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Mull. More than just a Munro!

Mull. More than just a Munro!


Postby simon-b » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:57 pm

Munros included on this walk: Ben More (Mull)

Corbetts included on this walk: Dun da Ghaoithe

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Fhada, Beinn Talaidh

Date walked: 23/03/2015

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Distance and ascent values in this report are according to Memory-Map

Oban to Craignure is a beautiful ferry crossing with great views of both the mainland hills and Mull. I took my car over on the 4:00 pm boat on Sunday 22nd, and drove to my B and B in Salen, where I had booked three nights.

Monday 23/03/2015
Beinn Fhada, Ben More

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


Distance: 15.2 km
Ascent: 1340 m
Time: 8.3 h


Karen (kmai1961) was staying at the same B and B on the Monday and Tuesday nights, after a short trip to Iona. She picked me up after breakfast and drove us to Loch na Keal. We found the parking spot recommended by WH was already occupied - by a helicopter! There was some hydro construction going on, but Karen found a spot nearby to park. Before long, we were slogging up the ridge towards Beinn Fhada, with reasonable weather, although the odd shower came and went.

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Beinn Fhada

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View in retrospect on the approach to Beinn Fhada


Bein Fhada's summit was cloud free when we reached it.

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On Beinn Fhada - my first Graham!


Earlier, the higher peaks had been in cloud, but things looked promising as we moved on.

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A' Chioch and Ben More from the descent from Beinn Fhada


Then the wind picked up, clouds lowered again and the showers turned to hail and snow. The bypass paths seemed like the sensible option in these conditions. Things had become pleasant enough again when we reached A' Chioch...

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Karen on A' Chioch


...but Ben More itself hadn't cleared.

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Ben More from A' Chioch


As we headed up the ridge towards the Munro, hail began to fall once more and bypass paths again seemed the wiser move, but perhaps were not the best choice this time. We stayed in sight of the crest, but in poor visibility, and with ground features obscured by snow and hail, we seemed to end up on one of those bypass paths to nowhere. We had to scramble back towards the crest. Footholds were covered in soft snow and hail, and often sloped the wrong way, and what looked like rocky handholds often turned out to be loose stones. So there were one or two tricky moments, but eventually we made it to the summit. We were in the clag, but this island Munro had been conquered!

Then it was just a case of the direct descent to Dhiseig...

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Descending towards Loch na Keal


...followed by a walk along the road back to Karen's car, which was still in one piece despite being very near the helicopter as it regularly took heavy loads up to the new hydro works.


Tuesday 24/03/2015
Beinn Talaidh

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


Distance: 23.9 km
Ascent: 788 m
Time: 7.5h


Salen is conveniently located for a walk along Glen Forsa, so we chose to walk along it to Beinn Talaidh all the way form the B and B. It was quite warm and sunny in the sheltered glen, but showers were never that far away.

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Glen Forsa residents


We reached the head of the glen and moved towards the substantial Graham.

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Beinn Talaidh


We reached the bothy at Tomsleibhe just as a shower started, and went inside for refreshments. Then we moved onto the steep ridge and headed up the mountain, things becoming much colder and less sheltered as we ascended.

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Dun da Ghaoithe range from the ascent


Suddenly, two eagles were soaring above us.

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White tailed or golden?


We reached the summit, with partial views.

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Summit view from Beinn Talaidh


After a short stop, we headed back down towards Glen Forsa.

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Descending towards Glen Forsa


On the final road walk back to Salen, there were some nice views across the Sound of Mull.

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Looking across the Sound of Mull to the mainland



Wednesday 25/03/2015
Dun da Ghaoithe

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Distance: 15.2 km
Ascent: 902 m
Time: 5 h


This was the best day of the week; bright, clear and dry. We were both due to travel back to Oban on the 5:00 pm ferry, so there was plenty of time for a half-day Corbett, located handily above Craignure. We climbed up past the masts.

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Ascending towards Dun da Ghaoithe


The views were superb and far-reaching, and as we ascended various other islands came into view.

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Jura from the ascent


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Arran from the ascent


To the north, the Rum and Skye Cuillin both appeared. We left the track behind and headed up the ridge to Mainnir nam Fiadh.

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Ben More, Beinn Talaidh and Beinn Fhada from Mainnir nam Fiadh


Then it was on towards the main summit of Dun da Ghaoithe.

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Dun da Ghaoithe from Mainnir nam Fiadh


Looking north, the Cuillin, Bla Bheinn and Skye's Red Hills could all be made out in the distance. Along the west mainland coast, there was a magnificent panorama of snow capped peaks from Ben Nevis to Ben Cruachan.

