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A'Chioch "wrong way round" from Ben More

A'Chioch "wrong way round" from Ben More


Postby edjh » Fri May 08, 2015 2:22 am

Route description: Ben More via A' Chioch and Beinn Fhada

Munros included on this walk: Ben More (Mull)

Grahams included on this walk: Beinn Fhada

Date walked: 06/05/2015

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 14.5 km

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Since this was only our second Munro I undertook a bit more preparation than our slightly under cooked approach to Sgurr na Banachdich that turned into a hail accompanied descent down the wrong “arduous” couloir – eg print outs from Walk highlands, a GPS, OS map, MWIS report, compass; eg actual preparation ! =)
The weather forecast wasn’t great so planned to just go up and back via Dhiseig, particularly since as novices there had been lots of rain and obvious snow on the mountain tops, but noting that the MWIS weather forecast was for the tops to clear around 12.
We drove up from our very nice Dunan B&B in Bunessan via the tourist route enjoying the amazing coastal scenery and started about 1030 from the already busy car park.
We passed the famous “Up” sign and followed the simple route up giving some lovely views on the way up via the claggy path.

1_WayUp.jpg


As we went up the weather closed in a little and we bumped into a very nice chap who had come down from the closed top but was now seeing the weather clearing and thinking about going back up – good omens !
Heading up into the cloud through the path/river the view changed a bit…

2_Ridge.jpg


It was straightforward from here and we got up the snow level just below the pull up to the summit.

3_NearTop.jpg


We got to the top in cloud to sit and chat with the 5 or so climbers already at the cairn, some of whom had done the A’Chioch ridge before although none of us could see it. Obviously all of us would have to return via our boggy route up.
At this point providence intervened and the cloud cleared giving some lovely views (rough directions !) as well as the reappearance of the chap earlier who was thrilled with actually seeing some views !

South

4_RidgeSouth.jpg


North
5_TopNorth.jpg


West
6_TopWest.jpg


And obviously the most notable route, the A’Chioch ridge which I might candidly admit looked terrifying especially given that all guides say that it is best approached up and not down.
7_AChioch.jpg


Happily, nearly all of the climbers went for the ridge including an older gentleman that I had observed labouring well below us on the way up but who disappeared downwards startlingly rapidly like a mountain goat.
Their friendliness and encouragement helped me overcome my trepidation at what looked a tricky descent to the ridge through some snow.
When we saw them appear at different points 10 mins later on the ridge we followed on.
With a little posterior assistance we got down to the path fine and what followed was one of the most enjoyable afternoons of my life (I’m still new to this as a lowland Englishman!).
The A’Choich ridge was great fun with amazing views, with some lovely views the other side including these partially frozen lochans;
8_BenRidge.jpg


There were also great views back of where we had come from
9_LookBack.jpg


With my new GPS I was picking our way along the ridge with no apparent mishaps, albeit accidentally including the Bheinn Fhada summit before I realised we had done it, which was a nice bonus =)
From there it was a case of getting back down to the loch which was frankly a tiring (literal) pain in the arse of seemingly endless descent through very wet and slippery rock, marram, heather & peat.
We had lost touch with the group in front after Bheinn Fhada, so wonder if they had headed down the north side of the ridge to the new hydro workings in the valley with its famous waterfalls ?
Finally we got down and had a quick walk along the loch back to the car with some new arrivals for company
10_SheepLoch.jpg


An amazing day rounded off with a great night at the mishnish.
Next !
edjh
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Re: A'Chioch "wrong way round" from Ben More

Postby dogplodder » Fri May 08, 2015 2:05 pm

When I was up Ben More last summer we were in thick cloud from half way up and saw nowt at all..... so good to see what we missed. :wink:
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Re: A'Chioch "wrong way round" from Ben More

Postby Silverhill » Fri May 08, 2015 10:17 pm

Great that the cloud shifted for you! The A’Choich ridge sounds good for the way up. Where will you go next?
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Re: A'Chioch "wrong way round" from Ben More

Postby edjh » Tue May 19, 2015 11:33 am

dogplodder wrote:When I was up Ben More last summer we were in thick cloud from half way up and saw nowt at all..... so good to see what we missed. :wink:


Sorry for delay in responding, didnt realise you have to opt in for notifications = )

I'm sorry for your experience, but you can always go back !
I was anticipating having exactly the same problem as you (and that we had last year in the Cuillin) but thankfully the elements played their part and the MWIS was right !

Would strongly recommend doing the round up A'Chioch and back down Dhiseig if you get the chance, a great day out.
edjh
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Re: A'Chioch "wrong way round" from Ben More

Postby edjh » Tue May 19, 2015 11:35 am

Silverhill wrote:Great that the cloud shifted for you! The A’Choich ridge sounds good for the way up. Where will you go next?


I would really recommend it, albeit from a position of inexperience !
However, everyone we met who had done it made a note of singing its praises as a route.

Next, would love to do some of the Glen Etive hills.
We did the Lost Valley on the way back due to so much snow on the tops, but am champing at the bit !
Have you done some of them ?
edjh
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