the photo opportunities are fantastic, especially in that part of Scotland, as you proved with your lovely pics, fantastic mountains as far as the eye can see.
Hoping to get up there to do Sgurr Ruadh and Fuar Tholl together next September.
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Re: The Big Grey Hill 1 - 0 The Red Peak & First Brocken Spe

Postby Beaner001 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:29 pm

martin.h wrote:Nice one Matthew, we were on Beinn Liath Mhor in July and when the weather is good the photo opportunities are fantastic, especially in that part of Scotland, as you proved with your lovely pics, fantastic mountains as far as the eye can see.
Hoping to get up there to do Sgurr Ruadh and Fuar Tholl together next September.


Cheers Martin, defo have to get a trip together on your next visit mate :D
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