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Looking north from Dun da Ghaoithe, with Rum and Skye on the horizon

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Ben Cruachan from Dun da Ghaoithe


We spent some time on the ridge between the two summits, before heading back down via the masts again, with all those great views still there to enjoy.

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Ben Nevis from the descent


We were back down in Craignure with plenty of time to spare, before sailing back to mainland West Argyll. Mull is an island I'll never forget, and a place I'm really glad I visited.
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simon-b
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby Fife Flyer » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:15 am

Great stuff Simon, does sound like a mixed bag weather wise, at least you got some decent views on your final hill :lol:
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby Petr Dakota » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:53 am

Well done Simon :clap: :clap: :clap:
It looks like great days on Mull... 8)
Congratulations to your first Graham(s) ! :D :clap:
A lot of Munros you have done, nice to see you are bagging Corbetts, Grahams on the route with the separated Munros - you are working effectively :clap: :wink: :clap:
Mull is on my wish list, wanted go there last summer, but some changes...so hope to go there for a few days soon :)
Have a great time always...and keep walking :D :wink:

Petr
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby rockhopper » Mon Mar 30, 2015 12:41 pm

Good to see you back and that the weather improved as the days went by. You've certainly made the most of your time over there - well done :clap: - cheers :)
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby kmai1961 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:36 pm

Nice report, Simon, and thanks for letting me muscle in on your itinerary. The memory of seeing those eagles (my first!) will stay with me for some time to come. And the views from Dun da Ghaoithe were magnificent.

However, I take issue with your "one or two" tricky moments on the way up to the summit of Ben More; I think I might have "one or two" more than one or two. :)
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:16 pm

Glad you enjoyed your visit to the magnificent Isle of Mull. Certainly looked a bit hairy on the ridge up Ben More, I've read reports of people finding the scramble up to Ben More as being interesting even in good weather. Shame you didn't get a view but made up for it on Dun da Gouithie(so). I notice your closing in on 200 Munro's, any time scale on when you plan to complete?
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby simon-b » Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:59 pm

Cheers, Martin. The week in West Argyll was a mixed bag regarding the weather - the Mull half was the good bit!

Děkuju Petře! Líbilo se mi moc, když jsem byl na krásném ostrově. I hope you get to Mull soon. You'll really enjoy it too, I'm sure.

Thanks, rockhopper. Good to see you back too. I'd really been looking forward to Mull, and wanted to make the best of it.

Once again, thank you for the company, Karen. Those eagles certainly were a great sight. A keen birdwatcher I know has seen the photo, and reckons it's a goldie.
kmai1961 wrote:I take issue with your "one or two" tricky moments on the way up to the summit of Ben More; I think I might have "one or two" more than one or two. :)
You coped perfectly well, as far as I could see!

Cheers, Anthony.
johnkaysleftleg wrote:I notice your closing in on 200 Munro's, any time scale on when you plan to complete?
The weather in mainland West Argyll, straight after Mull, served as a timely reminder not to try and make such plans too definite.
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby BoyVertiginous » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:13 pm

Very envious, Simon :clap: .

Had a similar itinerary planned this time last year when booking a June weekend. Injury prevented any walking and the weather was glorious so, we had to make do with camping on the beach at Calgary Bay and refreshing, cold beers. :wink:

Unlikely to make it over this year so, need to keep in mind for 2016.

Great pics, the one from DdG over the castle and the water to the hills on the mainland is a belter :)
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby dooterbang » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:52 am

Well done on your first Graham...you're no onger a virgin :lol:

Still do Mull and its mountains...looks great!
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby litljortindan » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:20 pm

Brings back lots of good memories of Mull. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby simon-b » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:09 pm

BoyVertiginous wrote:Had a similar itinerary planned this time last year when booking a June weekend. Injury prevented any walking and the weather was glorious so, we had to make do with camping on the beach at Calgary Bay and refreshing, cold beers. :wink:

Unlikely to make it over this year so, need to keep in mind for 2016.

Cheers, BV. At least you found a nice place to rest and recover. I hope you can get there in 2016.

dooterbang wrote:Still do Mull and its mountains...looks great!

Thanks, DB. Mull really is something to look forward to.

litljortindan wrote:Brings back lots of good memories of Mull.

It certainly is a place worth remembering, LJ.
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Re: Mull. More than just a Munro!

Postby scottishkennyg » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:38 pm

Nice trip Simon and well done on the eagle front too.
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