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Another Slice of Cheesecake

Another Slice of Cheesecake


Postby weaselmaster » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:21 pm

Munros included on this walk: Beinn Fhada, Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich, Lurg Mhor

Corbetts included on this walk: Beinn Dronaig

Date walked: 02/08/2015

Time taken: 19.75 hours

Distance: 62 km

Ascent: 3720m

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I had hoped to get up to the Fisherfields this weekend for the Beinn Dearg pair, but the forecast was not favourable. Alternatives were required - the Northwest seemed to be getting the best of a bad weather deal, so it seemed an ideal time to try and climb the outlying Top on Lurg Mhor along with Beinn Dronaig. I quite fancied the way in from Attadale, having not experienced it (we climbed Cheesecake & Lurg Mhor from Bealach Bhernais). I couldn't work out whether to use the Bothy or camp - I wasn't sure if we'd make it as far as the Bothy setting off after work on Friday.

As it was, the roads were reasonable apart from some awful drivers tootling along at 35-40mph in 60 zones. For miles :roll: What is wrong with people that they can't drive at a reasonable speed (I'll tolerate 50mph) on good roads in good conditions? Afraid I ranted quite a bit when stuck behind them. We (eventually) got up to the Walkers' car park at Attadale sometime before 8pm, had a bite to eat, got kitted out and set off into the rain. The start of the walk passes by the Gardens, which I noted with some sadness were closed on Sundays. Next past some holiday cottages then along the side of some forestry plots before getting out into wilder countryside. I can't imagine this track's much fun to cycle in on as it rises steadily up to around 350m over Attadale Forest before dropping 100m or so as you come down to cross the bridge over the Uisge Dhubh. By this time we could see Bendronaig Bothy in the twilight. No obvious smoke or lights...Allison was flagging quite badly - I guess an early start at work, a hard graft then a long drive isn't the best preparation for a few hours walking in the evening. I was determined we'd make the Bothy though, not least cos the places to pitch were few and far between on the trackside. After just under 2 and a half hours we crossed the wooden planks leading to the bothy door. I entered with some trepidation, not knowing who I'd find inside, but - Joy! - it was empty. It's quite some place - wood panelled, fireplaces in each room off the main one and - of course - the famed flushing toilet - a rarity. We chose one of the smaller rooms, got our sleeping stuff out and wasted little time in getting off to sleep.

Setting off
ImageP1090073 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090076 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090077 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090081 by Al, on Flickr

Uisge Dhubh
ImageP1090082 by Al, on Flickr

Stats for the walk in
ImageP1090083 by Al, on Flickr


A peaceful night, some rain on the windows and roof but no other noises to interrupt slumbers. Managed to get away before 8am, past the lurking midges and across the stile onto the track. We had planned to do Cheesecake first so followed the track down to the footbridge, along to the right for a little then up the grassy flanks of Sail Riabhach. Easy. When we reached the plateau there were good views over to Fuar Tholl and Beinn Liath Mor in Torridon, and to the dark crest of Bidean a'Choire Sheasgaich itself. A gentle stroll took us up to the narrow summit ridge of Cheesecake - I couldn't believe how easy ascent is from this side compared to coming up the scrambly gully from Tarsuinn.

This is the room that would later hold a dozen people
ImageP1090085 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090086 by Al, on Flickr

Bothy, with the Lodge behind
ImageP1090088 by Al, on Flickr

Bridge
ImageP1090089 by Al, on Flickr

Up to Sail Riabhaich
ImageP1090090 by Al, on Flickr

North to Fuar Tholl
ImageP1090093 by Al, on Flickr

Cheesecake
ImageP1090094 by Al, on Flickr

Cheesecake/Lurg Mhor
ImageP1090098 by Al, on Flickr

The long sinuous back of Beinn Tarsuinn
ImageP1090102 by Al, on Flickr

Across to Beinn Dronaig
ImageP1090105 by Al, on Flickr

Lurg Mhor
ImageP1090106 by Al, on Flickr

Summit Bidean a'Choire Sheasgaich
ImageP1090109 by Al, on Flickr

Now all eyes were on the sister hill of Lurg Mhor. A short trip down to the bealach and then up over the stony slopes to the top of Lurg Mhor took about 50 minutes. However the weather had closed in quite substantially. We decided to drop our packs at the summit cairn of Lurg and press on to the desired object of Meall Mor unladen. I'd read about the slippy slabs crossing over here and it didn't help that the rain was pelting down and the clag had descended. Although I was enjoying losing the weight of my pack, I realised very soon that I should have taken gloves, as my hands started to freeze in the miserable conditions. We dropped down from the summit area of Lurg onto a sharp rocky step that needed an edge along it. It didn't help that the clag prevented you seeing downwards - the hillside seemed to drop off vertically on both sides. Then onwards to a couple of pinnacles. Getting over the first was tricky but manageable, however getting up the second in these conditions with wet rock, clag and high winds was not. Allison decided to wait behind while I went down to look for a bypass. Dropping down about 30m to the right allows one to pass below the obstruction and continue on to the flat grassy top of Meall Mor. I went across myself then returned to try and find Allison. The clag had cleared somewhat by this time and I suggested she come over to the Top as well. She was absolutely frozen, having sat waiting for me for 15 minutes or so in the dreich weather, so was glad to get back to the main summit, get a few layers on and some hot coffee.

Weather worsening up on Lurg
ImageP1090111 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090114 by Al, on Flickr

Out to Meall Mor
ImageP1090115 by Al, on Flickr

Hands frozen
ImageP1090117 by Al, on Flickr

A wee bit hypothermic
ImageP1090120 by Al, on Flickr

Heading back to Lurg Mhor
ImageP1090123 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090124 by Al, on Flickr

The clag began to clear as we walked down the southern shoulder of Lurg Mhor, with views over Loch Calavie. I had swithered about extending the trip to include the Graham An Cruachan, but it would mean some very wet terrain to cross and would probably add a couple of hours to the trip. With the weather being so unsettled I decided to leave this for another day, maybe using the other bothy in this area, Maol Bhuidhe, as a base - a good excuse to come back. We got to the track that runs along the base of the mountain and comes to the head of Loch Calavie, then progressed in a generally squelchy manner over the river and onto the stalkers' track that leads up the SE shoulder of Beinn Dronaig.

View down the S shoulder of Lurg
ImageP1090129 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Dronaig
ImageP1090130 by Al, on Flickr

I think this is Aonach Buidhe - one still on the list
ImageP1090131 by Al, on Flickr

An Cruachan to the L
ImageP1090132 by Al, on Flickr

View back up to the ridge to Meall Mor
ImageP1090133 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090134 by Al, on Flickr

Beinn Dronaig, Loch Calavie
ImageP1090136 by Al, on Flickr

The boggy land over to the base of Dronaig
ImageP1090137 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Calavie
ImageP1090138 by Al, on Flickr

Loch Monar and beyond
ImageP1090140 by Al, on Flickr

Maol Bhuide bothy
ImageP1090145 by Al, on Flickr

As we climbed the weather went from sunshine to clag to rain and it was pretty miserable when we finally reached the top. I was glad that we had not dallied on An Cruachan. We made our way to the bealach with Carn Poll-eisg then just made a beeline for the bothy down the NW slopes. Wet, boggy but quicker than traversing the length of the hill. As we descended through rain and clag we could see some figures wandering around the bothy door and when we reached sanctuary found a couple of English families had taken up residence. We didn't actually manage to work out how many were there as people kept appearing and disapperaing, but there were at least 10 and perhaps 12. We chatted and they'd walked in from Achintee to spend the night and maybe do Dronaig in the morning. Had some serious cooking going on too. We were joined by a couple of WH hillwalkers (I forgot to confirm identities but one may have been Laconic Surf) who'd been doing Dronaig after walking in and would do the 2 Munros on Sunday.

Up Dronaig
ImageP1090146 by Al, on Flickr

Cheesecake/Lurg
ImageP1090148 by Al, on Flickr

Fuar Tholl
ImageP1090150 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Loch Monar in steps of blue
ImageP1090152 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090153 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090154 by Al, on Flickr

You can just make out the bothy in the clag
ImageP1090157 by Al, on Flickr

Stats
ImageP1090160 by Al, on Flickr


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



Food was well received, as was a fire to help dry off the clothes that had suffered the day's soaking. There are some advantages to not always being in a tent. Unfortunately I managed to melt the fuel line of my stove, so had to boil the kettle in the fireplace :( . Headed for bed at around 8pm, both feeling tired, and was amazed by the complete lack of noise overnight from the families. I actually thought they'd left in the late evening it was so quiet, but no- they were there when we got up at 6ish the next day. How they all slept in that one room amazes me - clearly some kind of TARDIS effect going on within the bothy :lol:

You can't do this in a tent!
ImageP1090161 by Al, on Flickr


Away just before seven for the walk back to Attadale. Met a couple of guys on bikes and another pair walking in with their dog - they must have started out early! A beautiful morning, mackeral sky over yesterday's hills. Looked like it was going to be a fine day. My wee mind was whirring...if we got back to the car before 10 then that would give us almost a full day to do another hill...we'd be ahead of schedule :clap: Only problem was - which hill??? The sensible thing would have been to drive closer to home and do one of the Corbetts Allison hasn't done near Tyndrum or Etive, but here we are in the Northwest, where most of our hills to do are and the sun is shining! Something on its own, not part of a bigger walk....ooh maybe Hunter's Ridge on Fhada, or the 2 outstanding tops on the Saddle, or maybe up to Torridon for Beinn Dearg...I was all in a frenzy. We decided on Beinn Fhada which would claim me a Top and allow us to do the Hunter's Ridge in dry conditions - something which we'd previously hoped to do. When we were back at the car we met a chap we'd last met on Corryhabbie Hill - doing the Corbetts from London, which is a considerable effort. He'd been hoping to do the Fisherfield Deargs this weekend too, but adverse weather had curtailed those plans, so Beinn Dronaig awaited. We wished him well for his remaining 38.

Leaving the bothy
ImageP1090162 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090164 by Al, on Flickr

Uisge Dhubh
ImageP1090167 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090168 by Al, on Flickr


ImageP1090173 by Al, on Flickr

A peek into Attadale gardens
ImageP1090176 by Al, on Flickr

Drove down to Morvich and set off just before 11. We'd both had the temerity to change into shorts (for the first time this year) and also put trainers on as feet were a little sore after the weekend's walking - however I decided I wanted boots for the scrabbly bit of the ridge so popped both pairs in the rucksack. A very lovely walk up Gleann Choinneachain, profusion of wild flowers, butterflies and grasses. Met not a soul, surprisingly. I'd been up Beinn Fhada twice before, once from this direction including A'Ghlas Bheinn on the walk and once over the whole back of the mountain from Affric. On neither occasion had I been over to the western Top of Meall an Fhurain Mhoir, so that was our agenda today. We then had the option of returning by our out route or continuing along over Hunter's Ridge.

Hunter's Ridge from the car park at Morvich
ImageP1090178 by Al, on Flickr

Summer finally here! Shorts on!!
ImageP1090180 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090181 by Al, on Flickr

Looking up into Coire an Sgairne
ImageP1090183 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090184 by Al, on Flickr

The sky started to cloud over as we sat on the track just before the turn off into the vast amphitheatre of Coire an Sgairne. The path up into the coire is a good one, with only a few patches of soggy bog. Soon we were on the flattish top of the mountain and went across to the Munro summit. Views over to Affric - Ceathreamnhan standing proud, Mullach Coire Fraoch pointing to the skies and beyond them the hills of Torridon. To our right the Sisters cut a pose against a darkening sky and it looked like some bad stuff was on its way over. Picking up speed incase the heavens opened we trotted across the grassy plateau to Meall an Fhurain Mhoir. Yay - another Top!

ImageP1090186 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090187 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090188 by Al, on Flickr

Ceathreamnhan with Sgurr Ghaorsaic in front
ImageP1090192 by Al, on Flickr

A'Ghlas Bheinn
ImageP1090193 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Meall an Fhurain Mhoir
ImageP1090195 by Al, on Flickr

Fhada summit
ImageP1090197 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Sisters
ImageP1090200 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Meall an Fhurain Mhoir
ImageP1090201 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090203 by Al, on Flickr

Now decision time. The wind was getting up and it was smirring with rain. The ridge or the way we'd come? I knew if we didn't do the ridge we'd both regret it, plus it was less kilometres back to the car. So we switched trainers for boots and with a little trepidation set off. I remembered reading something about a slabby section to Sgurr a Choire Ghairbh and that wet weather would make this unpleasant. i hoped the rain would stay off til we got to it :wink: . The first bit of the ridge was a joy with a well trodden path round the crest. Over the first rocky bit, Ceum na h-Aon Choise then down to Hunter's Pass. We could see the craggy section ahead, maybe 50m high. A path winds up the first half then the slabs are reached. There's one slightly awkward section that narrows as you move across it, but holds are good and in dry rock - as we still had - it was a pleasure. However the descent ain't finished yet... The descent route is over Faradh Nighean Fhearchair then onto the grassy slopes of Beinn Bhuidhe. It takes some scrabbling about on rocky, shattered landscape to get down there and inevitably takes longer than one might assume. It's also quite hard on the knees. Made it back to the car around 5, both a bit tired, Allison's knees complaining, but pains were eased by a visit to the Clunie on the way back home for some proper grub.

Start of the ridge
ImageP1090206 by Al, on Flickr

Ceum na h-Aon Choise
ImageP1090209 by Al, on Flickr

The tricky bit onto Sgurr a Choire Ghairbh
ImageP1090210 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090212 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090213 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090214 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1090217 by Al, on Flickr

Rough going
ImageP1090219 by Al, on Flickr

Stats
ImageP1090222 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1719
Munros:203   Corbetts:161
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Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Another Slice of Cheesecake

Postby Driftwood » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:24 pm

Good to see that you managed to fit in Cheesecake and the Big Shin, even though the weather turned at the worst moment for that. I remember being concerned that the clouds were going to descend further, or start pouring down, for the east ridge of Lurg Mhor. In my case, I remembered gloves for that section, but left much of my emergency equipment (luckily unneeded) with my pack.

A lot of good photos, too - and quite a range of moods, gloaming and mist, sunshine and rain.

And I'm interested to see the west ridge of Beinn Fhada, especially the scramble and terrain to descend. I walked the Munro (and tops) in the evening of a very long day, so didn't even consider this at the time. But it looks very tempting - in dry conditions and when feeling brave.
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Driftwood
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Posts: 290
Munros:192   Corbetts:33
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Sub 2000:19   
Joined: Jun 9, 2011

Re: Another Slice of Cheesecake

Postby dooterbang » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:04 pm

Another wunderbar weekend outing with an arrangement of hills and weather.

Hopefully you'll manage a trip full of the golden sun soon, think you've had your share of the rain.

I'm impressed how quickly you get these reports up, considering the length of them! Took me ages for that last report I did, my head was puggled!!

Looks like another compleation soon :D
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:53
Grahams:17   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Another Slice of Cheesecake

Postby weaselmaster » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:14 pm

dooterbang wrote:Another wunderbar weekend outing with an arrangement of hills and weather.

Hopefully you'll manage a trip full of the golden sun soon, think you've had your share of the rain.

I'm impressed how quickly you get these reports up, considering the length of them! Took me ages for that last report I did, my head was puggled!!

Looks like another compleation soon :D

Cheers Paul
If I don't get them up immediately I get home I'll forget what I did. Old age comes not alone :lol:

The next 2 weeks will determine whether or not completion of Tops / Corbetts is feasible by the end of this year. I am hoping the weather will not destroy my plans.
User avatar
weaselmaster
Wanderer
 
Posts: 1719
Munros:203   Corbetts:161
Grahams:60   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:163   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Another Slice of Cheesecake

Postby dooterbang » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:30 pm

weaselmaster wrote:
dooterbang wrote:Another wunderbar weekend outing with an arrangement of hills and weather.

Hopefully you'll manage a trip full of the golden sun soon, think you've had your share of the rain.

I'm impressed how quickly you get these reports up, considering the length of them! Took me ages for that last report I did, my head was puggled!!

Looks like another compleation soon :D

Cheers Paul
If I don't get them up immediately I get home I'll forget what I did. Old age comes not alone :lol:

The next 2 weeks will determine whether or not completion of Tops / Corbetts is feasible by the end of this year. I am hoping the weather will not destroy my plans.
Phew, that's some going :clap: . I do have the feeling you may forget that you've compleated all these hills/mountains and do themall again :lol:
User avatar
dooterbang
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1824
Munros:255   Corbetts:53
Grahams:17   Donalds:10
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:18
Wainwrights:21   
Joined: Oct 27, 2009
Location: Glasgow

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